Tuesday, March 28, 2017

When Do You Need An Editor?

Sandra here to talk about the important issue of editing your work before you put it out there.  I have been indie publishing my back list. It has been so rewarding that I have even published some first edition novellas. This is very exciting, but also requires diligent responsibilities. So I brought along a special guest to talk about the types of editing available.

To present a novel that looks and reads professional, it helps to hire professional help. I am totally not talented with artistic gifts, so I have enjoyed the help of graphic artists to design my book covers.

I am publishing a second edition of Where The Eagle Flies that was in the Seeker novella collection With This Kiss. I hired Debora Lewis to design the cover. She is a friend I met at the Society of Southwestern Authors meeting here in Tucson. Don't you love the cover?

Ready for preorder from Amazon (shameless promotion)


Debora also did a new cover for my novella set in Spain. I had a cover with Christmas hearts but when selling this at craft fairs, people commented that they thought it was an inspirational book rather than a romance. Our friend Vince, after reading the novella, informed me that it needed a cover that showed it was a romance and suggested using the characters on the beach with their horses. Don't you love this cover? If you haven't read A Heart Full of Hope yet, you can order it here.

Available on Amazon (another shameless plug)


Another important professional that I hire is an editor. I usually hire a content editor and then a line editor. Do you know the difference?

Rachelle Rea Cobb is an author friend of mine and she is also an editor. I asked her some questions about the difference between content editing and line editing. Here is her response:




1.  What is the difference between content editing and line editing?

I'm so glad you asked! I hear this question all the time, and the good news is the answer is really quite simple: line editing is surface-level, and content editing digs deep. When I'm line-editing, I correct typos, fix grammar problems, and ensure the text is as clean as can be. But when I'm content-editing,  I do all that I just mentioned about line-editing, plus I look at plot development, characterization, and story structure. I smooth transitions, point out what is gold and suggest areas where text can be tightened or expanded for clarity. Content editing, obviously, is my favorite, because I get to polish each page until it shines.



2.  Are there other terms for these types of editing? 

Yes! Line editing can also be referred to as copyediting or proofreading. Content editing can also be referred to as substantive editing or deep editing. There are probably many more terms, too, but most editing falls into these two basic categories. 


3.  What should we look for when hiring a line editor?

Look for someone with a great eye for detail. You want someone able to spot an extra space between words, who can easily identify when two hyphens are masquerading as an em-dash-and someone who is vigilant about eradicating any and all typos from your work.


4. What things should we ask a content editor to do?

Be ruthless. I always appreciate when a client approaches me with a teachable attitude; they tell me they want their project to be the best it can possibly be so they give me permission to point out any and all areas that I feel could use improvement. This frees me to do my job and lets me know this writer is serious about making their words work!


5. Why is it important to hire a line editor?

When doing a line edit, I ensure each page is polished and professional. This means that whether you are sending that query letter to an editor or uploading that manuscript straight to KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing), you can be confident it is clean and ready to go. The next reader after your line editor will expect perfection and be peeved by typos they find--they may even stop reading! Make sure this doesn't happen by hiring a line editor.


Thank you Rachelle for your wonderful insights. I do think it is so important to hire an editor before publishing your work. You don't want a reader to get turned off by poor spelling, grammar and content mistakes. 

I also think its important to hire an editor before submitting to a major house for the first time. Sure traditional publishers have their own editors, but their editors are swamped and they are going to be more inclined to buy a manuscript that needs little work than one that is going to require a lot of editing time on their part.

Rachelle has a new book that released March 4th that will be a real help and resource for writers.  Write Well - A Grammar Guide offers tips for the most common grammar issues.  She is also releasing a new resource (free) called 7 Quick Fixes for Common Writing Mistakes.  This offer can be found here on her website and is free.






Thanks again for joining us today Rachelle.  Rachelle will be onboard today if you have any questions for her specifically.  


BIO: Rachelle Rea Cobb has history with words. She penned her first short story in middle school, her first novel right out of high school, and signed a three-book publishing contract right after college for her Steadfast Love Series. But she believes writing isn't all heart and art; it's structure and syntax, too. One of her favorite things to do is help others polish their own pages until they shine. 

She lives in a seaside Southern town with her new husband, who shares the name of Rachelle's first fictional hero - even though she hadn't yet met her husband when she wrote three books about a man with the same first name.  She blogs when inspiration strikes. She loves to hear from her readers, and you can reach her via Rachelle@RachelleReaCobb.com.

Today I've picked some yummy oranges off my tree as this is when they are their sweetest. Please help ourself and enjoy some hot coffee, tea or cocoa. 



I will be offering e-copies of Rachelle's book, Write Well to five writers who comment today. For readers who comment. , I will offer a print version of one of my novellas.  Please indicate in your comment if you want the writer gift or the reader gift. Thank you. 








Sandra Leesmith writes sweet romances to warm the heart. Sandra loves to play pickleball, hike, read, bicycle and write. She is based in Arizona, but she and her husband travel throughout the United States in their motorhome and enjoy the outdoors. You can find Sandra's books here on Amazon. Three of Sandra's most popular books are also audio books at Audible. You can read more of Sandra's posts here.






FOUR DAYS LEFT



178 comments :

  1. Aren't those pretty covers, and Rachelle's book is in my favorite color! And thank you for the free resource!

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    1. Tina, I, too, love the green on Rachelle's cover!

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    2. One of my favorites too. The freebee is from Rachelle.

