Writing Forums

Writing Forums is a privately-owned, community managed writing environment. We provide an unlimited opportunity for writers and poets of all abilities, to share their work and communicate with other writers and creative artists. We offer an experience that is safe, welcoming and friendly, regardless of your level of participation, knowledge or skill. There are several opportunities for writers to exchange tips, engage in discussions about techniques, and grow in your craft. You can also participate in forum competitions that are exciting and helpful in building your skill level. There's so much more for you to explore!

Need copyedit if doing a developmental edit? (1 Viewer)

bennylava

Senior Member
Hi all! I'm another indie first time writer. I had this self help book in me and it had to come out. It focuses on job satisfaction and how to get out of a lousy dead end job that you don't enjoy. Almost finished with it now, so here I am. I'll be self publishing. Looking to get some pointers from people who are more experienced. So with the intro out of the way, I figured I may as well post a few questions:

1. How can I make sure I get a developmental editor that's worth having? It occurs to me that you could easily pay for an editor that takes your money, but doesn't really do much editing. Given how much this is going to cost, it's something you have to get right the first time. No room for error when picking your editor. Can anyone recommend a developmental editor for nonfiction? It's 32k words, in the self-help genre. It would be nice if they were somewhere in the middle of the price range. I've noticed that the price varies, and I want to get the best edit I can, but I don't have the budget to pay $800-$1,200 for a developmental editor. I'd love to, but it's just not in the cards for my very first book.

2. Do you even need a copyeditor if you're going to do a development edit? Or does the copy edit come after the developmental edit? What's the order? It seems like a developmental edit would be so in-depth, that you might not need a copyeditor.

3. I'm thinking of getting one of those Blue Yeti microphones and recording my own audiobook. I've listened to a lot of other audiobooks where the author read it, and for the most part they all seem pretty well done. Don't see any reason why I couldn't do the same, as I just have a normal voice, it's not weird or off sounding somehow. Anyone done this or considered doing it? If so, any tips or do's/don'ts?

4. It looks like it's going to cost about $150 to get my isbn and copyright through the normal official channels. Any reason I shouldn't do that? Some companies have various stipulations and don't always place nice with your isbn and copyright. Thought it best to ask.

Thanks! Looking forward to reading the replies
 
Last edited:

bdcharles

Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9
Staff member
Media Manager
Hi all! I'm another indie first time writer. I had this self help book in me and it had to come out. It focuses on job satisfaction and how to get out of a lousy dead end job that you don't enjoy. Almost finished with it now, so here I am. I'll be self publishing. Looking to get some pointers from people who are more experienced. So with the intro out of the way, I figured I may as well post a few questions:

1. How can I make sure I get a developmental editor that's worth having? It occurs to me that you could easily pay for an editor that takes your money, but doesn't really do much editing. Given how much this is going to cost, it's something you have to get right the first time. No room for error when picking your editor. Can anyone recommend a developmental editor for nonfiction? It's 32k words, in the self-help genre. It would be nice if they were somewhere in the middle of the price range. I've noticed that the price varies, and I want to get the best edit I can, but I don't have the budget to pay $800-$1,200 for a developmental editor. I'd love to, but it's just not in the cards for my very first book.

2. Do you even need a copyeditor if you're going to do a development edit? Or does the copy edit come after the developmental edit? What's the order? It seems like a developmental edit would be so in-depth, that

3. I'm thinking of getting one of those Blue Yeti microphones and recording my own audiobook. I've listened to a lot of other audiobooks where the author read it, and for the most part they all seem pretty well done. Don't see any reason why I couldn't do the same, as I just have a normal voice, it's not weird or off sounding somehow. Anyone done this or considered doing it? If so, any tips or do's/don'ts?

4. It looks like it's going to cost about $150 to get my isbn and copyright through the normal official channels. Any reason I shouldn't do that? Some companies have various stipulations and don't always place nice with your isbn and copyright. Thought it best to ask.

Thanks! Looking forward to reading the replies

Hi,

1. I think your best bet is to go on recommendations. On twitter there are loads of professional editors, most of whom are legit, so scout a few out, talk to some, talk to their clients, and go from there. They should be able to either provide you with client testimonials, or a free sample, or both. I do some editing (largely in the SFF genre) and my current client pays per 10,000 words so if he or I ever stop the job, he'll have paid for only what I have done, and no more. If you're on a budget that sort of payment plan can be useful.

2. Funny you should ask. I am in this exact conundrum. I've copy-edited most of the job but I am conscious that there is going to be significant developmental work, after which there will probably be some more copy. The copyedit was pretty heavy (English isn't the writer's first language). I consulted with the writer beforehand to figure out exactly what he wanted and to talk about what was workable. He wanted the copy first so that's what we did, and it made sense: without it, discerning the story was a challenge. I'll have to re-go-over the product once he's implemented the developmental stuff but that's okay, he is happy with that. Point being each case is different. You may be pretty good at grammar and writing, so could go with developmental on its own. More likely though is that a self-published book might need a few passes of both. It's kind of an ongoing process rather than a single job. Personally, I do my own writing and get it to a point where I don't think it needs too much extra editing.

