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Thread: Need good copyeditor.

  1. #1
    Night Owl GypsyLayla's Avatar
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    Need good copyeditor.

    Just need someone to proof read our MS.

    RECOMMENDATIONS APPRECIATED.

  2. #2
    Moderator AW Moderator Maryn's Avatar
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    How much are you budgeting for this? And do you want proofreading or copy edits? They're not the same.
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  3. #3
    Night Owl GypsyLayla's Avatar
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    I need to make sure there are no grammatical errors or typos. Budget is open

  4. #4
    practical experience, FTW
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    Some beta readers notice typos and some punctuation errors. Has it been through your regular readers and friends first?

    The sponsor here has a banner ad at the top of the page: free sample edit.

    I’ve seen some people mention Fiverr. The prices seem too good to be true though.

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
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    People offering to edit your ms for $20 or $100 are very likely to cost you more than that in the end. There are uncountable numbers of people online offering editing services with no training, knowledge, or anything else. Some say they have a BA in English or edited someone's self-pubbed book or whatever. Those aren't qualifications, and a BA in English doesn't teach you to edit any more than a BA in art history teaches you to paint.

    I've seen plenty of people who hired 'editors' online and ended up with manuscripts with more errors than the things started with.

    I believe there's a list kicking around with rec's.

  6. #6
    Night Owl GypsyLayla's Avatar
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    JD and Cornflake, thank you.

    I think I rushed to post, and shouldn't have. More context would have been a good idea. Sorry. I am very picky and know good editing. I spent four months figuring out that most of the editors out there are crap, and finding one that isn't was difficult, but ultimately rewarding. And we got lucky and found two great ones. Our manuscript has been edited and is ready, in content, for submissions. But line edits are not the same as copyediting or proof reading. Before I start sending out samples and full MS's to editors I want to make sure that there are as few mistakes as possible. And I am willing to pay for that (like I said, no budget cap). So I was asking for recommendations, hoping some people here have specific people they can vouch for.

    I'll just ask our editors and see who they recommend.
    :-) thank you.

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW cornflake's Avatar
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    If you're looking for an agent, you're better off, in general, sending unedited (by outsiders!!) work. Which is not to say I don't enjoy work myself, but I'm also not a con artist (or I'd just be pointing to my dancing sig in a self-pimping manner).

    There are a number of issues with submitting edited work to agents. In general, agents want to know how YOU write, and using editors makes that unclear. If an agent decides to work with someone who's had his or her work professionally edited, the question of what happens with subsequent works is always lurking. As well, when an agent or a publishing house's editor sends requests for changes, big or small, whether those go through the editor, whether the author can make changes that don't seem disjointed from stuff the editor has worked on, etc., can also end up being factors.

    Hence, it's generally best to send work as untouched by outside professionals as possible.

    That said, there are certainly instances I think it's a good idea to use an editor of some sort or for some things. Authors who have issues like dyslexia or whose first language is not English might benefit from a clean proofread on top of their own (well, everyone can, but I think those cases are clearer arguments for having a pro help). As well, sometimes people know there's a hole and need help working through it, or want something checked for plot coherence, flow, and don't have trusted beta readers who can help. Generally, betas are a better option, but life is what it is.

  8. #8
    please distract me mccardey's Avatar
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    I'd say listen to the Cornflake - for obvious reasons, but also because you've got this as shiny-bright as possible haven't you? So a typo or misplaced comma here or there won't make much difference. You're already co-writing: I think the fewer fingerprints you can add, the better. Hopefully it will get picked up and then you'll have all the editing you want, without having to pay.

  9. #9
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    OK, I'll just answer the question, assuming that a direct promotion of someone is acceptable in reply to a request for a suggestion!

    I use Lori Brown Patrick for my novels. (No, I don't have a lot of links here on the forum, but there's a reason for that.) Lori has been a professional editor for years and really knows her stuff. She won't try to change your novel into her voice, she'll just point out what needs fixing. And she educates her authors, so they are better able to correct their own work in future. One novel that I had her edit after multiple other editors and readers had gone over it...she still found a ton of errors. She's encouraging, upbeat, and fun to work with. She's edited award winning fiction from both traditional and indie authors for more years than I think she's willing to admit to. She has only started taking on private clients within the last few years.

  10. #10
    Night Owl GypsyLayla's Avatar
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    Cornflake and MC, thank you for your response. We are aware that some agents feel that way. But ultimately, editing was right for us for a variety fo reasons. And so we sought out and found good editors. That said, you and MC have good points about the fact that a few commas shouldn't be a bar to an offer. So maybe I will leave it as is. UNLESS we decide to self publish.

