Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: editor

Two Publishing Options ~ Two Editing Options . . .


This is the 35th post on this blog that will mention FastPencil publishing-aid company.

editing and publishing

Image Courtesy of Ivan Soares Ferrer ~ http://www.freeimages.com/photographer/ivanferrer-35808

In the past post, FastPencil ~ Funny Name, Dynamite Publishing-Aid Company. I shared this info:

I’ve summarized the FastPencil experience this way:

*Write a book on their site,
while inviting BetaReaders or editors to work with you
—> Free

*Revise, edit, check multiple proofs,
upload a cover, work-out front and back matter, etc.
—> Free

*Publish and have the book distributed to
Amazon, Barnes&Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Ingram

(Print & E-book editions)
—> $300

As a matter of fact, if you want to sell your book only on the FastPencil Site (with a very cool sales widget you can use on your own WebSite or Blog) it costs just $9.99.

I’ve used FastPencil and I’m very happy with their services; speaking of which, if you don’t have an editor and can’t self-edit, you can pay them more money for that and other services

Or, you could consider other editing options (always making sure you receive samples of the editing anyone does...).

One option is the editing and publishing consultancy, Prosevue Edición.

You can check out their Terms, Conditions, and Policies.

They have Editing Services for Self-Published Books and Articles, Academic and Professional Documents, and International University Applications.

Just to give you an idea of their fees, Fiction Manuscripts of 50,000 words cost $500; but, 100,000 words are only $600

And, if you want another option for publishing, you can consider submitting to  Coffee House Press.

From their Site:

“The mission of Coffee House Press is to publish exciting, vital, and enduring authors of our time; to delight and inspire readers; to contribute to the cultural life of our community; and to enrich our literary heritage. By building on the best traditions of publishing and the book arts, we produce books that celebrate imagination, innovation in the craft of writing, and the many authentic voices of the American experience.”

Coffee House Press is also a good place to look for books that “celebrate imagination, innovation in the craft of writing, and the many authentic voices of the American experience.”; and, if you feel you’ve written such a book, you can contact them:

For general inquiries, you can reach us by email at info@coffeehousepress.org, by phone at (612) 338-0125, or by mail at the following address:

Coffee House Press
79 Thirteenth Avenue NE, Suite 110
Minneapolis, MN 55413

Naturally, there are a huge number of options for editing and publishing (I just thought my readers might find these three interesting…); and, you can begin exploring other options right here

Edit after publication:

Received this tweet from Prosevue Edición:

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” In times of dread, artists must never choose to remain silent.”


The quote in the title of this post is from Toni Morrison, Nobel Prize- and Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, playwright, literary critic, editor, and Professor Emeritus at Princeton University.

Toni Morrison

Image Courtesy of Entheta https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/User:Entheta/gallery Under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

In the disturbing political and social climate throughout the U.S.A.’s recent Presidential Campaign, much dread was spread…

It seems to be still spreading—disturbing many, engulfing some, inflaming a few…

The Nation had an article by Toni (that, to me, speaks eloquently to the dread) entitled, No Place for Self-Pity, No Room for Fear.

I encourage anyone even faintly artistic, from any country, to read that article…

I’ll share just a few excerpts.

Concerning dictators and tyrants, she says:

“Their plan is simple:

“1. Select a useful enemy—an ‘Other’—to convert rage into conflict, even war.

“2. Limit or erase the imagination that art provides, as well as the critical thinking of scholars and journalists.

“3. Distract with toys, dreams of loot, and themes of superior religion or defiant national pride that enshrine past hurts and humiliations.”

She asks the question:

“In this contemporary world of violent protests, internecine war, cries for food and peace, in which whole desert cities are thrown up to shelter the dispossessed, abandoned, terrified populations running for their lives and the breath of their children, what are we (the so-called civilized) to do?”

More insight and another question:

“The solutions gravitate toward military intervention and/or internment—killing or jailing. Any gesture other than those two in this debased political climate is understood to be a sign of weakness. One wonders why the label ‘weak’ has become the ultimate and unforgivable sin. Is it because we have become a nation so frightened of others, itself and its citizens that it does not recognize true weakness: the cowardice in the insistence on guns everywhere, war anywhere?”

