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Old 04-30-2015, 02:14 AM   #1
kizkiz
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Seeking Professional Editor

I've had mixed results with some stories that I have gotten. This has lead me to a period of inactivity/frustration. After some thinking and searching, what I want to try is actually finding a professional editor / paying someone.

I am not sure if this is allowed on Lit and/or what the rates might be.

I am writing a long form urban fantasy erotica. Mostly MF, FF, MFF stuff.

Any suggestions on how to find someone that might be in it for the long haul?

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Old 04-30-2015, 02:42 PM   #2
Combat323
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kizkiz View Post
I've had mixed results with some stories that I have gotten. This has lead me to a period of inactivity/frustration. After some thinking and searching, what I want to try is actually finding a professional editor / paying someone.

I am not sure if this is allowed on Lit and/or what the rates might be.

I am writing a long form urban fantasy erotica. Mostly MF, FF, MFF stuff.

Any suggestions on how to find someone that might be in it for the long haul?

Best
KK
Your question worries me a bit because it may indicate that you want an edit-as-I-go relationship, which is a bad idea if you're paying an editor. I think any honest broker would tell you the same before taking your money. You're much better off writing the whole thing first, and then working out a deal for editing of the completed draft. As you write, even if you have an extremely detailed outline, you'll find that things kind of take on a life of their own. Then, some of the portions you've completed will have to be cut or rewritten. That's much harder to do on stuff that's been edited at your expense. Even worse, you might get three-quarters of the way through and circular file the whole thing.

No editor can quote you a fair fee without seeing the scope of the project, the quality of your work, and any special requests or concerns you might have. A freelance editor will generally have an hourly rate in mind, but will have to see your work to estimate how many pages (300 wds = approx 1 pg) he can edit per hour. Once he's done that, he should quote you a price for the project as a whole.

Literotica doesn't care if you shell out $1 million to have your stories edited. If that's your plan, pm me.

Mostly MF, FF, MFF stuff means it won't be hard to find an editor interested in your category.

How to go about it? Write the whole thing. Get on the forum and ask for Beta readers, but take what they say with a grain of salt; just look for trends/common themes. If you're putting your work on Literotica, find a volunteer editor, but don't necessarily go with the first volunteer. Please don't pay to have your story edited for this site.

And now back to the beginning of your post. What did you mean by "I've had mixed results with some stories that I have gotten."? What is frustrating you? The answers to those questions may well determine what you really need.
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Old 04-30-2015, 04:43 PM   #3
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No editor can quote you a fair fee without seeing the scope of the project, the quality of your work, and any special requests or concerns you might have. A freelance editor will generally have an hourly rate in mind, but will have to see your work to estimate how many pages (300 wds = approx 1 pg) he can edit per hour. Once he's done that, he should quote you a price for the project as a whole.
All of the professional editors I know (and I'm a member of the Editorial Freelancers association) charge by the word count, not by either the hour or the amorphous page.
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Old 04-30-2015, 05:51 PM   #4
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2-3 cents a word is what I have seen and not words corrected, total words for the piece.

It can get pricey.
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Old 04-30-2015, 05:56 PM   #5
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All of the professional editors I know (and I'm a member of the Editorial Freelancers association) charge by the word count, not by either the hour or the amorphous page.
I checked out their website.

I can be a member too providing I pay $35 processing fee and the membership dues.
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Old 04-30-2015, 06:50 PM   #6
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Cake and eat it too.

Thanks all.

Well, I've gotten 2 VEs on another story I was working on. I got 50k words into it, and then they both split on me. It was demoralizing and so I took a hiatus. I'm back again working on something related to my earlier story/book...just focusing on a different set of characters.

I know this sounds horrible, but I thrive on praise. Working in a vacuum takes way more energy than working with a lot of people cheering you on. So I was trying to figure out how to get someone more dedicated for the long haul...and start getting people posting on my stories to keep me going.

I've lurked for quite a long time, so I know everyone hates a serialized work that doesn't end...so the general advise is to finish it all first and then post it...but I want my cake and to eat it too, damn it!

Maybe I'll trade editing with FelHarper, I'd just rather spend all my time writing.

My rough budget for this experiment is max 1 cent a page. I'm not rich, but sometimes you need to pay for the gym membership to keep you going to the gym.
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Old 04-30-2015, 09:24 PM   #7
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Warehousing jobs, especially in management, are good money. Probably better than what most editors make. I work in retail. I make 1/3 what I used to earn, but I'm just happy to have a full-time job with benefits.


OP: Maybe the main issue with editors for you is the story either doesn't meet their comfort zone with the sex scenes, or it's not in their preferred reading category/genre. And sometimes it just takes a while to find an editor on a free site that will stick around. You may end up dealing with the same issues with paid editors. And most paid editors tend to edit the genres they like, not the ones they don't.

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Old 05-01-2015, 12:09 AM   #8
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It does feel like a running battle across forums.

Anyway, thanks for the advice. I guess i'll keep soldiering on. Only one way to eat an elephant, or so I'm told.

Last edited by kizkiz : 05-01-2015 at 12:28 AM.
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:55 AM   #9
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2-3 cents a word is what I have seen and not words corrected, total words for the piece.

It can get pricey.
I've got a salaried position as a curriculum editor in the Natural Sciences Department at a university, but I'm always tracking my time to see what my hourly rate is, and it varies greatly depending on whose work I'm editing and what kind of document it is. Some of what comes across my desk is only in need of a quick proofread, while other stuff has to be cross-checked against the calendar and all the supporting materials because it was copied from a previous year and none of the dates match the correct calendar day.

