Custom Writers’ Services
Visit PAPER GOLD PUBLISHING
Over the last few years, I have made it my mission to help raise the standard of the independently published books in every way I can. There is a certain level of prejudice against non-traditionally published authors, and so it is imperative that the quality of the product you supply to your readers should be at least equal to, or even better than, a traditionally published book.
When you work with me, you will also learn – but only if you want to. I offer my knowledge in all aspects of creating a work of fiction freely, and welcome all questions, both during the time we have together and after your project has been published. However, I will not shove grammar down your throat or burden you with tons of details about plot-building until you pass out with the load. It is up to you to ask if you want to know. If, on the other hand, you want to hand me a first draft and collect a beautifully worded gem in a couple of weeks’ time, I can accommodate those wishes just as easily.
I believe in preserving an author’s individual voice, so you can be assured I will not suggest changes for the sake of justifying the time I spend working on a manuscript. It would be counterproductive, and I have an innate dislike for wasted time or effort.
I HAVE BEEN ASKED
1) Do you use the Chicago Manual of Style?
I use whatever STYLE the author prefers. I do not believe in starchy rules of any kind, and while you can be assured of flawless editing (my standard is 0.0025% misses), if you want to argue about the correct size of an en-dash, or whether your quote marks should be straight or curly, you need a different editor. The clue is in the name: The Chicago Manual of STYLE – not GRAMMAR.
2) How long will it take you to edit my manuscript?
I would like you to take a minute to imagine the most beautiful wood carving you could ever see. That is your finished manuscript in its utmost perfection. If you give me a carving which is almost there, just needs a few details chiseled right, a few chips taken off, and a few layers of polish, we could be done in a week or two. If you give me a tree trunk so rough I’ll need a chainsaw before I can get near, it could take us months. I don’t have a problem with it, and my fee is the same, regardless of how much work I put in a manuscript. I can usually give you an indication, but that is not set in stone. I have been sent manuscripts with pristine beginnings, but which required a lot more work (read ‘time’) from chapter four onward.
As a general rule of thumb, use this calculation. For a 100,000-word manuscript, I need to make sure 20 words are perfect every minute of every working hour in order to finish editing in about 90 hours (that is 12 days at 7.5 hours worked daily). That does not include me writing you any comments, giving you options to choose from, pointing out inconsistencies, or fact-checking. Sure, anyone can read 20 words a minute. But you’re not hiring me to read. You’re hiring me to assess and improve.
3) Will my book be a bestseller?
Unlikely, without a seriously powerful promotional plan behind it. So why are you paying for editing then? Because without a near-perfect product you stand NO chance at all. There are plenty of good books out there; some are even outstanding. To beat them in the rankings, your work has to be out-of-this-world amazing. You need to have a good book to start with, and together we will make it the best it can be. It may take you several goes, but if you are a hard-worker – or incredibly lucky – you will get there.
MANY CONGRATULATIONS TO STEVE LEBEL, WHO WON THE ABOVE AWARD WITH THE UNIVERSE BUILDERS. WELL DONE, STEVE!
SUMMARY OF SERVICES AND FEES
MENTORING – a custom, individually agreed method of encouraging and supporting an author to finally get that long-slaved-upon book finished. From mere ‘idea’ stage to ‘partially written’.
Option A – your book is in its incipient form, more an idea than a manuscript. You have some thoughts on where you’d like the story to lead, or what you might want to show, but are unsure on where to start and how to develop your plot. Our aim will be to create a plot development plan, with guidance points. You will still be writing your book, because this is what you want to do. Flat fee: US$250.
Option B – you have started writing your manuscript and are quite a way through, but you’ve hit an impasse. You would love to be able to discuss the various options available, how to take the story forward, what would be the best way to develop your characters and what would make a satisfactory ending. Our aim will be to achieve optimal development of a novel during an initial assessment and brainstorming sitting, followed by twelve weekly guidance and monitoring sessions. I offer an option to extend these sessions on a week-by-week basis, and also flexibility, to allow for holidays, illness, family events, etc. Flat fee: US$360. Additional weeks: US$25/session.
It is likely we shall need to get in touch via phone or Skype if emails are not enough.
Warning: I know the symptoms of a procrastinator inside-out.
DEVELOPMENTAL COACHING – in the most sought-upon component areas of a fiction novel writing: character development, plot, flow, suspense, dialogue and the dreaded ‘show versus tell’.
Individually tailored, six-week one-to-one sessions formulated to suit your specific needs after an initial consultation to devise the required content. I will need to see a sample of what you consider your ‘best’ writing and one of the area you would most like to improve. Includes exercises and discussion on progress and development of your skills. Flat fee: US$350.
SYNOPSES AND BLURBS
Much dreaded by most authors, synopses and blurbs can hook a reader or an agent and sell a novel. There’s nothing more off-putting than a blurb that proves an author’s inability to describe their novel in a few lines. Flat fee: US$100 for manuscripts I’ve been involved with; US$500 for previously unseen material.
