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Working with a Freelance Editor: Tips and Tactics for Success By Linda Nathan Published by Logos Word Designs,

Inc at Smashwords Copyright 2 !2 Logos Word Designs, Inc " #ll $ights $eser%ed

Table of Contents
Introduction &nderstanding 'our Situation Determining 'our Need (or a )reelance *ditor )inding and #ssessing 'our *ditor +ow ,uch Should 'ou Pay.he /ther Side0 What 'ou Bring to the $elationship +ow Do *ditors Choose ClientsLogos Word Designs, Inc1 contact in(ormation #bout the #uthor What others are saying about Linda2s ser%ices

Introduction
'ou2%e written the 3reat #merican no%el, and it2s ready (or publication1 But no one else seems to thin4 so1 ,aybe you2%e tried e%erything " you2%e read the writing boo4s and used the gimmic4s, tal4ed to agents and editors at con(erences, entered contests, 5oined criti6ue groups, badgered (riends and (amily 7,om lo%es it8, and e%en considered sel("publishing1 'ou are wondering, what do I do next+a%e you considered hiring a (reelance editorPopular author #ustin Boyd 7The Pandora Series, 9onder%an: Mars Hill Classified Series, Na%Press8 is an e;ample o( the good (ruit that can come (rom the right relationship with a (reelance editor1 #(ter nine years o( writing, #ustin had 2< , words, = pages, and no ta4ers1 +e2d studied nearly > writing boo4s and run his manuscript by anyone willing to read it1 'et he was no nearer to publication1 +e (inally hired +aw4eye *diting, Inc1 and Logos Word Designs, Inc1 (or a combined pac4age o( e%aluation, consultation, editing, rewriting, and agent?publisher submission ser%ices1 #(ter two comprehensi%e re%iews, two substanti%e edits, and three years o( hard learning by doing, #ustin had (i%e interested publishers1 +is third techno"thriller in !@ months came out in 2 A, and he2s begun another series with 9onder%an1 +e2s earned all o( his in%estment bac4 and made a pro(it1 What2s more, he2s (ul(illing his heart2s desire0 being a (ull"time writer1 Now o( course not e%eryone is an #ustin, but you may (ind yoursel( in the same state he was in, yet be a(raid to ma4e the same leap1 )inding answers to some o( the (ollowing 6uestions may help you resol%e that problem1 +ow do you 4now when you need a (reelance editor+ow can you determine that need+ow do you (ind the right editor#nd how can you get the most (rom the relationship$ead on1

Understanding Your Situation


The disappearing slush pile1 ,ost traditional publishing houses no longer accept unsolicited manuscripts, although some o( the smaller presses do1 #nd publishers thin4 in terms o( money1 I( they thin4 your manuscript loo4s unpro(essional, they won2t waste their time1 'et a pro(essional intermediary between unpublished writers and the mar4etplaceBsimilar to those who ha%e arisen in the legal and medical (ieldsBcan help unpublished writers succeed, whether they are considering traditional publication or sel("publication1 Such a person can help ensure that your manuscript is nearly ! percent (ree o( errors in content and presentation and prepare a pro(essional proposal pac4age aimed at the correct mar4et1 Editors A to 1 )reelance editors come in all shapes and siCes1 .hey o((er ser%ices ranging (rom simple copyediting to the comple; assessment o( long"term writing career needs and goals1 .hey ha%e di((erent abilities, personalities, and training, and they o(ten specialiCe in di((erent areas1 /ne editor might ha%e ! years o( e;perience editing te;tboo4s (or a uni%ersity press and not understand (iction at all1 #nother may specialiCe in medical non(iction or technical manuscripts, and yet another in Christian (iction1 Some will e%aluate your manuscript or help wal4 you through the sel("publishing process1 So what does an editor do- Someone as4ed me once what an editor does1 When I e;plained that there are a number o( le%els o( editing and what they are, she loo4ed shoc4ed1 ,any people thin4 o( editing as 5ust chec4ing (or grammar and punctuation1 Important as these are, e%en more important is the editor2s ability to understand your concepts and to clari(y them1 I once recei%ed an editing pro5ect (rom an international scholar concerning a technical aspect o( philosophy1 #lthough I had only a passing 4nowledge o( the (ield, I 4new enough to 4now that e%en small errors in editing the grammar and punctuation could alter the article2s philosophical subtleties in ma5or ways1 I told the writer this, but he said to go ahead anyway, so my conscience was clear1 .he moral0 Don2t e;pect an e;pert in editing gardening boo4s to grasp the nuances o( your treatise on Cal%inist theologyD !e"els of editing Si#ple proofreading co%ers basic grammar and punctuation issues1 !ight cop$editing (i;es issues o( grammar, punctuation, synta;, usage, and style and corrects aw4ward sentences1 'ou should recei%e a style sheet1 Substanti"e editing 7also called content editing8 clari(ies and strengthens your meaning, as content gets e%aluated (or o%erall clarity and accuracy and rewritten to impro%e readability and in(ormation (low1 %e"elop#ental editing in%ol%es de%eloping a manuscript (rom its initial concept, reorganiCing it, and bringing it to its completion1

