Saturday, April 30, 2011

Professional Editing Is A Must!

Lynn O'Dell of Red Adept Reviews has now ventured into editing!  Here she is to tell us all about it...

We know a lot about your reviewing side but what about your editing side.  How did all that come about?
I think I have always wanted to be an editor. When I began reviewing, I would be most irritated with those books I read that had terrific story lines, but poor editing, causing me to have to lower the star rating.
I soon realized that part of the problem was a lack of inexpensive editing services available. I knew that I could edit for a lower fee than most, as I am an extremely fast reader.
Also, it was my dream job. When I started editing, my boyfriend commented that people were paying me for doing something I loved. He said, “That would be like someone paying me to sit around and drink beer all day.“ 
How important is it to have a book professionally edited?
It is extremely important. Nothing can take the place of a good editor. Beta readers are nice, but they don’t catch every grammatical issue. Friends and family will usually not be as honest as they could be in a misguided effort to not hurt the author’s feelings.
How long does it take you to do an edit normally?
It varies from book to book, depending on the error rate. I can edit anywhere from 25,000 to 40,000 words per day.
Your editing fee is very low, how can you afford to eat? :)
Well, for one thing, I live with my boyfriend. Also, currently, my prices are very low in order to build my portfolio. I have raised them a miniscule amount, and I do expect to raise them a little more around the end of the year. However, I hope to always keep my prices ‘below the norm’ to ensure that Indie authors can afford editing.
Many authors don't know when to stop tweaking their book and get it out to an editor and beta readers?  Any advice?
Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of experience with that end of the process. I have many clients who send their books to beta readers prior to editing and some that engage betas after the editing process, but most consider editing to be in place of beta readers. With so many Indies publishing these days, it’s difficult to find beta readers.
Mostly, I think it is up to the author to decide when their manuscript is ready for an editor. I have had to turn a couple of projects down as they simply weren’t ready. However, I did offer them some commentary and advice, so hopefully it was not a bad experience, but a learning situation.
Do you prefer reviewing or editing work?
I prefer editing by far. With reviewing, I simply have to report problems and errors. With editing, I get to assist the author in fixing the problems.
What are your favorite genres?
That answer changes all the time. I am finding that I enjoy books across almost all genres. The more I am exposed to different genres, the larger my list of “favorites” becomes, to the point that I really have no favorite.
Any other contests coming up?
I have a Scavenger Hunt Contest running currently. I do hope to have many more in the future. Fortunately, ad sales continue to support these.
Any advice to new Indie writers?
If you are working on a book, schedule time with an editor long before you complete it. Many editors are booked months in advance, including myself. You wouldn’t call a carpenter and expect them to come build an addition to your house the next day, would you? Treat requesting an edit of your novel the same way.
Is there anything else you would like to talk about?
My editing services offer an additional perk that many freelance editors don’t. I have a proofreader, Jim Chambers, on my staff. Having a book read by a second set of eyes to catch those little errors that crop up during the editing process is invaluable. Jim is excellent at this. Also, he feels the same way I do regarding keeping prices low so that every Indie can afford editing.

Thanks Lynn, best of luck!


  1. Nice interview. And, great advice about planning ahead with an editor or proofreader months before your book will be ready. Thanks.

  2. Very nice interview. I've been working on a project that should be done in another month or two. It's good to know that I should find my editor in advance.

  3. Thanks all!

    Yes, it's VERY important to schedule with an editor in advance.

    I am booked until the third week in September, with occasional earlier openings due to postponements when books aren't ready on time.

    I’m quite certain that other editors are similarly booked.