Ghost writing, Editing, Proofreading, Ebook creation
My freelance career began with ghostwriting a self-help book. Since then, I’ve worked on fiction and non-fiction, research articles, textbook content, and book manuscripts ranging in subject from werewolves to Chinese energetic medicine. Typically, I work with authors who are planning to self-publish their books, and authors who are not finding success in shopping a book to agents and publishers. Often, I find that the right kind of editing makes all the difference, in terms of sales.
When you publish your book through traditional channels, a significant percentage of the money earned goes to the publisher, and, in part, that is because they hire editors and proofreaders to work on their titles. When you publish your own book, you need to be aware that you are responsible for quality issues like developmental editing, copyediting, proofreading, layout, and cover design.
I don’t even know what these different kinds of editing and other book services are! What does my manuscript need?
Don’t panic! You’re not alone. Here’s a simple overview:
Critique reading is a way for you to get a “reader’s eye view” of your manuscript. It’s a valuable tool while you’re still in development, because it lets you know whether the reader is getting what you intended from the book. It’s important to note that this feedback is not about structure or form. It’s not a proofreading or editing, but it’s a helpful precursor to editing.
I’ll give you a detailed report showing you how a reader perceives your plot, characters, dialog, pacing, setting, etc. I’ll make notes in your manuscript to point out what is working and what seems off, so you have specific examples to work from.
Developmental editing is done while you’re still in the process of writing and revising your manuscript. I’ll work with you on the structure of your story: organization, character development, developing a consistent voice, dialog, and plot pacing.
All fictional works and many non-fiction works need developmental editing. If the manuscript isn’t structurally sound, no amount of copyediting and proofreading will make a good book of it. If you’re self-publishing, it’s up to you to make sure your manuscript gets this crucial work.
Copyediting is done after the manuscript has had its major revisions. The copyeditor will look at finer details, like plot holes, omissions, inconsistencies (that guy’s car was green two chapters ago, and now it’s blue), grammatical problems, style compliance, and factual errors. Every book needs copyediting.
Proofreading should be done before the manuscript goes to layout, and again after layout, if you’re self-publishing, or before querying, if you’re shopping it around. The proofreader looks for technical errors like misspellings, punctuation errors, and style compliance or formatting problems. Every book needs to be proofread at least once.
Ebook creation is a service you’ll need if you plan to distribute your ebook on your own website, or through another channel that doesn’t provide conversion service. I can format and convert your manuscript to .mobi for Kindle, or .epub for Nook, iPad, Sony, and most other readers. If you’re interested in creating an enhanced ebook with multimedia content, I can help you put it together and get it ready for distribution.
I keep hearing about ghostwriting. What, exactly, is it?
A ghostwriter is someone who listens to you explaining your ideas or story, learns your voice, and writes your book for you. Most often, the ghostwriter remains anonymous (and is bound by a confidentiality agreement) and your name goes on the book as author. It’s called “ghost” because the goal of the ghostwriter is to be invisible in the finished product.
There are a wide variety of reasons clients have hired me to ghost for them. In one case, I had a client whose native language was not English, so while his spoken language was excellent, his writing skills were not adequate to express his ideas clearly.
In another case, the client wanted to write an autobiography of a genuinely fascinating life and time, but due to her curtailed education, her written words didn’t even begin to capture the vibrant detail I got from having her tell me the story.
A third client was an engineer who spent his career writing dry, dull reports. Unsurprisingly, when he tried to write a novel, his exciting story turned into a dry, dull manuscript.
I find ghostwriting is a uniquely satisfying kind of writing, because it lets me have a part in bringing a story that would otherwise have remained untold into the public eye. When I ghostwrite for you, my goal is to make my work transparent. Your readers will hear your voice, not mine.