Q & A with an Editor

6 11 2012

Editor’s name:

Carolyn Elias

Genre you most like to edit: 

Fiction novels, short stories, poetry, and professional academic work.

Genre you don’t want to edit:

Self help books, health, spirituality, (religious is fine) business/management, economics, erotica.

What is the best way for writers to solicit your services: 

Send an email to carolyn@charleshenryediting.com with a brief statement on what sort of editing their work needs and what their publishing plans are along with 5 page double spaced pages for an initial read through that are in MS word and are attached to the email. Also, making sure to put their name and contact info.

Do you charge a reading fee:

The initial 5 page read through is free.

Can you provide an approximation by percent of what you tend to edit by category:

50% fiction, 50% academic non-fiction.

What are the most common mistakes writers make:

Quite a few forget to provide contact information or don’t know how to use email/word processing. The second most common mistake is not having a long enough manuscript. Most writers forget that in publication the book is single spaced with 500 words per page. To see how many pages thier manuscript is they should divide the total number of words by 500. Then they should subtract 20% from their total because that is how much is cut when going through the editorial process.

How would you describe the client from Hell:

The client from hell is a person who tries to haggle over price; has no interest in learning the publishing world; believes that their writing is perfect; a person who does not want to abide by style guide books; or a person who cannot write well.

How would you describe the perfect client:

The perfect client understands that the editorial process and style conventions. Someone who is confident, humble, and willing to work hard to perfect their craft. Someone who understands that as an editor, we want the best from them because we want their manuscript to be a book that sells well.

How and why did you become and editor:

I started off as a writer but people always came to me to spruce up their work. I eventually realized that I loved editing a tiny bit more than writing.

What can a writer do to increase the odds that you will edit their work:

Having solid, concise prose backed by a publishing vision.

What are your impressions about writers and publishers:

Writers are wonderful!  If they can handle the advice of people trying to help them get published then they will going to fare well once the book is published and anyone can tear apart their work. I love working with publishers they are straight forward and easy to talk with.

Please list who you have worked with:

Fiction: Arbutus Press, Alfred Warkentin, James McCrohan, and several other authors.

Non-Fiction: WDET Radio, Common Ground Publishing, SAGE and several individual authors.

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