      Thank you Rachelle

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    3. Tina, Sandra's covers are amazing looking, aren't they?! Even better is what's on the inside. :)

      And thanks for your compliments on my cover, Tina and Missy! I was super pleased to be able to pick my favorite color. :)

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    4. Sandra, I got goosebumps when I saw the new cover for A Heart Full of Hope. Beautiful!

      ~ Renee

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    5. Good morning, Rachelle! Thank you for your post this morning. I've recently heard of the term developmental editor to refer to a person who edits for content. I've always been interested in editing. Please put my name in the hat for your ebook today. It looks amazing!

      Have a wonderful day, Seekers!

      ~ Renee

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    6. Good morning, Rachelle! Thank you for your post this morning. I've recently heard of the term developmental editor to refer to a person who edits for content. I've always been interested in editing. Please put my name in the hat for your ebook today. It looks amazing!

      Have a wonderful day, Seekers!

      ~ Renee

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    7. Renee, yes, that's another term, too! I hope you'll also check out the freebie and find it helpful. :)

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    8. Thanks Renee. Your name is in the hat. And do check out the freebie Rachelle gave us.

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  2. Hi Sandra!
    Editors are KEY! I appreciate this soothing topic about improving our work.
    Thanks for the freebie.
    I'd love a copy of Rachelle's book.

    Happy trails to you!

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    1. Your name is in the basket. Happy writing.

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    2. Hi Laura! Thanks for stopping by! I hope you find the 7 Quick Fixes super helpful. :)

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  3. Rachelle, thanks for joining us! And Sandra, thanks for having her share info about editing. You're right that it's so important. I know I don't catch all the errors in my own writing.

    You know, for one of my stories, I had a beta reader go over it, had my husband do a read-through, and hired an editor to read it for me (all at the same time because of a rush deadline). They all caught different errors. I was amazed about that! And grateful to them.

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    1. When you are a fast reader, you don't read all the little words. Your brain skips over them for content. So a copy editor really has a gift and special skill to see all the little things.

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    2. Missy, you're so right. Even editors need editors! (I had two just for Write Well alone.) :)

      Sandra, that's an excellent point. I think that's why I love being an editor: I'm a slow reader so it turns that into a talent instead of a downside. :)

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  4. I did appreciate the insight thank you.

    Count me in for the reader gift thanks.

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    1. You're in the basket Mary. Thanks for joining us and have a wonderful day. Happy reading. smile

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  5. Welcome, Rachelle! Thanks for explaining the differences between line and content editing. Also, thanks for the freebie. I'd love to be tossed in for the writer gift.
    The oranges look yummy, Sandra!

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    1. Jill, so happy you stopped by today. Thank you! :)

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  6. Hi Jill, We really do have yummy oranges off our tree. They are so sweet. Right now, the trees are full of blossoms for next year. They smell heavenly.

    Your name is in the basket. Happy writing.

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  7. Good morning, Sandra & welcome Rachelle! I always love learning what happens behind the scenes. I'm fortunate my publisher has great line/copy editors and my main editor is great with all sorts of "catches" as well. I don't know what I'd do without them and it's important for an Indie author's work to be just as polished.

    Are there any "catches" besides typos, grammar or misspellings that you find most often in the books you edit? Something that's common across the board that we as authors need to be on the look out for as we write?

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    1. Hi Glynna, I know Rachelle is always getting me on commas. sigh. You would think I'd learn. Your editor must not need to do too much because I know when I've read any of your manuscripts, they were pretty clean. You have a good eye. smile Happy writing.

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    2. Glynna, that's wonderful that you have great relationships with your editors!!

      Hmm, besides typos, et., I see a lot of incorrectly formatted dashes, breaks in point of view (head-hopping), and transitions between paragraphs or pages that just don't quite make sense. I love smoothing those things out--as well as Sandra's commas. ;) Love working with you, Sandra!!

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    3. Thanks Rachelle. You are very patient with me. smile

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    4. Believe me, Sandra, they DO find "stuff"!

      Thanks, Rachelle! While I'm not a big head-hopper, I do have to be on guard for it as later when I'm reading through my draft I might realize AAACK this scenes is HER POV and HE slipped his thoughts in there! :)

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    5. Glynna, and that's perfectly normal. That's what editors are here for. :)

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  8. Good morning, Sandra and Rachelle! Some time ago I decided to work with an independent editor. I'd call our work a content edit, and I'm learning a lot from the process. Before we started, we discussed price of course, and how the process would work - a full read of the mss with a detailed commentary on strengths, areas for improvement, plot, and character arc, followed by working through the mss section by section to implement those suggestions.

    What I didn't ask was how long it would take for the editor to read and comment back on my section work each time. Next time, I'll ask, because I find it matters to me.

    So my question to you is, are there similar questions you find your clients ask you? FAQs about the process you will go through with the author?

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    1. Hi Dana, Great questions. Rachelle will be on board later to answer them. I agree about getting a time line. Most editors I've worked with give me one which is very helpful. Thanks for sharing your questions to ask.

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    2. Timelines/deadlines are so important, Dana! I always ask what the author's expectations are up-front, because I can put a rush on a project if need be. Otherwise, I usually give a quote of 2-3 weeks. :)

      I'm often asked if I read the mss through first before beginning to edit. And my answer is no, because 1) I enjoy editing as I go and don't want to not notate those things I notice and 2) that would double my time investment (and therefore my hourly rate) and I don't want to cost my clients that much time and money. :)

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  9. Hello--Please enter me in the drawing for the reader prize. Rachelle is amazing. . and was home educated. She is inspiring.
    Have a great day!
    Becky B

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    1. Hi Becky, Thanks for joining us. Interesting to know. smile And your name is in the basket. Happy reading.

