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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've seen a lot of people say they can't afford an editor. No judgment here. I know how hard it can be for new authors to get the money together for editing, especially as even the cheapest editors charge a few hundred per book...as they should, since it's a time-consuming service when done right.

That said, I've always felt that if we believe readers should invest in our writing (buy our book), then we should invest in our writing, too. I'm sure others agree--even those who just can't afford an editor. So I decided I would offer to help out. No, I can't edit entire books for free. I wish I was that superhuman, but I'm not. However, I can teach you what I know about self-editing.

For $20, I will review your manuscript as a whole and write a report that is specific to your writing and your book, outlining the strengths and weaknesses in your writing (this is not a story evaluation, it's a writing evaluation). The report will include examples and how to fix your most common errors. This is a writing evaluation, not a full edit, just to be clear.

Also to be clear, this is on creative writing technique and grammar/punctuation. This is not an evaluation of your story; it is, as I said, an evaluation of your WRITING. It's not a full edit. It IS a tool to help you self-edit. Please feel free to ask any questions if you are unsure about the service. :-*

Does this service replace having an editor? No way. But it would certainly be a step in the right direction and would be a great tool even for those who do have an editor.

If interested in one of my limited monthly spots, you can email [email protected] Currently, my turn around time is less than a week.
 

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Welcome to Kboards!

You're welcome to promote your business and website here in the Writers' Cafe!

Now that you have an official thread, you'll want to add your listing to our Yellow Pages Listing, found here:
http://www.kboards.com/yp/

The listing is free to KB members and is completely self-service; you can add and edit your listing from the page. More information on our Yellow Pages listing can be found here.

In your thread here, we ask that the same basic rules be followed as we have for authors in the Book Bazaar: you may have this one thread about your service and must post to it rather than start a new thread each time. New threads about the service will be removed. Please bookmark this thread so that you can find it again to post to. And, you may not make back-to-back posts to the thread within seven days. If someone responds (such as this post), you may reply but otherwise must wait seven days, thanks!

Ann
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(Note that this welcome does not constitute an endorsement or vetting of a service by KBoards. Members should do due diligence when considering using a service.)
 

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Hi Rebecca. Did you do  a free limited service on openings to help  new authors on authonomy?
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Decon said:
Hi Rebecca. Did you do a free limited service on openings to help new authors on authonomy?
Authonomy is closing! I work for as close to free as I can with 4 kids :)
 

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vlmain said:
Wow, that is a very generous offer and a great value!
Not only that, but those she worked with on their openings on authonomy gave nothing but praise. So yes, I think it is a bargain.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm sure a lot of writers will find that helpful.

Here's my worthless 2 cents of advice for those who can't afford editors.

Writing groups can be extremely beneficial, too. Get your MS in front of other people's eyes; they will catch the errors you don't notice because your brain is telling you a word is there when it really isn't, for example.

And sometimes, you'll find annoying people like me who still insist on using subjunctive mood and you can ignore my advice and that's fine. A lot of people don't speak that way, so some writers may choose to reflect common speech patterns. I use it because I can't give it up. It sounds weird to me to write, "I wish I was going to the mall," instead of "I wish I were going to the mall."

But I need help with lay v. lie. I look it up all the freaking time and I'm sure I still get it wrong. I hate those verbs.

So … writing groups, writing partner, whatever. Just finding someone or a group of people who can read your work (but you must be willing to do the same for them, of course!) can be helpful and FREE for new writers.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
1) I agree, writing groups are very helpful. However, many people in writing groups need help themselves. I've gotten plenty of BAD advice from well-meaning people in writing groups before. I've been editing professionally for several years now. I know there are better editors than me, however, back when I was on elance, I tested into the top 5% for Creative Writing and top 2% for Grammar and Punctuation. I've learned trade from Sol Stein (directly) and then work-shopped one-on-one with his sister, Toby, for several months after that. I've worked for publishing houses, and I currently work for a literary agency.

You will not find ME in a writing groups. I do recommend them, and they are free, but they do not remove the need to learn a thing or two about editing.

ALSO, I agree with DanaE: Serious writers can't afford to ignore editing skills or to self-edit. However, since some authors just are NOT going to hire an editor, no matter how much we try to explain why it's a worthy investment, perhaps they would try the next best thing: learning to self-edit. For me, self-editing is a step that happens BEFORE you send your book to an editor. But so many books are neither self-edited or sent to an editor, and if someone can learn to do the self-editing part for $20, maybe they will. Their books will be that much better because of it  :-*
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
mshistory said:
But I need help with lay v. lie. I look it up all the freaking time and I'm sure I still get it wrong. I hate those verbs.
The "simple rule" is that people lie, objects lay. Of course, it's never really that simple. Sometimes I find myself checking CMoS to be sure. I wouldn't be surprised if some things slip past me and past my editor.
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
TheForeverGirlSeries said:
The "simple rule" is that people lie, objects lay. Of course, it's never really that simple. Sometimes I find myself checking CMoS to be sure. I wouldn't be surprised if some things slip past me and past my editor.
Right, I know the usages but it's the past tenses and then the past participles and present participles and THEN THEY'RE SOMETIMES THE SAME THING!!! Like "lay" is the past tense of "lie" which is the present tense of the verb "to lay." But that one is easy. It's the present participles I hate. Is it "laying" or "lying"? That's the one I have to look up all the time and still misuse.
 

