It’s been far too long since I’ve had someone supporting indie authors on the show. By popular demand I have an interview with an editor, my editor in fact, Alida Winternheimer of WordEssential.com. Alida is an experienced editor and in this interview she shares a huge amount of knowledge about the editing process and how you can find, and then get the most from, an editor. Show notes for this episode at http://rspcast.com/alida
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Word Essential – Alida’s editing company.
Alida has an academic background in writing, having got an MFA after finishing a previous masters program, also with a heavy focus on literature.
In 2012 she made the shift from the trad pub mindset to the indie author mindset. She had been querying agents for a while, while writing more books, but didn’t get anywhere with the publishers. The world of indie authors was around and she decided to get involved, revising A Stones Throw and putting it out herself. Alida enjoys DIY and didn’t want the whims of a publisher being what decided whether her book would reach readers.
Alida has been editing informally for over a decade and has some impressive credentials! It was in 2013 that she decided to go fully into editing, rather than just something she did on the side.
Writing Coach – For those who need help learning their craft.
Developmental – Looking at the manuscript for point of view shifts, character inconsistency, lack of logic in the plot etc.
Copy – Syntax, punctuation, grammar, inconsistency. Not really looking at the story itself.
Proof – Just checking things out, making sure it all looks good on the page.
As you work with an editor and write more books you should need less and less editing.
Working with an Editor
The manuscript is sent to Alida, and she will read and comment on the story craft. Whether the characters are interesting, how is the plot structure, etc. She also writes what the author can learn from the comment, this can be very valuable for improving yourself as a writer.
After the authors has read this, Alida will Skype with them for two hours talking about the feedback. The writer will them edit the book based on the feedback and the call. More expensive packages have a second read through of the edited book.
Alida will also offer publishing and marketing advice relevant to editing. This is particularly valuable for authors who are self-publishing for the first time. For example Alida was recently working with a client who had written an enormous manuscript and she told him to break it down into a trilogy – a smart move.
Hiring an Editor
A sample edit and some communication with the editor is essential when looking for who to hire. You want to find someone who does good work and you can see yourself enjoying working with. A good email back and forth, or a Skype chat, is essential before going forward. An editor will also provide references if you ask for them, but the sample edit and conversation are probably going to be more useful in judging who you want to work with.
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