Writing a Book – Step 3 – Editorial Advice

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Writers are a sensitive lot. Some of us crawl up in our holes and burrow in like scared rabbits after a rejection. At least that’s what I’ve done most of my life. Fortunately, self-publication has become a recognized option with the boom of e-books. So, I’ve published two books.

I want my next book to sale, so I invested in the services of a professional editor. Because this book was not the usual format, I sought the advice of a developmental editor first. A developmental editor provides practical advice on what works and what doesn’t work in the manuscript. I used the online service, Reedsy because it’s easy to use, free for authors, and provides a wide selection of experienced editors and book designers.

After describing my needs, I was presented a list of over 50 editors. Reedsy allows writers to select five editors at one time to make offers. I sent each editor a description of my book and an excerpt. I received three proposals, two kindly said they were too busy. I rejected the costliest proposal of $1,500.00 because the editor did not describe what services she would provide. A second offer was interesting but the editor graded manuscripts, my ego wasn’t up to receiving a C or D.

Instead, I chose an experienced editor, Lourdes Venard.  Her website featured several glowing endorsements and she made an affordable offer. I sent her my first edit manuscript. In two weeks she returned not only a detailed five page letter but annotated comments in the manuscript.

Her suggestions were objective and supportive. She pointed out the strong and interesting points of my manuscript and those passages that would not hold a reader’s interest.

In general, you have an engaging, warm style, and it is obvious that you are a strong writer.

Her observations keep me getting up at five a.m. to continue my work. It isn’t easy. Every day presents challenges and decisions. But, I’m doing a work I love and that’s all that matters.

14 Comments on “Writing a Book – Step 3 – Editorial Advice

  1. Always a challenge to get editorial feedback. This one sounds as though she really knows what she is doing; and that’s priceless really.

  2. Hi Payne,

    Good to be over at your blog 🙂

    I can see all the hard work and effort it takes to write a book, something that’s been on my agenda for long, but just not had the time to get down to it.

    It’s wonderful that you are managing to write daily, and waking up so early to get down to it, is the best thing you can do, as those early hours are the most productive ones. More so, there’s no one to disturb you too!

    Amazes me how you manage to blog and write, though I guess if you blog less and just share all you’re going through with us, the process as such, it is possible.

    Thanks for sharing more about the online editorial service and editor with us at the ABC (Aha!NOW Blog Community) and your readers here as well, as it would help a lot of other new authors, who’re in the same phase.

    Wishing you all the best with your book, which I’m sure would be such a great read. Happy weekend- and we meet once I am back from my little blogging break now, if not earlier 🙂

    • Harleena, Thank you for taking time to write such an engaging and thoughtful comment to my short blog. You are correct, I have not been writing blogs as often or writing them as long as I used to. But, I’m beginning to get myself more organized with planning my time and my writing. I’ve been working on books for several years and have one e-book published that has not sold well but I’m in groups that are helping me improve sales and build my list. Have a good break and thanks for your attention and comment. Skywalker

  3. Hey Skywalker,

    I thoroughly enjoyed your post. And I think it is a brave move to be writing books in this day and age. But when you believe in your own talent, you are making room for the best to come. You made me smile when you wrote you might not be up for a C or D. On some days I would agree, however other days I would like the idea of being graded. However I dont believe that is an editors job. Grading you is not feedback in a sense. By the looks of it, you found the right editor just for you.

    I have written one book and had I not thrown out my work, I may have been ready to pick it up and review it – with the consideration of an editor. I do believe I will give it another go – sooner or later, but I have other priorities at the moment. You sound like a very hard worker, knocking out two books prior to the one you are working on. And I bet the constructive feedback is what sits right. You are not looking for someone to like or not like your work. You want a professional giving you advice in order to fix up areas in order to publish. Over the next couple of days I will check out your first two steps in writing a book, because I got a lot out of this. Thank you.

    • Rachel, Thank you for your heart felt comment. It’s good to know you really did read it carefully and received value from it. This book writing is an ongoing process with me and I will continue to share it through my blogs. I’m glad to know it is of benefit.

  4. Hey skywalkerstoryteller, we are sensitive, aren’t we!! Blessing and a burden… I didn’t know about this service. Now I will have to check it out. Receiving criticism is one of the most difficult aspects of being an author. But when we’re lucky enough to find an editor who ‘gets it’ or gets us, we can go places we never knew we could go with our work. Keep on keeping on 🙂 Jenn

  5. Pingback: Writing a Book – Step 4 – Revise, Rewrite, Re-edit | Skywalker Storyteller Works

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