Thursday, December 1, 2011


Hi, all. Audra here. Can you believe it's December 1st already?? I was only kidding with my husband last New Year's Day when I said, "Christmas is just around the corner, ya know." Where did the time go?

To kick off December, I've invited Sandi Rog to join us today. Sandi and I belong to Front Range Christian Fiction Writers which meets in Loveland, CO, although Sandi hasn't been able to join us for a while due to illness. Cancer is a pain in the patoot to put it mildly, but she hasn't let it get her down. More about that later, but first, I'll give Sandi center stage. She speaks lots of truth, so listen well!

Welcome, Sandi!

During my years as an editor I've run into a number of clients who've had their work already "edited" by someone else, but they've found themselves discouraged and wanting to give up. Some have even said they feel like their story is no longer their own. When they've shown me what the person did to their work, I've been astonished to find their voice completely mutilated.

Just because a person has a degree in English does not mean they'd make a good editor—or shall I say, book doctor. Believe it or not, even published authors don't necessarily make good book doctors.

Personally, I think the term "editor" should belong to the copyeditors, and "book doctor" should belong to those that understand voice, dialogue, attributions, characterization, plot, etc. Of course, we check for spelling, grammar and punctuation, but in the end, that's the job of a copyeditor. Copyeditors are usually found in publishing houses. Your manuscript will end up on their desk after it’s passed the test of "story" (i.e. plot, characterization, dialogue, etc). See the following link to The Book Deal. There, Alan Rinzler talks about what makes a good editor/book doctor. Instead of the term "book doctor," he uses "developmental editor" and describes what that means. You may find it helpful.

Anyway, it bothers me to see "editors" taking advantage of writers. Some folks are only in it for the money and aren't interested in really helping authors. And other folks, simply don't know what they're doing.

Always be extra careful before you hand out large sums of money. Do your research, talk to previous clients, ask for references. A good editor will be happy to offer these things to you, and they will be willing to answer questions after the edit and/or speak to you on the phone. Be leery of any editor who isn't willing to do these things. Here is a link that would be good to read before you hire an editor: Preditors & Editors

My biggest advice on selecting a high quality editor is to ask to speak to (or email) previous clients. The clients already paid their dues, and they got a full edit. They're the ones who can tell you if the editor is worth their price.

My list of recommended editors:

Inspiration for Writers (

The Book Doctor (

Audra here. This is all great information of finding a freelance editor. Sandi and her crew are among the best.

I can't believe she left off the best part!! Her book, Yahshua's Bridge, the long awaited sequel to The Master's Wall is available now!

Here's the summary:

An amethyst stone draws him to his past. An elusive maiden draws him to his future. Alexander is born into slavery under an abusive master: a master of his own flesh and blood ... a man he will never call father. Determined to break away from his master's hold, Alexander devises a plan to purchase his freedom. But what's he to do when he finds himself shipped off in shackles to Egypt, disappearing from the lives of everyone he knows and loves?

As a special treat, please leave a comment to be included in the drawing for Sandi's books. One lucky winner will receive The Master's Wall and Yahshua's Bridge.

AND Sandi is offering two signed copies of Yahshua's Bridge.

That's THREE chances to win!! Winners will be announced in the Seekerville Weekend Edition on Saturday.

Also, if you have a moment, please stop by Alison Strobel's blog  for information on a special fundraising campaign to help cover Sandi's medical costs. If you'd like follow Sandi's cancer journey, please stop by her blog, Dare To Dream

Remember, we all have a special journey. And may we all feel special while on it!


  1. Ho, ho, ho. Coffee's ready.

    Welcome Sandy.Thanks for the insights


  2. Sandi, I'm glad to finally hear someone caution against book doctors. I've seen many advertised and some make me nervous. I do worry they'd erase my voice.

    Praying for your.

  3. Great advice! :) I'm actually graduating with a B.S. in English this coming spring, and I've considered doing editorial work - so this post has some good reminders for me should I ever become a freelance editor. I tend to look more for grammatical errors (etc.), but I would never want to be the person to butcher someone's voice! I would want to be able to see and encourage their uniqueness while guiding them in the fundamentals. :) We'll see what God has in store!

