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Editing / Proofreading Services?

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Old 11-22-2009, 09:22 AM
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Default Editing / Proofreading Services?


I'd like to have someone proofread and edit my manuscript, but before I drop $700+ on it I want to find the best place to use. Anyone have any recommendations? I was going to use Scribendi, but I can't find much in the way of reviews for it. A lot of the other top Google hits seem vaguely scam-y.

What I'm looking for is a basic grammar/sentence structure/etc check, but also recommendations for improving sections of the text, suggestions for which parts work and which don't, etc. To my understanding, a basic edit.

Any help is much appreciated

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Old 11-22-2009, 10:26 AM
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Well, for $700+, I'd be more than happy to take a gander at your work LOL

A "basic edit," usually just includes spelling and grammar. What it sounds like you want is a "doctoring" of your work--rewording, restructuring, resentencing, etc. I would say that they best way for you to check out someone is to just ask for references and examples of previous work that they've done. That way, you can judge for yourself on whether or not the person fits to what you are looking for.

Also, make sure that you ask all the specific questions you may have up front. Rates, timelines, experience--those things would be the first thing that you should find out. Sometimes, just asking on a forum (such as this one ) can bring a lot of interested parties to you as well!
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:31 AM
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Two editors/authors that have been recommended on this site before, and look like very good options to me:

Barbara Rogan
Martha O'Connor

And, not to self-promote--oh, let's face it, I'm about to self-promote --I'm a freelance editor myself, and have tackled a few projects in my time. I can work up some glowing references if you want them Plus, I work for practically peanuts. The drawback is that I'm pretty busy with other things, so probably wouldn't be able to do it as quickly as people who get to work on this kind of thing full-time. But if time's not an issue, and price is... message me about it and we'll talk

But first, you might just want to put up a few pieces of your writing for the population of Writer's Beat to look at and comment on! That's free, and it gives you a good idea of what you can fix yourself.

As an editor, what I'd do first would be to look at your first chapter--for free--and identify your problem areas grammar-wise and whatever else jumps out at me. Then you could decide whether or not it'd be beneficial to you to work with me.

Before you go getting an editor for line work--though that's a really important part--you should probably try a self-edit with the advice you've gotten on your writing samples working behind you. You should be sure that the story you've got is the story you want, and just reading over your manuscript carefully is the best way to determine that. A grammatically correct, but poorly set-up story isn't likely to get far! Definitely try to self-edit and make sure you can follow your story from start to finish before paying somebody to polish it up. Most editors also provide general analysis, ignoring grammar in favour of structure, which is a really good idea, but if they run into major things--gasp! Plot holes!--they have to send it in a certain direction that they think would fit as readers. The original cohesive vision is the writer's, so make sure you've tied your threads together nicely before subjecting it to the red pen!

Ahem... to add an abstract:

I do editing work for peanuts, but it takes some time. Take advantage of free advice before paying. Self-edit before paying. Pull your novel together before paying.

Ta-da
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Last edited by Winterbite; 11-22-2009 at 11:33 AM..
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Old 11-22-2009, 11:56 AM
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I am a glowing reference to Winterbite's editing skills. Well, maybe a slightly glimmering reference--I don't believe I've ever glowed. Also, since I'm a cheapskate, I found his rates very affordable--almost like robbery on my part. Thanks again Bite.
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Old 11-22-2009, 12:04 PM
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Thanks for the slightly glimmering reference, Paco! Being something of a cheapskate myself, I try to abide by the golden rule. Robbery to you is karma to me

And if I may say, it almost didn't feel like work--it was more like pleasure than doin' business
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Old 11-23-2009, 05:38 AM
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Barbara Rogan and Martha O'Connor both come highly recommended, and I think both have introductory offers so you can try them out before laying out big bucks.
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:20 PM
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This is a good thread and I would like to add my thoughts. Getting your manuscript copyedited prior to submission to a prospective agent can be a good thing for your career, but keep in mind that even the best copyeditor can't salvage a story that lacks fundamental elements such as unforgetable characters and a compelling and original story. But if you believe you have this, then the next step is finding someone reputable. I started a thread titled "Three Key Steps to Getting Published" under this section that provides a view into what worked for me on this front when I began my writing career in 1989. I would recommend that you consider the second on "Preparing the Manuscript for Submission" to get it as clean as possible before sending it to your chosen copyeditor. Good luck.

--R.J.
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:34 AM
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Well, I just did some editing work myself on a book. So if you need any help, let me know.
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