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    2. Hey Becky! It's great to see a familiar face! Thanks for joining us! :)

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    3. Awww I thought you must know each other for Becky to know you were home schooled. smile

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  10. Hi Sandra and Rachelle, what a great post. I'd like to be entered in the drawing, and I hope you all have a great day. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Hi Jackie, Glad you liked the post. I'm assuming you want in the drawing for Rachelle's book? I put your name in the basket. Have a great day.

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    2. Thanks for popping by, Jackie! :)

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  11. Thanks so much for having me on today, Sandra! Those oranges look delicious! :)

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    1. Hi Rachelle, There are a couple questions for you. Thanks for joining us today and sharing your wealth of information.

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  12. Even the best authors do well to have an editor on board. We're often too close to the story to "see" the missing parts because our brain fills in the blanks... because we know the story! We wrote it! So having fresh eyes is clutch... and I don't use friends for editing. I value my friendships too much to risk a disagreement with them.... or to ignore their advice and hurt their feelings.

    I use my daughter Beth Jamison because she likes me no matter what, and she knows I'll decide what advice to take or not, and she knows I'll pay her and feed her.

    FOOD IS AN EXCELLENT MOTIVATOR. :)

    But by saying this, I'm actually serious about the editing process... and I've read indie stuff that was edited and still poorly written, so is that the author who doesn't know to take the advice? Or is that the editor not being keen enough?

    Probably a combination.

    My experience with authors is that we tend to fall in love with our own words and when someone is paying us a big advance, we listen to them... because they paid us and we have to... On our own, the stubborn author within emerges, and a lot of us tend to write things off.

    Sandra, thank you and Rachelle for being here today. It's a great topic to cover.

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    1. Ruth, you bring up such an important point: when as writers we love and feel close to our story, we read what we mean to say, not necessarily what is on the page. That's when editors like me are able to come in with a fresh pair of eyes. :)

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    2. Hi Ruthy, I've never understood the attitude that an author has that they are so absolutely right. Oh maybe for a fact they researched and will defend, but to not listen to advice on content seems rather self-destructive. Oh and I don't mean to just listen to everything and change all the time. But if a critique partner or editor points out a problem area, it is wise to get other opinions. If there is agreement that it is a problem, then by all means do something about it and fix it. But to insist that you are infallible seems rather self-centered. And I've known authors like this. They don't usually get very far.

      I've had wonderful editors and have always felt the changes they've asked for made the story better.

      I have to admit thought that one editor insisted there were no such things as propane refrigerators. ha ha. That is one I had to fight for.

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    3. Oh yes, I agree. Food is a wonderful motivator, especially when you're cooking. yum

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    4. Haha, I've never met an editor who insisted propane fridges don't exist. That's hilarious.

      I think that writers know best on a lot of things, because it's their story and who knows it better, after all? But I love that editors can come alongside and pluck the diamond from the rough, so to speak, and make a story better.

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    5. That was a Harlequin editor. I think she was very young and had never been out of New York. She didn't last long either.

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    6. I remember that propane refrigerator back-and-forth, and I hadn't heard of them, either, until you wrote about them.

      Rachel, I think you've got a great attitude about those fresh eyes. I am continually surprised by fairly obvious things my editors see that I'm oblivious to... until they point it out and it makes perfect sense.

      Thank you, Rachelle, for what you do!

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    7. This was such a great post, Sandra. Thank you!

      And thanks, Ruthy, for writing stories that I love to edit. :)

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    8. Hi Beth, Great to see you here. Yes, it is easy to work with Ruthy because she does write super stories. smile

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  13. Great topic, Sandra! I just completed my Author Alterations on Undercover Amish, the second book in my Amish Protectors series.

    LI uses track changes and the manuscript includes edits from both my editor and the copy editor. Both women are so good at what they do. I need both sets of eyes--and others as well--to get my story ready for publication. I can't imagine not having their expertise. Of course, I find lots of passages to tweak as I review and revise so that the story becomes so much stronger through the process.

    God bless editors!

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    1. Morning Debby and congrats on getting your edits finished and back to the publisher. I love your stories. And you're so right. We always need those extra sets of eyes.

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    2. Debby, it sounds like you have a great process! I also use and adore Track Changes. :)

      I hope you'll check out the freebie 7 Quick Fixes and find it helpful. :)

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  14. Morning, ya'll! Sandra, those oranges look delicious!

    Hey Rachelle! Thanks for sharing today and for the free resource.

    Question: Do you think it is wise to hire an editor on your own before submitting for traditional publication?
    I heard an agent say that it is better to submit to the agent without professional editing, unless that editor comes as part of the package. They like to get a feel for what your writing really looks like and what your strengths and weaknesses are because they'll be dealing with them in the future as well.
    Thoughts?

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    1. Hi Amber, Good question. I hope others offer their opinions and advice as well. I just know from my experience, that an editor from traditional publishing likes manuscripts they don't have to do too much work on. A lot of times first manuscripts are accepted with little editing work required and that is usually because a first manuscript gets really a lot of work done on it between crit partners, contests, rejections with comments etc. And sometimes those authors are then surprised by all the edits of a second manuscript or even the rejection of a second manuscript because of all the editing needed. So that's my take. I'm sure others will have other info. Hopefully they will answer.

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    2. My personal thoughts--take them for what they're worth: If you have critique partners, beta readers, and/or proofreaders whose skill and knowledge you trust, use them to help you polish your ms. before submission to an agent or traditional publisher. Hiring an editor, depending on the level of editing you request, can be a big expense. Not to mention that if you do land a traditional publishing contract, the in-house editors will have their own ideas about what they want you to do with the story.

