Saturday, April 10, 2021
Sunday, March 7, 2021
Saturday, February 6, 2021
Do I Need A Book Editor?
Is your manuscript finished and you find yourself wondering if you need an editor? The answer is most definitely yes. Even the most seasoned authors need an editor! The truth of the matter is you, as the author, are too close to your work to see what it does or doesn’t need. If you don’t spend time and money on a good book editor, everything else you do to publish and market your book won’t matter. A poorly edited book is a waste of time and money. Every dollar you spend promoting an error-prone book might as well be thrown away. If you intend for your book to be read by anyone other than your family and friends, you need to pay for the most extensive book editing that you can afford, and you need to make sure that whoever edits your book is a professional book editor. Depending on the budget you’ve set, all or most of it could—and maybe should—be consumed by editing. Don’t skimp on book editing just so you can publish your book now. The world has waited this long for your book, it can wait until it’s edited. If you can only afford one or the other, hire a good book editor, then save up money to have it published.
When is the right time to hire an editor?
Consider these frequently asked questions, and be brutally honest with yourself in answering them before figuring out if you’re ready:
- Have I done as much as I can to make my manuscript the best I can?
- Am I looking for an editor because I’m tired of looking at my manuscript?
- Have I attempted any self-editing?
- Has any experienced writer read my work? (Tip: find a local writing group or critique group.)
- Do I need to learn more about the craft of writing before proceeding with further work on my book?
- Do I have the nagging feeling that something undefinable isn’t quite working in my manuscript?
- Do I understand the cost, both in time and money, of hiring a professional editor, and have I budgeted for both?
- Do I know the difference between developmental editing and copyediting? And if I’m tired of working on my book but want to get it done, do I have the budget to hire a developmental editor to help me cross the finish line?
- Am I rushing the process simply to crank out another book?
- Am I sending my book to an editor because I’m afraid I don’t have what it takes to be a writer? In other words, am I hoping that a professional editor can shape my goo into the masterpiece I have in my mind?
Now that you know you’re ready for an editor, you need to also know that there are different types of book editing—including developmental editing, copy editing/line editing, and proofreading—for different stages of the publication process. You have to decide which type is best for you, and then find an editor you feel you can work well with. Make sure you get references, or read their testimonials, and have them edit a sample for you.
· Developmental editing, also called content or substantive editing, involves an editor providing detailed feedback on “big-picture” issues. They’ll refine your ideas, shape your narrative, and help you fix any major plot or character inconsistencies. Basically, they’ll look at just about every element of your story and tell you what works and what doesn’t.
· Copy editing, or line editing, is to bring the author’s completed manuscript to a more professional level. A copy edit helps create the most readable version of your book, improving clarity, coherency, consistency, and correctness. The goal is to bridge any remaining gaps between the author’s intent and the reader’s understanding.
What elements do line editors consider?
A line editor examines and corrects the following elements in your work:
- Word usage and repetition
- Dialogue tags
- Usage of numbers or numerals
- POV/tense (to fix any unintentional shifts)
- Descriptive inconsistencies (character descriptions, locations, blocking, etc.)
Essentially, while a developmental editor will address overarching issues with your story, the copy editor looks at more minute details. After all, it’d be pretty distracting to your reader if you constantly misuse dialogue tags or misspell the word “restaurant.” Copy editing ensures that errors like these don’t happen, so your writing is as strong as possible, and your reader remains 100% focused on the story.
· Proofreading is the last major stage of the editing process. Proofreaders are the eagle-eyed inspectors who make sure no spelling or grammar errors make it to the final version of your work. They’re extremely meticulous, as they should be—their painstaking review of your manuscript ensures that your text is 100% polished before going to print.
Melissa Ringsted has owned There for You Editing Services since 2011.
She has experience editing for Indie Authors, USA Today and NY Times Best Sellers, as well as several small publishing and large publishing companies.
Melissa has worked with editing in several writing genres. She has worked with articles and blogs, small presses, anthologies, children’s books, middle-grade novels, children’s series, Young Adult, New Adult, Horror, Sci-Fi, and Romance, Interracial Romance, and many more.
Several authors have award-winning books Melissa has had the pleasure of perfecting through the art of editing.
Melissa’s portfolio contains well over four hundred books in her nine plus years professionally editing, and includes several award-winning books.
Dedicated, a pleasure, inspirational, passionate, detail-oriented, insightful, great communicator, honest, and most importantly, professional, are just a few words authors have used to describe Melissa’s talent.
In the words of the award-winning author, Stacey Rourke:
“She’s like the Mary Poppins of books—practically perfect in every way.”
Cover photos of some of the books she has edited can be found at http://www.facebook.com/thereforyouediting.
Wednesday, December 9, 2020
- What made you want to become an author?
I wrote so many short stories during my school years but after I took a different direction as a career path. I woke up every day hating what I did and decided to make a change. I began to study history then came up with an idea for my first book. At that moment I once again found that desire and passion that I had growing up. I was always told to follow my dreams and even though it was later than I had wanted, I did just that.
- Why historical fiction?
History is my passion and one of my many inspirations. I set out to bring different aspects of it to life for my readers. We can learn so much from the past and if I can teach others a small part of it then I have succeeded in achieving one of my goals.
- What else inspires you?
I am very close to my family and even though I had the confidence and willingness to undertake such a change in my career, they were there alongside me every step of the way. Their love and support drive me to take things every further. I collect antiques and holding an object in my hand and thinking about how much history is attached to it also inspires me to write.
- What do you think sets you apart from other historical fiction authors?
