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Murphy Hooker, Coauthor, Ghostwriter, Editor, & Screenwriter

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Looking for a professional book editor? You’ve come to the right place!

Get a great cover designed and formatting and possibly editing — there are plenty of comments about that above. Get all the people you interviewed to share the book too.

Then price at 2. This sounds like a really good way to approach it. I have finished a novel and am working on book two. I had to go through buying a computer and transferring it. My books are in the fantasy genre. I have been editing and re-editing it so I can get it ready for an ebook. As a result the story does flow a lot better.

A good editor is a treasure… Also I am in no hurry to publish until the story has been made the best it can be. Going through the second round of edits now, and having a good, professional cover designed.

After that the pre-pub campaign and then it is time to make the book live, market it and hope for the best. And control the situation as much as you can. Start reviewing books in your genre and put those reviews on high traffic sites, and your own book.

Start writing about topics that attract your target readers. Do big, evergreen posts that are interesting enough to share. Partner with authors in your genre start promoting their books. Find ways to help them out. Help other authors to get them to link to your site. Contests are amazing for traffic, followers and more email subscribers. Learn enough about design to make your own covers. Use Canva or Wordswag to make simple, nice looking covers on your own. Use giveaways to build a big email list of readers of my genre.

Get some of those authors to give me an editorial review, maybe 5 or Use the big list I made with giveaways; ask them to download my book for free and review it. Publish the book on the same day as another bestselling book in my genre mainstream gets published.

Offer big launch rewards, ie if they buy 10 copies of your book they earn some great prize. Post some of the content on your blog. Make an awesome piece of evergreen content that appeals to your target readers, email all those blogs again and ask them to share it a really easy way to do this: Say nice things about lots of people, link to them, tell them about it, hope they share and link back. This should have come earlier, but make sure your Amazon page is perfect: Set it up and send traffic.

Plenty of handy info in this article. Not to mention, cheers on your own effort! If it will cost too much to edit a book because it is badly written, then perhaps you should be advising against publishing that book at all.

My response to your article: Thanks for writing that article, I appreciate your comments. Books should be clean. When I publish books, out of 80, words I may still have ten typos.

If you publish a book full of errors, nobody will get into the story. It has to be clean. There are much cheaper and easier ways to improve your writing — like studying story architecture and plotting. Plus, after getting an edit, they may have learned a lot, but may still not have a marketable book.

Is it still a great lesson? But I suspect the majority of writers consider editors to be a business expense: I want to make sure the people who hire me earn more than they spend; and I want to make it easier for writers to publish their books and find readers early, cheaply, and without frustration. Get your book as clean as you can, hire an editor if you can afford it if not, get friends and betareaders to help , then put it out there.

Reinvest everything you earn on the book for the first year better editing, better cover design, better authors website, etc. While I will freely admit that my first three books were rubbish, I have certainly read books by newbie authors that were very good. Why is this wrong? Quality in publishing should be key, and not just the story itself. To ask readers to let the author know if there are typos rather than leaving a negative review.

Why should a reader pay for a book and then do the work the author should have done to begin with? I either return the book or never buy another book from that author. If an author is going to ask someone to buy their book, it should be the best book the author can publish. If that means waiting until they can afford to do it the right way, then wait. If a writer is serious about their career, they should be willing to make the investment.

The best marketing an author can have is to put out another great book. There are plenty of ways to market a book for free.

Anyway, this is just an opinion. For the sake of readers everywhere, I hope newbie and even some established independent authors think twice before sidestepping an editor. Because a lot of them are putting un-edited or badly-edited stuff out there.

There are editors who do both and CAN do both efficiently because they have the training and background. Before I ever purchase a book, I read the synopsis on Amazon. Sadly, many of the self published authors I have come across lost me on the synopsis alone. That said, I know the value of having a manuscript edited before publication. However, I know firsthand that hiring an editor is not always possible. In my situation, I am a single mom with three young children living on a below poverty income.

Many told me that my story changed their lives and they are grateful I shared this true story so they could benefit from it. Now, I am preparing the manuscript for my second book—a fiction novel—and still, an editor is an expense I cannot afford.

Because of my situation, I doubt I will ever have an extra 3 months of income saved up to put into my book unless I can get a few books published and begin to make some money from them. I am working hard to write and rewrite and get feedback from beta readers and critiquers so I can make my book the best it can be. I am reading books about writing and practicing the techniques they teach.

Why should I deny myself the dream of publishing what I believe to be a good, well-written story simply because the circumstances of my life currently prevent me from rising above poverty?

I really liked your article. I often feel that some self-published authors feel that hitting spell and grammar check on their word processor serves the same function, and that often leaves their stories with meandering plots, flat, overblown, or inconsistent characters, disjointed and distracting point-of-view changes, etc.

