Adventures in Publishing - Interview with an Editor

Friday, October 21, 2011
Hey Peeps!

It's Friday!! The end of the week is near and the weekend is just around the corner! But we aren't at Saturday yet. Nope. Nuh-huh. And I know you might be at work or home and just staring at the clock wishing it would just come on already... so hows about a little break?

Today I am continuing my Adventures in Publishing Segment with and interview with an Editor. Now, this editor isn't just any editor. Nope. She has - on occasion - admitted to wearing a poncho and goggles to edit in. Clearly she's very serious about her job.  :)

My guest today is Amy Eye, founder and editor at The Eyes for Editing. She is also a really great friend of mine. Amy id my editor of choice. In fact, I won't use anyone else. She's that good. I swear she's like a bloodhound, sniffing out anything in a manuscript that could cause problems.

And apparently, I am not the only one who thinks so. Amy has done a lot of freelance work over the past few years and she has also done editing jobs for two publishing houses. But most recently Amy has been hired on at Otherworld Publications (yes, that's my publisher - their logo is over there on the right --------->
click on it to visit their website) as a staff editor!!!!! So if you can't take my word for her fantasticness (really, you should have your head examined) then how about the word of 3 publishing houses?

Congrats to Amy and to Otherworld Publications on the new hire!!

So, I think we all can agree that Amy knows her stuff when it comes to editing (and also to knee socks but thats another story...) so I thought that I would interview her and bring you The People some info about editing.

So without any delay here is Amy:

1. You started The Eyes for Editing recently, but you have been editing for a long time. Why did you decide to start your own editing business?

I guess I just made it official because I had so many people asking to see my website and ask me what my rates were.  It was just the next logical step.  And everyone knows how logical I am…*snigger* I can’t even keep a straight face while typing that! 

2. What is your favorite thing about editing?
Molding a great piece of work into something the author is thrilled to call their finished product has to be one of the best feelings in the world.  Receiving that e-mail once they have gotten the final edits completed and ‘hearing’ how happy and excited they are…it makes me giddy.  It makes me feel I made a real difference to them.

3. What is the most common mistake that writers make?
There are quite a few, but one that is worth mentioning that will never be caught by spell check is mixing up homophones – words  that sound alike but mean different things – such as pear, pair; peek, peak; whole, hole.  Oh…and NOT getting an editor, I know a LOT of writers who make that mistake.  Even if it isn’t me, my dear writers, PLEASE – get an editor!!


4. How many times a day do you bang your head against your computer?
I love my computer, and would never torment her so.  I do keep what I have dubbed “The Screaming Pillow” next to me.  It helps relieve the stress, it may actually get promoted to the “Punch the Poo Outta Me Pillow” at some point, I just haven’t gotten there yet.

5. You also do formatting for E-books. Was that hard to learn and what’s the hardest thing about formatting a book?
Oh boy!  When I learned to format and convert e-books (which are two completely different things) I really had only a VERY basic grasp on Microsoft Word.  Did I mention I was pretty much Microsoft Word helpless?? 
Trying to learn why certain things will convert and why ONE STINKING LITTLE THING will mess up an ENTIRE BOOK has to be the more challenging thing.  Seriously, it happens, I have had it happen, I said a few words that I choose not to share with the audience, and I combed through the book looking for said mysterious glitch.   Sometimes you find it…Sometimes you don’t.  Then you have to START OVER.  UGH…

6. What is your dream vacation?
HARRY POTTER THEME PARK!!!!   Followed by getting released from the Florida police for trying to hide out in the Hogwarts castle, and possibly some scuba diving later to calm my nerves while I plot another way to burrow into the Griffindor common room.


7. What is the worst thing about editing?
I have said this before in another interview, and it really is the worst thing…watching a great author and a wonderful book get turned  down time and time again by publishing companies for whatever reason.  As an editor, I usually work very closely with my clients, and by the time the process is all over, I have made a new friend.  It’s terrible watching a friend and a wonderful story sit and collect dust. 
It can be heartbreaking!

8. How long does it take to edit a manuscript?
If there were only one way to answer that question…But that really depends on MANY factors:  what type of editing is being done, how long the book/story/article is, how much time the author has to dedicate to edits, how much chocolate I am bribed with….


