Saturday, January 24, 2015
I realized while reading some writing and editing books as well as lurking in various writing groups that there are a lot of authors who don't know that there are different editors out there. I know when I first thought about submitting a story for publication that I had no idea either. Because of this I decided to do a little post about it in case anyone is stumbling around the internet trying to figure it out. First, one has to realize that some editors wear a lot of hats, especially if they work for a smaller publishing company. There are Acquisition Editors (AE), who are in charge of reading through submitted works and deciding if these are right for their house or not or if the manuscript needs a bit more work. Then there are Content Editors (CE). Some CEs are AEs. For all of the publishers I work with as an editor I am labeled a CE but I also do acquisitions. Some of the companies I've published with or have submitted a manuscript to have AEs that accept the story and then a CE who goes through the editing process with me. Line Editors (LE) are in charge of taking your story after it's been through content edits and make sure nothing was missed from your characters' coloring to that comma you forgot to add. Most publishing houses use a Line Editor, but not all of them use a Proofreader. Proofreaders are what some consider as the final line of defense, they are also the ones who are looking at spelling and punctuation rather than anything else. It's a light edit, unless something was missed by a LE concerning consistency. Some of you might be going "Oh, so that's what the Freelance Editor meant when they said line editing versus proofreading." Which leads us to the last editor, a Freelance Editor. Some people don't use them, either because they don't have the money or because they don't think it's needed. A good Freelance Editor can be hard to come by, especially since a story is your baby and you want it treated right. Freelancers are good if you've been attempting to get published but have been met with rejection or if you decide to go the self-publishing route. Concerning using a Freelancer when you've been rejected, they, usually, have the skill to see what it is about your story that has a publishing company rejection your story. Some Freelancers will even offer a consultation, for a fee, where they will go through your story and make notes of what it is that doesn't work in your story. They will usually recommend a level of editing (from light to heavy or Proofreading to Content) and, if you're interested, what their rates are. If you don't have the money for paying the whole editing process, consider asking the Freelancer to do an installment plan. You pay them for editing X number of pages, they do that, and when you have the money ready for the next set of pages, you pay them and they do the edits. This is also a good idea if you're concerned about a Freelancer because if you really don't like their first set of edits, then you can always tell them so in a professional manner and move on to find a different one. Consider, too, if you find a good Freelancer or one who was willing to work with you, offering to write them a review. And, as a repeated reminder, always be professional. As much as you might sometimes think your writing isn't a job, it is.
Wednesday, January 21, 2015
Wednesday, January 14, 2015
So, I had only been planning on a "I'm Back with the Living" post, but decided, as I've been writing a lot lately, that there's something else to talk about. And that's setting goals/resolutions/whatever else you want to call it for the new year. I've seen a lot of people talking about how they try and set themselves a goal at the start of the year and how, by the end of January, it's already fallen through. Now, I'm not saying I'm an expert, because I'm not, but some other people have mentioned how trying what other people recommend doesn't work for them. And I, personal, think that's because you have to take an idea and adapt it for yourself. For me, I read an author who said to keep their writing on track they make a table in a document and write the month in one column, their word goal in another, and what they actually wrote. They also kept a notebook on them and wrote down what they wrote each day. I stared at that idea and realized it might work. I'd heard from others that they tried to set day word count goals, but that didn't work for me. This, though, just might. I've done NanoWrimo (Nation Novel Writing Month for anyone who hasn't heard of it, and there are a lot, I know. I have to remind my family each year and I've been participating for a few), so this would be somewhat like that. That author put down fifty thousand words as their goal each month. I stared at that number and quaked. For one it would be like every month was another Nano novel. I struggle enough with balancing my jobs and writing that that didn't sound appetizing. So I choose a small number. Each month I'd aim for ten thousand. Small enough that I don't feel daunted since this is my first time setting such a goal, but big enough that if I'm having a bad month I feel I can still make it. My only exceptions are November (when NanoWrimo takes place) and December (which I put as five thousand because after a Nano I'm drained). Then I set up an Excel spreadsheet because that's what I use during Nano to track my progress. I made two tabs, one that would have my month total, and the second was my January day total (I'll add each month as they come as a new tab, but no need to clutter the spreadsheet just yet). Since I don't tend to write anywhere but on my laptop, it works better than a planner. For the first six days I averaged about a thousand words a day. And, after fourteen days, my total is over twenty thousand. Do I expect this to continue? Not really, no. But I can hope it will, and I can look back when I'm having a tough month and go "You know what? I managed over twenty thousand words in January. Even though I'm only at five thousand this month, I'm still on track to reach my goal at the end of the year." And it will also remind me that meeting your goals needs to be realistic. Which is why I also tend to set a word count goal for each story I write. I look at the idea I have written and think, "Do I have enough of a setting in my own mind? Enough detail? Will all of it be included?" If it's a contemporary novel I expect it to be a smaller word count than a fantasy novel. And if my word count goal for a story manages to boost my monthly word count, all the better. Just like with anything else, your writing goals need to be realistic. And I hope, whether you're a writer or someone you know is one, that this idea might help them, because time management is a pain in most everyone's butts, and we can all use a little help sometimes. -Ann Anderson
Hello everyone! So, yay, I'm back on my blog. I've spent the past year collecting myself—kind of like a long, drawn-out quest—and I'm taking steps to alter my work environment so I can write more. I hope to write more adult fiction as well as young adult through this coming year. As well as keeping active in promoting my books. That's part of what I did this past year is figure out how to promote myself. I'm a rather reclusive, introverted person who shies away from most social interactions (though people tell me I'm not all that bad at them), but it's the psychological effects that stall my tongue and have me second guessing myself. But you don't want to hear about that. Instead, if you're wondering what I've been doing in 2014, there was a lot going on. On my editing side, one of the authors I had worked with on several stories passed suddenly and it was a bit scary to learn about since we were close in age and had, I like to think, a great bond. Then, not even a few months later, the place I work at tells me I might not have insurance. I applied for it through my company, had it for a month, then, after everyone else had closed their doors, they dropped me because I "didn't have enough average hours". I was a bit terrified of that too. Tried for a few months to sign up with one of the options about having lost insurance, but it didn't work. That's life though. I signed up as soon as early enrollment was available and have insurance. Yay! Aside from that we had to put down one of our companions, our eighteen year old cat who was also our first cat. It was heartbreaking and I still miss her. As for what I hope for in 2015, I have a YA written and partially edited that I hope to have fully edited by the middle of February so I can begin submitting it places. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it'll be accepted somewhere, whether with an agent or publisher is fine. I also have a story, two parts, that is in the editing stages and I hope to have submitted somewhere by March. That one's an adult (M/M). I'm also working on a sequel, or two, for other stories. If you're hoping one of those sequels is for my free Goodreads story Bound by a Red Thread then we're in the same boat. My characters might finally have an idea of where they want to go after I've done research on several topics. I want to redeem my bad boy, but it will be a journey, for both of them. That's all for now. I hope everyone has a fantastic start to this new year. -Ann Anderson