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Vanity: Do I Really Need an Editor?
self | today | Grannyx4

Posted on 09/08/2005 7:08:26 PM PDT by Vor Lady

This is for any of you Freepers who have published books. I am done with the first 400 of hopefully 500+ pages of a novel. I'm wondering if I really do need an editor to get the thing published. I talked to a local person who advertises as an editor and she quoted me a rate of $3.00-$5.00 PER PAGE! Is that normal? Reasonable? All I think I need is someone to tell me if it is in the right format to submit to a publisher; does that really cost $1200-2000? I have had several friends read it over for errors and I have spell checker; grammar checker and my self reading it over for errors. What do you think? I would appreciate ANY help! Thanks in advance, Grannyx4


TOPICS: Books/Literature; Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: editors; novel
Help!
1 posted on 09/08/2005 7:08:27 PM PDT by Vor Lady
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To: Grannyx4
What about an e-book in Adobe Acrobat (just a thought).
2 posted on 09/08/2005 7:10:26 PM PDT by jdm
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To: Grannyx4

A good editor can really enhance the quality of the work.


3 posted on 09/08/2005 7:11:19 PM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: Grannyx4

You need an agent. If the agent can sell your book to a publisher, the publisher will assign it an editor. Others may differ but I don't see a reason for an editor before then.


4 posted on 09/08/2005 7:11:56 PM PDT by JLS
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To: Grannyx4

I have no knowledge of such things, but I'll bump the thread for you. $5 a page certainly sounds very high.


5 posted on 09/08/2005 7:11:56 PM PDT by Sloth (Archaeologists test for intelligent design all the time.)
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To: jdm

I am not sure what an e-book is? Is that where I post it on the web?


6 posted on 09/08/2005 7:12:02 PM PDT by Vor Lady (I'm too young to feel this d*&m old.)
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To: Sloth

Many thanks for the bump!


7 posted on 09/08/2005 7:12:40 PM PDT by Vor Lady (I'm too young to feel this d*&m old.)
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To: Grannyx4
I self published my:

Dragon's Fury Series

... and I did it using LightningSource.com.

Good friends here on FR helped edit it...but a number of errors still crept through. NIce thing about self publishing is that you can update it at your will and leisure.

That company gets you onto Amazon, Barnes & NNObles, and several others. They take PDF format.

8 posted on 09/08/2005 7:13:05 PM PDT by Jeff Head (www.dragonsfuryseries.com)
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To: Grannyx4

How about you give her three chapters to work on?


9 posted on 09/08/2005 7:13:05 PM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: Grannyx4
What subject?

Fiction or fantasy - if it is either, you'll want to secure a known editor who has edited previously published novels for the industry. They'll usually list which books - if the book is published by a company you want to print your book, they're the ones to hire.

Odds are that you'll never get a publishing company to look at your manuscript. Cover letters to get them to look at a synopsis, and then if you win the publishing lottery, they'll ask for a manuscript and then, if you're really lucky, they'll read it.

Nonfiction is a much different matter. There it matters who has read your manuscript. History topic? Make sure you get someone noted in the field to review it. Science? Backup in a peer review journal.
10 posted on 09/08/2005 7:13:45 PM PDT by kingu (Draft Fmr Senator Fred Thompson for '08.)
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To: JLS

Have you published before? Does the agent care if it is in the 'right' format? I have the dummies book on publishing but I haven't tried all the tactics. IE, getting a well-known to endorse it, etc.


11 posted on 09/08/2005 7:14:21 PM PDT by Vor Lady (I'm too young to feel this d*&m old.)
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To: Grannyx4

I heard somewhere that you also need to come up with your own cover art, helps sell your book to the publisher.


12 posted on 09/08/2005 7:15:32 PM PDT by aft_lizard (This space waiting for a post election epiphany it now is: Question Everything)
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To: Grannyx4
If you're looking for critique, look around for a writing workshop, either real-world or online. You can get a lot of feedback and provide it to others, as well.