9. What is the difference between a copy-edit and a content edit?
When I do a copy edit, I go through and check to make sure punctuation and grammar issue are correct through the manuscript as well as making sure the formatting is as it should be (no extra spaces in between words, indentation is correct, etc).  I also check the text to ensure that words are spelled correctly and that the proper words are used to express the correct thoughts.
A content edit is what I call “The whole kit-n-kaboodle”.  The content editing that I do is sometimes also called substantive editing or developmental editing.  I can work with an author from the very beginning of their project – as in when they start their outline or first draft or the author can bring me in later on in the process.  But either way, I go in, check for EVERYTHING: clarity, organization, structure, grammar, punctuation, tone, plot holes, inconsistencies, and word choice.  That really isn’t all there is to content editing, but for sake of not boring the pants off everyone, we will just leave it there!  J

10. Which one of those services do you think writers need most?
I think both are very important, but if an author does not have the money to get a full content editing done,  a copy edit - at least - on a MS is vital prior to doing anything with it. 


11. What kind of books would you like to see more of on the shelf?
All types of books.  I would just love to see more kids/people reading.  I don’t care what the subject matter or the genre is.  The more books on the shelf, the more likely there will be something out there to catch everyone’s attention.  Sometimes, it only takes that one special book/poem/short story to create a lifelong love of reading. 

12. Do you sing while you edit?
I sing while I do all sorts of stuff!!  Sometimes I even “Rick Roll” myself just to keep me on my toes.  The Phineas and Ferb theme song is a favorite, and every now and again, I may break out in some show tunes.



13. Would you date Harry Potter?
If only I were 16 again, you bet your broomstick I would!!  But as I am WAY older than that, this question is quite creepy…LOL


14. Who is your dream date?
I have no one  in particular in mind, but the person would have to be  intelligent, funny, literate, enjoy my sense of humor, be just a bit left of self-centered, love music….wow…I don’t expect much…do I? 


15. Would you rather shave your head or wear knee socks with shorts for a year?
I already wear knee socks with my shorts, what are you trying to say, Cambria? 


16. Do you have any unique talents?
I can open doors with my toes, and I can put both of my ankles behind my head.  I have an anti-talent: I cannot whistle, nor can I speak jive. (although I wish I could)

17. What made you want to be an editor?
Ever have one of those feelings that you need to be doing something and you just can’t remember what it is?  Once I started editing, that feeling went away.  It really was like I found what I was supposed to be doing.  (cue clouds opening up and ray of sunshine bursting through….)

18. What is the best book you have read in the last year? Why?
OK – ONE BOOK??  You are kidding, right?  I will throw out a small list…and remember, these are just books I have read THIS YEAR…not my all-time faves!! HEHE

(I am going to say Masquerade here because I HAVE had the chance to read it, and it ROCKS your KNEE HIGH SOCKS OFF!!)    Wither, That Which Should Not Be, Imperial Hostage, A Modern Witch, Hunger Games, Masters and Slayers, The Mysterious Benedict Society, Cassidy Jones and the Secret Formula, the Pariah series…OH…I should stop now….But I have read 94 books so far this year, and there are MANY more I would love to put on this list!!

19. What qualities do you think make a good editor?
Enthusiasm, patience, hard-working, honest, flexible, respectful, motivated, dedicated, and a big sense of humor doesn’t hurt either!  J

20. Tell us a little about the process you go through when editing?
First thing I like to do is read the MS to get a feel for what I will be working with.  I will make notes as I go about any kind of problems in continuity or flow that I see and any portion of the text that is difficult to follow or doesn’t seem to contribute anything to the story.  Then I will go through and break it down by chapters.  “Get down and dirty” chapter by chapter and really dig into the material. 

21. Are you currently accepting new editing jobs? What kind?
I am currently accepting new editing jobs!  I prefer to work on fiction.  I can do non-fiction, but I really do not enjoy it as much.  People always tend to work better on things they really enjoy, and non-fiction simply does not appeal to me as much.  So anyone writing a textbook should PROBABLY not look into hiring me to edit an Economy book…JUST SAYIN’.