    Thank you again for the tips, and I would love a chance to win your book(s)! I checked out some of the reviews, and your books sound awesome!! :D



  4. Definitely a good point about the editor vs. book doctor. I think there are ways to guide someone to fixing their story without burying their voice along the way. It is definitely something I would love to do someday. My mom always said I should be an editor because I can find the tiniest mistakes in books--even a different spelling of a name that hadn't been used in 70+ pages.

    I already have The Master's Wall, but please include me in the drawing for Yashua's Bridge.


  5. Oh Happy Day!!! Sandi is in Seekerville! Don't enter me for the drawing, I have both of Sandi's books and they are AWESOME. Seriously awesome. And not just because they're set in Rome and have a gladiator or two in them :-p

    Sandi, thanks for sharing about editors. I once reviewed a crit partner's work after it had been doctored by someone else and I just wrote back "This doesn't sound like you anymore." I think freelance editors serve an important role but as you said, writers need to really know who and what they're paying for before handing over their manuscript and their money. Praying for you my friend and already waiting anxiously for The Father's Rock =)

    P.S. Coincidentally my 100 page crit is in the package up TODAY along with other, way more amazing writer goodies ($1,300 worth!!!) on the fundraiser blog for Sandi. I promise I will NOT slaughter anyone's voice =)

  6. Hi Sandi...great to see you on Seekerville! I haven't read either of your books and would love a chance to! I feel like I need all the help I can get with editing. I always second guess myself. Thanks for the tips!

  7. ARG! I hate blogger lately!

    Okay, here I go again. :)

    Great post!! I've seent hose ads for editors and I've always been tempted but never taken the leap.

    I'm sorry to hear of your healthy struggles. Two close relatives are cancer survivers and I've seen how tough you gotta be to beat that disease. Praying for your peace and strength!! All sorts of love and hugs headed your way.

    Now off to see your blog and what's up for auction. Yee-haw!

  8. P.S. This is off topic but I got an e-mail tonight that my first ever YA attempt finaled in the Emily (on its first ever foray into the great, wide world). :D

    My tweens are thrilled. They've never liked all this romance writing and they think this will convince me to write YA all the time.

  9. Hello Sandi,

    Thank you for the information on editors.
    And, please enter me in the drawing. Your covers are great!

    Jan K.


  10. Virginia,


    That's awesome!! :D YA books are pretty popular right now, and there are some great Christian fiction ones out there (like Melanie Dickerson's fairytale retellings, Lisa Bergren's time travel, and Jenny B. Jones' contemporary). I sure wouldn't mind seeing some more! :)


  11. Great advice Sandi. My question is do you always need an outside editor? Can you edit your own and submit to a publisher & if more edits are needed the publishing house editors would work on it? Just askin'.

    Would love to be entered to win either (or both) of your books. :)

    Smiles & Blessings,
    Cindy W.


  12. Message for Tina. I sent you a message on Seekerville net. Hope you can answer it. Thanks. Cathy S.

  13. HI Sandi,

    You have been in my thoughts and prayers...Blessings to you and yours.

    Thanks for the chance to read your masterpieces.

    HI Audra :)

    kmkuka at yahoo dot com

  14. Thank you, Sandy. Wonderful advice. Please enter me to win a copy of you book--it looks like the perfect read to settle in by the Christmas tree with :)

    Take care and I'll keep you in my prayers.

  15. Morning Sandi and welcome to Seekerville.

    Great name you have. smile

    Great post on book doctors. I had that exact experience in my early writing years. I was so anxious to get published, I paid someone to edit and she took over the book and my voice. Mind you, I didn't even know I had a voice at that time. LOL

    But great advice. There are no shortcuts to publication. Write, write, write and develop your own skills and craft.

    I loved The Master's Wall and look forward to your new book. Love the title.

    Praying for you.

  16. Thank you Sandi for this great advice. You wouldn't want to hand over your baby to just anyone. :o)

    Your books look fantastic. How did I miss these?

    So sorry to hear about your health struggles. You and your family will be in my prayers.


