BUT... If you're like me. Dyslexic or simple more of an idea person you NEED to find a great editor.
Sending out manuscripts before they are as clean as can be is a mistake.
I have a friend, Meghan James of Korvo Creative Works, who is an amazing editor. I decided to interview her here and share with you some of the fascinating things I found out. I have turned to Meghan many times over this last year, seeking out what I believe is a uniquely effective Editing Eye for various projects and she has always been helpful. Her attention to detail is “perfection” as is her ability to bridge genres. Meghan is the one MUST HAVE for any writer wanting a polished manuscript.
LNC- You must love books, reading, and the overall adventure the written word can provide. But why editing? What drew you to this aspect of writing?
MJ- You’re right, I absolutely adore books and reading. Family lore says I taught myself to read by age four. When I was considering my career change (I was previously a landscape architect), I spent some time thinking on my strengths and passions. Well, I love to read. Thus, how could I earn a living through reading? Editing was the obvious choice.
LNC- Tell me about your certification process. What was the most interesting thing you learned about editing? What more do you want to learn?
MJ- I completed the Certificate in Editing from the University of Washington. I thought it was a very valuable program which taught me so much more than just the rules of grammar or punctuation. We were taught not only the nuts and bolts of editing but also our responsibilities as editors. Also, I had no idea just how widespread the field actually is. Editing plays a role in just about every document out there, from corporate communications to marketing materials to novels. As for me, I am currently brushing up my book layout skills. By the end of the year, I plan to offer layout services using InDesign.
LNC- What is your favorite type of editing? Or do you even have a favorite?
MJ- I don’t have a favorite type of editing yet. Each stage of editing, from developmental to proofreading, offers different challenges and rewards. I get to look at the big picture stuff one day and the nit-picky details the next.
LNC- What do you hope to provide to your clients?
MJ- I want to help make sure my clients’ messages are coming through clearly. You have a story to tell, and I’m here to ensure your readers don’t get distracted from your story by misplaced commas or subject/pronoun disagreements. I don’t change your words into my words. I make sure your words are the best they can be.
LNC- How long does it take you to edit a document?
MJ- It depends on the type of editing and the length of the document. Proofreading goes faster than copy editing, which goes faster than developmental editing. One manuscript page is equivalent to 250 words. Proofreading is about 10 pages (2,500 words) per hour while developmental editing is about 1-2 pages (250-500 words) per hour.
LNC- Are there layers to your editing process? Can a client ask for a certain type of editing? If so, what are those parameters?
MJ- Yes. Different types of editing are appropriate at different stages in the writing process. For example, if I’m looking at the structure of a story (character arcs, plot, etc.,) then I’m not at all worried about spelling or punctuation. When I’m preparing a proposal for a client, I’ll clearly define the scope of services. If a client is unsure about the different types of editing or what they might need for their work, I am happy to walk them through the process.
LNC- How do you like to interact with a client? Email? Skype? Phone?
MJ- I’m pretty flexible. I usually start via email, but I am available to chat over the phone or on Skype. And if a client is in the Seattle area, I can also meet in person.
LNC- What is the best way to contact you about a potential job?
MJ- I can be reached via email at email@example.com.
LNC- What kind of wait time do you currently have?
MJ- I am currently available and accepting clients.
LNC- What is your price list?
MJ- Different types of editing have different rates. I follow the EFA’s (Editorial Freelancers Association) suggested rates, which may be found at https://www.the-efa.org/rates/. I will give an author a proposal with a flat fee based on the services they want and the number of words in the work.
LNC- Thank you Meghan, so so much for your time, your answers and insight and above all your amazing editing skills. I can't wait for our next project together.