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On Editing

“HOW MUCH?”

I could virtually feel the incensed outrage of the author who last asked me this question, after I referred them to my editing page. They were not the first to feel this way, and won’t be the last either. I know they didn’t mean to come across as rude, and they didn’t mean to insult me. I can’t blame them for that honest reaction. For a struggling newbie author, even my fees (very low compared to those recommended by “professional” editors’ associations) seem exorbitant. In fact, right now, I’m not sure I could afford to employ someone who charges that for editing my own novels. Yet good-quality editing can make or break a book.

I just wish I had the time and patience to explain exactly what it means to do a decent editing job. I tried to do that on my page, but maybe I need to make those descriptions clearer, because mere lists of tasks are not enough. I can tell you now that the least time I need to edit a hundred-thousand-word book is about six working days, with two passes. And that is when the manuscript is near-perfect, and the mistakes contained within it are no more than about 250. Two hundred and fifty comments in a hundred thousand words. That is one for every page and a half. That is quick. Even then, I lose sleep worrying that I may have missed something, because there is no better measure of my work than the book I help produce. Add to that total a few hours spent revising any changes, or another three-day re-reading. How many hours? About 75. My fee is topped at $600. Do the maths. I work for $8 per hour – the best case scenario.

But I’m not writing this to complain. I choose to do this, and it isn’t even because I desperately need the cash. Yes, of course I enjoy the extra security it gives me, even when it is hard-earned. I actually feel an enormous sense of satisfaction when I see a well-polished final product, something I can proudly point at and say “Yes, I worked on that.” There is even more satisfaction in seeing an author progress over the years, and knowing that I had a small input in that progress. I watch what they say in interviews, and read their back-cover blurbs, and when I spot a correctly used phrase (one they used to misuse) I smile and give myself a tiny pat on the back.

There is no glory in editing, but it is a feel-good profession. I should know.

Why have I told you all this? Simple. I took the day off.

And in doing so, I tripped over this article, and its second chapter. If you wonder – 1) whether you need an editor; and 2) whether you’re getting a good deal, read it. If you value your editor, read it. If you know an editor friend, read it. If you worry about finding an editor (because the ranks of the good ones who still take on individual clients are shrinking), read it. It might help answer a few questions.

Message to my authors: don’t, for one minute, think I’ll give you any less love because I can do maths. (Hint: I did that little calculation the day I made my editing page public.) I have no favorites. I love you all the same, whether I spent six days or six months working on one of your books. Editing is far more than a job to me.

 
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Posted by on July 27, 2014 in Let's Talk

 

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Not Juliet is doing the rounds. I think this reader likes it.

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The Friday 56 #29 ~ Not Juliet by Ella Medler.
Thank you, Laura!

 
6 Comments

Posted by on July 25, 2014 in Just A Thought

 

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Review: Housework Harmony, by Andrew McAllister

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If ever you wanted proof of how sexy a man may look while doing the dishes, you’ve got it here.

All joking aside, I was surprised at how down-to-earth and honest a manner this subject could be discussed. It didn’t seem like the kind of thing one needs lessons for. How wrong I was!

This book showed me just how easy it was to fall into the trap of internalised emotion and unfounded assumption, the tiny grain of sands that can be the starting point of friction and discontent between spouses or partners.

In awe at what I’d just discovered, I read on, wondering what more could be said on the subject. There are ways to allay every concern, tips on asking for help without sounding like a slave driver, ways to look at the other person’s perspective that you probably haven’t thought of before, and different angles to every line of reasoning. And when you’re done with that, you still get a set of winning principles which can be applied to more than just this situation.

This book is more than just an essay in how to divide chores evenly, it is a lesson in how to be more attuned to the people around you, and ultimately to yourself, and also a lesson in communication. No one ever made much progress by avoiding interaction with the world outside themselves, and this book shows you the steps you need to take to get there. After all, we all want progress, we all want to be winners, and we all want fair, ethical treatment. Read this book, and encourage the others in your life to do the same. I wholeheartedly recommend it.