3 - not sure, sorry. I don't think my speaking voice is all that interesting, even though it is entirely normal, so I wouldn't record my own audiobook - but that's just me. Millions of youtubers all over the world sound pretty engaging so if you can get up to that level you might be okay.

4 - not sure, sorry

A couple of things I'd watch for is: scammers. Some people, it pains me to say, will claim to be editors and then you read their stuff and it's like a cat vomited on the page. So get those recommendations and samples. If they have some editorial credits in anything out in the world then so much the better. Don't be afraid to say "it's not working" for whatever reason. It's your story, your creation. Allow only exactly what you are happy with on it.

A little more problematic is where the editor can do the job but they don't quite have a sense for where your voice stops and theirs begins. They might want to make a change that is technically fine, and the original text is fine too, but they prefer it their way. At this point it might become less your story and more theirs. You may be okay with this but if not, better to ready yourself up for it.
 
  • Thanks
Reactions: PiP

bennylava

Senior Member
Thank you for the reply! It almost sounds like I should skip the developmental edit and just use a copy editor. When it comes to a developmental editor, it all sounds just too... iffy. You have to watch out that you don't get scammed. Then you have to make sure the editor is a good "fit" for you. Then you have to make sure the editor doesn't squash your voice too much. There's a several other things here that makes the whole process seem just too overwhelming. I don't even know where to start looking. Maybe linkedin? I'm not a twitter user so I wouldn't know how to vet people there.

Do you happen to have a developmental editor that you'd recommend?
 

bdcharles

Wɾ¡ʇ¡∩9
Staff member
Media Manager
Thank you for the reply! It almost sounds like I should skip the developmental edit and just use a copy editor. When it comes to a developmental editor, it all sounds just too... iffy. You have to watch out that you don't get scammed. Then you have to make sure the editor is a good "fit" for you. Then you have to make sure the editor doesn't squash your voice too much. There's a several other things here that makes the whole process seem just too overwhelming. I don't even know where to start looking. Maybe linkedin? I'm not a twitter user so I wouldn't know how to vet people there.

Do you happen to have a developmental editor that you'd recommend?

I'm afraid I don't.
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
4. You shouldn't be paying $150. You may have looked at ads, rather than the US Copyright web site, where you will register your copyright for $45 for a book. You can find scam sites which copy the US Copyright form system, take your information, file it, and charge you an extra $100 or so. You fill out exactly the same information at the .gov copyright site. The scam sites offer ZERO added value. However, you'll find their ads at the top of the Google search results when you search for copyright.

If you self-publish on Amazon, they'll assign an ISBN gratus. Other outlets may offer the same courtesy, but that's the one I'm familiar with.

This link should get you kicked off:
https://eco.copyright.gov/eService_enu/start.swe?SWECmd=Start&SWEHo=eco.copyright.gov
 

-xXx-

Financial Supporter
https://www.isbn.org/buy_ISBNs
https://www.myidentifiers.com/identify-protect-your-book/isbn/buy-isbn

1 ISBN
$125

Identify one book in one format
Get Into Books In Print
Register yourself as Publisher
Appear in relevant databases


The ISBN is a unique identifier for a book or other book-like product (such as an audiobook) that specifies its format, edition, and publisher.

Why should I buy an ISBN?

There are many reasons to purchase an ISBN for your title, including:

An ISBN improves the likelihood your book will be found and purchased
An ISBN links to essential information about your book
An ISBN enables more efficient marketing and distribution of your title
Most retailers require ISBNs
Correct use of the ISBN allows different product forms and editions of a book, printed or digital, to be differentiated clearly, ensuring that customers receive the version they require
An ISBN helps you collect and analyze book sales data
An ISBN ensures your book’s information will be stored in the Books In Print database
Books In Print is consulted by publishers, retailers and libraries around world when searching for title information
The ISBN conveys no legal or copyright protection, however, the use of ISBNs for publications is prescribed by law in some countries
In some countries a book will be charged higher tax if it does not have an ISBN
ISBNs are the global standard for book identification




International Standard Book Number (ISBN) - kdp.amazon.com
kdp.amazon.com/en_US/help/topic/G201834170

eBooks. An ISBN isn't required to publish an eBook with KDP. Once your content is published on KDP, Amazon will assign it a 10-digit ASIN (Amazon Standard Identification Number), which is unique to the eBook, and is an identification number for the Kindle Book on Amazon.com. If you already have an ISBN for your eBook, you'll be able to enter it during the publishing process.

but you knew that,
based on your OP.
;)
 

bennylava

Senior Member
Thanks to all for the replies! I have a question about making revisions to the book. Is it a big pain in the ass to make changes to your book once you've got your copyright and your ISBN? I ask because I'm building a blog that won't be finished before I release the book. It's going to take several months to complete with just me working on it myself. It's health and wellness related, specifically fasting. But my book comes out first, and there's a chapter in it about fasting.

