Editorial Services

Editorial Services

I’m offering my editorial services and currently will only have 3 slots open at a time as I finish each project. What I’ll initially do is offer a free edit for the first 5 pages so that way you can see what my editing style is like. My prices are also affordable because I don’t need to live off this money just yet. Here is some experience I have in the editorial/writing department:

  • Author of When Stars Die, published by AEC Stellar Publishing, being re-released by Gnome on Pig Productions
  • Have edited books for various clients, including Lauren Hammond, a former literary agent
  • Beta read for Georgia McBride’s editorial clients
  • Edited YALITCHAT’s website
  • Edited newsletter for YALITCHAT
  • Slush pile reader for The Oddville Press
  • Executive editor for Sorean: A Gothic Magazine
  • Founder of The Corner Club Press
  • Tutor for writing center at my previous university
  • Have had short stories and poems published

I offer three services: proofreading, copy editing, and substantive editing. Proofreading is where I simply look for little grammatical errors and typos. Copy editing is where I look at each sentence and determine the best way it can be written. Substantive editing is where I tear the book apart and look at plot, structure, character development, and so on and so forth. The substantive editing is my priciest service because it does take more time to complete than the other two services. My prices are listed below.

bird-writing-style-backgroundYou can e-mail me at thedancingwriter@gmail.com if you are interested! It’s first come, first serve, and I’ll give you an estimate on how long you may have to wait before I can get to your project. I try to complete a single project in two weeks.

The Madness of…Blurb Etiquette?

The Madness of…Blurb Etiquette?

Rachelle Gardner, a literary agent, has an interesting post about blurb etiquette here written by a guest  blogger.

I just recently did a blurb for a novel called COUNTRYSIDE by Jess Cope that will be released by Village Green Press LLC, a partnership publisher. The editor put out a call for blurbs on Facebook, and I decided to do it not only because the blurb of the book sounded interesting, but just because I thought it’d be cool to see my name either on or in the book. Her book reminded me of Dianna Wynne Jones’s books, so I compared the author to her.

When I received the author package from my contract manager for the first time and discovered one part wanted reviewers, I was completely dumbfounded on how to do that. Not only that, but I felt shy about doing it, even though it was just over the internet. How was I supposed to approach people about reading my book and doing a review and/or quote? I wasn’t sure if I should put out a call publicly because I had no idea if that would look bad or what, so I ended up approaching people personally, gathering about 10 interested people.

Of course, that wasn’t enough, and I was slightly deterred because one reviewer was nervous about giving her e-mail, and someone on Tumblr told me it raised red flags because of the potential for spam. As I searched around the internet, I realized it was common of people to send out calls asking for reviewers in exchange for free ARCs. I then realized there was nothing red flaggy about it, and you have to get the word out somehow. So I swallowed my shyness and put out a call on here, Tumblr, Goodreads, Twitter, and my Facebook page. I received most of my reviewers from Goodreads and here, a few on Twitter and Tumblr, and I think none on my Facebook page.

I wasn’t searching for big names like the author in Gardner’s link because, well, I’m an unknown. But I did get a few known names around the young adult community, one being a literary agent who helps out with YALITCHAT, and a writer who also helps out with YALITCHAT. But I knew these people and had worked with them at one point for YALITCHAT. So I wasn’t fighting for anything. They were eager. And of course Shannon Thompson, but she’s a given.

But I asked your everyday reader, so I didn’t have any difficulties collecting reviewers, and I’m also not too concerned about getting quotes because how many non-writers who read actually care about the quotes? I don’t read them when deciding whether or not to get a book. I find them at the last minute and think they’re cool, but they don’t influence me too much. It’s the cover, the blurb, and the first page that draw me into a book–but mostly the cover and the blurb. So when I put out a call, I was seeking reviewers, potential word-of-mouth people. However, I sought these people out very early. Just because I have 50+ right now doesn’t mean that all are still going to be able to do it. Ideally I hope they are just as eager as  they are now, but that’s why I sought out 50+. I thanked every single person who was eager to help and even thanked the ones who weren’t certain they would like the book but offered to help anyway.