&ewriting assistance brings the editor alongside o( you to help rewrite your wor4 line by line1 It2s a great hands"on way to learn, and I always (ind it a lot o( (un because I lo%e to write as well as to edit1 'hostwriting1 .his isn2t really editing1 Someone else does your writing under your name while consulting with you, but it does represent the (inal le%el in recei%ing outside assistance1 Now let2s loo4 at how to determine whether you need a (reelance editor1 .hen we2ll e;amine (actors that a((ect the relationship1

%eter#ining Your (eed For A Freelance Editor


'oals1 #nalyCe your goals, strengths, and wea4nesses as a writer1 What is your moti%ation- 'our long"term ob5ecti%e7s8- &nderstanding your needs and purpose is the (irst step to (ul(illing them1 #nd in the case o( writing (or publication, (ar more is in%ol%ed than 5ust e;cellent writing1 'ou must also consider business, promotion, and plat(orm1 The big picture1 What are you see4ing in terms o( a writing career- Eust writing your (amily memoirs- /r are you hoping to be the ne;t .om Clancy- +ow (ar ahead are you loo4ing- #re you going to sel("publish or do you plan to commit to getting the best royalty publisher- Do you understand how tough and competiti%e the mar4etplace isDo you 4now how to write a proposal and (ind an agent- Do you 4now where your boo4 (its in it- #re you committed to the long haulAreas1 What areas do you (ocus on in your writing- $omance (iction or techno"thrillersBusiness- .echnical writing- #pologetics- .he more speci(ically you can assess your wor4, the more you will understand the type o( help you need1 'ou might want to loo4 (or an editorial consultant that can pro%ide an e%aluation and gi%e you the o%er%iew you need1 What do $ou reall$ need- # mentor- #n editor- /r a writing class- Do you need personal tutoring instead o(, or in addition to, editing- Some editors do this: others don2t1 ,aybe you really need a brush"up class on grammar and punctuation1 #n editor won2t help that much i( your basic grasp o( these topics is wea41 Consider ta4ing a class at a writers2 con(erence or at your community college1 I( you do get an editor, try to (ind one that can mo%e along with and stimulate your growth as a writer1 )usiness "s* writing1 Do you need to learn more about the business o( writing rather than writing itsel(+latfor#1 Do you need a consultant to help you build your public plat(orm,b-ecti"it$1 /r do you 5ust need an e;tra set o( eyes to %iew your wor4 (rom a (resh perspecti%eAre $ou Teflon or touch$- #re you willing to ta4e the heat o( a detailed criti6ue o( your writing and to wor4 with 7and pay8 another person to impro%e it-