Naturally I'd want to point them to my website in my book. You always do that whenever you can, thems the rulz. All your stuff links to all your other stuff. And I just can't wait 4 or 5 more months to publish my book. So I'm hoping it's not too big of a pain to make a small revision that's one sentence. Such as "And if you want to read more about fasting, head on over to xxxxxx.com where I've written a bunch of articles that you can read for free." That's all it would need to be.

4. You shouldn't be paying $150. You may have looked at ads, rather than the US Copyright web site, where you will register your copyright for $45 for a book. You can find scam sites which copy the US Copyright form system, take your information, file it, and charge you an extra $100 or so. You fill out exactly the same information at the .gov copyright site. The scam sites offer ZERO added value. However, you'll find their ads at the top of the Google search results when you search for copyright.

If you self-publish on Amazon, they'll assign an ISBN gratus. Other outlets may offer the same courtesy, but that's the one I'm familiar with.

This link should get you kicked off:
https://eco.copyright.gov/eService_enu/start.swe?SWECmd=Start&SWEHo=eco.copyright.gov

The only thing is, that's Amazon's ISBN, and not an official ISBN. Apparently they have their own. As for $150, I was combining the copyright cost with the ISBN cost but after reading this thread it looks like I may have been off a bit.
 

vranger

Staff member
Supervisor
Minor changes should not affect your ability to defend your copyright, However, once the work has been submitted for copyright, that's it. You cannot resubmit with revisions. You could submit again, and pay the fee again. The submission process will warn you that the instant you complete the process, it's set.

You may or may not know that copyright is established when you create your work. I typically think of it as when first made public, because the necessity for copyright is moot as long as the work is sitting on your computer for no one's eyes but yours. Registering copyright with the US Copyright Office does not establish copyright. However, it does make it easy to prove authorship, and you may only collect damages in a court action for infringement if you are registered.
 

apocalypsegal

Senior Member
First of all, developmental edits come first. These editors help you structure your book in the best way possible, fixing major writing issues. Copy editing and proofreading come last. You should always find someone recommended by a trusted writer, and get a sample edit. Check references carefully. Developmental edits are not cheap.

Secondly, most people aren't going to be able to do an audio book themselves. They just don't have the skills or equipment to get a good job out of it. I wouldn't even worry about audio until I'd been selling very well for at least six months.

Thirdly, don't worry about ISBNs until you're absolutely positive your work is ready to publish. Yes, it costs to buy a single one (in the US, Bowker is the only authorized seller). You don't have to buy their bar code. You can get a free one from bookow.

At any rate, don't worry about this stuff until you've completed a manuscript and gotten either a critique group to look at it, or some qualified beta reader feedback. You'll likely be doing a lot of work on your own before you're ready to hire professionals.
 

bennylava

Senior Member
First of all, developmental edits come first. These editors help you structure your book in the best way possible, fixing major writing issues. Copy editing and proofreading come last. You should always find someone recommended by a trusted writer, and get a sample edit. Check references carefully. Developmental edits are not cheap.

Secondly, most people aren't going to be able to do an audio book themselves. They just don't have the skills or equipment to get a good job out of it. I wouldn't even worry about audio until I'd been selling very well for at least six months.

Thirdly, don't worry about ISBNs until you're absolutely positive your work is ready to publish. Yes, it costs to buy a single one (in the US, Bowker is the only authorized seller). You don't have to buy their bar code. You can get a free one from bookow.

At any rate, don't worry about this stuff until you've completed a manuscript and gotten either a critique group to look at it, or some qualified beta reader feedback. You'll likely be doing a lot of work on your own before you're ready to hire professionals.

Once again thanks for the replies!

Yes the book is very near completion, and it's time for me to find this elusive editor.

Something I've noticed though, is that it seems hard to get an actual recommendation for a developmental editor. Has anyone here had their book edited and would recommend their editor? Even if your editor only does fiction, if you trust them, then it's worth an email to them to get their recommendation. As they travel in those circles, and would know a good developmental editor for me, most likely.

I have asked this question in several places, and all I can't seem to get any recommendations/referrals. What I do get is the usual people looking for work, whom I can't verify. Is this something where you just go to upwork and find the one with the most experience and then spend a day checking their references?

I was hoping to find someone who has edited nonfiction before and has client testimonials on their website. That way I could go check out the books themselves and see if I approve of the way they turned out. If not, I can start looking at a different editor.
 
Last edited:

apocalypsegal

Senior Member
The best I can do is recommend looking at the Yellow Pages at kboards.com. There are editors and other services that list there, and you can see some reviews from customers. You don't have to join the site to read, only to reply. Always research people, and ask for a sample edit. Most will do a short sample for free.

On the site, there's a ribbon with several links. If you hover over Authors, you'll see the link. The site isn't what it was, before the new owners took over, but there's still good stuff there, and the Writers Cafe often has very good info for self publishers.

I think the reason many don't recommend anyone is because the editor will end up getting too busy to be useful to them. It's a small bit of selfishness in a business where people are generally eager to help others. It's the same with cover designers. But I do see it happen on other sites, so it's not unheard of.
 
Top