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    3. Thanks Myra, Great points to consider.

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    4. Hi Amber! What a great question. Here's my opinion:

      Sandra is right in that trad publishing editors are looking for a writer who can self-edit well so that their work can be more focused on polishing to perfection rather than fixing common mistakes (see my freebie for ideas on what I mean). Myra also has a great point here about soliciting the help of crit partners and friends who (for free) will help you make your mss the best it can be before agents/publishers see it!

      I work with authors who have done it both ways: hire me to edit before they ever submit to another industry professional and/or only hire me when they are indie-releasing a title.

      Purchasing an editing package with any editor is a big expense that I think is worth it only if the investment makes sense for you, your budget, and how serious you are about pursuing publication. I didn't hire an editor to look over my first manuscript before my publisher picked it up; it was already very clean because of the critique partners who had invested in it and in me.

      Long story short: editing before submission is a MUST but it can come from a freelance editor like me, or from wonderful friends who have a talent for that sort of thing (critique partners). :)

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  15. Great post, Sandra! I like how Rachel broke down the difference between the types of editing. I've always wondered if it would be worth it to hire an editor before submitting a manuscript to a publishing house. Definitely something I'll look into, now. And your oranges look fabulous!

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    1. Hi LeAnne, It is worth looking into. And yes, those oranges are yummy. Its worth the trip north to grab some every now and then. smile

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    2. Hi LeAnne, I'm so glad you found my answers helpful! :)

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  16. Good morning everyone.

    Thanks for the valuable information Sandra and Rachelle. I'm in awe of people who can catch so many mistakes in manuscripts.

    Rachelle, on a fairly good manuscript, how long does it take you to edit? Say 60k. (I know this has to be a wide range, but I'm talking if the author has done her work.) Just curious.

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    1. Thanks Connie Q for joining us today. Rachelle works really fast and I appreciate that about her. She can answer your question better than I can though. She'll be back.

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    2. Hi Connie, glad to have you! My standard speed is 30-60 pages per hour. :)

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    3. Wow. That's a fast pace. Thanks.

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  17. Finally I understand the different types of editing. Even though I'm not published, I hired an editor once to work on the story I had written about my deceased son - I felt I was too emotionally attached to be able to edit it myself. She did a great job and made me want to hire her for some of my fiction works. A professional editor really is a valuable thing. Thanks for the post Sandra - and the oranges!

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    1. Thanks Cindy for sharing your experience. Yes, we especially don't see things when we are emotionally involved. Thanks again. Happy writing.

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    2. Cindy, I am so sorry for your loss. I commend you for writing about your tragedy--those make some of the best stories. I'm so glad you found an amazing editor! :)

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  18. Loved this post. I know I will need an editor before I submit anything. This will be so helpful. I printed the post

    I love these covers.

    Have a great day everyone!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Wilani. I love those covers also. Of course I love the Southwest color country anyway. smile Glad you found the post helpful. Happy writing.

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    2. Hi Wilani, what a beautiful name you have! I'm glad you found the post so helpful that you printed it. (I know I only print out resources I know will greatly benefit me, so I take that as a great compliment!)

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  19. I do most of my own editing, and I have a good eye for typos and whatnot, but it is always good to have at least one other person to read it because they can point out the things you thought was right because you knew what was supposed to be there, but wasn't... Also, they can point out parts where the story lost them. If they don't lose you by saying such an outrageous thing first!

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    1. Boo you are too funny. Yes, you can lose an author if you are not tactful. chuckle. And you are blessed to have that eye for detail. I truly believe it is a gift. But You are wise to get another set of eyes on it. Like someone already pointed out, if its in your head, you might think it is on the paper and it isn't. Thanks for sharing.

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    2. Boo, awesome point! Thanks for stopping by!

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  20. Sandra, thanks for inviting Rachelle to the blog today! It's always helpful and informative to get an editor's perspective. When I was first starting out, I was often confused by the different labels given to the types of edits--macro, micro, substantive, content, line editing, copyediting, etc. The explanations really help!

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    1. Hi Myra, At least you have Grammar Queen to help you out. That is a gift. smile
      Yes, the definitions do help.
      Happy Writing.

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    2. Myra, I was, too! When I decided editing was something that I wanted to pursue, I knew I needed to research all the different labels so I'd know what I was doing. :)

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  21. Thank you to both Sandra and Rachelle for this excellent post, and for the great freebie from Rachelle! When it comes to self-publishing I think you need start-up capital just like any other "small" business. Please put me in the writer hat for the giveaway. I've bookmarked this post to read again! Have a blessed day here ladies.

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    1. Hi Laurie, Yes, we have to think of our writing as a business. You will need some money saved up to market also. Good idea to have that in mind early. Your name is in the basket. Happy writing.

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    2. Laurie, I'm glad you like the freebie! And great point: sometimes it is best to invest in what you believe in. :)

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  22. Hi Laurie, Yes, we have to think of our writing as a business. You will need some money saved up to market also. Good idea to have that in mind early. Your name is in the basket. Happy writing.

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    1. oops posted this in wrong spot. So not used to this new format. LOL

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  23. Sandra, thanks for the reminding us of the importance of editors. I'm used to having both types of editors at Love Inspired reviewing my books. They're excellent. When I go indie, I want my stories to have the same quality.

    I love your covers, but especially the horse/beach cover Vince suggested. It's so romantic!

    Janet

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    1. Hi Janet, Thanks for the compliment. I really love that cover also. Brings back memories of when I did go horseback riding on the beaches of Spain. And Vince always has great marketing ideas.
      Happy writing.

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    2. Sandra, Vince loves your stories and wants to get them in the hands of readers.