If you're just looking for info on how to format your work for submission, you can look around online for various publisher's submission guidelines, or go to the library and check out books like the Writer's Market current edition. This will help, as well.

13 posted on 09/08/2005 7:16:06 PM PDT by atomicpossum (Replies should be as pedantic as possible. I love that so much.)
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To: kingu

I'm not sure how to classify it. It is sort of a combination biography, autobiography, thriller type, but the protagonist is a woman so I could exploit that if I could bring myself to pandering to Oprah. Except for the true parts it's all fiction!


14 posted on 09/08/2005 7:17:05 PM PDT by Vor Lady (I'm too young to feel this d*&m old.)
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To: Grannyx4

Yes, you do need an editor. It does not matter how many times you read and re-read your own work, you will be blind to your own mistakes and inconsistencies. Friends and relatives may not be objective enough and spellcheckers at times cannot recognize errors such as using a word that is correct in itself in the wrong context.
Shop around for the best rate, usually given by word.
I am a copyeditor, so I know what I am talking about.
Good luck!


15 posted on 09/08/2005 7:17:39 PM PDT by republican4ever (The destiny of Israel marks the destiny of the rest of the world... whether you like it or not!)
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To: Jeff Head

Thanks so much for this info!! I will definitely read it!


16 posted on 09/08/2005 7:17:55 PM PDT by Vor Lady (I'm too young to feel this d*&m old.)
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To: Grannyx4
It is a very hard and long road to find an appropriate agent and then have that agent get a publishing contract.

I decided to take the bull by the horns and do it myself.

Had a lot of help from friends...and I would recommend having several friends proof it...and then when you are sure you have it perfect...do it again with some different friends. I had several sets of eyes looking at it independently and some errors still crept in which my customers pointed out and then I fixed as I went along.

Put out Five individual volumes that way...each one well over 400 pages. And then did a large hardback edition which contained them all.

Best of luck. It's certainly not easy...but it is a lot of fun.

17 posted on 09/08/2005 7:18:09 PM PDT by Jeff Head (www.dragonsfuryseries.com)
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To: aft_lizard

Well that will be a challenge! I'm craft and art impaired!


18 posted on 09/08/2005 7:18:40 PM PDT by Vor Lady (I'm too young to feel this d*&m old.)
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To: Grannyx4

Yes, it's very difficult to self-edit. You should get an agent, and your agent will shop your book around to an editor, who will help you make the book better and publish it for their banner.


19 posted on 09/08/2005 7:19:01 PM PDT by HitmanLV
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To: atomicpossum

Where on-line? I've checked here and the colleges in town offer them, but the caveat is that you have to be a student; unless there are others I haven't found yet....


20 posted on 09/08/2005 7:21:45 PM PDT by Vor Lady (I'm too young to feel this d*&m old.)
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To: republican4ever

Thanks for the input! Does her rate of $3.00-5.00 per page seem reasonable to you?


21 posted on 09/08/2005 7:23:01 PM PDT by Vor Lady (I'm too young to feel this d*&m old.)
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To: Grannyx4
My recommendation is to heed Jeff Head's advice. He's a great writer and his material is readily available at amazon.com, etc.
22 posted on 09/08/2005 7:23:51 PM PDT by jdm
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To: Grannyx4
That would be fiction - you need an editor. You can try the agent route that others are speaking of, but you're going to shell out more money for that both up front and in the end.

You can do the self publish route - better for fantasy than fiction, unfortunately. Various e-book sellers on the web accept contributions from individual authors on a commission basis, but honestly, once you publish in any form, no publisher is going to want to print it.
23 posted on 09/08/2005 7:24:50 PM PDT by kingu (Draft Fmr Senator Fred Thompson for '08.)
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To: All

Thanks so VERY much for all your input! I love FR for all the things I learn!


24 posted on 09/08/2005 7:24:57 PM PDT by Vor Lady (I'm too young to feel this d*&m old.)
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To: Grannyx4
The big question is, before discussing fees, is what have they edited in the past? Is it a successful series? Did they edit the first book? Did they aid in getting it published?