  17. Good morning all! I didn't even sleep in this morning and as open Seekerville I find so many here before me!

    Ha! Not hard to do. I go to bed early while so many of you are nightowls : )

    Sandi will be poppin in as she can. She's still feeling a bit under the weather and all the snow we're getting here is probably not helping much!

    I see wonderful Helen has the coffee going. Bless you. I'm plugging in a pot of rich, hot chocolate to be topped with REAL whipped cream and - get this - red and green sprinkles!!!

    IHOP is catering in their fabulous holiday spread for us this morning featuring pumpkin spice pancakes, bread pudding french toast, and so much more.

    Happy December 1!

  18. Christina, it is easy to lose your voice when well intentioned crit partners start picking at the delivery rather than the content. Don't let just anyone critique your work! Make sure you trust them and always know you don't have to take their advice.

  19. Good for you, Amber! Congrats on your upcoming graduation.

    Editing and critiquing encompasses so much more than structure and voice. Grammatical errors can make or break mss, too. Just ask the Grammer Queen : )

  20. Holly, having a good eye for detail is such a blessing. You go girl!

    Staci, seeking advice on your work is always a good thing. Knowing it's up to you whether you take it or not, is very empowering. Keep working!

  21. Nancy, a 100 page critique? Whoa! Hey folks, didn't I say the fund raiser for Sandi was awesome??

    Thanks Nancy for supporting Sandi. Who can argue with Roman gladiators and action all around?

    LOL! My kind of reading.

  22. VIRGINIA! Your first attempt at YA finaled in the EMILY? Now that's a sign. Congrats, my friend. Celebrate the milestones!!!

    Happy dancing all around Seekerville!

  23. Good question, Cindy. I used to critique with a freelance editor when I was first starting out. Probably the most important element she'd constantly point out in my writing was pacing. Waaaaay too slow. Sometimes I listened to her; sometimes not : ) Back then, I REALLY loved my words.

    Yes, you can submit to an editor without a professional edit and Yes, you can always come back to the freelancers to help you polish your work.

  24. Hi Karen! Masterpiece so defines Sandi's work : ) Nice choice of words : )

  25. Sandra, isn't it the truth? We have to work at our writing. A book doctor can fix problems, it's up to us to understand why we made them.

    Sometimes the whole process is daunting.

    Here, have a plate of cream cheese waffles with strawberry syrup. Guaranteed to lift anyone's mood.

    Ooo, and look at the Southern Pecan pancakes IHOP just delivered. with pecan syrup? Topped with pecan chips?

    So can we tell I have a thing for pecans, LOL!!

  26. Virginia, congrats!
    Audra, thanks so much. Just doing my part and grabbing some hot chocolate with sprinkles =)

  27. Sandi, welcome! Thanks so much for being with us. I've heard such great things about your first book and am thrilled to hear your second one is out! I look forward to reading both.

    You made some great points today. I've done a couple of critiques for discouraged people who'd paid editors to look at their work, and the stories were a mess. I felt terrible for them. Granted, I'm not an editor. But I could tell these people hadn't gotten what they paid for.

  28. Virginia!!!! Woo hoo!!! That's so amazing! congrats. :)

    What type YA is it if not romance?

  29. Hey, Audra and Sandi! Two people that I personally know are very special!!! Love you two.

    Sandi, you are so right! It's great that there are people like you to help those who need it. I'm sure all your clients learn so much from you!

    At the opposite end of the spectrum, I had someone contact me to say that she had written a book. She said she was looking for someone to make it publishable. She didn't want to have to learn about how to edit her own work and just wanted someone who would do that for her, because she was too old to try to learn all that stuff. It would take too long and she wanted her book published sooner rather than later.

    Ah-hem. Yeah. Right. I tried to explain that an editor can help, but ... But she didn't want to listen. She hired a friend of mine to edit her manuscript and that friend ended up sending her ms. back to her and saying there was just too much and she couldn't do it.

    I know no one here would do this. People who come to Seekerville realize you can't just write a book one day without even the slightest effort at learning about the writing craft and expect someone to shape it into a publishable book. But, yeah. I guess there's nothing else to say! LOL!