      Janet

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    3. You know it, Janet. He is a wonderful support and encourager.

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    4. Janet, you're right. Quality is everything to readers! :)

      Sandra, so jealous that you got to go horseback riding in Spain!

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  24. Hi Janet, Thanks for the compliment. I really love that cover also. Brings back memories of when I did go horseback riding on the beaches of Spain. And Vince always has great marketing ideas.
    Happy writing.

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    1. Again the wrong place. LOL I need an editor for blogging. sigh

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  25. Good morning!!

    Sandra, your covers are beautiful!!

    Rachelle, thank you for the freebie! When you edit, do you have the author resubmit the work after corrections are made for another round?

    I have heard you should never hire an editor who isn't already published. Is that true?

    Please toss me in for Rachelle's book. :)

    Ruth, I absolutely agree with your statement. I too will work for food. :)

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    1. Hi Sharee, Thank you for the compliment. I love those covers. I have never heard that, but it is a good idea to get references before you hire an editor. Your name is in the basket. Happy writing.

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    2. Sharee, I haven't heard that and I don't agree because editing and writing are two different skills. But I have three novels published, so I guess I'm in both camps anyway. :) Sandra is right in that getting references or referrals is a great way to find a reputable editor. Endorsements also go a long way.

      When a client hires me for either line editing or content editing, the package includes only one sweep through the mss. Sometimes clients re-hire me after implementing changes so that I can then look at the revision. But not often. I'd like to believe it's because I do a good job offering suggestions in Word's Track Changes and/or answering questions via email afterward. :)

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  26. Rachelle, I admire your desire to make a book the very best it can be. If writers don't have a teachable attitude, they're overlooking the importance of fresh eyes. I've always appreciated the input of critique partners, judges and editors. That doesn't mean I'll lose vision of the story.

    Janet

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    1. Janet, you are so right to be careful not to lose the vision of your story. That is why you really need to check references when finding an editor. Once before I was published, I was so anxious to be published, I hired this "editor" and it turned out to be a disaster. I did everything exactly as she said and then it was no longer my story or my voice. Be careful when doing what an editor recommends that you don't do what she did, but use your own words to change what needs changing.

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    2. Janet, thank you! Teachability is important, but you're so right: so is staying true to the story.

      Sandra, I'm sorry to hear about your experience! That sounds awful. I'm glad we get to work together now. :)

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    3. Sandra, I'm sorry you've had that happen.

      Rachelle, any tips on how you handle content edits without crossing that line you don't want to cross?

      Janet

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    4. Janet, I think the biggest asset to me as I attempt to help polish a story without stifling the author's voice is to use Word's Track Changes feature. With this handy tool, I can make suggestions on the side about big-picture things without making changes directly in the story. That way, my writers receive the manuscript back with notes on ideas from me but they only implement what they want.

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  27. A very helpful post, Rachelle and Sandra.

    Thanks for the freebie, Rachelle. I appreciate that you want to help a writer produce the best book s/he can. As you mentioned, I have stopped reading books because of too many errors. One of them I recall was a good story but almost every sentence ended with an exclamation mark. That was too tiring to continue.

    Sandra, that new cover for A Heart Full of Hope is eye-catching -- and definitely tells the reader the book is a romance :-)

    Nancy C

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    1. Hi Nancy, Thanks for sharing that about not finishing a book because of poor grammar. I have heard that so many times and know it is true. Thanks for letting me know you think the cover portrays a romance. Vince will be very happy. chuckle

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    2. Nancy, me, too! Readers expect quality, so I'm glad I get to help in the process of delivering quality writing. :)

      Sandra, she's right. A Heart Full of Hope looks lovely!

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  28. Hi Nancy, Thanks for sharing that about not finishing a book because of poor grammar. I have heard that so many times and know it is true. Thanks for letting me know you think the cover portrays a romance. Vince will be very happy. chuckle

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  29. I haven't jumped into the waters of self-publishing yet, but it's continually in the back of my mind and near the top of my prayer list. If/when...an editor is a must! Thanks for a great post.

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    1. Hi Meghan, You are wise to be gleaning all this info before you publish. Saves a lot of stress to be prepared. smile
      Happy writing.

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    2. Glad you enjoyed it, Meghan! Best wishes on your writing journey. :)

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  30. Good morning Sandra and Rachelle...awesome covers, Sandra, and thanks for the freebie, Rachelle.

    I've done line editing for two published author friends before they sent them in to their editor. A great education tool for me. I was a reader before I became a writer, and loved finding typos and highlighting them.

    No need to put my name in the hat, I've already won two books and a critique. So blessed here.

    Rachelle, I will put your name at the top of my list when the time comes for me to consider an editor. I am very teachable!

    Blessings,

    Marcia

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    1. Thanks for the compliment Marcia and thanks for joining us today. You are blessed to have that gift of editing. Best to get your own checked though because you read it so often you aren't really "reading" it. smile

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    2. Thank you, Marcia! Oh, being a reader before becoming a writer is one of the best ways to learn! Thanks for keeping me in mind. :)

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  31. Thanks for such an informative post, Sandra and Rachelle. Please put me in the drawing for the writer's gift.

    I do have a question. What is the current rule writers are expected to follow in their formatting concerning space between periods? I was always taught two spaces is correct, but now I keep reading articles that say it must be only one space. Some people are really adamant about that. It would be a lot of practice for me to retrain myself to do the single space. It doesn't make sense to me to just use one space, because there is only one space after a comma and I think commas and periods should stand out.