Finding And Assessing Your Editor


Finding Your Editor Internet research1 .he Web o((ers a wealth o( opportunities, so you might want to start your search there1 Search with such 4ey words as (reelance editor, (reelance editing, editorial association, boo4 editor, and boo4 doctor1 #lso chec4 out the (ollowing sites1 Editorial associations1 #n editor that is a member o( an editorial association may be a better ris4 because such associations usually %et their members1 It2s a good place to begin, as you can o(ten do a search (or a particular type o( editor1 'ou also can %iew membership lists, contrast credentials and e;perience, and get contact in(ormation1 Editorial Freelancers Association F .his is a national organiCation o( pro(essional editorial specialists with an e;tensi%e membership list you can re%iew1 .hey %et their members care(ully1 I ha%e been a member (or many years1 The (orthwest Independent Editors. 'uild F .his is a regional guild (or members in the Paci(ic Northwest1 'ou can %iew members2 credentials and e;perience and select one here, or chec4 your own region o( the country (or other guilds1 .hey too %et their members1 I ha%e been a member (or many years1 The (ational Writer.s Union F .he NW& is a trade union (or (reelance and contract pro(essionals1 &eferrals1 Chec4 online writers2 resources (or possible re(errals1 Eoin the discussions on writers2 email lists and in chat rooms1 &eferences1 #s4 (ellow writers i( they can re(er an editor to you1 Be care(ul to chec4 out any re(errals1 Writers. conferences1 #s4 around at writers2 con(erences (or re(errals1 Christian #arket writers0 Start with Sally Stuart2s e;cellent Christian Writers2 ,ar4et 3uide, which has a large section on editorial ser%ices1 Logos Word Designs, Inc1 is listed there1 Gathy Ide2s ser%ice at http0??www1christianeditor1com also lin4s Christian writers with Christian editors1 'eneral #arket writers0 (ational %irector$ of Editors / Writers0 )reelance editors, copyeditors, ghostwriters, technical writers and proo(readers (or indi%iduals, businesses, nonpro(its, and go%ernment agencies1 *liCabeth Lyon1 ISBN !"<= AA" H="21 Writers (et %irector$ is an Internet directory o( writers, editors, publishers, and literary agents1 http0??www1writers1net?

+reditors / Editors. online guide to publishers and publishing ser%ices o((ers recommendations in some cases0 http0??www1anotherealm1com?prededitors?peesla1htm !ibraries1 Chec4 with your local library (or other places that may list editorial assistance1 Assessing Your Editor Selection1 #(ter you2%e completed your search, select the two or three editors that interest you the most and assess in detail their training, credentials, ser%ices, pricing, and anything else that concerns you1 Clients1 Who are the editor2s clients- #s4 (or re(erences i( not listed on a Web site1 Chec4 out a (ew1 E0perience and focus1 Loo4 (or years o( e;perience and types o( editing1 Do the types o( publications edited match your area o( search- )or instance, a no%elist wouldn2t necessarily want a technical editor1 Is the editor also a writer- Some are: some aren2t1 #n editor who also is a good writer can be a tremendous bene(it1 Is the editor published- What types o( publications- Do they (it your search- #n editor who is also published must ha%e some writing s4ill and grasp o( the publishing process as well as editing abilities1 .his can be a big plus (or you1 1e#berships1 What organiCations does the editor belong to- Pro(essional editorial associations, such as the *ditorial )reelance #ssociation, ha%e stringent membership re6uirements1 Free initial consultation1 Is the editor willing to tal4 with you- Logos Word Designs, Inc1 o((ers potential clients a (ree hal( hour phone consultation1 Work relationship1 Is the editor a person you can respect- Do you (eel li4e you can wor4 with this editor- Would you (eel com(ortable paying this person to handle your wor4 and gi%e you ad%iceAssessing Your Editors Services The Fair +ractice Code1 Integrity, honesty, and pro(essionalism should be 6ualities high on your search list1 .he *ditorial )reelancers #ssociation re6uires members to abide by the )air Practice Code1 .his lin4 is also a great place to learn more about what editors do and how they thin41 http0??www1the"e(a1org?res?codeI./C1php Ser"ices1 What ser%ices does the editor o((er- Do they match what you need- Can you (ind an editor who will help you determine what you need- ,any don2t pro%ide consultation about your publishing path or pro%ide rewriting assistance1 .hese are important issues1