I recently edited a research grant proposal on a handshake agreement and ended up almost rewriting the whole thing---all on my own time. If I look at my per-word rate on that one, it's about 0.2 cents per word (not 2 cents, .2 cents). I don't even want to think about the hourly rate, because I first had to gather some old successful proposals to see how they should be structured, and then I had to go back a few times with questions on the research.

I've also edited student papers and creative writing on the side, and I've found that fiction editing work varies just as much as editing curriculum material. One student will only need a little mark-up and some margin comments, while the next needs the line edit, comments all the way down the side of each page, and a separate Word doc of suggestions and ideas that runs to over half of the size the original document. It just seems strange to me that those things should be done at the same price per word.

Oh yeah, and my per-word rate (which I never thought about in those terms) for students has also been well under one cent per word; except for the freebies I've done for my daughter and her friends. (If any of them were hot friends, I could at least imagine a fun story about a sexy coed and her ruggedly handsome Calculus/Chemistry/writing tutor.)
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Old 05-01-2015, 01:36 AM   #10
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What I've charged private clients for mainstream book editing is $20/hour at the editing rate of 2,000-words/hour. Which means 50,000 words would cost $500 to edit. I give an estimate of the hours it will take (based on the wordage) and that estimate becomes the ceiling. If it takes fewer hours, the bill is less; if it takes more hours, the bill isn't more than the estimate. I think my rates were on the lower end of the scale for those with graduate-level schooling in editing, which I have. The charge for publishers is closer to $25/hour. This is just a real-world look at costs. I've closed down my editorial business to write full time, so this isn't advertising or a show of interest in editing for pay here.

Unless you're quite wealthy, I wouldn't suggest paying professional editing prices either for posting to Literotica or for e-booking. For my writing, I go with publishers who provide the edit at their expense, not mine.
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Old 05-01-2015, 02:57 AM   #11
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So your old rates would be closer to 1 cent a word, which would be doable. I checked out the website you mentioned you were a member of pilot (EFA), and their prices were way too high.

I know its probably not strictly necessary, maybe even foolish. I'm not wealthy per se, but I have allocated a budget for this. I hear your advice about it being hard to both find someone at my price point and that is a good fit. Sure the ROI might not be there as this is a free website, but I still think it'd be worth the experiment. For me at least.

Hell I've paid tens of thousands of dollars for a graduate degrees. That only ended up with a thesis about a hundred pages long! And no one ever read either, and no one really cares about my degree.

Finishing a novel length of one of my ideas is one of the few items on my bucket list. I'd pay to accomplish that. I've been trying to finish a novel for the better part of 18 years now. I've never written more than I have for Literotica (granted none of it has been published yet), but it amounts to about 80k words across 3 books all related to each other. Now I'd like to finish at least one of those three books, if not wrap up the 5 book series I've planned.

Starting with a good partner, someone that can edit my work and help me to keep moving forward has a real value for me.

Everyone's advice has been very valuable.

Much appreciated!
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Old 05-01-2015, 12:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kizkiz View Post
So your old rates would be closer to 1 cent a word, which would be doable. I checked out the website you mentioned you were a member of pilot (EFA), and their prices were way too high.

I know its probably not strictly necessary, maybe even foolish. I'm not wealthy per se, but I have allocated a budget for this. I hear your advice about it being hard to both find someone at my price point and that is a good fit. Sure the ROI might not be there as this is a free website, but I still think it'd be worth the experiment. For me at least.

Hell I've paid tens of thousands of dollars for a graduate degrees. That only ended up with a thesis about a hundred pages long! And no one ever read either, and no one really cares about my degree.

Finishing a novel length of one of my ideas is one of the few items on my bucket list. I'd pay to accomplish that. I've been trying to finish a novel for the better part of 18 years now. I've never written more than I have for Literotica (granted none of it has been published yet), but it amounts to about 80k words across 3 books all related to each other. Now I'd like to finish at least one of those three books, if not wrap up the 5 book series I've planned.

Starting with a good partner, someone that can edit my work and help me to keep moving forward has a real value for me.

Everyone's advice has been very valuable.

Much appreciated!
EFA has a job board where you can advertise an editing project and negotiate a price, which very well can be below EFA's suggested rate structure. I always charged below EFA's guidelines because you keep jobs coming with that.

For fiction, the advice you were already given to finish the whole thing before seeking an editor is good. Nonfiction can be delivered in chunks, but fiction should hold together and drive to a conclusion from the beginning when someone has to determine whether it's working. Open serializations tend to be rambling and verbose, which means a lot of extra money for editing if you're paying for it.

An approach to could take is to write a few short stories similar to the book series you are writing, get those edited, and then pay attention to what was done in the edit. You then can learn to take care of most of the problems of presentation in your writing yourself.
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Old 05-01-2015, 02:29 PM   #13
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Nice strategy! Thanks. Appreciate all the great advice.
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Old 05-01-2015, 02:43 PM   #14
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If you write a short story or two in the genres you mention for posting to Lit., I'd probably edit them for free, showing suggested changes (if you can handle Word tracking change). If/when you get there, you could PM me for a possible edit. I'm on Lit. to write, though, so I don't take longer or repeat work.
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Old 05-01-2015, 07:38 PM   #15
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That's very generous of you. I will try to be both respectful and not waste your time, when I'm ready for your help. Thanks again!
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Old 05-09-2015, 11:39 AM   #16
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It would be good if you would reply as to what decision you made.
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Old 05-09-2015, 12:13 PM   #17
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As someone who does freelance editing on another site, I've seen methods of charging fluctuate from per hour to what I personally prefer, which is charging for a certain number of words - 10k, 20k and so on. The highest offer I've seen for an editing job that I've personally applied for has been $180 to edit a 50k novel, which is more or less fine-tooth-combing someone's Nanowrimo entry.
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