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Learn more about my books at ShoshannaEvers.com

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

When Do I Need an Editor?

I just got an email asking a great question about editors.
Here it is, in part (personal info redacted for privacy):

"I am writing a book, which I have never done before, we were discussing help with the writing/editing/formatting and [redacted] suggested reaching out to you.

I am wondering if you could provide me with some direction and if you might possibly know the estimated cost of hiring someone for some help. I appreciate any insight, advice, suggestions etc."

This is my response, and if you are an aspiring writer, you may find it helpful as well!

There are several things to do before you even think about getting a profession editor.

First, finish the book!

Then, set the book aside for two weeks and don't look at it.

Then pull it out and revise it on your own (having some space from the book will help you see the problems in it).

When you feel like it's perfect, find a critique partner to swap books with. You'll read hers and give detailed suggestions, and she'll read yours and do the same. I recommend using the Track Changes feature in MS Word to do this.

This is an example of one of my own books during the editing process, using Track Changes with my editor (click the pic to make it bigger!):

You can find a critique partner (CP) by joining a local writing group, or even joining one online. Here's a post about how to do that.

Then, after you've revised according to what your CP suggests, send the book to beta-readers. Those are regular readers (not your mom, and not your friends) who will read your book.

Ask beta-readers questions like:

  • "At what point did you get a little bored and put the book down?" (shows where pacing lags or where the book lacks conflict)
  • "What didn't you believe could really happen?" (shows where you need to build motivation)
  • "What did you like best about (specific character)? What did you like least?"
  • "Did the ending of the book satisfy you? If not, what sort of ending would you prefer?"
  • "Is there anything else about this book that you think I should fix or change?"

Send it to at least three beta-readers. Ask them to be "brutally honest."

If everyone says the same thing, you know you need to change it. If one reader says it but the others don't, you don't need to change it. If it's a tie, tie-breaker is the author (you).

Then, after all of that is done, that is when you could consider hiring a professional editor. It's expensive, so don't skip the steps above!

Developmental plus line edits are usually about 2cents a word (which equals $5 per double-spaced page when using Times New Roman 12 point font). That means for an 80K word (320 pages) book, you'd pay $1,600.

If you plan on submitting your book to literary agents, then you don't need to pay for a professional editor (or a formatter, which is a different thing - they format the book into files ready to upload to the retailers. Check out Smashword's Mark's List for some good formatters)

If you plan on self-publishing the book, then you do need an editor. If you want to self-publish, download a FREE pdf of my ebook Successful Self-Publishing: How We Do It (And How You Can Too) at SelfPubBookCovers.com (that's my book cover company). If you want it in print, here it is.

There are some great freelance editors out there. Look for ones who used to work for big publishers, like Mallory Braus, who used to edit for Harlequin/Carina Press, or Megan Records, who edited for Kensington.

There are plenty of others, of course, but remember that cheaper isn't always better when it comes to edits! Also remember that any fool can hang up a shingle and call themselves an editor. Look for editors with experience and references.

Good luck with your book! Don't put the cart before the horse. Finish the book first and go from there. 

Sadly, most people who start writing a book never actually finish. If you can write "The End" then you are way ahead of most aspiring writers!!

All my best,

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

How to Make Audiobooks on ACX

I'm really thrilled with the process of making audiobooks independently (ie without a publisher) on ACX.com.

If you are an author who has retained your audio rights, like I did with The Enslaved Trilogy, or self-published (like The Dominatrix Fantasy Series), then you can make audiobooks too!

If you don't have money to pay a narrator upfront (which can be thousands of dollars), you can do a royalty split, where the profits are shared 50-50 with the narrator. That's what I did, because I wanted to put a lot of books into audio as fast as possible. I'm working with three different narrators, and we've got a busy schedule!

The narrator produces the audiobook from the ebook you send them. They upload it, etc.

The process on ACX is very straightforward - they walk you through it. The most time-consuming task, for me, is listening to the final audio and requesting changes as needed.

I found that the best way to find narrators is to search them out on the site, listen to their portfolio, then contact them directly. Unless you get a stipend from ACX (where they give the narrator money upfront), it's hard to get auditions. I was able to get stipends for The Enslaved Trilogy, and I got tons of auditions for that!

Make sure you put in your emails to narrators how you will market the audiobooks. I put my Twitter followers, Facebook fans, mailing list, etc.

It's worth it, though - this month's royalty check from ACX is 1/3 of my Amazon.com royalties for self-published books! That means I increased my monthly income by 33%, without writing a new book. I can't wait until I have all of my books made into audiobooks!

Best of all, I'm connecting with new readers, readers who love listening to audiobooks!

Here's the info on my current audiobooks. I've got lots more in the works! :) You can listen to 5 minute long samples for free by clicking the button for your retailer of choice! :)

Thank you for making ENSLAVED, Book 1 in the Enslaved Trilogy, an Audible Erotica Bestseller!

enslaved audiobook Shoshanna Evers Christine Padovan

Buy at Amazon Buy at Amazon Buy at iTunes Buy at Audible

Now, ENAMORED, Book 2 in the Enslaved Trilogy is available in audiobook as well!

  Buy at Amazon Buy at AmazonUK Buy at iTunes Buy at Audible

  The Enslaved Trilogy is narrated by Best Audiobook of 2013 winner, Christine Padovan


The Dominatrix Fantasy Trilogy is now in audiobook as well! You can get each individual novella for just $6.95, or The Dominatrix Fantasy Trilogy Set for $14.95!
Buy at Amazon Buy at AmazonUK Buy at iTunes  Buy at Audible
The Dominatrix Fantasy Trilogy is narrated by the sexy Scarlett Day!
You can click on the links to hear free samples that will be sure to get your heart racing... ;)

 Buy at Amazon Buy at AmazonUK Buy at iTunes Buy at Audible

Buy at Amazon Buy at AmazonUK Buy at iTunes Buy at Audible

Buy at Amazon Buy at AmazonUK Buy at iTunes Buy at Audible