In"est#ent1 What e;actly will you get (or your in%estment- #re you and the editor clear about the details- Logos Word Designs always pro%ides a written agreement detailing all wor4 agreed upon and the speci(ic (ee structure1 +ersonal ser"ice1 Will the editor do the editing personally or gi%e it to someone else%iscussions1 Is the editor open to discussing your wor4 a(ter she has (inished and returned itEditorial reports1 Will you recei%e an editorial letter or e%aluation o( your wor4- What will it co%er, and how long will it beElectronic "s* hard cop$ editing1 ,ost online editing these days ta4es place using Word2s trac4 changes and comment (eatures1 ,astering these (eatures can help speed up your editing process enormously1 ,any editors won2t ta4e hard copy anymore1 Co#pletion ti#e1 +ow soon will the editor (inish your pro5ect- Does the editor meet the deadline- In(orm you o( une;pected delaysThe Written Agree#ent2You did get one3 didn.t $ou- Whoa, stopD Don2t e%en consider wor4ing with an editor who doesn2t pro%ide a written agreement1 #nd read it care(ully1 #(ter all, that person will criti6ue your li(eblood1 #nd ta4e your cash1 Do some research on what ma4es a good contract and (eel (ree to suggest changes1 ,a4e sure you understand e%erything clearly1 ,y only client disaster happened because I trusted our long"term pre%iously positi%e relationship and didn2t pro%ide a written agreement when he sent me a big rush pro5ect1 'es, we were both under stress, but I did tell him se%eral times o%er the phone what I was doing and thought he2d agreed1 ,oreo%er, he said three or (our times that he 4new it would be e;pensi%e but that he was sure it would be worth it1 +e2d always trusted me, but this particular time he claimed I2d ne%er said it, claimed he2d ne%er said it, accused me o( lying and cheating him, and re(used to pay J!, o( a J!,< (ee1 Now I always pro%ide a written agreement 7e%en i( it2s 5ust in an email8 no matter how rushed the rush1 ,y own agreements always include such basics as the manuscript2s name and word count, speci(ic ser%ices, how I compute the (ee, the payment method, the completion date, termination rights, arbitration rights 7i( appropriate8, con(identiality, and any other rele%ant items1 .hese %ary indi%idually o( course1 Sample agreement1 See a sample agreement at the *ditorial )reelancers #ssociation2s website1 http0??www1the"e(a1org?res?sampleIagreement1php &eco##ended: .he Writer2s Legal 3uide by Craw(ord K Lyons1 Assessing Your Editors Recommendations and References Clients1 Who are the editor2s clients- Do they (it your searchTesti#onials1 #re testimonials a%ailable-

#c4nowledgements1 Does the editor ha%e any boo4s she2s edited in the boo4store- Is her name on ac4nowledgement pages in published boo4s+ublishers1 +as the editor e%er wor4ed (or a publisherEditing sa#ple1 Is the editor willing to pro%ide an editing sample (or you- 7While this can help the writer, it may not be worth the editor2s time1 ,any editors charge (or the time it ta4es to pro%ide a sample edit1 .hey argue that clients don2t re6uire dentists, doctors, and other pro(essionals to pro%ide (ree samples o( their wor4D8 Difficult Editors So you2%e got an editor 111 but where do you turn i( you (eel the relationship is (ailing,aybe the criti6ue is un(air or wrong or 5ust plain inaccurate1 .his is where you should ha%e done your homewor4 about the editor be(ore signing up1 #t some point you ha%e to place your trust in this pro(essional you2%e hired1 I( he tells you Lain2tM ain2t proper, accept it1 But i( he tells you he chec4ed your (acts and cows can (ly o%er the moon, thin4 again1 )irst, do what you can to sal%age the relationship1 *ditors are human, too1 .hey ha%e bad days and good days, headaches and stomachaches1 'ou might remind them o( their irascible #unt ,atilda or that last deadbeat client1 ,aybe they 5ust wor4ed all night (illing in the last comma and hyphen on a boring te;tboo4 and can2t see straight1 LDo unto others as you would ha%e them do unto youM is a good rule to (ollow1 Be (air, patient, and 4ind to the editor who is probably doing her best1 Do e%erything you can to communicate clearly1 Don2t withhold payment (or wor4 (airly done but pay promptly1 Chec4 your contract to see i( there are any rele%ant clauses1 But i( it still doesn2t wor4 111 #ssess how much you2%e sun4 into it and how pro(itably you can withdraw without burning bridges1 )orgi%e1 #nd mo%e on1 .here are many more editors1 *pilogue0 +ow editors deal with di((icult clients1 +ot chocolateBlots1 Long wal4s in the woods1 +air pulling1 Discussions with other editors about the best way to handle the situation1 Prayer1

