Window shopping for an editor

Thanks to everyone who responded to my last post! It’s nice to know I have friends who I can count on to give me advice. This has been a learning process, and there is a lot to learn. Come to find out that I’m really ignorant about what’s involved to get something published. It’s ironic how the more you learn, the more you come to realize that you really don’t know anything. The best that can be said is that I do enjoy learning about new things. I love knowledge.

At least now I have a clearer picture of what I want, what I need, and what I should look for in an editor. What I’m looking for is someone to proofread for me, to catch my spelling and grammatical errors. I’m always finding more, but I know I’m missing most of them. I need a fresh set of eyes, preferably eyes that are attached to a well-trained mind!

I would also love to hire someone to do some content editing for me. It may be a luxury I can’t afford, but I have questions that need to be answered. Is my story coherent? Are there any continuity errors? Where are my weaknesses and what parts should be pruned in order to strengthen the rest of the book?

Part of the problem I’m having is strictly financial. I can’t afford an experienced editor, and it’s an all too common problem, especially for those of us who are getting started. The risk of going cheap, however, is that you find someone out to make a quick buck, who has no understanding of spelling and grammar that they do a lousy job. It would be a waste of money that I can ill-afford to spend!

I have been sent a few resources to peruse. A few friends have also volunteered to lend a hand, which is probably the way I’ll go. I’ll have to be creative, lean on the expertise of those who have been in my position, and accept all the help I can get. Of course, I don’t expect something for nothing. I believe people’s time and skills should be adequately compensated. It’s finding the fair price I can afford which will be the challenge.

Then there’s the issue of finding someone to design a cover, but I’ll worry about that when the time comes.

Looking for an editor

There’s a book needing work. I’m waiting to hear back from my beta readers but that hasn’t stopped me from going though the manuscript, looking for typos to correct, odd phrases to rewrite, and searching for lines that need to be cut. I have a lot that needs to be trimmed away.

I’m also looking for an editor, which scares me because I have no clue what to look for. Anyone can call themselves an editor, but not anyone can do it. I know I couldn’t! I don’t have the skill set to read and edit a book for someone. I miss typos and grammatical mistakes all the time. No it’s best that I begin to look for someone else to do it, but who?

I’m doing some research, looking for freelance editors. I’m also researching what I could expect to pay. Yikes! I don’t have that kind of money. Low end is around three-hundred dollars all the way up to several thousand dollars. That’s crazy, but it also makes me wish I had that particular set of skills. Damn my luck!

So I’m going to ask around, to see what I need to look for, and what is a reasonable fee I should pay for a self-published book? I’m going to ask for recommendations, who I should avoid, and frankly any bit of advice I can get from writers and publishing professionals. I’m determined to do this so I want to do it right. I don’t want to skimp and end up with an inferior product, but I also can’t spend indiscriminately.

 

Change of plans

This was my plan for yesterday. I worked from six in the morning until three. I had planned to get home, take a short reinvigorating nap, and then start working on Jasmine. It was supposed to be a nice, quite evening at home.

Instead, on the way home I got a text from my brother. What time you getting home me and Julian are going to see Nadi play. do you want to go with us. My response? Yea.

Instead of a nice night at home, I spent the evening outside in subfreezing temperatures watching my niece play junior varsity soccer. It was cold. Really cold. I wore four layers, which helped, but my legs were icicles. I wish I had thermal underwear or tights or pantyhose or anything to keep my legs from feeling cold. Luckily the game consisted only of two 25 minute halves, with a 5 minute halftime. An hour later, we sat in a McCalister’s Deli to thaw out, ate supper, and probably talked and joked for at least an hour, probably more.

I got no writing done, not even to update my blog, which I’ve been trying to do daily this month, but that’s okay. It was nice to break the monotony of everyday life and go out, even if it was cold. Sometimes writing can wait. Life, however, waits for no one.

Febrile thoughts…

It’s after four in the afternoon of my snow day, and I’m getting cabin fever. The walls are closing in around me. I spent the past ten minutes talking to sock puppets. Okay, that’s all a lie. I went to town to buy ingredients to make meatloaf. I feels it’s the perfect meal for a cold winter’s night, and frankly I’m sick of chili.

But while I sat here playing on my computer, scrolling through a few introvert-oriented Facebook pages, I had a thought. I’m an introvert. The thought of spending time with people exhausts me. I take my lunches alone when I’m at work, just so I can recuperate and face another half day dealing with customers and co-workers. That’s one reason writing appeals to me. It’s largely a solitary activity.

Here’s what I was thinking. I live in a small town of less than a thousand, where everyone pretty much knows everyone else, if not by name at least by appearance. I want to move to a large metropolitan city of well over a million. On the face of it, that sounds silly. One thousand is a lot less than one million+ people, why would I want to make that move?

Simple. It’s easy to be alone in a crowd where no one knows me. I can get lost in the crowd and mind my business. I’m a lot less likely to run into people I know and would rather avoid than I would in a much smaller town. What’s worse, I run into people here that recognize me, greet me by name, and I have no idea who they are. It’s embarrassing.

Just a cabin-fever induced thought from the mind of a man who’s about to make meatloaf. And mashed potatoes. I’m not a savage.

Lazy Day

It’s a bit of a lazy snow day. I haven’t done much except had breakfast, finished reading The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and written a few simple book reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I wrote my most scathing review to date. Want to see it? Okay, since you asked.

This is what I had to say about Home Depot: Profiles in Courage…

“Poorly written collection of stories that came across as a bitter ad hominem attack on people the author didn’t like. The book is neither clever nor humorous and was a complete waste of money. Do yourself a favor and steer clear.”

That’s the entirety of the review. It wasn’t eloquent of well written, but it is the truth. And I’m worried that my writing is bad!

What it did do is make me more determined to write a good story, write it well, and make it something people will want to read and share. That’s my goal. I know I repeat it a lot, but I have to pump myself up. In my head I hear Rob Schneider’s character from The Water Boy, “You can do it!”