You don’t know you need to read this…until you do.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2014 in Book Reviews

 

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New Release: The Key To My Heart, by Nikki Lynn Barrett

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Blurb:

One dream fails, a passion burnt out…

With no set plan and a desire to find a passion, Blaine Grant hightailed it out of Harmony’s Echo a year out of high school to find herself. Finding a passion didn’t come as easily to her as it did for others she knew. Now, Blaine has come home for good with mistakes she’d like to forget, but the past doesn’t want to forget her. Everyone thought she’d been selfish to not come back when she was needed the most, but Blaine never let anyone know the emotional hell she went through.

Another dream is just beginning to see the light…

Randy Hughes has always been the shy guy until he discovered his love of music. It wasn’t until joining the band that he grew out of his shyness. The oldest sibling and the only boy, he’s pressured by family expectations to set a good example. He’s the one who takes everyone in when they need it, and he’s the one whose own dreams are ignored. Now that big things are happening for the Baby Stetson band, Randy has to decide how to handle his family when his dreams are on the line…

A friendship is changing.

One spur of the moment, impulsive move leads Randy and Blaine into a dire situation that may bring them together, or pull them apart, just when he’s finally able to gather the courage to tell Blaine how he’s felt about her all these years…

Revisit the characters you’ve come to know in small town Harmony’s Echo, as more changes settle upon them.

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18483993-the-key-to-my-heart

~~~

Excerpt

They still set the Ferris wheel in the perfect position. From the top you could see the whole town of Harmony’s Echo.

As soon as they were secure, their hands connected once again. Neither said a word, just exchanged a smile. For a split second, Blaine wondered what was up with her. She felt like … Hell, she felt like a teenager. Young, carefree, finding that one guy to make her heart flutter. The one guy she never, ever expected to feel that way about. Changes were in the air, and now those changes included new feelings for Randy.

Slowly, they were lifted in the air, coming to a jerky stop here and there to let other passengers on.

“I’ve always loved the view up here,” Blaine mused softly as they went higher. “I used to be afraid of how high we were. Every little squeak made me think we were going to fall. But then I looked over, saw the whole town and I forgot everything else.”

“Blaine Grant, actually afraid?” Randy teased. “I always thought you were a bit fearless.”

She faced him. “Me, fearless? You’re kidding, right?”

He shook his head. “Nope. I really did.”

“You’re crazier than I thought,” she blurted. Fearless. Ha. Funny. One of the biggest fears she had was never finding her place in the world. Silly, maybe. Stupid, possibly. It was one she’d never really expressed to anyone, which was why she pushed to hard to find something she was good at and could turn into a passion. Surrounded by family and friends who knew what they wanted early, like Jameson and Avery with their music, Blaine felt a little left out.

“What would a beautiful, headstrong, confident woman like you have to fear?” Randy squeezed her hand. Was it her imagination, or did he scoot even closer to her?

She licked her lips, all too aware of how her body reacted to him.

Her mouth worked against her brain, and once again, she blurted out another truth she never wanted to admit to anyone. “Not finding where I belong.”

The words hung in the air. Randy blinked, but for what felt like an eternity didn’t say anything. The wheel moved again, taking them higher. Breaking the tension, she stared down, wondering how many more cars were left to fill with riders before this thing went into full swing. The people walking below were so tiny, they reminded her of ants scurrying around in an ant farm.

“Where do you want to belong?” Randy finally asked.

“What’s with the philosophical responses?” Blaine shot back, totally caught off-guard by what he’d asked. What got her the most was how she didn’t know the answer.

Randy shrugged. Thankfully he didn’t seem offended. “I’m the oldest of a bunch of sisters. I tend to ask a lot of those kinds of questions.”

“And they still go to you for advice?” She cracked a smile.

“Maybe I trap them. Kind of like how you’re all the way up here with me and no way out, and now you have that question in your mind.” Randy reached across and brushed her hair away from her face.

“When did you become so evil?” Her voice came out hoarse. Blood rushed to her ears. All she could think about were his lips. So sexy. So … Oh God, what was happening to her? Was she starting to fall for Randy Hughes?

“Apparently the same time you’ve not been fearless. We’re seeing sides of the other we haven’t before.”

Wasn’t that the truth?

“We’re totally missing the view.” But she never took her eyes off Randy’s face.

“We could always ride again.”

Yeah. They could. And right now, she could lean over and…

Holy hell. Randy beat her to it. His lips crashed over hers. Blaine’s sigh caught in her throat as she closed her eyes, wrapped her arms around Randy’s neck and kissed him back.

 