Honestly, I think that most authors know more about the lives of their editors than they did of their spouses when they got married.
25 posted on 09/08/2005 7:29:08 PM PDT by kingu (Draft Fmr Senator Fred Thompson for '08.)
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To: Grannyx4

Editors usually charge by the word. I think I read something like .015 per word... if I can find the site, I'll send you the link. Count the number of words per page and figure it out. At first sight, the rate does not look bad.


26 posted on 09/08/2005 7:29:17 PM PDT by republican4ever (The destiny of Israel marks the destiny of the rest of the world... whether you like it or not!)
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To: Grannyx4
While I haven't been published, I do know that using an editor is the best way to go. Not just for now, but for the future. The big publishing companies will look more favorably upon your future works if you have done all of the "right things." We just had a huge writers conference in my area, and reps from the big houses were there and this was their "must do" recommendations. (self publishing is also a big no no to them, btw.)
27 posted on 09/08/2005 7:31:59 PM PDT by ladyinred (Leftist=Anti American!)
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To: Grannyx4

I'll do it fer $2.00 a page. I talk real good and am a good spellur.


28 posted on 09/08/2005 7:40:08 PM PDT by Doohickey (If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice...I will choose freewill.)
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To: ladyinred

The woman I talked to is big into self publishing. When I think self publishing I see those books on my shelves that look 'homemade'. Bad covers, bad graphics; 'homemade'. I sew my own clothes so I'm not necessarily against homemade things but I have yet to see a self published book that looks 'professional'.


29 posted on 09/08/2005 7:40:58 PM PDT by Vor Lady (I'm too young to feel this d*&m old.)
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To: republican4ever

I have 185K words so far. Let's see, .015 x 185,000 = $2,775.00! I had no idea publishing a book would be so expensive! Maybe I picked the wrong hobby!


30 posted on 09/08/2005 7:44:06 PM PDT by Vor Lady (I'm too young to feel this d*&m old.)
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To: Doohickey

Are you trying to make me spit shiraz all over my keyboard?


31 posted on 09/08/2005 7:46:12 PM PDT by Vor Lady (I'm too young to feel this d*&m old.)
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To: Doohickey; Grannyx4
I'll do it fer $2.00 a page. I talk real good and am a good spellur.

I'm a twelve times produced playwright.

I'll do it for a buck three eighty!

32 posted on 09/08/2005 7:52:59 PM PDT by Focault's Pendulum (I'm not a curmudgeon!!!! I've just been in a bad mood since '73)
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To: Focault's Pendulum

Do you also do screenplays? I keep thinking this book would be a great action movie.
Is a buck three eighty = to a buck eighty three? Or are you talking caliber?


33 posted on 09/08/2005 8:02:06 PM PDT by Vor Lady (I'm too young to feel this d*&m old.)
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To: Grannyx4
Do you also do screenplays?

Screenplays are for hacks!

I once commanded the English Prose. Because my work was presented on stage...I had the opportunity to become my own editor. I lived and died by the audience....sort of gave me an immediate shock , when I had done things wrong...also the times when I had written words that carried the day.

Unfortunately darlin'...I'm retired.

Sounds like you're trying to do a Vanity Press. Good luck to you. Somewhat difficult to do.

34 posted on 09/08/2005 8:17:03 PM PDT by Focault's Pendulum (I'm not a curmudgeon!!!! I've just been in a bad mood since '73)
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To: Focault's Pendulum

Alas, I am probably just a hack, but this hack would like to see her name on a bona fide published book cover!

I'm not smart enough to be the next Shakespeare, nor probably talented enough to be you. :) But I appreciate your comments none the less.


35 posted on 09/08/2005 8:45:09 PM PDT by Vor Lady (I'm too young to feel this d*&m old.)
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To: Grannyx4

A word to the wise on your editing, Granny, is to consider trimming your book down considerably.

