Finding A Book Editor Who Suits You

You’ve spent weeks, months, or even years finishing your book. You’re brimming with excitement and want to release it into the world, but you know it’s lacking something. That something is the touch of a professional editor.

Unfortunately, it is no easy task finding an editor for your book when you’re an indie writer who doesn’t have the connections of the big publishing house. The task is especially difficult when you realize that every editor brings something different to the table. How do you find one that meets your needs?

  1. Shop Around.Going with the first person you stumble upon may seem like a good idea at the time, but you would do well to keep looking. Being able to compare a few editors will help you pick the perfect one for your project.
  2. Know What You Want.It’s nearly impossible to pick the perfect editor if you don’t know what you want from an editor. Are you wanting someone who can find plot holes, help develop characters, make sure your spelling and grammar are spot on, or all of the above? Certain editors specialize in one of more of these, so ask whether your book editor can perform the duties you want.
  3. Have Money.No, a professional editor doesn’t have to cost more than your monthly mortgage. But they don’t work for free. If you’re not willing to invest your money into your book, you aren’t looking for an editor. You’re looking for a friend to give your book a read and give suggestions. And that’s fine. Just know that your friend may not give your book what it needs to really be polished and ready for the general public.

Think this little fella in Cleveland, Tennessee may be just the editor you seek to put the final touches on your book? Drop me a line!

Do Things You Don’t Like

I give blood. And I never like it. In fact, you could say I practically dread walking into my local Blood Assurance office. (Okay, dread may be too strong a word.) The last time I gave, I passed out immediately after.  But I do it. Because it’s the right thing to do. (Note: I passed out again last time. May be time to reconsider.)

This isn’t just for humanitarian arenas. It’s for your everyday life. It doesn’t matter if you hate doing the dishes or washing clothes. These things have to be done. And it doesn’t matter if you don’t want to edit another story about how colonoscopies can be used to catch cancer in its earliest and most treatable stages. You’re getting paid for it. So get to work.

Is this inspiring? I suppose that depends on your perception. But as human beings, we are given things to do every day. You either accept that your life is full of ordinary stuff you have to do or live in denial and keep waiting to do something big enough for people to notice.

Yes, it is great to have big plans to change the world, one giant victory at a time. But in the meantime, as you’re planning out those life-changing moments, your kitchen sink is overflowing and your rent is due.

Time to wrap up this li’l entry. I’ve got work to do.

Getting Paid To Take Criticism

Every once in a while, a client has changes to what I’ve written. The conversation usually begins with the client saying, “Please don’t get offended, but I really wanted…”

To this, my typical reply is, “No problem. I get paid to take criticism.”

Disagree with this sentiment? Then you’re either not a writer, you’ve not written for many clients, you’ve not written for demanding clients, or the only place you write is in your journal. For those of us on the copywriting side of things, however, writing is about neither glamor nor self-satisfaction. It’s about giving clients what they want. And what they want isn’t always clear on the front end. That means I’ve got to do some editing on the back end.

Which is great.

Great? Isn’t it a pain to do edits?

No way, Jose. (If I may call you that.) Because when a client explains where I missed his or her vision, I gain clarity of their vision. And since I don’t typically invest in one-off jobs, learning that vision ensures a long and mutually beneficial relationship.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t get paid to just have people criticize my stuff. (Though that would be a sweet gig.) I get paid because I take that criticism and use it in a constructive manner. When a client tells me an intro doesn’t work or the article should have been arranged differently, I don’t say thanks for the critique and hold out my hand for a paycheck. I thank the client for the input and go fix the article, web page, email, or ebook.

Guess what happens the next time I write for that same client? The copy is as clean as my police record and as spot-on as perfectly placed spots.

Of course, there was a time when I had a hard time throwing my preference out the window and bowing to my clients’ desires. But even when I thought a client was crazy to toss my amazing prose for something I deemed more robotic or stale, I did it. Eventually, I realized that keeping clients happy keeps me happy. Because doing this ensures my paycheck and, contrary to popular belief, I can actually find satisfaction in providing great copy and pleasing clients—even if the client prefers that I write like a machine instead of a person.

This attitude has opened a lot of doors. Through the years, I’ve written for one of the most successful and influential fitness consulting businesses in the world, helped multiple colleges promote their message to their respective audiences and target audiences, have been trusted with a tattoo shop’s online presence, and I have your attention. All because I’m willing to take criticism and not go into the fetal position.

So the next time someone comes to you with some criticism about your writing, tell this person, “Thank you.” And mean it. Your craft requires it.

Big Picture (Small Fee) Editing

Through the years, I’ve worked with a number of writers get their books ready for agents or the self-publishing press. It’s a real pleasure to help them tighten up their prose, correct common grammatical or usage mistakes, and work out plot holes and inconsistencies. However, as many folks as I’ve helped, I’ve had just as many—if not more—walk away when they find out what it costs to have their entire book edited. Because, well, it ain’t cheap.

With that in mind, my editing services aren’t all or nothing. In fact, many books aren’t ready for an all-encompassing edit. Rather, what they need is a pair of eyes that can identify issues quick and point the writer in the right direction. And that’s what I provide to writers who decide a full edit is a bit premature or expensive.

What does this service entail?

You send over the first bit of your manuscript—no more than twenty pages. I, in turn, read over the document and point out issues that your specific writing style present. You then use this knowledge to clean up the entirety of your book. Once these revisions are made and you feel your book is as error-free as possible, you can then seek a full edit.

Should you come back to me after making the revisions, the full edit price will drop as you already took care of much of the work. Regardless of what you use the edits for, take heart! In the end, having some of your favorite mistakes shown to you will make you a better writer.

Multi-Generational Resume Building


For the most part, my freelance career has consisted of long-term relationships with health professionals, fitness gurus, marketing pros, colleges, and others. These consistent, mutually beneficial relationships span months and even years.

However, every job I take on doesn’t result in a long-term relationship. I’ve edited books for writers who wrote a single book and never written again. And since I added resume writing to my services a few years back, I’ve come to have quite a few one-off clients. After all, the goal of a resume is to help an individual gain a new occupation they can maintain for the foreseeable future. As such, resume writing often doesn’t bring about repeat business. Sometimes, however, it does.

One of the most exciting repeat resume clients has a professional background. He told me that the resume I built for him helped him land the job he wanted and now he needed my help again. This time, however, he didn’t need a resume for himself. He needed it for his son, a college student who has his eyes set on landing an internship. And no, this is not just any internship he wants. He wants an aerospace engineering internship. That’s right—the little guy who writes and edits out of Cleveland, Tennessee, may play a role in helping someone get on Mars.

Should this University of Tennessee student get that internship, touching the moon’s surface may be the least impressive feat he could accomplish. With brains like his, he may transform how we communicate. Or maybe his future career will open the door to safer, more efficient transportation.  Then again, he may find a way to build a robot that looks like a roommate but pays an equal share of the rent and doesn’t leave dirty dishes in the sink. Regardless, he’s obviously going to do big things. And it’s humbling to think I may have played a small role in moving him in the right direction.

So the next time you look down on your resume, remember that if done well, your resume may be your ticket to the moon and back.