• Bridges Washington

Now, on to find an editor (part 2)

Updated: Dec 20, 2019

After clearing the technical issues and receiving an acceptable sample edit, there were a couple of other details that needed clarification. We exchanged a couple of other communications, in part to set my mind at ease and clarify other issues. Due to the delays, I caused to the original work timeline we agreed on to need an update to the due date before the agreement was official.

I had initially posted my project during the first week of January. The comments from potential editors were due within a week. After clearing the hurdles, I just mentioned the agreement started the last week of January with a deposit that was roughly one-third of the total fee. There was an additional payment required a couple of weeks later, and the final payment was due upon completion. The full price for my approximately 45,000-word work was $700 Canadian. The marketplace I used charges a %10 fee on top of the fee quoted to support the platform. This fee worked out to be just under $600 US or about 1.3 cents per word, for those who are seeing editing estimates quoted that way. I know from my first hunt for an editor that pricing per word is typical, and there are a few that quote by page, which seems unnecessarily complicated given that they usually cite 250 words as the definition of a page.

Now we move on to a little bit of anxiety while waiting to see just how extensive the edits would be. After about a month, I received the edited document. I made a quick visual pass through the edits and realized that the edits did start to wain a bit as the book progressed likely due to a little self-education attained during the writing process of a first-timer. One thing that jumped right off a page was that he must have taken a coffee break at some point and lost his place; there was a section of the book that had no edits. I quickly pointed out the oversight, and he returned the edits for those three or four pages to me within 24 hours. Given the #WritingCommunity disdain for editing, I can understand a few hiccups along the way.

Next up was for me to take another walk through my project to accept, reject, or rewrite sections based on the edits received. This process was nearly as painful as the edits I had already made, except the upside to this time were that these suggestions came from a completely disinterested person who exposed a few areas that might be unclear to future readers. Ultimately, I would guess that I accepted about 90% of the suggestions, rejected about 5% outright, and rewrote about 5% of the edits. This process took me about a week to trudge through, but I was committed to presenting the message in the best way I can. Would I do it again? Yes. Overall the experience was a positive one, and I relearned quite a bit about writing that I once knew, but had forgotten due to various professions over the years.

At this point, the original 53,000-word work had been reduced initially to 45,000 words, and now it lost about 3,000 more due to this edit to land at about 42,000 words. So the work is in good shape, but it isn't a book yet. Now to work through the rest of the anatomy of a book. I am thinking about all the little things that collectively create a package that is fit for consumption and makes someone hungry enough to consume it.

So where do you start? Well, I started by poking around a couple of book publishing organizations to find a source for this new vocabulary I would need to continue to finish composing this package. While the ebook format has continued to make gains in the book industry, there are still many consumers in one's potential audience who probably favor the feel of holding and the even the smell of the real deal. I have read plenty of books in using either format. The genre of a book tends to influence which format I lean toward per title. As a first-timer, I don't think that I could start building a book without designing based on a print version.

Working on creating a book this way means that I have answered more of the questions, then whichever ebook format I would choose would mean simply replacing some information and outright removing other pieces. While it is not quite as simple as that sounded, ebook sellers typically only feature the front cover, so I you have the artwork for the entire cover (front, back, and spine for paperback) you have more information than you need and can simply crop the extra information out prior to publishing the information to the seller's site. The other bonus in thinking print first is resolution. Print work usually starts at 300 dpi (dots per inch) and digital-only work is typically done at much lower resolutions. It is much easier to compose at higher resolution and reduce than it is "manufacture" pixels by resampling work to get there and the results are not usually as good. But where to start?

As the composition of the cover could take some time, picking a standard printed book size seemed a natural choice. If you have spent any time in your local library or a favorite book store, you know that the written word can we wrapped in all shapes and sizes of packages. However, the genre that you have written for would now come into play. Consumer expectations can be a big influence as some genres tend to favor specific sizes. Ultimately, I chose US trade, AKA 6 inches by 9 inches, to begin composing the package for my words.

Next step, building a printed book.

Please let me know if this post gave you something to consider in the comments below. Good or bad let me know what you think, this is about starting a dialogue. If this post made you think about your own relationships or those of someone you know like and share it with them. If you are interested in other topics check out some of my previous posts and subscribe to get email notifications of new posts.

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