For some reason the process was very easy for me. I have seen writers put out calls for reviewers, even put Free ARCs in the topic line, and just couldn’t get any bites, not on Goodreads or anywhere else. But I suppose it’s because not only did I have an interesting summary but I am very personable and don’t shy away from interacting with any of my fan base. So I suppose if you want the process to be easy, make sure you’re personable as well, have a strong summary, are grateful for each and every person who gives you even a modicum of attention, and ask in the right places. AND DO IT BEFORE THE RELEASE OF YOUR BOOK, ESPECIALLY IF YOU’RE SELF-PUBLISHING! That is ridiculously important.


Publishing a Book: A Single Interview Question

Publishing a Book: A Single Interview Question

I really don't drink. I can't drink anyway because of my meds.
I really don’t drink. I can’t drink anyway because of my meds.

So someone, after scouring through my Tumblr, posed this question to me, and while I already answered it, I decided to create a better answer in the form of a blog post.

Was it difficult to get to where you are today? What did you have to do?

Yes, it was difficult. I had to pretty much struggle on my own because while I did find decent beta readers, they couldn’t do for my story what needed to be done–the sequel to When Stars Die. While they were able to point out what was wrong, they couldn’t step outside of the box and present to me a different way of going about it. Instead they were trying to fix what was already there instead of what wasn’t there, and I needed the latter. I just didn’t know it at the time.

It wasn’t until I stumbled across YALITCHAT and decided to intern for its Founder did I really begin to learn how to write. She obliterated my first chapter. I was so daunted at first because I never had anyway tear the chapter apart. In fact, people loved it, but they were only trying to fix what was there. The founder told me to start my story earlier, that the chapter could work if I did that, and I was just astonished. How come no one had ever told me that before? How come it took a professional freelance editor who charges a hefty sum to tell me that? Perhaps I should have learned to reach outside the box myself, but no one was telling me that.

I had a short story published before meeting this brilliant woman, but novels are so much different, and at the time, I was more of a short story writer, even though I wanted to be a novelist. It was lucky I had never subbed a novel before though because I probably would have learned some very difficult lessons. So I interned for her and she looked over my book. My writing was spot on, but my novel storytelling skills needed some work, and I learned immense amounts from her on the art of storytelling, something that, in spite of reading many writing books and receiving critique from others, I couldn’t manage on my own. I was lucky, blessed even, to have found her. I had to work hard for her, and she in turn worked hard for me.

As soon as she sent me critiques, I got right to work on them and sent them back to her within two hours. I struggled the most with chapter three. I re-wrote that thing five times before finally understanding that something needs to develop every chapter, be it character or plot. She believed in me and my story, as did I.

Unfortunately, for reasons that have nothing to do with her editing, we had to part ways, but I took what I learned from the sequel and applied it to When Stars Die. The sequel couldn’t work as a first book because there was so much information within the first half alone, so I had to unearth the prequel and get to work on it because it spread the information over the entire book. The sequel simply reiterates it and reveals more historical background of my world. I re-wrote When Stars Die five times to get it to its current story. It was not easy, especially because I was going over everything by myself, with no one reading it, not even a single word or sentence. After I re-read it a sixth time, I finally sent it out to my beta reader and took a break from writing (because of burnout and depression).

Depression made me apathetic about my writing career. I no longer cared about When Stars Die. I couldn’t even care that my beta reader loved it. She even had chapter-by-chapter notes for why she loved it, instead of simply shoving it back at me only saying she loved it with nothing else. But I had to get my stuff together. I couldn’t throw away  a childhood dream because depression was trying to tell me the happiness I sought wasn’t worth it. I found AEC Stellar, took a chance, and got an acceptance within a few days. I was, again, lucky and blessed. So even though I got accepted on a first go around, I had to pull teeth to get myself as a writer into shape to be able to create the story found within When Stars Die without needing a professional telling me this is what I should do. Now, of course, I’m going to have edits, but the point is that I was able to do this on my own, with only one beta reader, because the Founder of YALITCHAT taught me how to be my own self-editor.

It is never easy to become a great writer. A good writer. Even a decent writer. We can dream, but we also need to strip ourselves of this grandeur that we have when approaching writing. Any published writer will tell you that in spite of having a contract, it is no fairytale getting there.

My Editorial Dream

My Editorial Dream

I’ve wanted to be an editor since I was in the eighth grade butchering my classmates’ stories and realizing how much I enjoyed doing content editing and copy editing. So I began my serious study of the English language because, frankly, public education doesn’t teach English that well, and it was up to me to fill in the holes of my education (like how to REALLY use commas, not just commas in a list). But it wasn’t until college did I start to take this career path seriously, especially considering I knew I would need credentials before even interning or at least working at a local magazine.