One of the many goals I set for myself when I wrote my first book was to bring different aspects of the past to life. I wanted to be unique and I believe the writing style I use will confirm just that.
- How do you come up with story ideas?
Sometimes ideas come to me in an instant and sometimes I will study a particular period of history in depth to come up with a storyline. At present, I have made notes about many other ideas for future books. A few times I have been approached by people who have a family story they want me to write.
- Cecilia House deals with a very sensitive subject, have you dealt with any criticism because of that?
As a writer you have to be prepared to deal with a certain amount of criticism however there have been certain people and organizations who don’t want some aspects of the past to be spoken or written about. This particular subject was upsetting to write but someone needed to be their voice and speak for them when long ago not many were willing to do so. If I provided only a small portion of the research I conducted to those who question my motives, I am sure most of them would change their way of thinking.
- What was the most difficult thing you encountered when writing this book?
I knew once I decided to write it I would come across some disturbing stories and I was absolutely correct in my assumptions. The children who suffered at the hands of those whose responsibility it was to care for and protect them were scared beyond belief while it was occurring but they were just as afraid many years later. You can look into the eyes of a sad child in one of the many very old photos of them from the 1930s and you can immediately see the pain and sadness in their eyes.
- Was it easier to write a book that was based near your hometown?
It was easier from the standpoint of the research because I was able to visit the town and meet the locals. The beginning of the book is set in a city about 15 minutes from me and I grew up spending a lot of time there so I already knew so much about the history of it. Being able to drive through the streets and seeing the old homes helped me provide my readers with a glimpse into life in the late 1930s.
- What have you given up to become a writer?
I gave up living the life most people do, I invested most of my money to publish my first book. My social life ended and it took 8 years before I was able to take a holiday. It made me a better person and I regret none of it.
- What advice would you give to young writers?
Be in it for the long haul, nothing happens overnight. Believe in yourself and use any negative feedback you receive to help you become a better writer.
- Are you available for events such as book signings and book clubs?
Sure! I love getting out there and meeting new people and talking about my books. Unfortunately, like everyone else I have been confined to my home but with the wonders of technology, I use Skype, WhatsApp, and Facebook to connect with my readers.
Wednesday, November 25, 2020
The Life and Times of Sherlock Holmes: Essays on Victorian England Box Set Volumes 1 & 2 by Liese Sherwood-Fabre Genre: Non-Fiction
Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Between the Cracks One Woman's Journey From Sicily to America Book 1 by Carmela Cattuti Genre: Historical Women's Fiction
Frequently Asked Questions Series: How I do research for my novels
Readers often ask me how much research I do for my novels. I thought I would mix things up and do a video instead of writing details about my research. The video is below. Enjoy! There will be an audiobook out soon.
Monday, September 28, 2020
Living Among the Dead: My Grandmother's Holocaust Survival Story of Love and Strength Holocaust Survivor True Stories WWII Book 3 by Adena Bernstein Astrowsky Genre: Biography, Memoir
What do you think about the general knowledge of the Holocaust?
Like most members of my generation, born three decades after the end of World War II, I came to my own story with almost no real understanding of the plight of Jews in the Holocaust, much less that of my own grandmother. With no real, personal connection to the Holocaust, I think it is unrealistic to expect others to have much more than a brief, general understanding of the Holocaust. Unfortunately, as time goes on, this will be even less so. I am very grateful that in my home state of Arizona, legislation is currently being considered to make Holocaust education mandatory. The Holocaust Education bill has passed in the House of Representatives and then will need to be voted on in the Senate before being sent to our state’s Governor to sign it into law. Should this get accomplished, children will be required to learn about the Holocaust as part of the school’s curriculum.
Writing biography as a memoir will become a new genre of books that will be both unique and important for future generations. With the passing of time, and fewer Survivors living, we will have less and less memoirs dedicated to detailing their stories of survival in the first person. As such, we will become more dependent on others to write these non-fiction books outlining the events that took place during the Holocaust. Likely, more second and third generation survivors will need to take over the task of learning the Survivor’s history, doing the research, and writing their story. Doing so will be imperative in order to keep their stories alive and help future generations by learning what is at stake if we don’t stand up against discrimination.
In a nutshell, my grandmother’s story is about a 17-year-old girl who was living in a beautiful community surrounded by friends and close family. As the Nazi regime gained power and Jews were targeted her entire life changed in an instant. She went from being shy and the youngest in her family to being an orphan, alone, and having to fend for herself. Miraculously, she was able to survive three pogroms and escape to the forest where she met some others in hiding. From there she was liberated and eventually emigrated to Canada with her husband, another Survivor she met in the forest, and their young girl. From Canada she moved to the United States and before she passed away, her family totaled 2 daughters, 5 grand-daughters, and 9 great-grandchildren. She left behind beautiful passages of poetry and prose written about her life in Europe, the Holocaust, and her feelings.
Hatred and bigotry led to the worst genocide in world history. While there are so many lessons to be learned from the Holocaust, and while we would expect to see more empathy and understanding today, instead, hatred and violence are on the rise. Jews are being targeted and anti-semitism is as real today as it was during WWII. As we get farther and farther removed from the Holocaust, trying to apply the lessons of the past when facing the issues of today has become a real challenge. We must keep these stories alive as they provide detailed information, a chance for a young reader to connect personally, with the story of a Survivor. We need a constant reminder of what unchecked hatred can lead to. And that’s why testimonials and stories such as my grandmother’s are so important today. They speak of hope, resilience, love, and determination.