Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: editors

What’s Your Favorite Flavor of Publishing?

Folks outside the U.S.A. may be correcting my spelling of the 4th word in the title of this post to “Flavour”

Kinds of Book Publishing

Image courtesy of Tracy Olson ~

But, for anyone reading this, we’re talking about the 3rd definition of that word in my Oxford dictionary—“An indefinable characteristic quality”

There are so many ways to publish these days that many of them must be characterized with rather “indefinable” qualities that the media might call their “Spin”

Regular readers of this blog will know that I tend to lean toward “Self-Publishing” though I can see a few narrowly-defined situations where I might consider “Traditional Publishing“.

And, within the flavor-range of Self-Publishing, I can clearly recommend FastPencil and Smashwords.

And, as I scan the news-feeds and other resources I use to find material for this blog, I’m nearly continually seeing yet more Flavors of Publishing.

The latest to cross my threshold is Reedsybilled by themselves as the placeWhere authors meet the best editors, designers and marketers for their books”.

True, Reedsy is not calling itself a “publishing solution” but the media they’ve grabbed is trying hard to make them sound like a replacement for a traditional publishing house

Each linked source below will take you to their article about Reedsy.

Forbes (business magazine) says it’s “the platform that enables authors to collaborate with professional editors, designers and marketers directly rather than through a publishing house”.

The Guardian (newspaper) says “The main thing that sets Reedsy apart from the many companies offering ‘author services’ is its platform. This is a tech company first and foremost…”

TechCrunch (Nerdly tech site) says authors “can find freelancers, ask for a quote, and start exchanging messaging with these professionals”. (and, eventually pay them………)

Publishing Perspectives (seems self-explanatory) says “It proposes to become the must-go place where serious self-published writers can turn to get professional help and produce a high quality book in this exploding book market”.

MediaShift (not sure why they have “shift” in their name) says, as a reason for Reedsy’s existence, “For several years there had been a gold rush of self-published authors who, spurred by newspaper articles on Kindle millionaires, flooded the market with low-quality, poorly-written books in the hope of overnight success.”

So, Reedsy, essentially, has gathered around-200 freelancers in editing, designing, illustrating, and marketing and has created a site where you can employ them to help you get ready to publish books—Reedsy receiving 10% of the fee paid.

Two thoughts:

I see no mention on their site about how a book would actually be published. Yes, they clearly say they’re offering author services but they say nothing about helping you produce a book or guiding you toward such a conclusive act

They’ve garnered some very heavy-hitting media coverage; but, the following terms of their agreement may cause some to pause:

“The Platform: (i) is a beta version; (ii) is provided on an ‘as is’ basis; and (iii) may not be free of bugs or errors and you agree that the existence of any bugs or errors shall not constitute a breach of this agreement.”—“Access to the Platform is permitted on a temporary basis. We may suspend, withdraw, discontinue or change all or any part of the Platform without notice. We will not be liable to you if for any reason our site is unavailable at any time or for any period.”

So, it’s not a “Publishing Company” but it’s trying hard to seem as necessary as what a traditional publishing company offers

Why are there so many “companies” these days that package-up a few services that an enterprising individual could find on their own and present the package as some “absolutely essential” service?

However, I must end with the admission that once Reedsy settles out of its Beta-phase it just might be a good place to find some of the services an author who self-publishes might be able to afford
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“But, Do I Really Need An Editor?”

I’ve heard of writers who are able to fully edit their own work—never met one yet… 

Of course, all serious writers move words around and take some out and put some in and notice typos—all forms of editing; but, there’s more to a full editing job than what most writers can handle.

First comes the need for Other Eyes on the manuscript.

Some of this objective perception might come from beta-readers; but, a writer should never count on the betas for thorough editing.

There’s great value in having many beta-eyes on the manuscript before submitting it to the editors (<— yes, that word was a plural…).

Beta-readers are usually not hired—they do it because they love to read and comment—they find plot holes and express feelings about the characters and say things about the writing’s overall effect)—though, listing them in the back of the book is a welcome compensation.

Also, betas can induce the writer to do some self-editing before they engage a pro

So, how many kinds of editing are there?

Opinions differ but BookBub has an article, by C. S. Lakin, that will get you thinking about what various types do and whether they might be needed for a particular piece of writing.

The article’s called 3 Crucial Editing Phases All Authors Need to Sell More Books; and, is still valuable even if the writing is given away for free.

I encourage anyone serious about writing to read the full article; but, I’ll list the major points:

Phase One: Get a structural critique

Phase Two: Do thorough line editing (this is a self-editing phase {to reduce time and cost on the third phase}) There are 9 sub-phases

Phase Three: Find the right copy editor for your book — There are 8 sub-phases here about how to find the right person

And, if you want some in-depth understanding about that third phase, check out The Subversive Copy Editor Blog.

Or, if you’re the kind of person who would rather do all the editing yourself, check out the English Editing Blog—it has three main catagories:

For those who’ve never brought a manuscript to the level that needs beta-readers or editors, Be Aware—you’ll be forming a Relationship with these people

Also, here are 6 other posts about editors ( since I’m tagging this post with “editor”, you’ll need to scroll past it on your way to the other posts :-)
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

Writers Who Self-Edit

If you’re not a writer, you may not be familiar with the process of internally editing what you’re about to say.


Image Courtesy of Leo Cinezi ~

Some writers aren’t aware they do this—some are plagued by it…

Then, there’s the dreaded internal editorial critic who’s getting in the way of the creative flow of the first draft—judging little things and keeping the important parts penned-up.

Of course, there comes the time of reckoning—after the Muse has done the magic—doing the necessary self-editing of one’s work, even if it will be passed on to other eyes and minds for appraisal.