    Sandi, it's great to "hear" your voice! Loved seeing you here, and your books look and sound great! Congrats on your second release! And you know I'm praying for you--right now--for healing and strength and a special heaping of God's grace on you today. Love you, girl! You are strong in Jesus.

  30. Welcome to Seekerville, Sandy. Thanks for the wise counsel on book doctors and for the links.

    Your books look fabulous!

    I'm praying for you. God bless you.


  31. Virginia, congratulations on the YA final! Contest finals and wins are never off topic in Seekerville.


  32. Welcome to Seekville, Sandi! Very interesting post. I never thought about the distinction between book doctor and editor before. I always wanted to be an editor for a NY publisher, but I'm afraid I wouldn't be much good at all. Good thing we all have different talents.

  33. Virginia, congratulations on finaling in the Emily! I hope you win. We need good YA books pubbed.

  34. Wonderful insight! Thank you, Sandy. And prayers for your continued healing.

  35. Great points, Sandi. I worked as a copyeditor in the past and had to learn the difference between making changes that would clarify information or correct minor grammatical and punctuation mistakes and those that would alter the author's voice. Once I internalized that lesson, I was able to help our authors voices shine through even more clearly.

  36. Snow. Snow. Snow. Welcome to Seekerville Sandi,as the snow falls and falls in Denver.

  37. Hi Sandi!

    Thanks for the tips. I'll keep them in mind if I ever need to hire an editor!

    What are the most common circumstances where someone goes to a "book doctor"? Is it to make sure they have things like continuity and story flow down? What do you find most of your clients looking for?

    Congrats to Virginia! Happy dancing here!

  38. Sandi, There are always bad apples in every basket. Thanks for the reminder to check references.

    Virginia...Awesome News! Happy dancing with you.

  39. Virginia, awesome!!!

    Audra, thank you! I think I finally feel comfortable with a few critters.

  40. Great post Sandi. Thanks for sharing with us. Praying for you.

    Jodie Wolfe

  41. Thanks for the great advice. Hope your health continues to improve.

  42. This blog post REALLY struck a cord with me. I have turned to several different freelance editors and I think I found one that might "stick", but I had one that just wasn't for me. I came away from those edits confused, they would contridict themselves later when the editor went over them again and again and I think probably more than anything that contributed to my misunderstanding of the mechanics of writing.

    My second editor however...LOL! I think she might work, just need to find a few $$ to put her back to work. ;-)

    Thank you Sandi, this was a really excellent post for me. I'm praying for you! Fight hard!!

  43. It's funny that this topic comes up now. I have been editing my novel recently to be sent out into the world and have been contemplating having a professional editor look at it. I have to admit the whole thing is overwhelming. I appreciate you taking the time to give some insight. :) You're in my prayers!!!

  44. Sandi and Audra, what a great post! And that title, "Anyone Can Call Themselves an Editor"--how true! (By the way, anyone can call themselves an agent too.)

    Sad but true: There are lots of just-okay "editors" out there(either copy editors or book doctors who call themselves editors), and maybe they really do think that their skills are better than they actually are, but I think you might as well toss your money to the four winds rather than trust a manuscript to their hands.

    But hope abounds--and with good reason, as there are also some phenomenal editors out there, in the ranks of copy editors and book doctors. I can count on my two hands the ones I know who I think are phenomenal--but I can also say that I would be honored to have any of them work on one of my manuscripts. (I say that as someone who is a freelance proofreader and copy editor, as well as a freelance writer.)

    I've said it before, and I'll say it again: The good editors will leave a writer's own voice intact.

    You've given some good resources here, to help writers find someone to work with, if that's their desire. With finding a freelance editor as with finding someone to do repair work on your house, that old Latin phrase holds true: "Caveat emptor" ("Let the buyer beware").


  45. Ugh! Another busy day. I'm on my way out, but I'll check in later...

  46. Sandi,

    We'll be praying for you on your journey. Good thing to know the Great Physician and claim His promises!

    Thank you for sharing your insights. Excellent information.