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    1. Hi Sandy, Thanks for joining us today. I do know that the publishers I have worked for require one space. They do that to save space and have less pages to print. I know it used to be two. If you self-publish you can probably do what you want. But just be advised, you are charged for every page you print. Ebooks won't matter. Rachelle will probably have more advice about that.
      Happy writing.

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    2. Thanks, Sandra. I did not know that the publishers are doing that now, either. I'm not planning to self-publish at this time, so that isn't an issue.

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    3. Sandy, GREAT question. I get this one all the time. The old two-space rule comes from when typewriters treated periods poorly, but Sandra is correct. Only one space after the period is now the standard. (Using two spaces will alert those who read your mss that you're unaware of this industry standard.) :)

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    4. Thanks, Rachelle. I will try to retrain myself. (As you can see from my typing here, it hasn't happened yet!)

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    5. It's such a hard habit to break, Sandy! :)

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  32. Does anybody know why follow-up comments are no longer coming to my gmail account? I am checking notify me but they aren't coming any more.

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    1. Sandy, I don't know why. Are you maybe signed in under a different account? That messes me up sometimes.

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    2. No idea Sandy. When did the problem start? Sometimes Blogger has a day of messing up! But it this is long term, it may be with these stacked comments. (or nesting as some call them) Are you checking the box each time? With stacked comments you may need to.

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    3. It may be because the comments aren't hosted on Blogger. The format appears to me to be Google+ comments. The notifications therefore may be coming to your Google+ account rather than your email.

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    4. All these techy people know much more than I do. I know I've had problems like Missy said when I signed out of my yahoo account into another. So you might check that out.

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    5. I wasn't having trouble until a couple days ago. I haven't done anything different. I'm still signed into the same account. Maybe I will try signing out and back in again. Maybe that will work. Thanks.

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  33. I know I really need to hire an editor, I don't have one except for my dad, and I'm going to press gang my sister once I get my next book finished to proofread it, but everything else I have to do myself and I know I miss some things.

    However, I really don't have the money to hire an editor at the present moment. I would have to get a job, and then with a job on top of school (not to mention chores) I wouldn't have time to write. So I'm kind of in a stuck spot. Any suggestions?

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    1. Also, Rachelle, I was staring at your picture trying to figure out where I knew you from when I realized that you were the author of The Sound of Diamonds! I love the name of your character Dirk- I have a character by that name too though he's a little different from your Dirk.

      I would love to be entered for the writer's giveaway!

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    2. Nicki, great observation and how fun that you know Rachelle's characters. Yes, she does write some great fiction.

      As to your other issue, it was mentioned earlier. I think Myra gave out the advice to find some writer friends who can help you with the editing. Check your English class at school and ask around. You might be able to exchange some other kind of chore for the editing. And your dad is okay if he is skilled at it. Ruthy uses her daughter, because she has that skill. Don't get discouraged, but you are really encouraged to find someone to look at it. One time I had a character with blue eyes in the first half of the book and then suddenly she had brown eyes. I didn't catch that but a critique partner did. LOL And another time I had a male bear attacking my heroine when all of a sudden her cubs showed up. Too funny.

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    3. I'm home schooled, so the fellow students from my English class won't work, but I'll definitely have to see if any of my friends from youth group and church are into editing and stuff. The problem is a lot of my friends don't even like to read, I guess it's not a common occurrence for teenagers.

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    4. Nicki, I was homeschooled, too! It really helped me when I stumbled upon the blog Go Teen Writers and discovered there's a Facebook group. I'd try getting connected there. :)

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    5. Great resource Rachelle. Nicki does your mom belong to any online homeschooling groups? They might know where you can find a writing group with critique partners. Ask the librarian in your town. Often writing groups meet in libraries. Our library even sponsors a writing group. Look up RWA or ACFW and see if there are any meetings in your city. They don't have age restrictions on attending their meetings. We have had teens at our meetings before.

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    6. The Go Teen Writers thing looks interesting, unfortunately I don't have Facebook (my parents are a little paranoid about such things). I don't think my mom is part of any homeschool groups (besides HSLDA of course) but I'll have to ask her. My library does a teen writing program, I'll definitely have to ask the girls and the librarian who attends if they are interested in becoming critique partners. I'll have to look into the RWA ACFW suggestion. Would it cost money to be a part of these groups? And are the specifically for Christian writers, because while I am a writer who is a Christian I don't write particularly Christian books?

      Thanks for all the great suggestions.

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    7. You do have to belong to RWA (Romance Writers of America) or ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) but they let you go to two meetings as a guest. Then you can see if you want to go to more. You would probably need to go with your mom. I'm pretty sure RWA has a teen group. ACFW is Christian only. RWA is all genres. That would probably be a better fit for you then. If you go to my webpage you will see links for RWA and when you get in that webpage you can check for a teen chapter. You can check for chapters in your city also. The library sounds like the best source for you now. The librarian will be able to help you find teen writer's groups.

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    8. Nicki, it sounds like you are working very hard to find a critique partner! Keep up the great work, and eventually you will find the perfect pal! :)

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  34. Great to have you here, Nicki! Yes, I'm the author of Dirk and Gwyn's story--fiction is how I got started in the industry, and I love both writing and editing. :) Neat that you have your own Dirk, as well!!

    I would encourage you to get involved in a local writer's group and try to find a critique partner. Online writer's groups work well, also. You really can't beat the value of having a fresh pair of eyes look over your manuscript, so my advice to writers is always to either invest in a freelance editor like myself if you're able or buddy up with a writer pal to exchange critiques. :)

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion, Rachelle. I do a teen writing program at my library, and I should definitely ask some of the girls who go there if they are looking for a critique partner. The only problem is that most people my age, even the ones who are writing, don't actually have any books actually FINISHED so they probably won't be looking for a critique partner.