This was the first magazine where I received some editorial experience as a slush pile reader.

After being published in The Oddville Press, I came across a thread on their associated website that was asking for slush pile readers. Having no experience, I expressed my desire to be one due to my love of the English language and wanting some editorial experience. So they took me on as a slush pile reader where I finally got experience on the other side of things. One thing I learned from them: that first page is critical because there are lots of other subs to read and if I don’t like that first page, I might as well pass on it because it’s just time consuming to read a manuscript that doesn’t interest me. I slush piled with them for about a year before they ended the magazine because we just couldn’t keep everyone together, but it was an experience I was happy to be a part of. It’s a small step toward achieving a dream, after all.

This was my next place of editorial experience.

After The Oddville Press caved, I somehow stumbled across this gothic magazine–even though I can’t remember how. I saw it was a brand new magazine looking for some staff members, and I decided to apply as an Executive Editor. Not only did I have The Oddville Press as experience, but I was an editor for my high school’s newspaper (I really don’t count it because I didn’t have too much of a say in how things were done), and I wrote for the teen section of my local newspaper. The owner of the magazine decided to bestow me with the title, and I got to work right away writing articles, editing the articles of others, editing fiction, writing fiction, doing some photography, looking for poetry and photography, and seeking out ads to put in the magazine. I even edited a few pieces for a program we were trying to do for teen journalists. I even wrote an entire style guide for the magazine based off the Chicago Manual of Style because I noticed my style of editing differed from the other editor’s style of editing, and we needed one style in order to give the magazine some consistency. So I learned loads working for Sorean. But I eventually had to leave because Sorean was on a break, and I needed to move on, as, during my stint at Sorean, I got called on as an editorial and communications intern for YALITCHAT. I was also working at my university’s writing center at the time, where I learned a lot too and began receiving clients for my freelance editing.

This was my third place of editorial experience, and I received the most experience here that pretty much allowed me to go on and do freelance editing.

As an editorial and communications intern, I was in charge of keeping the website edited, maintaining a list of paid members, maintaining Georgia McBride’s marketing plan, assisting Georgia McBride with with her beta readers, and even her own manuscript on occasion; editing and formatting the newsletter; writing for the newsletter (of which I did like two or three times); vetting query submissions for the agent inbox (at YALITCHAT, if your query gets approved, it gets sent to an agent who puts it as top priority versus those that haven’t been vetted); line editing query letters ready to go to an agent; and assisting with member concerns and greeting new members. I learned enormous amounts about editing from Georgia McBride who edited half of my manuscript. I also learned loads just from beta reading for some of her clients when she wanted to prove a point to her client because he/she wasn’t willing to make the changes needed to better the manuscript. Unfortunately, this is when fibro began to attack me and I had to resign. I just couldn’t do it. Plus, I was in the process of forming my own literary magazine.

This is my magazine, my baby, my creation that would not have been possible without my dear friend Daphne Maysonet.

In truth, I wanted my own literary magazine for the longest time, but I had no experience and had no idea how to go about starting one. But because of all the experience I received from my previous editorial stints, I finally received the knowledge on both the editorial and business ends of how to start one. That, and meeting Daphne, who was interested in helping me make this happen, birthed The Corner Club Press (so named because we sat in the corner of the classroom with our friends and called ourselves The Corner Club). I enjoy every moment of getting to make this magazine come alive. I used to do the photography, but lately all my photography ideas have mainly been for my novel and I can’t come up with any that can comply with a magazine. I still edit, and it is a joy being able to make someone’s day just by sending them an acceptance–even though we do not pay. I love interacting with the writers on the Facebook page because I aim to be personal with everyone who likes us. Even though there have been times where I’ve had to take long vacations from this literary magazine, I have always came back to it because people want to be in it no matter what. And I want to be fair to the writers who submit to us because, well, without writers this magazine wouldn’t exist. Seriously.

I currently am existing in my editorial dream. I’m not being paid for The Corner Club Press, but I certainly do get paid for my freelance editing, of which wouldn’t be possible without all the editorial experience I’ve earned the past few years. I love having my own magazine, my own project, and I love being a freelance editor because I get to function as a teacher and watch my clients grow as writers. That is invaluable experience I would not give up for anything.