Today’s Writing Tip

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I’ve harped on this numerous times, but I believe it’s important enough to bear repeating. Know the different types of editing, especially if you hire an editor. Otherwise, you may be disappointed or not get your money’s worth. Here’s an outstanding blog on the subject.

If you think that one person is going to entirely rewrite your story into Best Seller material think again. Maybe some will, but that’s something you need to have a clear understanding of from the start. Otherwise, they may do no more than correct your typos and misspellings. If you’re really lucky, maybe they’ll fix those misused homonyms as well.

Rewording sentences may not be part of the deal, much less paragraph designation, or any number of other things.

There are too many people out there who think they’re editors when all they are is someone who knows how to read and, if you’re lucky, spell. It’s best to only hire an editor who has been recommended by someone you trust. It isn’t a guarantee to ask an author of a well-written book who their editor was, either. Perhaps the author is so skillful that their editor had little if anything to do!

As so many parts of being an author, choosing a competent editor is not simple. Make sure you know what you’re getting and that the person knows what they’re doing. Furthermore, some editors may entirely rewrite your story when that is not what you wanted, either! I’ve had editors completely change the meaning of a sentence with their supposed “editing” when I was a technical writer at NASA.

I’m afraid this turned into a bit of a rant. LOL! Obviously it’s something about which I have strong feelings. It’s all about communications, folks. As a writer, that should be your forte. Comprendez-vous?

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Today’s Writing Tip

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I already mentioned this fairly recently, but it’s important enough to bear repeating. Understand there are several types of editors. Proofreaders look for typos. Copy editors look at punctuation and grammar. Line editors look at sentence structure and flow. Content editors look at plot & characterizations.

If you’re lucky enough to have a first-rate publisher, they are likely to provide all of these. If you’re an indie author, then it’s essential for you to understand these different roles. Just because you can come up with a clever story doesn’t mean it will be worth reading unless you can convey it effectively. The skills these types of editors represent can help make sure you do.

Of course it’s going to cost you. Thus, it will serve you well to educate yourself and become the best possible writer so as to minimize the help you require.

If you want more detail regarding the types of editors you can find it here.

Today’s Writing Tip

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Editing is essential, but it’s extremely difficult to edit your own work. Hiring an editor isn’t simple. Besides the fact there are several different types of editor who perform different functions, many are simply clueless. Just because they can read they think they can edit. I have seen many indie books where the poor, unsuspecting author paid someone to edit their story and definitely didn’t get their money’s worth.

I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do is put out money and then not get what I expected in return. There are a couple ways to approach this problem.

1. When you read a well-written, nicely edited book, find out who the editor was from the author. There’s always a chance the author did a flawless job and the work wasn’t a credit to the editor at all, but it’s still better than no reference at all.

2. Make sure you have a clear understanding what you expect the editor to do. As noted earlier, there are many different kinds, from someone who functions largely as a proofreader who identifies typos (and if you’re lucky, incorrectly used words like those pesky homonyms), to those who essentially rewrite your entire story or even check your research.

3. In most cases you’ll get what you pay for. This, of course, is often the problem. Struggling authors can’t always afford an editor. This can be a huge mistake, just like slapping one of those rather pathetic canned covers on it. However, there is a way around it that can work and that is to arrange a beta exchange with another author. Just make sure both of you are skilled enough to do the job and you agree on your expectations, format, etc.

There’s a description of the different types of editor on my other website here. Yes, I do editing and my rates are based on what you want as well as the condition of your manuscript, of which I’ll want a sample so I can give you a personalized bid.

Today’s Writing Tip

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I may have mentioned this before, but I think it’s worth repeating. It’s always difficult to edit your own work. Getting distance between you and your story so that you can see it through your readers’s’ eyes is not easy. Of course, letting it sit for a while usually helps. If you tend to work on more than one book at a time, this is easier to do. Otherwise, you’re likely to be impatient to finish it up and get it out there.

Even if you have an editor, you really need to go through it again on your own. I have seen too many books that were supposedly “edited” but in some cases I suspect the editor was their dog. Seriously. Partly, this is because there are numerous types of editors. If you’re not paying attention and know the difference, perhaps you’re not getting what you’re paying for. For example, there are simple proofreaders, copy editors, content editors, and line editors. Not every editor will provide all three. Some who are not professional, simply someone with a good eye, may not even notice them.

So, bottom line, if you want your book to be a high quality product, you should go through that final version yourself. The way I prefer to do this is with a proof copy. Yes, a print copy I can hold in my hands and turn the pages. The physical feel of the book in your hands facilitates seeing your story through a reader’s eyes. It’s a different “dimension”, if you will, from an electronic device. For me, it’s also less distracting to underline, highlight, or dog-ear pages that require corrections without losing the flow.

Today’s Writing Tip

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Know the different types of editing, especially if you hire an editor. Otherwise, you may be disappointed or not get your money’s worth. I’m always amazed when I find a multitude of goofs in a book that has supposedly been edited. Just because a person can read, doesn’t mean s/he can edit! Furthermore, if they’re a specific type of editor, they may do a great job in that category, yet leave others flapping in the breeze, waiting for some discriminating reader of jump on them like a duck on a June bug.

Rather than reiterate what has already been said very well by another blogger regarding the different types of editors and what their duties are, check out this outstanding blog.

Today’s Writing Tip

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Understand there are several types of editors. Just because you hire one, doesn’t mean they’ll do the job you expect, especially if you don’t understand there are different types.  They may do a great job within their realm, yet miss other problems. I can’t tell you how many problems I’ve found in books where the author supposedly hired an “editor.”

Here’s the basic run-down: Proofreaders look for typos. Copy editors look at punctuation and grammar. Line editors look at everything. Content editors look at plot & characterizations. If this is news to you, then I suggest you read this great article that gives more detail.