      And yes, Dirk is actually probably my favorite character I have created (shhh, don't tell my other characters they might become jealous). I actually got his name from another author, Janette Rallison/CJ Hill in her Slayers book series. I read that name and I thought, hey that's a great name for an orphan in a fantasy world to be called, especially if he is good with weapons.

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    2. Nicki, you're right, sometimes it can be hard to find a great critique partner if they're not at the same stage as us in their writing journey (i.e. haven't finished a book and you haven't). In that case, you could exchange pages or chapters with them and acquire their feedback that way. And I highly recommend the Go Teen Writers Facebook group I mention above. :)

      Neat! I haven't read that series, but I love Janette, you, and I all love the name Dirk. :)

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  35. Trying to post your great cover for 'Current of Love.' how do I add an image to my comment??!

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    1. Re-reading the comments. What a great discussion! Just what I needed today
      ;-)

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    2. Hi Laura, I honestly don't know how to post photos in the comments. Maybe one of techy people do. We'll see. I do love the cover for Current of Love. Montlake did a great job with that.

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  36. Thank you for the great info, Rachelle!

    Thank you for the orange idea, Sandra :) Think I'll have one right after this.

    SPEEDBO update - 3 short stories submitted, 1 drafted/edited/reedited and hopefully will submit tomorrow (want to give it one more read because I made some changes today), 1 loosely outlined. (My goal was 5 written, edited and submitted) Will be tight. Wish I could justify hiring an editor :)

    May God bless all of Seekerville!

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    1. Congrats Phyllis for meeting those Speedbo goals. Do you belong to a critique group or do you have a group of writing friends you can at least have read through before you submit?

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    2. Phyllis, look at you go! I'm impressed with how you're crushing your goals! :)

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  37. Hi Sandra and Rachelle! Thanks for this excellent post today with valuable information.
    Rachelle, thank you for the free resource you've offered us today, and Sandra thanks for those yummy oranges! I'm hoping to indie pub a little later on, and even though I've always been able to catch typos, grammar mistakes, etc. right away, I will certainly be hiring an editor. :)
    Thanks again for sharing today!
    Blessings, Patti Jo
    P.S. Diving back into SPEEDBO - - have 8k words to go and I'm determined!! :)

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    1. Hey Patti Jo, congratulations on getting those speedbo goals underway. Wow only 8 K to go. yippee!!!

      Thanks for taking the time to join us. Happy writing.

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    2. Patti Jo, I'm so glad you've found it helpful! I hope you find the perfect editor who suits your needs. Congrats on that awesome SPEEDBO progress.

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  38. Hi, I'm late to the party and not sure if you've covered this. Just wondering whether a content edit includes another look to see how the writer incorporated the advice? Please put me in for a copy of your books, not for the writing book. Thanks. I think my comment ID is acting up. This is Cathy Shouse

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    1. Hi Cathy, Good to see you again and I'm with Tina. Love the profile photo. smile Most of the editors I've worked with will look at what you've changed but they charge for it. After all it is their time and labor. Most editors I've worked with charge by page so however many pages you would want them to check over, that is what they will charge you. But ask each editor you interview as they all work differently. Also. Get references and recommendations.

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    2. How nice of you to notice. I thought about eight years was a good gap between photos. Ha

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    3. Welcome, Cathy! I'm late in today answering comments, so no worries. ;) Sandra is right: a second glance-over is considered another hire, and I have to charge for that because it's time invested. :)

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  39. Cathy Shouse, what a lovely new profile picture. She did cover that. See the post. Some editors do include that in the price, but they usually charge more, I have found.

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    1. Thanks for the comment and the compliment! I have come out of lurkdom.lol

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  40. Sandra, what beautiful covers! Yes, each captures the romance of your stories.

    Thank you for bringing Rachelle to Seekerville. The advice is welcomed. I do realize I don't see the mistakes I've made, so an editor's eyes would be invaluable when I'm ready for that step. I am rusty concerning my grammar, so a chance at winning her book would be wonderful.

    Thank you, Sandra and Rachelle! Taking an juicy orange as I head over to Rachelle's website....

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    1. Hi Sherida, Your name is in the basket. I'm glad you like the covers. And yes, it is always good to be prepared to get the help you will need down the road. Happy writing.

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    2. Welcome, Sherida! I hope you find my book (or at least the freebie) helpful!

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  41. Thanks for the the explanation of the difference in line editing and content editing. Once I heard an editor describe this as macro and micro editing, and "the big picture" vs. "the minute details, etc.

    Looking at it as an author, I've learned to ignore (well, not IGNORE, but not actively search for...) typos, grammatical errors, weird (aka boring) sentences until I've completely chased down and fixed every issue that would fall on the content edit side (plot development, characterization, big gaping holes that you could drive a Mac truck through, etc.)

    So, I read the answers above and the line edits are mentioned before the content edit. I realize that sometimes you're doing both at once (I've had freelancers do that because of the time crunch), but in your opinion, would/should the content edit come first, then the line edit if an author could afford both?

    Which is the most expensive? The most time consuming?

    I would ask which an author should get if they could only afford one, but I imagine that would depend on the author's strengths.

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    1. Hi Pam, I know Rachelle will have better answers. I think it wise to line edit last because you change so many things when you content edit and then you'd have to line edit again. Or you've taken out several pages that you paid to have line edited. The line editing is the final polish I think. As far as pricing, I'll let Rachelle answer that also. I think they usually run about the same. If I had to choose one I think I'd pay for line editing. I can always get crit partners to help with content.