~~~

The Key To My Heart is a standalone novel set in the series, but you’ll learn about the other characters featured in this story as well. Baby Stetson is book one, featuring Avery and Lucas, and book 2 is The Melody In My Head, which is Jameson and Melody’s story.

Baby Stetson is currently part of the Pasisonate Kisses boxed set with nine other authors and available for 99 cents. The Melody In My Head is currently $1.99

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~~~

You can find out more about Nikki Lynn Barrett’s books here or here.

~~~

About the Author and Social Media Links

4437_1090856669700_2534921_nI’m an avid lover of books. I’ve been writing as far back as I can remember, completing my first “book” by fifth grade in one of those one subject spiral notebooks. I have a passion for music, photography, jewelry and all things creative. I live in Arizona with my husband and son, but dream of being somewhere much colder and stormier. For now, I’ll have to live that life through my characters and stick it out with the summer heat.

Places to find me on the web:
www.nikkilynnbarrett.com

FaceBook
https://www.facebook.com/NikkiLynnBarrettauthor?ref_type=bookmark

Facebook Chat group: Nikki’s Book Nook:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/NikkisBookNook/

Nikki’s Book Stormers: My Street team.
https://www.facebook.com/groups/NikkisBookStormers/

Twitter: @Stormgoddess925

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6583655.Nikki_Lynn_Barrett

Email: nikkilynnbarrett@yahoo.com
I love to hear from readers!

 

 
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Posted by on July 14, 2014 in Guest Posts

 

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Why Traditionally Published Authors Should NOT Get 100% of Their Book Sales

… According to Hachette

If ever I saw a wake-up call, it’s this one!

Remember all the articles about the bad-boys Amazon refusing to allow the good-guys Hachette to pay next to nothing for using Amazon’s marketspace? And how all the Hachette authors are being caught in the middle, deprived of a good chunk of profits (those from ebook sales) and suffering at the hands of ruthless-business Amazon?

Well, look what Amazon did next: they offered all Hachette authors 100% of their ebook profits. And what did Hachette do? Agree, of course, you say? Well, no. Not exactly. Don’t take my word for it. Read it all here.

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Posted by on July 10, 2014 in Just A Thought

 

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Authors Helping Authors – The Bitten, an anthology of paranormal encounters

Dear friends, please help me spread the word and support an author whose life has been turned upside-down. I don’t know Brandon Hale personally, but I know I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes right now, battling cancer.

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The Bitten is a collection of short stories about vampires and werewolves, written by a number of successful authors who banded together to help Brandon. The proceeds from its sales go to Brandon Hale. Have a look at his other books here and please, please help out in whichever way you can.

Already, the rankings are showing this anthology’s value:

#59 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Genre Fiction > Anthologies
#67 in Books > Literature & Fiction > Anthologies & Literary Collections > General
#71 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Anthologies & Literature Collections

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2014 in Guest Posts

 

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The Universe Builders, by Steve LeBel, is #FREE this weekend

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Ever wondered what it’s like to be a god? Brilliant escapism, for youngsters and mature readers alike. Read my review here and then go get the book. It’s free today and tomorrow.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2014 in Guest Posts, Just A Thought

 

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