4ow 1uch Should You +a$5


Standard hourl$ rates1 #lthough standard rate ranges do e;ist (or writers, editors, and other communication specialists, these rates o(ten %ary by location1 )or instance, a New 'or4 City editor may charge more (or the same wor4 an e6ually s4illed editor on the West Coast can do1 The industr$ standard page1 When editors charge a per page rate, they base it on what is called the industry standard page1 .his is a double"spaced manuscript page in a standard !2"point (ont with one"inch margins and a header1 It has appro;imately 2< words?page1 .hat count determines the (ee1 )or e;ample, say your manuscript has >,N< words1 Di%iding by 2< gets an industry standard page count o( !>1@ 7or !=8 pages, which is then multiplied by the page rate1 It is %ery important to be aware o( this so you understand your charges1 %oes it reflect what $ou get- .he rate your chosen editor may re6uest should re(lect his e;perience, s4ill, and re(erences1 6ariations1 *ditors %ary in how they charge1 .hey may re6uire one"hal( in ad%ance and the remainder upon completion, or, (or large pro5ects, one"third in ad%ance, one"third at the hal(way point, and the remainder upon completion1 Some pro%ide payment plans and accept credit card and PayPal payments1 Payment methods depend upon the editor1 )eel (ree to as41 EFA chart of rate ranges1 See the *ditorial )reelancers #ssociation2s help(ul chart o( rate ranges at http0??www1the"e(a1org?res?rates1php

The ,ther Side: What You )ring To The &elationship


An in"est#ent1 /nly you can decide how much time, talent, and money you are willing to in%est in your writing, but I recommend you ha%e a ballpar4 (igure in mind when approaching an editor1 Your attitude1 .he editor is only a person who most li4ely will respond best to 4indness, clarity, and patience1 Clarit$1 *;amine your wor4 be(ore you send it and ma4e sure to mention e%erything you are loo4ing (or to the editor1 Be up (ront with your e;pectations1 Don2t come bac4 at the end o( a pro5ect with0 LBut I e;pected such and such111M when you should ha%e made it clear at the beginning1 # good written agreement should spell out all issues1 +a$#ent1 )reelance editors ha%e numerous horror stories o( deadbeat clients and those who try to get the most wor4 (or the cheapest rate1 'ou can negotiate with an editor, but please respect the editor2s e;pertise and (inal decision about the (ee1 Don2t withhold payment or be late with your payments1 )reelance editors especially sometimes ha%e tight cash (low1 I( you2%e signed a contract with the editor, she will be in a strong position to pursue payment1

4ow %o Editors Choose Clients5


7'ut*8 When I was researching this issue, many editors responded to my 6uestion Lhow do you choose clients-M with Lo(ten by gut (eelingDM 7/ne editor 6uipped that Lit can be a Ogut"wrenching2 e;perience1M8 What that means is, they may not li4e the person, don2t want that particular deadline, disli4e the topic, or are not con%ersant with the topic1 Sa#ples1 ,ost editors want to see a sample o( the wor4 or the entire manuscript in ad%ance1 I pre(er to see the entire manuscript, as it2s o(ten di((icult to determine the amount o( wor4 needed and a (ee 5ust (rom one or two chapters1 Content density can di((er greatly in di((erent parts o( the manuscript1 %eadlines and sub-ect #atter1 Sometimes a deadline is 5ust too soon, or the sub5ect matter doesn2t (it the editor2s area o( e;pertise or interest1 /ne editor said she wants to (eel energiCed by the pro5ect1 #nother said that she re5ects as clients those who won2t (ace the time and money in%ol%ed to clean up minutia, such as typos, style issues, (act chec4ing, and other small details, but who also e;pect her to co%er all the big picture issues " all (or low pay o( course1 7Such pro5ects sometimes re6uire numerous passes through to catch e%erything " e((ort that the author may not understand but that is essential (or a polished manuscript1 I( you ha%e concerns in this area, tal4 to your editor in ad%ance18 +ure desperation1 Some editors desperate (or money may ta4e any pro5ect1 .his is no problem i( the editor is right (or you1 Eust be sure to chec4 out re(erences and other criteria listed abo%e1 7Flakiness*8 # number o( editors I inter%iewed mentioned this 6uality1 +ere2s an e;ample o( someone who contacted me that (its that description1 While I was hesitantly considering his strange theme, he phoned me (our times within ! minutes1 Since I was screening my calls, I listened to him on the answering machine1 +e sounded li4e he was on hea%y medication, rambled in a nearly incoherent manner, and repeated himsel(1 ,y husband, who wor4s in a psychiatric crisis unit, was listening with me and de(initely ad%ised me not to ta4e on this clientD #nother man contacted me late at night with a biCarre story about a crime that he needed to e;pose as soon as possible1 But o( course he didn2t ha%e any money1 Is there a 7drea# client8- /ne client has consistently said to me, L.hrow it to me, I2%e got my .e(lon suit on1M #nd he means it1 I( he su((ers behind the scenes, I don2t see it1 +e e%en decided I hadn2t billed him enough one time and sent me a chec4 (or another J2 D 'es, there are dream clientsD +ope(ully you are now on your way to (inding your editor1 'ou 4now how to ha%e a good relationship and how to be a Ldream clientMD #ll the best in your writing 5ourneyD

