Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The next step in content editing: the traditional publishing route

Yesterday, I declined a potential editing client. Two gentleman have collaborated on what they describe as a "labor of love;" they have decades of experience in real estate and have been working on a related book together for quite sometime. They were looking for an editor who does nonfiction, and I certainly fit the bill. I have lots of experience editing nonfiction, both academic and standard. I charge more for academic pieces, because there are many, many more components to copyediting and content editing an academic piece of work.

The piece that I declined skirted a fine line between the academic and non-academic, doing an excellent job of keeping the manuscript well-cited and fact-based while also keeping a voice that the average person can understand. I admire what they're doing. So why did I decline it?

I declined to edit it because they're no longer at the editing step - they just didn't realize it. They had utilized beta readers as well as a copy editor, and they were looking for someone to content edit. Particularly, they were looking for the kind of content editing a traditional publisher does, regardless of what you've done to your manuscript before it's gotten to them. For anyone pursuing traditional publishing - using a query letter, finding an agent, etc. - especially in regard to nonfiction! - the final content editing is publisher-driven.

These potential clients are definitely not self-publishing, which is excellent, because the quality of nonfiction books on the self-published market is truly lousy. That makes me sad, but if they want their book to go anywhere, they need to go the traditional route. I told them to get the 2015 Guide to Literary Agents, put together a chaptee-by-chapter outline, and have three sample chapters polished and ready to submit (they already do). An agent and a publisher take it from there.

This is very rare - a potential client who does not in fact need the services I require - but when it happens, I am (and always will be) up front!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Indie Publishing vs. Literary Agents

I've just edited a novel for an author who has, up until this point, self-published. She's also provided marketing for other self-published authors as her side job. She's a very gifted author, and her success is growing. However, she's just finished a book - and I just finished editing it - that an agent wants to represent, and she's going along with that. I've said, previously, that agents are rapidly going out the window, with self-publishing becoming the wave of the future. So why would I agree with her move to go with the agent?

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Upshot of Upwork

Elance, the freelancing site that I've been using to find new clients, has been taken over by the freelancing site Upwork. The transition has happened over the course of a couple of months, with things like reviews and experience transferring from one site to the next. Of course, these things are never seamless, and I know, from my experience in IT, that new software or hardware is always met with skepticism.