On the other hand, there is a lot of great self-published stuff out there. I hired an editor at huge expense once to review 10 pages of my manuscript. She came back with some good suggestions, which were immediately contradicted by the next professional to review it. If I wanted to re-write and ask for her assessment of the new material, I would have to pay a discounted rate, which I could not afford.

It was a wholly unhelpful experience. The thing is, not everyone with a story to tell, has the money to invest in an editor. Obviously you did or borrowed to do it. There are possibly many great writers out there with talent who have thrown their book in a drawer, because of limited finances. To say you definitely have to have an editor, sound like the talk of an editing company that will take your money and most times not promote the book. Same with inventions, do the work yourself if you can.

Companies like InventHelp advertised by by George Foreman will take 15 grand off you and give you not what you were expecting. Have other people read your book and give feedback. Not everyone is a complete idiot who is not an editor. Believe me, they will tell you your mistakes and if the book is good. I agree that editing must be done in stages, but not that one should consider whether one needs an editor or not.

Every book needs an editor, especially first time authors. They should forget about whether they get their money back or not and consider it a. What you should be considering is not whether you need one or not, but how to find the right editor for you at the right price. You have covered the field well, so where can I jump in with a comment?

I have been writing professionally for most of my varied careers. I am currently adapting my screenplays into e-novels. I Rewrite, and change, and cut, and shift scenes, and maul the characters, and the story, even unto a single word, until I feel that I cannot improve it, This is when I seek the comments of professional readers.

I write to engage the reader in the first 10 pages… and the last 10 pages. Thanks for the great post Derek. Very useful to read through all these comments as well and see all the differing views. The relief of finding an excellent editor who did a structural edit for me was immense. The rewriting no problem after that as I found it so encouraging.

Having a copy edit done then gave me the confidence to publish it at all. Editing is essential for every book, imo. I imagine that he probably publishes without the help of an editor at this stage in his illustrious career — but it showed in this book. What on earth do you mean by these terms? I realise that explanations of these terms would probably triple the length of your article, but without some idea what you mean the amateur novelist will be none the wiser after reading your article imo.

Nice image, Karl, about re-arranging the deckchairs on a sinking Titanic! There are of course many different kinds of editing, ending with line-editing — re-arranging the deckchairs, a humble but very important task, which if neglected upsets the good reader. What upsets him or her even more, though, is, primarily, redundancy and cliche, the hallmark of most debutant writers, and secondarily lack of originality of vision.

Actually, make that a critique partner, a structural editor, beta readers and a copy editor. And I will have self-edited my ms to within one centimetre of its life before it goes near the last two. I was a professional translator for over 20 years still a Member of the Chartered Institute of Linguists and ran my own company, translating, editing and proofing a few million words by the time I sold my business. I was reckoned to be quite good at editing, but I know enough to know that I need a team to work with me.

Very well said, Alison. I have a professional editor who does everything for my work, from structural through copy editing. Wow, how refreshing this article is. Yeah, I totally agree. I just wanted to write one story, fulfill a fantasy. A while ago I read an internet articles on editing basics, and I immediately saw need for adjustments throughout my work.

Some of us have unacknowledged talent—the ability to edit our own books. This is a refreshing read. I paid for an editor because I read that was what you should do, but not a lot of editing was done maybe not required?

I have in mind a few beta readers and again my husband! Very practical advice and I liked the most this line: I am editing with the help of my mother who is a German teacher and with my grandmother suggestions. The first three edits were the most difficult.

When the text is not that rough, becomes easier. Now I read for myself and I have really an eye, because I instantly notice stylistic flows, the small ones you mentioned. What do you think Derek, how many editors will I need once my fiction novel is translated?

I am aiming at a native American translator, living in my country from decades. If she agrees, would it be sufficient? I come across a lot of books not properly or well edited. In my very humble view its makes for difficult reading. You loose the thread by having to go back and re-read the sentence so it makes sense. Critique from someone who will not spare your feelings is invaluable, and makes writers better, no matter the stage of their career. I have self-published unedited or barely edited short stories, and coasted on style and voice.

But most writers cannot get away with that. Frankly, writers of terrible books should hire editors just to save us from them. The point is, that you I hope in your professional expertise have a deep understanding of the subtlety of the issue.

Unless you truly believe those sound bites, in which case please crawl in a deep hole and pull the hole in after yourself, so as to save the rest of us from the poor deluded saps who may listen to your terrible advice.

And congratulations, John, on having the courage to tell writers that their work was not good enough for publication. You are one of a rare breed, my friend. We are not so stupid that we are unable to understand the meaning of this article. Obviously, the author is informing us new, inexperienced writers that paying a ton of money for an editor is useless if the content is no good.

He then offers less expensive alternatives to help us figure out if our story is good enough or not. What I have taken from this article is that doing my own editing and having others read my work before I spend thousands of dollars on an editor is they way I should go. If I get positive feedback on the work I have done and feel confident that I will make more on the book than it costs for editing, then I should hire a professional. I, personally, appreciate this article giving me hope as a low-income, widowed, mother of three that there is a possibility for me to get my book out there without the initial risk of losing thousands of dollars that I need to feed my children.

