Ten questions may seem like a lot. But you've worked hard on your manuscript, and if it's a complete dissertation or thesis, novel or memoir, you're probably going to spend in excess of $1,000 to have it edited. You need to know that it's going to be money well spent, and that you're entrusting your precious work to someone who has the ability to give it the quality treatment it deserves. The following ten questions will help ensure you're in the right hands—so don't be shy about asking them!
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How do you choose the right editor? If you are preparing to navigate the world of online editors, perhaps it would help to see them as fitting into one of three main categories: aggregators, independents, and teams. In brief, aggregators are companies that aggregate a number of freelance editors in one website, but with little supervision or coordination of efforts; independents are freelance editors who operate completely on their own; and teams are companies that utilize the services of multiple editors, but with supervision, review of their work, and coordination of their efforts. For some of the key pros and cons of working with each of these groups, read on.
If you’re writing nonfiction, and especially if you’re writing an academic book of some sort, an index is usually a must. Beyond the sheer dollars and cents value of helping book buyers to see that your book has what they need, you wrote the book because you thought it would be useful to people. And when it comes to your book’s usefulness, a good index can make all the difference in whether or not a reader is able to find the information s/he really needs. A really good index analyzes words and concepts, and it shows the connections between them, all while distinguishing substantive discussions of those concepts from merely passing mentions. In short, indexing is a work that requires analysis, judgment, and creativity—which is why it can’t be done by a computer.
Remember that the working relationship between an agent and an author is a very close, very involved one. You will be corresponding with them via email and phone a lot. You will go back and forth with your manuscript and receive a lot of consultation. You need someone that you are able to work with to a great extent on a professional level. In this post, Gordon discusses some of the fundamental questions you should ask as you look for an agent. And as always, the team of professional editors and coaches at Edits Made Easy stand ready to help you to write your query letter and synopsis, and to edit your manuscript so it is in the best possible form when you finally send it off.
Finding the right agent and then submitting just what he or she is looking for requires some advance prep work on the part of an author. In this article, EME editor/coach Gordon, who is also an agent for memoirs, offers some tips on identifying the right agent for your book and then approaching that agent in just the right way. And as always, the whole team of editors and coaches at Edits Made Easy stand ready to assist you in preparing your query letter and synopsis, and in editing your book manuscript so it is in the best possible shape before you send it out.
I go to a lot of conferences and talk to a lot of writers, and one of the most common things that these aspiring novelists don’t take advantage of is writing in the short form. “But I write novels. Why should I write short stories?” It’s a fair question, and I wouldn’t recommend writing shorts unless it helps you find success with your novel. It does, both from a technical and a business standpoint. Read on, Grasshopper.
I turn down easily 95% of the books pitched to me without even reading a single page. And yes, I am sure that some of them are just as brilliant as yours. Plenty of talented authors slip through the cracks because they simply do not articulate their skill and the brilliance of their manuscript in a well-crafted query letter. Others don't get picked up by agents because they don't demonstrate the dedication to a successful, mutually beneficial, long-term publishing relationship the agent is looking for. This article highlights a few of the qualities your agent will be looking for when you pitch your book to him or her. As always, the team of editors and coaches at Edits Made Easy stands ready to help you craft your query letter and synopsis and get your manuscript into final form as you begin your foray into the world of literary publication.