    To add to the list perhaps, I highly recommend as a developmental editor or book doctor, whatever you'd like to say! She lovingly (really!) butchered? No... slashed? uh uh... Went through my manuscript, gave me pawmazing advice. In fact, she suggested I completely rewrite it in "first dog" and what a difference.

    Most everyone comments that May's voice is what shines! Yippee!

    I'm partial but truly, she's da bestest!

    may at maythek9spy dot com

  47. Wow, thanks guys! I really wanted to tell someone who wouldn't say 'Who's Emily?' Ha!

    Missy, it's a fantasy YA and it has TONS of romance... cleverly disguised, of course so my kids didn't gag on it. It's Romeo + Juliet in warring immortal families. With a twist. And of course, hero #2, because we always want to wonder who the girl is going to end up with.

    Was going to say before but I forgot, most pages I've seen for book doctors have a list of their clients or the books they've worked on. I always think it's a good sign when the books are varied, and the voices are still unique.

  48. Hey, Sandi. This lady is an awesome friend, even when she's so sick. Thanks for all you have done to encourage me along the way. You are my hero.
    Something else about Sandi, she has an awesome family. Her whole family are wonderful people.
    Love you girl.

  49. This is one smart woman.... I gotta read more carefully though, crazy day here. Back later....

    But dropping fresh cookies and a new coffee/coke/tea set-up...

    And can't wait to party a little later!

  50. Thank you so much for the advice and links that you shared with us. I know it will definitely help me out. Sandi, I am praying for you and your battle with that horrible disease. God is the Great Physician and you are in His hands!

  51. Hi Everyone,
    Poking my head in for a quick second from the day job to see how things are going on the editing front, : )

    Like Cara mentioned, I never knew there was a distinction between book doctor and editor. I love reading Sandi's blog because the "book doctoring" seems to make sense to me when my ms is in a bind.

    I'm with Melanie about new writers thinking they can write anything and then someone can "fix it" for them. Yeah, right. I'd've been published a loooooong time ago, LOL!

    And Keli, I agree about the fine line between fixing points for clarification and rewriting someone's work because we'd think it would sound better restructured.

    I'm not touching that with a 100' pole!

  52. Hi Sandi:

    I’m delighted to see you here today. I hope you are now doing well. Last year at this time we were praying for your health. I posted Jennifer Hudson Taylor’s post on my website. (Jennifer is one of my favorite people.)

    I was an advertising copywriter, copy editor and chief copy editor for many years. Here’s how I see editing positions from that POV.

    1. proof reader – looks for typos, word mistakes, things like that.

    2. copy editor – tacitly has right to edit copy. Often makes small changes in wording so sentences only have one meaning. For example:

    Hurry! These sofas won’t last long!

    Hurry! These sofas will sell out quickly at these low prices!

    3. Chief Copy Editor: makes any kind of change even policy changes. For example:

    “Don’t talk about the sofa’s price; talk about the value. Sell value not price!!!

    After this the copywriter has to rewrite most of the ad.

    BTW: I don’t like the term ‘book doctor’ because it tends to presuppose that the book is sick. I’m more holistic. I think ‘story consultant’ is much better. Hopefully a story consultant would be someone who is an expert in the given genre.

    I have “The Master’s Wall” but I’d like to have a chance to win “Yahshua's Bridge”.


    vmres (at) swbell (dot) net

  53. Audra, thank you SO much for inviting Sandi to Seekerville -- what a blessing this post has been today because I was JUST talking about editors for hire to someone yesterday, trying to come up with reputable names. So THANK YOU, Sandi, and thank you, Audra!!

    Sandi, I so admire your strength in Him beneath this burden you bear, and I am believing with you and hundreds of other writers who are praying that this trial will be short-term and you will prevail. God bless you and keep you.


  54. Hi Virginia:

    Congrats on the YA final! I think good YA stories can help make lifetime readers out of young people. The same with mid-grade. I hope you win and if you ever need a beta reader, let me know.


  55. Audra and Sandra, excellent post today! I am in the editing stage of my own manuscript and it's hard work! Thanks for clarifying the difference between editor, copy editor and book doctor. I may be looking at one of those in the future.