And, her rallying cry:

“This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. That is how civilizations heal.”

Her final statement (though, there is much more wisdom in the full article…):

“I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge—even wisdom. Like art.”

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Editors Are People, Too ~ Really :-)


I’ve talked about editors before in the posts, Should Writers Fear Editors? and Does Every Writer Need An Editor?.

I had one for my novel that came out last May and I’ll have two for it’s sequel

If you look at the etymology of editor, you’ll find one of those slippery spots on the path of language:

“1640s, ‘publisher’, from L. editor ‘one who puts forth’…”

Without delving into the depths of publishing history, I assume that many years ago “publisher” and “editor” were pretty much one person.

Can “writer” and “editor” be one person, too?

I don’t mean that rare individual who can successfully write then edit their own work.

I suppose there could be people who are writer/editor/cover designer/publicist/marketer but I mean a writer who also edits for other writers.

Publetariat recently featured a post from Cheri Lasota called Working with an Editor: Got My Edits Back. Now What?.

Cheri is a writer who edits other writers’ work and gives her own work to another editor.

To encourage you to read the post, here are her topic headings:

Give your­self some peace and quiet.
Don’t scan or skip.
Sit on the manuscript.
Mull over your options.
Make a copy.
Turn your Track Changes ON!
Choose your direction.
Don’t just make changes. Learn!
Incorporate only what you feel will serve your story.
Overhauling? Then get out of your MS.
Take another vacation.

Do read Cheri’s full post :-)

Have any of your own tips about how to incorporate an editor’s guidance into your writing?

How about warnings for writers who feel the editor always knows best?

Or, your experiences with not following an editor’s cues and regretting it?
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Does Every Writer Need An Editor?


There’s been much to-do about the roaring stream of poorly edited books produced by “self-published” authors.

And, even though there can be valid reasons for not following the “rules” when writing, typos and fractured sentences will appear in any writer’s manuscript.

Can they find these mistakes themselves?

I do suppose there are a precious few who could

For the rest of us, there are editors.

While writing my novel, Notes from An Alien, I went to the Owner of Book Island, Selina Greene (former publisher), and let her know how poor I was and my concern about not being able to afford an editor.

She told me to contact my local universities and solicit the English Grad students.

After three phone calls and as many emails, I had found my editor and she only wanted an acknowledgement of her efforts in the book :-)

In a previous post, Should Writers Fear Editors?, I shared some of the common misperceptions of editors from an article by Alan Rinzler.

And, for those not challenged by near-abject poverty, I recently found some wonderful editorial information.

Eva van Emden is a full-time freelance editor with, of all things, her own editing blog :-)

And, though her full site is, justifiably, focused on offering a writer her own services, she provides much more, like these clear points of the purpose of an editor:

  • suggest improvements to strengthen the flow of your story or argument,
  • identify places where the phrasing is unclear and suggest an alternative,
  • catch embarrassing typos and spelling mistakes,
  • edit spelling, capitalization, hyphenation, punctuation, and layout to be consistent within the document and to conform to the appropriate style.

There’s also a page of Editing Resources that includes the following topics:

Help with hiring a freelance editor
Editors’ organizations
Dictionaries
Style guides and editing references
Writing resources
Editing Fiction
Book news
Free software

You might also want to visit her page describing the various types of editing :-)
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Another “Review” of The Alien’s Book


I’m sort of “cheating” with this one since I just rediscovered it on my thumb-drive and it’s sort of a review/critique. It was written months ago before I submitted the book to my editor

Since it’s “review-like” I thought it deserved its own post :-)

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Alexander:

I am engrossed in your fiction and would love to read more. Your world painting, character development, dialogue, and imagery are all top-notch. What stands to be improved is your story’s structure, which is a bit clunky. By using transitions between your chapter breaks (or even creating numbered sub-chapters, ala Stephen King), you can enhance understanding. You have a flashback that is a good scene, but this is not a movie. It needs to be transitioned to. Point of view is a bit confusing, but it is all just a flaw of structure and so close to being fixed. Only some simple tweaking, I believe, with the structure to find a suitable and understandable rhythm for the reader.