Manuscript assessment with a view to finding the weak spots of a completed project. I will produce a report outlining the areas requiring attention and the steps necessary to attain a top-quality novel. Flat fee: US$200.
GHOSTWRITING – I have become aware of this acute need only lately, and whilst I cannot claim to have a great deal of experience in this particular area, I have written books in several different fiction genres, and also non-fiction, I have collaborated with other authors in producing novel-length books, I have taught English as a foreign language, I have received an award for Excellent Client Service (and spent a delightful week in Tuscany courtesy of my employer for my efforts), and I am flexible, used to dealing with people from all over the world, of different cultures, and speaking different languages.
Ghostwriting simply means I will write that book for you.
After an initial discussion on the idea, genre, style and expected length, I will need to study all the material you can provide to me (letters, video footage, diaries, etc) in order to produce a plan of action, which will require your absolute minimum involvement. I do not require to see my name anywhere in your book, though a small nod in the acknowledgements would be nice. You will take all the credit. My service will be fully confidential, as will be specified in our contract. The fee will be payable on achieving certain ‘checkpoints’, with the last portion payable on completion. As I am an experienced writer who does a lot of editing work, you can be assured of the utmost quality as regards writing style, grammar and punctuation. I take pride in my work and can provide references from other authors or samples of my writing – whichever you prefer. Flat fee: US$250/1000 words.
EDITING – line, content and proof. Personal favorite: content editing. If there’s a weak point in your novel, I will find it, and I will show you a way, or several, to fix it.
Option A – basic copy-edit and proofreading, which involves looking for typos, punctuation errors, and simple grammar mistakes. Flat fee: US$300. Talk to me nicely, and I might point out weak points of your novel, content-wise, too. Please specify whether you require US or UK English. Priority surcharge: $50.
Option B – full manuscript editing – from the smallest issue to the most complex. Starting from spelling and punctuation (again, please specify whether UK or US), structure of sentences, subject-verb agreement, correct tense and word usage, order of words within the sentence, structure of paragraphs within the chapter, logic of chapters within the overall manuscript. Moving on to consistency of plot and overall readability, including clarity of thought, voice, believability, fact checking, secondary plots and relaxed, naturally flowing dialogue. And finally, looking at character voice and personality, authenticity and point of view and assistance with developing characters and plot where required. Studying human nature is a personal favorite of mine; I dedicate a lot of my time to observing and attempting to understand people. Flat rates: US$400 for manuscripts up to 80,000 words; US$600 for manuscripts over 80,000 words.
PUBLISHING – please visit the PAPER GOLD PUBLISHING website for the complete range of options available.
IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR REQUIRE A SERVICE NOT MENTIONED ABOVE, PLEASE CONTACT ME VIA EMAIL AT
(In an effort to keep some semblance of order in my schedule, here is my calendar for the next few months.)
NB: I am in the middle of organizing a slew of box sets in different genres. Romance and Paranormal are full and well on the way to being ready for publishing, there is one space left in SF/Fantasy, and some more spaces in Crime/Mystery, Thriller, Horror, Apocalyptic/Dystopian, Romantic Suspense and the two Halloween sets.
Each box set contains 15 complete works – some published, some not. Each title will receive a free proofread by me or another member of the PGP staff. For this reason, my schedule is incredibly full and likely to stay this way until September or October, approximately. Please contact me to discuss the time requirements for your project, or how I might be able to fit you in. The quickest and surest way is by email at: email@example.com
I would never, ever publish a book ever again without having it checked by an editor. And my editor of choice is Ella Medler! Ella is highly professional, straightforward (tough love) and will tell you exactly how it is. And trust me, it is far better for an editor to tell you the way it is and give you the opportunity to fix any problems you may have, than have a reader give you a bad review. Patti Roberts
Ella did a fantastic job on the edits she did for Foundling Wizard. There was one section that every beta reader pointed out, but no one could say what was off. She picked up on it quickly and provided some good pointers on how to strengthen it. We worked together to pick up a few changes that really improved the whole story. She did a super job and I’m really pleased with the finished product. James Eggebeen
Finding an editor who is diligent, easy to work with and also someone you can trust is hard. Especially one that won’t charge you an arm and a leg for his/her services. I found Ella Medler on Facebook and I am so glad I did. Her expertise and professionalism are amazing. Cary Barner-Nelson
Before you leave, I would like to offer you an author’s opinion on writing, what it involves, and the many things no one tells you about before you start. Please take a minute to read this article. It is an eye opener.
Enter Bruce Blake.
“As an independent, self-published author, I often find myself involved in discussions debating the benefits of self-publishing versus traditional publishing, both with readers and fellow authors.
I am the first to admit that both have their pros and cons – which I won’t get into here for fear of having this post run out of control – but the two attractive features of traditional publishing which are almost universally agreed upon are distribution and perceived quality. It is the latter which provides the impetus for this post.” (read more)