    I count myself very, very blessed that my husband has an English degree and is also a writer. He is the first person to always read and critique my stuff, and offer suggestions for edits (for free!) Some might think he's biased (and he is, to a degree) but ultimately, he knows that I want my story to be the best it can be, and it can't be unless he tells me the honest truth about characterization, voice, pacing, etc.

    (It is interesting to note that we met in a college creative writing class in which we had to critique our classmates' short stories [anonymously, as no names appeared at the top of each story]. I remember thinking he was a cute guy, and was pleasantly surprised to find out that his stories for class were AWESOME. And that his critiques were spot-on and so helpful in making me a better writer!)

    Please include me in the drawing. I've never read these books and its not a period I often read, so I'd like to give them a try.

    Have a great day!

  56. Sandi, prayers for your fight against cancer!

    Virginia, congrats on the Emily final!

  57. Sandi, I so appreciate your post today. I'm still in the process of writing my first wip. NaNo was great for getting words on the page. :)

    THanks for enlightening my understanding of the differing roles of an editor/book doctor/story consultant. Also, thanks for the links. Your suggestions are very helpful.

    I'll be praying for you as you walk this journey. May the Lord fill you with His peace each day of this journey.

    PS--I'd love to be entered into the drawings for your books. :)

  58. Virginia, I love it! Very fun sounding story. :)

  59. Sandi~

    Very good advice I will keep in mind for some day when I need it.

    I want to say you really are an inspiration with your continual faith through all you're dealing with.

    You are in my prayers often.

    I would love to win The Master's Wall

    andeemarie95 at gmail dot com

  60. Hi Sandy,
    First I want to say thank you for sharing today. I've been studying how to write the last few years and joined a critique group. I've decided editor/doctor is my next step. I appreciate your guidance. I'm going to check out everything you suggested.
    Second, I first learned of you from so many of your friends requesting prayer for your healing. I continue to pray for you. Thanks again for sharing today.
    Jackie Layton

  61. I’m honored to be a guest on Seekerville today! Audra, thank you for inviting me, and thank you everyone so much for all your prayers and support.

    When I saw how many posts were on here, all I could think was WOW! It looks like Audra answered quite a few questions. I’ll answer some that jumped out at me:

    Cindy, it’s definitely important to have a pair of fresh eyes read your work. If you have a good critique group, you don’t always need an editor. I’ve belonged to enough crit groups that did just as good a job as an editor/book doctor. Just be careful with the advice given. If you feel right about it, go with it. But if you have doubts, sit on it for a few days, and then decide. Sometimes I don’t like advice given to me because it means cutting one of my “little darlings.” It’s not until later that I see the benefit in the advice. But sometimes I see the advice and know it’s not for me. It’s gotten easier over the years to know what advice I should listen to and what to ignore. Whether you take the advice or not, always thank the person for taking time to look at your work. In the end, you want to send the publisher the most polished manuscript you can muster. If you don’t, it’s like sending in a used bicycle when someone ordered a new one.

  62. Okay, I copied more questions from others, but I forgot to include your names. Forgive me! I’ll still try to answer your questions.

    Someone asked why writers seek book doctors or editors. Some writers are looking for continuity and story flow, and others are looking for someone to “write their story” for them. In the beginning, most of my clients knew little of the craft, so I spent a lot of time teaching them the basics. Their reasons for looking for an editor will vary. But if you want to have a clear understanding of the craft, I’d get my hands on Self-Editing for Fiction Writers by Dave King and Rennie Browne.

    Someone said they turned to several different freelance editors and came away confused. That’s not good. The editor should be able to explain their edits and why they made the changes. If things still aren’t clear, it helps to get on the phone. Also, just like with critique partners, you may or may not click with an editor. It helps if an editor is willing to offer a free sample edit of your first page. This will give you an idea of how that particular editor works and if he/she is a good fit.

  63. Virginia, congratulations on your story being a finalist in The Emily! That's wonderful news!!

  64. I had the most random visit with a lady, a stranger, the other day and she wanted to know how to become a book editor.