I found two articles about self-editing that I’ll share with my readers who are writers (and, hope my other readers will share them with their writer friends…).

The first is 5 Steps for Editing a Novel from the Inside Out by Marc Baldwin, owner of edit911.

I find Marc’s article fascinating because he doesn’t talk about grammar and syntax directly; nor does he give you methods for catching typos—he goes above that into what might be called the developmental editor’s mind.

Here are his 5 steps (with explanations in the article…):

  1. Be true to the narrative voice
  2. Assure the characters’ credibility
  3. Attend to the plot
  4. What does it all add up to?
  5. Is it a satisfying, organic story?

Do go read Marc’s full article, especially if you just finished one or more early drafts…

The other article is Writing: How to Self-Edit Your Novel by Jessica Bell.

Jessica gives you some powerful ideas for what she calls editing piece by piece and has a book to back it up—Polish Your Fiction: A Quick & Easy Self-Editing Guide—but I’ll only excerpt the bit that clearly shows the wrong way to self-edit:

“…let’s say you’ve read through the first chapter of your manuscript and the only error you notice is the word cafe lacking the accent on the e. Easy. You fix it. And you make a mental note to catch that as you go along.

“But in the next chapter, you come across an awkwardly structured sentence, an embarrassing grammatical error, a character that is speaking in a way that sounds like another character, and you seem to have used the word look way too many times in one paragraph.

“That’s a lot to fix. But you do it fix it, and all seems like it’s in order.

“But guess what? You were so focussed on fixing these things, that you didn’t notice the other instance of cafe lacking the accent on the e. And now that you’ve reworded a few things, you’ve also buggered up your punctuation, and introduced a new spelling mistake. Whoops.”

I know I have at least one editor who reads this blog (perhaps she’ll add a comment…) but I have many writer-readers—hoping they’ll all add to the Comments :-)
To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
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Self-Publishing On A Poverty Budget

Welcome to the Friday post for the Behind The Scenes of Notes from An Alien series.

This short novel is for sale in print and e-book editions but still also FREE :-)

And, Any questions you may have about the book can be asked in the Comments of Any of these Friday posts.

I do put links to all my posts on Google Plus and the question I’ll answer today came from there:

“Did you have an editor for Notes from An Alien?”

I did and will tell you about her but first I want to talk about authors who self-publish and live below the “Poverty Line“.

The latest figures I have for the U.S.A. say you’re living in poverty if you make less than $23,050 a year.

I live on a military pension and receive $12,372 a year

O.K., it did take me many months to save up what I had to spend but the total for printing and distribution services was $300 through FastPencil (and, that was for both Print and E-book editions).

The cover art was provided free from The Space Telescope Science Institute.FinalCoverNfAAsmall

I added the text on the cover.

Now, we come to what happened when I looked at my funds and wondered how I could afford an editor

I used to work for Book Island in Second Life (you can find out more about that by using the Top Tags widget in the left side-bar).

The owner of the Island had been a publisher in London and recommended I check the universities in my area for Graduate students in the English Departments.

It took me three emails and about two days to be in contact with my editor—Laura Linneman.

I was told by the owner of Book Island that these students are usually willing to do the work with no pay—receiving only the ability to put the job on their resumes.

It was blessedly true in Laura’s case and I naturally gave her an acknowledgement page :-)

Yes, she wasn’t a “Pro” and yes, there were still 12 typos in the text when it was published.


As I related in the previous post, A Book Review That Teaches The Author Something About Typos . . .:

“These typos [four found by a reviewer] were missed by the editor, a number of authors who read the book, and myself

“Yet, before receiving this bit of editorial help, 8 other typos had been identified—typos which this man [the reviewer] didn’t see

“Yes, wonderfully weird proof that we often read a book with typos and never see them.

“And, the typos we do see are often not the ones others see


Now, I should explain what kind of editor Laura was

If you didn’t know there were more than one kind of editor, see the previous post, What Are Editors Good For?.

Laura didn’t fit easily into any of the standard types of editor.

Sure, she did some developmental stuff and did point out some mangled grammar and did spot most of the typos.

But the most important service she offered was delivered after the book was on its way to the publishing-aid company.

I have to call Laura an Emotional and Psychological Support Editor.

Our relationship during the normal phases of editing happened in email and on the phone.

We met in person after that—went to a coffee shop and spent about two hours having a wonderful conversation.

I was feeling like I had postpartum depression.

I was relating every doubt I had about whether the book could actually do what I’d intended.

Laura sat there and, with logic and great compassion, proved that my worries were completely untrue.

So, to wrap up this post, I ask any of you who’ve been through an editorial experience:

Was your editor an Emotional and Psychological Support Editor??
Read more Behind the Scenes posts…
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What Are Editors Good For?

I’ve written here before about editors

And, many writers have some interesting relationships with them.

But, first, it’ll be good to decide what kind of editor we’re talking about.

Here are a couple links that describe various types of editors:




I gave you three because different people have different ideas about not only what kind of editors there are but also what the different editors are supposed to do

I sincerely hope a few readers of this post who are writers and have experience with editors will weigh in on this topic in the Comments.

For those who have no experience, reading the info at those links may give you enough to make a comment or two but I have another idea.

A video with Joel Friedlander interviewing a Developmental Editor, Alan Rinzler. who’s quite well-known in the United States.

By the way, whether or not you’ve had experience with an editor, please don’t believe everything Mr. Rinzler says.

Just like I’ve warned readers about “Rules” for writers, I must warn about “Musts” with editors.

Watch the video, perhaps check the links, think about it, and I’ll meet you in the Comments :-)

To Leave A Comment, Use The Link At The Top-Right of The Post :-)
For Private Comments, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com
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GRAB A FREE COPY of Notes from An Alien

Select as many as you like:

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