C,(TACT I(F,&1ATI,(

Logos Word Designs, Inc1 L#uthor =!!M Solutions (or #uthors *ditorial and publishing ser%ices )or more in(ormation about past pro5ects and the publishing world, %isit the (ollowing0 http0??www1logosword1com http0??logosword1blogspot1com? http0??www1(aceboo41com?logosworddesigns *mail0 editorPlogosword1com 7>H 8 <==">N2= )a;0 7>H 8 >=2" 2!H

About the Author


Linda Nathan is the president o( Logos Word Designs, Inc1, which has been pro%iding pro(essional writing, editing, and editorial and publishing consultation ser%ices since !==21 She o((ers o%er > years o( combined pro(essional e;perience in the (ollowing (ields0 academia, administration?management, arts K entertainment, business, education, health and social sciences, 5ournalism, law, (iction and non(iction 7Christian and general mar4et8, publicity, public spea4ing, and teaching1 Linda is the published author o( one boo4 and numerous articles and other materials1 She holds a B1#1 in Psychology (rom the &ni%ersity o( /regon in *ugene, where she also did graduate wor4 in Interdisciplinary Studies1 ,emberships0 *ditorial )reelancers #ssociation, .he Northwest Independent *ditors 3uild, #merican Christian )iction Writers Linda and her husband $ichard, who holds an ,1#1 in $eligion in Church +istory, o(ten consult together with authors on a %ariety o( pro5ects1

What others are sa$ing about !inda.s ser"ices


LLinda Nathan was the answer to my calling, a dream come true (or me1 #s a (irst time author, Linda managed the entire pro5ect (or my boo4, Secrets o( Qoice"o%er SuccessR She had so many power(ul s4ills and so much integrity and dedication with e%erything she did, I called her OLinda with the ,idas touch12M Eoan Ba4er, author, Secrets o( Qoice"o%er Success 7Sentient Publications, 2 <8, Qice President, Public $elations, Push Creati%e, Inc1, New 'or4 City1 Nationally acclaimed %oice"o%er actress and educator

LLinda has turned a caterpillar into a butter(lyD I can enthusiastically endorse Linda as the right place to turn (or (ast, pointed help with editing that is always on the mar4, and worth e%ery pennyRM #ustin W1 Boyd, author, .he Pandora Series 79onder%an, 2 !!8: ,ars +ill Classi(ied Series 7Na%Press8

*;ecusta(( currently has a sta(( o( !A outside editors1 Linda Nathan has consistently pro%ided e;ceptional copyediting and thought(ul comments to the authors and publishers that we support in college te;tboo4 preparation1 We ha%e come to e;pect and re6uest that all o( our editors (ollow her lead when preparing their edit wor4 (or usR Linda has been, and will continue to be, the (irst choice o( our production sta(( (or copyediting1 Eerry +ayes *;ecusta(( Composition Ser%ices

SLinda Nathan o( Logos Word Design, Inc1 is blessed with wonder(ul editorial s4ills1 She has a 4een eye (or proo(reading and correction, ensuring proper grammar, sentence structure, and punctuation1 +er e;cellence in writing mechanics is combined with creati%ity, imagination, and wisdom, enhancing o%er"all composition1 She sees the (orest #ND the trees and ma4es the good better1 I recommend her without reser%ation1S Dennis L1 Price, Ph1D1, author, Chasing the )ourth +orse 7*ssence8, an apocalyptic no%el about nuclear waste terrorism