I LOVE your prologue. It is very cleverly done and grips me immediately. To imagine that your protagonist is actually your co-author is a stroke of genius and a nice gimmick. I also think the setting is very well developed and interesting. I like how the planets come close to each other in their orbits over many years, allowing for more direct interaction. I also like the idea of plasma as an emotional and mental conduit. All very, very good. The planets become a dichotomy of existence, a split of the “survivalist” vs. “spiritual,” “technological” vs. “communal,” and “rational” vs. “irrational.” This is all very symbolic and when put into a good action story becomes an effective backdrop that does not become too preachy.

I have some general ideas/questions. First, I am interested to know what these aliens look like, at least their major similarities and differences between humans, if any. As a modern sci-fi writer, I timagine you buy into the idea that life evolving on another planet would have to have some sort of different physiology shaped by its own unique environment. I think this could be explained quite easily when your “co-author” is explaining the other similarities and differences between her race and humans. I would add it there somewhere, just a paragraph. It helps me “see” these people.

There were a few instances where some editing of word choice and sentence structure could be improved, but I will leave that to your copy editor.

FAVORITE PASSAGES
“I am a woman from a star system about twelve light-years from Earth. If you choose to believe me, my story is a history lesson—how to achieve unity and peace—a lesson that Earth desperately needs. If you choose to not believe I’m real, my tale is a science fiction story about how to achieve unity and peace—a lesson that Earth desperately needs…
—–Very nice, ironic statement. Also very well-worded.

“My “voice” will return when the story arrives at my birth.”
—–Thank you for telling us this. Very effective, as we wait for her, and puts your story on a timeline for us.

“Sorry for this short scientific digression but, if you don’t have a basic understanding of plasma, you’ll miss much of the meaning of this story.”
—–Successful gimmick for the early info-dump! I am envious of this…

“This is how I found Alexander, the co-author of this book.”
—–see above for accolades

“A simplistic example would be to say that we share things like the idea of dog and cat but not the knowledge of beagles and tabbies. A more accurate example would be that we easily share an idea like four-footed, domesticated animal but not ideas like dog or cat or lizard. Those differences take much more conceptual exploration and sharing.”
—–Sounds liked you have studied Plato and his dialogue on “forms.” I like!

“You have a bad habit of repeating what you know I already know, Morna.”
“Sometimes I feel it necessary.”
“It’s going to take the whole voyage for me to figure you out.”
“I believe it will take longer than that.”
“Could be, but the leadership on Anla apparently hate the Nari.”
“Yes.”
“Asking for a man their enemies worship…”
—–I like this exchange, but I need just ONE attribution to keep me on track with who is speaking, maybe somewhere in the middle.

“unwillingness to adhere to norms”
—–maybe use the word “deviance” somewhere here. In sociology, social deviance is exactly that, “unwillingness to adhere to norms.” I think the word adds to your crredibility. It seems that your Corporate World has a huge division of sociology, since they are so big on social engineering. Using deviance as their jargon increases the strength of your work.

“People who didn’t become passive through fear—those who fought against the invasive alteration of their feelings—were kept apart from others till they killed themselves.”
—–ghastly, but good!

I look forward to reading more. Now, I have to ask if you might consider returning the favor. It seems difficult to find people here who are willing to read a lengthy chapter; they tend to stick to poetry. It becomes a volume business with reviewing, that is why I try to focus on short stories and chapters as often as I can. These are the works that need the most exposure and reading. If you can stomach epic fantasy, I would love a review of the first chapter of my work, The Betrayer of the Virtues. Chapter is called “Kabar’s Creek.” Take your time to fit me in. I understand the pressure of trying to read, write, and review.

Thanks for sharing your work with me!

Patrick

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I did return the favor for Patrick :-)

And, for anyone who’s read this far into this post, I have a little bonus:

I’ve just begun to checkout the list of 58 potential places to have my book reviewed. One on that list had an asterisk in front of it from way back when I compiled the list. I discovered a major resource about Book Reviews. Enjoy :-)

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