Monday, December 4, 2017

Stephen Fry on "Correct" Language Usage

and why being pedantic about correct usage is small-minded and betrays a true lack of love of language: Stephen Fry Kinetic Typography: Language. Worth a listen.

At EssentialEdits.ca, we try to strike the appropriate balance between 'correctness' and the author's 'authentic voice'. A question of context, largely: Memoir or textbook, dialog or formal essay, this character or that one in a novel—diction makes a very useful character tag . . .

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Editor as Secret Weapon

Toronto Star article that notes Giller Prize and Writers' Trust Award winners had top editor as a secret weapon:

Meet the secret weapon behind three award-winning Canadian books photo of Martha Kanya Forstner with award-winning titles

Editors are secret weapons because their work often goes uncelebrated, and because a good editor can weaponize your manuscript.

The article does a good job of describing the role of an editor and what it is like to work with a great structural or developmental editor.

We can't promise we can turn your initial draft into a Giller Prize-winner, but we can promise we can take it to the next level.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Editor is Not Your Enemy

Good post from Inside Higher Education by Rob Weir that explains the difference between copy editing and developmental editing, and especially how an author should react to editor feedback.

The Editor is Not Your Enemy

Spoiler alert: Chucking the whole project is not the solution.

Rob is talking about book publishing, but the same advice applies to theses and dissertations, just change "editor" to "supervisor" in the article, and it applies.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Greetings at Joe Mahoney Book Launch

I was the acquisition and developmental editor on Joe Mahoney's book, A Time and A Place for Five Rivers Publishing. Neither the publisher, Lorina Stevens, nor I were able to attend the Toronto book launch, so we made brief selfie-video greetings to be shown in our absence. If you want a glimpse of my boss at Five Rivers, and hear me talk about my role as an acquisition editor and developmental editor on the book, watch this three minute video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-v06fHzxMg&list=PLYyla3aTwM9R5f3nVHfTficSyOHajIIZj

Thursday, November 2, 2017

An editor's view of clients

A good depiction of an editor's view of clients for Halloween: Boo! These Are the 10 Monsters Your Book Editor Fears the Most by Blake Atwood.

Blake concludes by saying "Now, this isn’t a complaint article about editing clients. Rather, it’s meant as a curtain-parting glimpse into what editors deal with in terms of unprepared, underprepared, or naive clients. It’s what not to do when working with an editor."

He goes on to say, "Additionally, many of these 'monsters' come by it honestly. Because they don’t live, breathe and eat writing and publishing as editors do, they just don’t know what’s conventional or expected. Most editors understand this and are glad to help new authors learn the ropes—so long as the author is receptive to expert advice."

Of course, most clients are not like those described. Most are reasonable people looking for expert advice on their manuscript and open to input to ensure their manuscript is as good as it can be. They are happy to learn about the process and to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their writing so they can eliminate any bad habits for next time, and pleasantly surprised how good their writing is after an editor as been over it. The editor-client relationship is almost always positive, Blake's occasional monster notwithstanding.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Resources for Self-publishing Authors

Proofreader and copyeditor, Louise Harnby, has some excellent free resources for authors.

https://www.louiseharnbyproofreader.com/self-publishers.html

on topics such as How to Master Point of View, self-editing, children's books, indexing, and so on. Worth a look!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Is there money in self-publishing?

A well researched report reported in the Guardian newspaper reports that
Despite the splash caused by self-publishing superstars such as Amanda Hocking and EL James, the average amount earned by DIY authors last year was just $10,000 (£6,375) – and half made less than $500.

...

Romance authors earned 170% more than their peers, while authors in other genres fared much worse: science-fiction writers earned 38% of the $10,000 average, fantasy writers 32%, and literary fiction authors just 20% of the $10,000 average.

...

Self-publishers who received help (paid or unpaid) with story editing, copy editing and proofreading made 13% more than the average; help with cover design upped earnings by a further 34%.

Read the full article here: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/may/24/self-published-author-earnings?CMP=share_btn_fb

Note that the 'average' (i.e., mean) was highly skewed by a handful of high earners. The mode was closer to $500 and a quarter did not earn back their costs. One should probably start with the expectation of making less than $500 on one's first book...

I do know self-published authors who are making a living, though. Krista Ball comes immediately to mind, since she is also one of my favorite authors. But she had a long term strategy and really works at both the writing and marketing...Nobody could say she had found a get-rich-quick scheme. If you're in writing for the money, I think you're in the wrong business. There are a lot easier ways to make a living. But if you're in it for the love of writing, yeah, you have a shot at making...$500.

It only makes sense to seek professional editing if one amortizes the cost over not just one manuscript, but over one's whole career—what one learns from having one's first book edited should show up as a better first draft of #2, and getting #2 edited teaches you how to write book #3 and so on. Editing gets less expensive as you go because your manuscripts start out cleaner, and so take less time to edit. That's theory, anyway. Doesn't always workout that way--being creative, authors can always come up with new ways to screw up a manuscript. But I for one like to think of myself as an educator as much as an editor for any particular manuscript.