    I just had no idea what to say to her. Where to send her.
    I tried to question what exactly were her skills that she thought she could do that. I tried even to see if she knew what a book editor was. I talked a bit about editors I've worked with.
    In the end I wasn't much help to the poor lady. But i kept picturing her editing some poor defenseless author's work when the editor had no training. I wanted to say, "Do you know what POV is?"
    "Do you know not to use a lot of -ly words?"
    "Can your recognize when action is ground to a halt by something?"
    "Do you know what I mean when I say 'use the five senses' 'set the scene' 'no backstory dumps' 'Chicago manual of style?"
    I just didn't want to get int it though.

  65. Vince,

    Thank you for sharing the details and differences between proof readers, copy editors, etc. It’s helpful to hear from someone who’s been there.

    It’s great to have a friend in common. Jennifer has been such a huge support to me. She’s not only a fabulous writer, but a wonderful person. Thank you so much for posting her post on your website. I may have seen it, but there were so many, I couldn’t keep up. I’m still trudging along, and I’m pleased I felt good enough to be here today.

    DeWard Publishing is offering a dollar on top of royalties for every purchased book of YAHSHUA’S BRIDGE. This extra money will go into a fund to help my family and me with medical expenses.

    Thank you so much for your support and prayers.

    Oh, and here's a picture of a sick book. :-)

  66. *gulp* Vince, you can be my beta reader anytime! Although that would sorta be like asking a string theory professor look over my algebra homework.

    Thanks, Sandi! I'm so glad you could make it over here today.

    And how cool is that about the dollar over the price of the book going to your expenses?? AND it's Christmastime. I don't know about anybody else, but I always give books at Christmas-time. I know just the person who would enjoy these two...

  67. Stephanie, that's the sweetest story! A real meeting of the minds and hearts. *sigh*

    And Mary, that reminds of me of those youtube cartoons 'so you want to be a writer'. Someone has to make a 'you want to be an editor' one and use your experience. It must have been aggravating for you, but it would hilarious for the rest of us!

  68. Hi Sandi:

    That’s one sick book and I guess if you have a sick book, a book doctor is just what the doctor ordered. Next will come the specialists (or as they say in the UK, consultants.) Let’s see: POVologist, Plotologist, OB-GMC, Psychiatrist (no change there) and maybe a Romantologist.

    Do you think writers will be able to buy sick book insurance?

    Your sit has many good articles and I enjoy your choice of graphics.

    I recommend everyone take a look at that link.


  69. Hi Virginia:

    You wrote: “Although that would sorta be like asking a string theory professor look over my algebra homework.”

    I’m still trying to figure this one out. I’ve had a course in string theory and I was at UCSB when the physics graduate students were all excited about the possibility of black holes. Philosophy graduate students loved talking to physics graduate students. It seemed like everything was theory. What an exciting time.

    Here’s the thing: I’m not very good at algebra. I took sentential calculus to avoid the math requirements! I don't think I would be of any help with your algebra homework! : )


  70. I'm baaa-aaack! :D

    Sandi! Welcome! I remember several months ago praying for you. I'm glad to see you're well enough to visit. I'd love a chance to win one of your books.

    Thanks so much for the tips on editors. Question. Do all writers hire editors now before they send their MS out to agents/publishers?

  71. Sandi, I just took a look at the picture of the sick book--it reminded me of my sick kiddo today. Sigh. I am going to hold onto that link though. :)

    I forgot to mention earlier, Virginia--congratulations! I was so excited to read your news. See all y'all tomorrow.

  72. I had the pleasure of exchanging critiques with Sandi until she had to take a season off when The Master's Wall was contracted. And we got to eat dinner together at the Denver ACFW--all that to say that Sandi is a doll and a great editor herself.

    And she's been very honest about how she's dealt with this awful battle with cancer. I hope you all get a chance to visit

    $5.00 gives you a chance at an amazing daily gift basket and Sandi's family some help with medical bills.


  73. I've never hired an editor. I'm not a fan of it. My theory was always to write, write, write (while changing according to the results) and improve that way.