I interned at a small book publisher, and all they (and I stress they) considered were non-fiction. However, a publisher risks a lot on new large books by first-time authors. Often times, books are shipped according to size. Also, take into account length. How much of what you're saying, if it's non-fiction, is repetition? How much is editorializing? These are the things that add up. To sell your book, you first must make it marketable.


36 posted on 09/08/2005 10:05:42 PM PDT by pirateman
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To: Grannyx4

Recommend you read up on the industry before you publish. There are plenty of good resources on-line and at your local book store (writing resources usually has its own section). Getting smart on the book publishing world now before you jump in will save you a lot of headaches.


37 posted on 09/09/2005 4:16:44 AM PDT by meowmeow (Meow! Meow!)
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To: Grannyx4

You could publish it yourself. see www.lulu.com


38 posted on 09/09/2005 7:29:03 AM PDT by aimhigh
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To: pirateman

Thanks for the input. It's a fiction work. Short by Tom Clancey standards.


39 posted on 09/09/2005 4:09:05 PM PDT by Vor Lady (I'm too young to feel this d*&m old.)
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To: meowmeow

Thanks for your input. I have an old Writer's Market and Nover and Short Story publishing by Writer's Market. Jeff Head gave me some good advice up thread.


40 posted on 09/09/2005 4:10:27 PM PDT by Vor Lady (I'm too young to feel this d*&m old.)
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To: aimhigh

Thanks for your input. I'll add this source to Jeff Head's info!


41 posted on 09/09/2005 4:11:07 PM PDT by Vor Lady (I'm too young to feel this d*&m old.)
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To: Grannyx4
I've only written technical documents and educational documents at work.
Self-editing is very difficult.
Having someone else read it is a huge help, they always find mistakes that you may miss. When they point out the mistakes you'll say "How on Earth did I miss that?". I'll ask around and see if I can dig someone up.
I know my sister is very good at that sort of thing. I'll see if she's willing or if she knows someone else who is.
Best of luck and congrats on your novel.

Reminds me of a terrible joke though:
2 Lions are crouching in the brush staring at an author and his editor sitting under a tree.
1st Lion: Are you as hungry as I am?
2nd Lion: Nah, I ate earlier, but go right ahead.
The 1st Lion charges from the brush and grabs the editor and consumes him, leaving the author unscathed. He then saunters back to his friend waiting in the brush, all the while licking his chops.
2nd Lion: How come you only ate the editor, surely you could have finished them both?
1st Lion: Easy, because writers cramp but Readers Digest.

I'm sorry, I did get that from Readers Digest many years ago.
42 posted on 09/09/2005 6:24:18 PM PDT by Brainhose (THINK OF THE KITTENS!)
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To: Brainhose

Thanks for the joke! I have four people so far reading my manuscript and some extras lined up for after. The first responses have been positive from my friends, but one never knows if they are saying that so they don't hurt my feelings or if they think it is good. I've thought of hooking them up to a battery to quiz them, but for some reason they object....


43 posted on 09/09/2005 6:34:18 PM PDT by Vor Lady (I'm too young to feel this d*&m old.)
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To: Grannyx4
Hooking them up to a battery, hmmmm.......
I believe there are some torture chambers available in a certain ousted regime.
I'm not sure if having a friend doing it is a good idea just for the reasons you stated.
I knew when my sister edited my documents that she wasn't worried about hurting my feelings. It is different with friends though sometimes.
Best wishes.
44 posted on 09/09/2005 7:12:24 PM PDT by Brainhose (THINK OF THE KITTENS!)
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To: meowmeow

Recommend you read up on the industry before you publish..............

Best way to go. Self publishing is the route to pursue if all you want to do is get your thoughts out there.

In my research, I found many sites on the net that offered much better rates for editing than what you were quoted.

If you do self-publish, you MUST advertise. POD publisher will get you all over the net, but sales are generally low.

You don't get great quality books, but think of this as a way of getting started. If your book ultimately starts to sell, you are now in the position to spruce everything up.

Good luck!


45 posted on 09/15/2005 3:50:00 PM PDT by Grateful One (`)
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