    I do not believe in one size fits all advice. For us editing was the right thing to do.

    Trina, Thank you for the specific reference.

    For the record our editors are Sarah Cypher from Three Penny Editor http://threepennyeditor.com/ and Kelley Eskridge of http://sterlingediting.com/ and both are excellent at what they do.

  11. #11
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    I'm not going to question GypsyLayla's decision to pay to have her work edited prior to submission as it's done now, and because she's said upthread that there were good reasons for her choosing to do this which she didn't elaborate on. But I thought it wise to point out here that it's very rare for this to be a good move, because if your work is picked up by a good trade publisher you will work with their editor to bring it up to the mark, making your own editor redundant; you don't know prior to signing what your publisher's hopes will be for your book, and your own editor might work against those hopes, making your book less likely to be signed; and it's costly to employ an effective editor, and those costs are not likely to be recouped when you find your trade deal.

  12. #12
    Night Owl GypsyLayla's Avatar
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    Old Hack, it is costly. But if you'll allow me to play devil's advocate: time is priceless. Many people go through multiple drafts (we're on draft gazillion as far as I can tell) and spend endless amounts of time revising but not learning. People learn differently from one another. For some workshops, peer reviews, propositioning people on forums like this one, classes (online or in person) work. But those things are ALSO costly. Some in terms of money, others in terms of money, many in terms of both.

    So saying editing is costly is disingenuous. It's all costly. As for costs being recouped. If you think of it as just a service that you are paying for, you may have a point. But working with a good editor is a fantastic learning experience. And education is expensive. I have the student loans to prove it. Working with a good editor that you click with and trust, you get the one on one attention of someone in the trade (that you don't have to beg, barter or trade for), with experience and a new perspective, on your actual writing. On the full scope of your manuscript. And that is invaluable as a learning experience. I could have taken writing workshops. We have them in my area. But the good ones are very costly, and I would not have had someone looking at my entire manuscript. And I would still not have someone looking at the entire body of my writing and noticing trends (both good and bad) and telling me: look you are doing THIS really well on page 10 and on page 300 but on page 50 where you do it, you fail.

    So for me, it's not about things being 'costly' or 'recouping.' It's about value. And the experience as a whole was invaluable. So the cost is already recouped in my perspective.

    On top of that, in our particular case: we are husband and a wife team writing together for the first time. Working with an editor helped us have a third perspective when we disagreed about things. And our editor did not change our voice. She helped us better merge our voices into one. Again, invaluable. And again, those workshops (for 700-1000 per person) for the two of us would have been expensive as well.

    And, once again. This is not a thread about the value or costs of professional editing. It's merely asking if you can give me a recommendation for a specific person who can do what I need done.

    And finally, I do not believe in one size fits all advice. You do not know the circumstances, viewpoint, or perspective of the people you are talking to. So allowing that some people may legitimately and successfully do things differently is both empathetic and polite.
    Last edited by GypsyLayla; 11-24-2017 at 03:23 AM.

  13. #13
    Needs More Hands.... Fallen's Avatar
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    I content edit via a publisher, and I can understand what Old Hack says, purely because editors with a publisher are employed to content and copy edit for you: it's what they do. And you won't get marked down for grammatical flaws if you have a cracking story. They'll love working with you. But besides that, what you learn from you freelance copy editor may be different to what your publishing copy editor does. The latter has the publisher's house style to recommend too, so what you learn from could be changed by the other, conflicting with the money you've spent.

    If you're getting a copy editor for self-publishing, I couldn't agree more how it's needed!

    But when it comes to publishing, from an author side now, I personally use damn good beta readers who know their grammar (then treat them gold when I find them!). If you were writing in my genre, I'd point you forward to trusted sources. But I honestly don't use a copy editor myself or rely on my own instinct as an editor when I'm submitting my own work, but that's because the publishing house I edit for isn't the publishing house I write for, and their copy editing recommendations differ vastly.

    Do you feel your grammar concerns are something that could be addressed by a good beta reader, or are you looking for a copy editor because you have deep concerns over the likes of legal requirements etc.

    What did your content editor say about your style?

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  14. #14
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GypsyLayla View Post
    Working with an editor helped us have a third perspective when we disagreed about things. And our editor did not change our voice.
    Those things are also true about the experience you'll have working with a decent editor at a good trade publisher, though.

    I don't disagree with anything in your post, by the way. Just underlining those parts.

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