22. Would you rather have a monkey or a warthog for a pet?
You have to put a diaper on a monkey, but warthogs eat a lot.  I’ll take the monkey and train him to fetch my poncho for me…



23. I’ll give you a word and you say the first thing that comes to mind:
Sleep-   sheep
Perfection-   Hogwarts  (What??)
Fun-    please!
Purple-  heart
Soft-    Snuggie
Rain-   Singing

24. What is the biggest misconception about editing?
That it is not needed by new authors.  That once an author gets “big” is when he or she should start investing in an editor.  WRONG.  The best way to get your work noticed and get your name in the same league as the “big” authors is to put out your best work from the start.  Whether an author plans on trying to find an agent, send unsolicited manuscripts, enter contests, or self-pub, you need to always put your best foot forward, and you cannot do that if you have only done half of what it takes to finish the work.

A big HUGE thanks goes out to Amy today for stopping by and giving us a peak into editing. Now if you’ll excuse her she has to go, I just sent her something else to edit….

If you would like to inquire about Amy’s editing services please visit her website:
you can also contact her via Otherworld publications amy@otherworldpublications.com

Have a question about editing that Amy didn't answer? I invite you to leave a comment and I will make sure that it gets answered! Have a great Friday!!!




15 comments:

  1. Wow, great info here! Thanks for sharing it Cambria!

    Now to see about Amy's rates on short stories...hmm.

  1. Cambria said...:

    Thanks Tricia! Definitely email her, her prices aren't bad at all!!! ;) thanks for stopping by!

  1. Dranea said...:

    Thanks for such a fun interview, Cambria!! You know I love you!!!

  1. Graylynne said...:
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  1. Jenn said...:

    Knee high socks and monkeys. I love it!
    Great job ladies!

  1. Darknight said...:

    That was an absolutely hilarious interview, but just a word to those out there reading this, what Amy offers can't really be fully described in words, as her ability to take your book and give it the touch it needs to make it more of a perfected master piece, is beyond what words can describe her talent. Just know you won't be disappointed, and she'll be worth every dime you put into her work....:)

  1. Dranea said...:

    Thanks, Jenn and Darknight!

    Can't have a real interview without monkeys!!

  1. Cambria said...:

    Darknight and Jenn thanks for stoppin by!!! I couldnt agree more! Amy is worth the money (for esiting of course-- dirty minded people) and monkeys are great!

  1. What an awesome interview... I want to say that Amy is the best editor ever and I've had a few over the years. I absolutely love her and wouldn't trust my work with anyone else. You both rock!

  1. Katy S said...:

    I agree with Amy that an editor is absolutely essential - I do the editing thing, too, but haven't set up anything as official as a website, 'cause I've got stuff booked up until august, 2013!

    One question for Amy - how do you budget your time, especially when doing a content edit? I am having a hard time figuring out how to make sure I'm able to provide the quality I demand and be able to be there for the authors when they need me - maybe you can give me some pointers, since you've been doing it longer and officially and stuff :-)

  1. Dranea said...:

    Hi, Katy!
    There is no 'best way' to judge this. It depends on when the author brings you in (during the planning phase or later), how much time the author has to dedicate to the editing process, and how much work needs to be done. All of these things need to be laid out before you can adequately budget any kind of time.

    I would honestly say that a month is a good base time to start off with when doing a content edit. In this day and age, most authors have other careers along with their writing career and are not able to dedicate hours a day on this process. So, unless they happen to be lucky enough to be able to dedicate hours a day to editing, then it is better to stretch the time out so nothing is rushed and everyone has time to do things properly.

    I wish I had more of a concrete answer for you, but that is the best one I can give - there is no perfect formula for it.

  1. Dranea said...:

    And THANKS, Angela!! You are such a doll!!!

  1. Katy S said...:

    Thanks, Amy - currently I give myself about 10 days to do an edit; it's the follow-up I need to figure out how to budget. Thanks for your insights!

  1. Leslie said...:

    You two are like punch and Judy, funny and engaging all at once. I love the interview, quite quirky...LOL.
    I live vicariously though your thoughtful and funny prose. Congratulations Amy, I too look forward to working with you on my next book. My latest editor was very good and I enjoyed it, but I do love a strong personality.

  1. Hi, Amy & Cambria!

    Super funny and quite informative interview. Amy, you wear knee socks with your shorts? So I guess you have long legs...lucky you. My legs are about as long as knee socks!

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