Did anybody else catch the typo in the article? Will correct them now…. Although I think the story is the important thing, I feel that editing is really important. It should be aimed at telling the story in a tighter way, surely? On the first time novel perhaps? Even with edits, I now read my first published novel and wish I could re-access it and edit more!

Thanks for your feedback Claire, I agree the article is lacking… some sections on pricing got cut because it was too long: For very specific self-editing tips, you can read this article: I understand your feedback. If editing were free of course I would say, every author should get their book edited.

Every author should feel supported. Yes I am judgmental: I think most of them are pretty bad. I understand I can sound like a jerk, because I focus on the bottom line. It pisses some people off. It saves other people a ton of money and helps their books become bestsellers. I expected it to elicit lots of comment and emotion. I must admit I was at first startled by his suggestion that some indie authors should not bother with editors, but I accept his logic and admire his candour for stating his views so clearly.

These will help you pick up all kinds of errors, from typos to plot glitches, without resorting to leaving it to reviewers, as Derek suggests at one point no need to do that — although if a reviewer is kind enough to take the trouble to help you improve your book by telling you about a typo, for goodness sake, be grateful and thank them!

They may not be so kind another time if you are affronted or ignore them. I also encourage some authors to DIY their cover design, which most professionals will say is bad advice.

If you have the money, and are writing something for a specific audience, and you know who they are and how to get in touch with them, by all means invest in your book! You spoke to my heart. This is probably my first and last novel. I have a nack for it, but probably not interested in becoming a writer.

Ok, I understand the sentiment behind this and that there are instances where a novel requires extensive work and this may be difficult for an author to accept. That said, as an editor and author I find this one of the most useless and irritating articles on editing that I have ever read.

How are authors ever going to improve or understand what an editor expects of them if they are not given some guidance when necessary? How can you see potential in an author and their story, even if it is not as great as other stories, and not try to bring that potential out.

Yes, at times it makes you a writing coach, but it also makes the next session of editing with that author and their new book easier. Authors, though very needy and overbearingly reluctant to make changes are not stupid and they are capable of learning how to make their stories better. To only take the time to work on stories you think are either easier to edit or a better story, leaves out all future books that some of these authors will produce if given the guidance and chance.

Yes, editing can be costly, but it does not have to cost an author an unreasonable sum. Also, all editing, should be done in stages, it is less overwhelming for the editor and the author. If the author is shown how content changes help the story and how initial changes improved the structure, it is easier for them to accept and make changes. One of the only ways that this happens is if the editor encourages the author, and does not simply point out all of the flaws and areas that are lacking.

Readers are there to read and enjoy the book not serve as an editing base for authors. Having a book published that is full of errors is irritating to readers and will prompt them to leave horrible reviews for the book. These reviews do not help the sales of books and are very discouraging to authors.

Also, no reader is going to send suggestions to an author in a way that is constructive for the book or the author. Many readers will also never pick up another book by that author if they have had to suffer through no editing or are asked to do that work for the author. I understand why you wrote this article and it was in many ways directed at editors who have experienced many different and irritating interactions with authors.

I am not sure about you all, but that is not the type of editor I am. I would rather take the time and encourage authors, all authors to celebrate and be as successful at their craft as they can be. Even if that means that I have to coach them some. Publishers and agents do this all the time. I think they get enough positive encouragement and support already; I think what they really need is somebody telling them why their books are failing and how they can write better ones that earn money.

There are soooo many failed and frustrated authors out there. Getting a good editor is not the solution to that problem. And I learned the hard way. For a month I wore egg on my face. I always felt guilty for not hiring a content editor when I first began. I found that the feedback I received from the beta readers was much more useful in fixing the problems with the story and my writing in general.

There are two morals to my super long post. First, good beta readers are awesome. Second, when someone tells you you HAVE to do something a certain way, remember that what works for them may not work for you and no two people share the same journey. If you show yourself as a flawed, regular human being struggling to be a writer, readers may connect with you even more than if you had a flawless, professional manuscript. Letting them help out gets them invested in supporting you; you make friends, not just fans.

I do it this way not just to catch the mistakes, but as a marketing trick to build my platform. As a professional writer, editor, and author for almost thirty years, I am horrified by this suggestion. I also offer editorial consultancy, helping clients with limited capacity to create professional digital content and publications in-house.

I shape perfectly clear, crisp and sparkly text that speaks directly to your audience. Her editing exhibits constant good judgement. Thank you so much for this! Thanks for the quick turnaround.

I would love to work with you more in the future! These are brilliant edits. Thanks for being so thorough and catching so much! I provide ongoing editorial support across print and digital content.

I was lead copy-editor for the final outputs of the Humanitarian Evidence Programme. See my full client list.

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