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    2. Hi Pam, great questions! I just chose to answer Sandra's questions in that order, but I agree with Sandra in that I think you should tackle content revisions first. In other words, the best process for writing a book is to 1) finish the book, 2) attack big-picture edits, and 3) line-edit. Then you enlist help from crit partners and freelance editors like myself! :)

      I actually charge $2 per page for content edits (because it is the most time-consuming) and $1 per page for line edits. I think that it depends on the author's strengths which I would suggest they purchase from me. If the story is amazing but riddled with typos, I'll suggest a line edit. If the writing is clean and crisp, but there are plot holes, I'll suggest a content edit. :) I hope that helps!

      I also always offer a sample edit of the first five pages, so that often gives me a good idea of what I'm working with. :)

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  42. Where the Eagle Flies is a lovely story, Sandra, and the cover makes me sigh.
    I was a proofreader on the job for 20 years, so I have an eye for detail. Mistakenly, I thought copyediting meant fact checking. Your Grammar Guide looks vital and I'd love a copy, Rachelle. Next stop = your web site. Thanks!

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    1. Hi LoRee. Thanks for the wonderful comments about Where The Eagle Flies. Being a proofreader will definitely be an advantage for you. You are used to seeing detail. That is a gift as far as I'm concerned. Your name is in the basket. smile Happy writing

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    2. LoRee, that's wonderful! You have experience, then. I hope you find my book helpful. :)

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  43. Rachelle is on a date with her hubby. They are newlyweds. So romantic. smile. But she said she would check back in the morning so if you have a question for her, be sure and go ahead and ask it. She will answer in the morning. Thanks again Rachelle for joining us and answering so many questions.

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    1. Thanks for understanding, Sandra! Ya'll, I appreciate your patience! I am late to check back in today but happy to answer all these great questions! What wonderful discussion.

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  44. Sandra and Rachelle, Thank you so much for the information on the different kind of edits. I'm editing right now and realized I had to delete 15 pages and rewrite the black moment because it didn't flow and connect with the rest of the story. It's hard, but I chopped them into another file and I'm rewriting that black moment. So please add me to the writer list as I definitely need all the help I can get with editing!

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    1. Hi Tanya, So empathize with those cut pages. So tough to do. But I'm sure you'll be pleased with the results. So glad the post helped. smile
      Happy writing.

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    2. Tanya, good for you taking the hard step and deleting what wasn't working! I find that copying what I'm no longer using from a story into its own file makes the painful process of deletion much easier, so well done on that score!! :)

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  45. Thank you for such an informative post, Sandra and Rachelle. Very helpful!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by Laura. So good to see your smile. Happy writing.

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    2. Laura, thanks for popping by! :)

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  46. Hi Rachelle:

    Just love your cover to "Write Well". Grammar is a hard subject. It's the 'math' of liberal arts! Having a soft comfortable cover in a soothing color is very inviting. Also showing a sleek typewriter goes back to a time when there were no spell checkers or grammar assists available. The cover art makes me think that the book is more authoritive.

    Please enter me in your drawing.

    Thanks, Vince

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    1. Hi Vince, Rachelle will be back in the morning to respond. And your name is in the basket.

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    2. Vince, I appreciate your compliments on my cover! I'm very pleased that it carries the tone I wanted to convey: an invitation into a too-often intimidating subject. :)

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  47. Hi Sandra:

    I'm with all those who like your novella covers. They came out much better than I imagined. The best thing is that what the reader loved in the cover is in the story in a big way. I also like your novellas and hope you write more!

    Vince

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    1. Hi Vince, I'm in the process of writing more. I'm waiting until I have a bunch piled up before I put them out. If I time them right, it will work better.

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    2. Sandra, I can't wait to read your next ones!! :)

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  48. SANDRA ... you have an orange tree??? I am SO jealous!! I went to a resort in Florida once that had a lime tree, and we made fresh limeade every day -- it was AWESOME!!!

    Thank you for your this very important and informative post on editing for indie authors. I definitely needed it! When I self-edit my indie books, I'm pretty good, but then I'll run a contest for my influencers or blog-tour folks, offering prizes for anyone that finds typos, and HOLY COW -- they blow me away. Which proves one thing very neatly. And that is, YES, we all do need editors, whether indie or traditionally published, so do NOT skimp on this phase of the process.

    Hugs,
    Julie

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    1. Julie what a great idea you have. You are so creative. One super way to get all of those typos discovered. And those contestants will be serious about finding one. LOL No wonder I never find any typos in your books.

      Congrats on finishing the project.

      And yes, our oranges are really yummy. I bet you enjoyed those limes. Its so fun to just go out in the yard and pick them.

      Happy writing.

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    2. Julie, that is so inventive! That is a great option for indie authors who maybe can't afford to hire a freelance editor. I will be suggesting that. :)

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  49. Well you night owls I will leave it to you. chuckle. I'm off to find my pillow. I hear it calling my name. Thanks all of you for such wonderful participation. You are the best.

    Happy reading and happy writing.

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  50. Be sure and check the Weekend Edition to see if you won Rachelle's book or one of mine.

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  51. Thank you for the great post. Love your covers Sandra especially the horses. And Rachelle Cobb's take on line vs content editing.

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    1. Linda, thanks for popping in! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Aren't Sandra's covers gorgeous?! :)

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  52. Loved this post. I never realized that all all of those years that I was a proofreader for my co-workers, I was actually a line editor!
    If I am not too late to win, I would prefer a novel.
    Thank you and Blessings!
    Connie
    cps1950(at)gmail(dot)com

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