    I wonder if the way we approach this is because of our natures? I would get mad at myself for spending money on something I should be able to do myself....


    I know people who have been helped by this, by hiring someone.

    THE NEXT BUT....

    Once you get into a royalty-paying publisher's hands and have an editor in house, it's going to be their way, anyway, right? As it should be.

    The other part of this might stem from having nothing akin to discretionary funds for oh, like... decades.... so sweat equity rules the roost.

    I agree with Sandi and anyone urging caution. The only way to get better in my humble opinion is to work, work, work and maybe copy somebody good. Kind of. Not to the point of JAIL TIME....

    Open toilets.


  74. Some very good advice, Sandi. (And keep fighting the good fight!) I loved The Master's Wall. It was a wonderful book.

  75. Thanks, Ruthy! Now I don't feel so bad by not hiring one. I really don't have the money and like you, I want to be able to do it myself. So far, I've been blessed with friends who have helped me hone my skills and teach me how to self-edit. I'm not perfect by any means, but I am very hard on myself.

  76. Sandi, it's so good to see you here today!

    What great points you made about edits that rob or "mutilate" your voice. Sometimes it's not even a matter of trust in the person editing your work. I've worked with people I've trusted who have diluted and sheared my voice to shreds.

    Gotta keep your wits about you!!

  77. Thanks for joining us today, Sandi. Sharing your insigts and your books made for a wonderful start to December!

    Remember to check out $5 donations put you in for fabulous prize drawings!

    And check out the WE on Saturday!!

  78. Haha, Vince! You may not even see this comment but I was going for some sort of non sequitur. Did I succeed? :D

    The editor in you must have cringed. I cringed at the thought of algebra homework at my age.

    PBS has a great string theory special running the last few weeks. My kids are loving it and my brain hurts every time I try to follow what they're saying.

    I had a friend in college that was dating a math professor. She told me this guy's father was also a math professor. Mr. Math Sr. studied knots (apparently a big mathmatical area) and his son... studied the 'space inside knots'. No kidding. :D

  79. The times I've heard about using editors, it's either really good or a horror story. It's like gambling where only half win.

    Sorry to hear about your struggles. I hope it gets better.


  80. Hi Sandi, So glad to see you here in Seekerville. Hope you are doing better every day.
    I have both your books on my wish list and I will read them as soon as I can get them. Just reading the reviews has made we want to read them even more.
    Thanks for the great info you gave us. I learn more for authors posts about their work and the other worries to get published.
    Thanks for the opportunity to enter giveaway.

    misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

  81. As one of those editors in a royalty paying house (hey, Ruth), I'm glad to see this post. There are far too many folk out there setting out a shingle and saying, "Lookee! I'm an editor!"

    Vince had some good points about editing from an advertising copyeditor's perspective. I was trained back in the seventies by some really fine editors for whom I went to work as one of several proofreaders. Our job was to be absolutely certain that the finished proofs matched the edited version of the manuscript. Check.

    When I moved into the role of copyeditor, I became responsible for cleaning up the language and fixing all the glitches. Check.

    Once promoted to content editor, I had lengthy manuscripts that I had to cut, paste, refine, hone, fix, and finish. These would then go down the line to the copy editor and so forth. No one in that house would have turned me loose without training, even though I had a degree. I'm grateful for their careful mentoring.

    Most people need some help, whether from an editor or from excellent critique partners, before they submit to a publisher. At Wayside, I'm interested in story, but I don't have time to dig my way through poor craftsmanship to find it. I long to find a unique voice and lyrical prose, which come from the writer, not the editor. Please be careful as you hone your craft that you don't lose these. A good editor will enhance your gifts, not stifle them.

  82. Sandi, I have seen your books around and would LOVE an opportunity to win one, so deff include me in the giveaway.

    That book cover for Yahshua's Bridge is SOOOOOOOO pretty! I totally and completely love it. For the cover alone, I would read it. And then after I read what the book was, now I REALLY wanna read it!!

    LOL!! Needless to say, if I don't win one of your books here, I am going to HAVE to purchase my own copy from Amazon next time I have a "shopping spree" on there! :-)

    ~ Katie