No matter how many grammar books you read and how often you reread your manuscript, you will want to hire a professional editor for your manuscript before self-publishing it.
For those on a tight budget, I suggest checking out the website Upwork. It has thousands of freelancers and you can search by skills, rates, test scores, and regions. Upwork is very user friendly, and it takes less than half an hour to set up your profile and post your project.
Upwork will ask you how much you are willing to spend, and potential candidates can filter you project by this category and other factors. If you see a particular freelancer you wish to work with, you can invite him to your project. If not, sit tight. In less than a day, you should expect to receive at least 15 to 20 responses.
Besides a cover letter, you can see how many jobs each interested freelancers has performed, how satisfied their clients were, whether they have worked on projects similar to yours previously, and what their scores were on grammar and punctuation tests.
In addition to this, Upwork has a wonderful customer service that will assist you with any queries.
The downside of using Upwork is that a lot of times you will get people who are trying to make quick money and are doing this job on the side. Many freelancers will do the minimum of work required to satisfy you.
Unlike agencies, who put a lot of effort into maintaining clients, freelancers might think more short-term and try to take on as many projects as possible within a week or a month. This in turn means that they will earn more money, but that your project will receive less time and attention.
When thinking about cost vs. value, you want to check how many rounds of edits are included. You might think that the agency is charging way more than a freelancer, but you are actually receiving more value if the agency reads your work twice and offers advice on the edits you’ve made. Freelancers don’t have to look over your work a second time. And if you want two sets of eyes, you will have to hire two freelancers.
At an agency you won’t just see an anonymous portfolio, saying that a freelancer completed project XYZ. Most agencies will tell you what type of books they have edited, and you can check out those books on Amazon or other online stores to get a feeling for the quality of the performed work.
Whether you decide to go with an agency or a freelancer, make sure you ask for references and a sample edit. In a sample edit you will submit the first few pages of your manuscript and it will be edited for a set fee. I suggest sending the first three chapters to 3-5 people. This will give you a good idea for how well, in-depth the agency/freelancer is, allow you to properly compare you hires, and determine which is the best fit for you. You should also be able to gauge a general turnaround time and how much of a priority you are for them.
Below I’ve created a list of questions you should ask somebody before hiring them for an editing project.
- What type of books have you edited in the past?
- Do you have experience in my genre? How vast is that experience? It makes a difference whether someone edited 1 vs. 50 fantasy books.
- What is the price of your services? Do you charge per hour or per word?
- How quick is your turnaround time?
- If you write a series, you might prefer to work with the same editor on all the books. Ask whether they would be available to do so. An editor who is familiar with your work will be able to point out inconsistencies in a series.
- How many rounds of edits will you perform? Do you provide a second set of eyes? This normally applies only to agencies. If you hire a freelancer from Upwork or a similar site, you will have to hire a second freelance editor to perform a second check.
Whatever route you decide to take, make sure you leave enough time between the editing process and the submission process. If you’re using Amazon’s pre-order option, set a deadline for yourself that is realistic and includes buffer time for emergencies, sick days, etc.
The Secret Circle meets Sookie Stackhouse in this pulse-pounding, fast-paced paranormal series.
Torn away from her high school graduation, Sierra Reeves discovers that everything she thought she knew is a lie.
In a flash, she’s no longer a normal girl preparing for college, but a Fluidus—a rare supernatural with telekinetic powers. Her new abilities attract the attention of both the Ardere regency and the Culpatus, a group that wants to overthrow the supernatural government. Fearful for Sierra’s future, her grandmother decides to leave their home state Vermont and hide out in Savannah, Georgia.
In Savannah, Sierra forms an alliance with the overprotective and handsome Ardere marshal Gavin McLoughlin. With his help, she slowly accepts her new powers and that she’s a part of the supernatural community.
Just when Sierra begins to settle into her new life, her world is rocked again. In addition to the Culpatus discovering her location, a serial killer is on the loose in Savannah.
Fighting to control her developing power, and facing danger on multiple fronts, Sierra will have to use all her resources to stay alive.
Fluidus Rising is the first book in the Dark Legacy series.
Available on Amazon
Those of us that type a lot will most likely encounter wrist pain or strain at one point or another. When writing a detailed outline for one of my books, I found myself typing over 7k for several days. I was proud of the amount of work I had completed but the progress came at a price. My right wrist and finger joints began to ache. Below I’m going to share what has helped me to recover from the pain.
First of all, let me say that I was typing away at an 11 inch MacBook Air. I’ve chosen this particular laptop since it’s small size and light weight made it very portable. Unfortunately its small and thin keyboard forced my wrists into an unnatural position and didn’t provide much support for my joins.
After much research on ergonomic keyboards I’ve decided to purchase Microsoft’s ergonomic keyboard. It is slightly elevated and the keys are split in the middle. Both allows for a more natural wrist position, thus relieving some of the pain. The adjustment time was fairly quick and one month later I’m very happy with my purchase.
However, the first few days after straining my wrist, I needed something to alleviate the pain. Futuro does great wrist supports that doesn’t constrict your movements and still allows you to type comfortably. Futuro products can be purchased at drugstores and supermarkets and can be washed if needed.
While I have tried a few pain alleviating crèmes, I wasn’t too happy with the results. Personally, they didn’t do much for me and I didn’t enjoy the tingle. I also didn’t feel comfortable relying on them long-term.
What made a big difference however was purchasing a hand therapy exercise kit. It came with three balls of different firmness and instructions on how to perform eight simple exercises. I found it easy to integrate those exercises into my daily routine and strengthen my wrists and arm muscles.
If you suffer from wrist pain, don’t ignore your symptoms. Listen to your body and find ways to alleviate the pain. Consider an ergonomic keyboard, wear a temporary wrist brace and strengthen your forearm muscles.