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TheForeverGirlSeries said:
The "simple rule" is that people lie, objects lay. Of course, it's never really that simple. Sometimes I find myself checking CMoS to be sure. I wouldn't be surprised if some things slip past me and past my editor.
The rule of thumb I learned is "You can lie by yourself, but you need someone else to get laid." :eek:
 

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mshistory said:
Right, I know the usages but it's the past tenses and then the past participles and present participles and THEN THEY'RE SOMETIMES THE SAME THING!!! Like "lay" is the past tense of "lie" which is the present tense of the verb "to lay." But that one is easy. It's the present participles I hate. Is it "laying" or "lying"? That's the one I have to look up all the time and still misuse.
The word "lie" is intransitive and the word "lay" is transitive. This means that lie doesn't have an object but lay does have an object. Raise and rise show the same relationship. I teach these words with my English students and yes, lie/lay is quite confusing in the past tense, since "lay' is the past tense of "lie". The present progressive / gerund forms aren't hard, but those past tenses are confusing, especially for my students who are learning English as a second language.

Back to the original topic, $10 seems very low to me. You (ForeverGirlSeries) are likely to spend hours on that book and for only $10, why ask so little?

I can't afford an editor right now (but my longer WIP is not near completion yet either). I am earning in pesos and the peso is devaluing against the dollar right now. We had to postpone my wife's next tuition payment (thankfully her program is flexible) since we don't have enough dollars now and if the peso keeps losing value, paying for editing will be the least of our worries (no plane tickets out, for example). So I am thinking long term and taking this year to build up a body of work and when I get a job that pays in dollars, then I can invest in an editor (and after making it as perfect as possible on my own).
 

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That's a generous offer, and I hope folks take you up on it.

Personally, I want to be able to pay someone to proofread for me at some point in the future. I catch nearly everything editing-wise, but sometimes I think how nice it would be to not have to read that danged file again to find the odd missed period, or use of "ot" for "to" (I do that one a lot, and always have, if I'm really typing fast) or "an" for "and" -- just caught one of those yesterday) and other crazy things. Apparently, my muse can't spell at mach speed.
 
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Drake Green said:
The word "lie" is intransitive and the word "lay" is transitive. This means that lie doesn't have an object but lay does have an object. Raise and rise show the same relationship. I teach these words with my English students and yes, lie/lay is quite confusing in the past tense, since "lay' is the past tense of "lie". The present progressive / gerund forms aren't hard, but those past tenses are confusing, especially for my students who are learning English as a second language.

Back to the original topic, $10 seems very low to me. You (ForeverGirlSeries) are likely to spend hours on that book and for only $10, why ask so little?

I can't afford an editor right now (but my longer WIP is not near completion yet either). I am earning in pesos and the peso is devaluing against the dollar right now. We had to postpone my wife's next tuition payment (thankfully her program is flexible) since we don't have enough dollars now and if the peso keeps losing value, paying for editing will be the least of our worries (no plane tickets out, for example). So I am thinking long term and taking this year to build up a body of work and when I get a job that pays in dollars, then I can invest in an editor (and after making it as perfect as possible on my own).
It takes me about two hours to do one evaluation, minimum. Since I am basically taking random samples and evaluating them to create a basic portfolio of what the writer needs to work on, I don't read every word, hence it not taking too horribly long. My evaluation focuses more on technique and grammar. Not so much on story/plot, though if I notice anything in those areas, I will include commentary on that as well.

Why charge so little? Because while I feel I do need some compensation to justify the time spent, I ALSO want help people. Even people who normally feel they can't afford help. If time were not an issue, I would probably do it for free, but then of course, a lot of people will take something just because it's free and not because they actually want it.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
she-la-ti-da said:
That's a generous offer, and I hope folks take you up on it.

Personally, I want to be able to pay someone to proofread for me at some point in the future. I catch nearly everything editing-wise, but sometimes I think how nice it would be to not have to read that danged file again to find the odd missed period, or use of "ot" for "to" (I do that one a lot, and always have, if I'm really typing fast) or "an" for "and" -- just caught one of those yesterday) and other crazy things. Apparently, my muse can't spell at mach speed.
I have this same problem!!! My brain can't keep up with my fingers. My typos can be pretty epic. Also, I am dyslexic. I have found a way to work around that, but back when I did editing, I always disclosed to my clients that I do NOT proofread, as I would probably miss most typos. I know I miss them in my own books, even when I go over them a bunch of times. My editor misses them sometimes, too. And then even my proofreader will miss a few. Usually the book has been read by 100 people before ALL the typos are caught. We all have our weaknesses :p
 

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Unfortunately, writing has always been a rich person's game. Most of the NYT bestsellers out there were already making good money in some other way before they became bestsellers. That's why OP's offer is a nice step in the right direction.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
LilyBLily said:
Yes, $10 is not enough money, but I paid it and got my edits only a few hours later and they were dead on. The humbling part was being reminded about how sloppy my first/second/third drafts can be. Lots of lazy mistakes and they all got called out, with grammar rules cited so I'd know why I shouldn't make them again. Not every page was edited, but enough were to point the way so I could fix everything myself, plus there was an overview of helpful suggestions. It's an editing evaluation, not a story evaluation, BTW.

If you sense you could use even a little help with the technical stuff, I recommend taking up this offer. You can't lose.
Thank you! I appreciate you sharing your results, and I'm glad if it helps you create a focused self-editing plan. What I did read made me think I need to read the final in full once it's published! Also, I edited my original post, hopefully to make it clearer that this is for writing (grammar, punctuation, technique, delivery), not story (plot and characters). I apologize if that wasn't clear, and I can see why some would see writing to mean story. I'm glad you still found it valuable!
 
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