Hi, welcome to the Library of Erana and thank you for talking to us today.
Please introduce yourself. My name is Jamie Burgess and I am a stay at home mom of 3 girls. I absolutely love to read and will read just about anything. I am just getting started in the freelance editing business.
How did you get into this line of work? I chose to start editing due to the vast number of books I was trying to read that had obviously been self-edited, they are often very hard reads. As I read I am editing in my head to make the stories easier to understand and decided that if I was editing as I read, I could put those skills to use.
Are there genres you refuse, if so why is that? Do you have any you love?I prefer not to read erotica, it’s just not my cup of tea. I love historical romance, young adult, and Christian based books the most.
Are you also a writer? If so do you self-edit or do you use the services of another editor? I write poetry and lyrics but I have never submitted my work for publishing.
What are your opinions of self-edited work by authors? Self-editing is virtually impossible. You need that person who can help you see the best wording to convey your thought. The person not afraid to say this paragraph is not needed or this makes no sense, can we try this instead. It is hard to find your own mistakes, and second guessing your own work can lead to further mistakes.
Have you ever refused a manuscript? No, I have just now started in the business.
Have you ever had an author refuse your suggestions/changes? If so how did you deal with it? No, and if they did that would be their choice. As an editor I am here to correct mistakes and makes suggestions. Ultimately this is their work and they must do what feels right for them.
Editors often receive a bad press in the writing community, what are your thoughts on this? First and foremost editors must remember that they are assisting a writer with producing an easy to read product. They are NOT the writer of the particular story they are working on and their vision will not always be the same as the writer. Instead of being a constant negative voice, make sure to give your author good feedback when they have done well. I think building a good relationship with your author is imperative, it helps you to further understand what your author is wanting to say and how you can help them say it.
Please could you tell us about the process involved with editing for, say, a 100k word manuscript. (Line edit, content edit etc.) Line editing is the final edit ensuring proper punctuation, correct wording, that the best quality of work has been produced.
Content editing is working with the author to change wording and dialogue while ensuring that the vision of the work is being kept. Content editing can be the difference in being an author and being a bestselling author.
What is the difference between proof-reading and editing? Proof-reading is fixing punctuation and spelling mistakes, taking out double use of words. Editing is ensuring the flow of the story, making suggested changes, and working with your author to ensure their vision is being told.
Do you have part of the process you really enjoy? Is there a part you don’t? I love it all.
Outside of your work as an editor do you read for pleasure? What genre do you enjoy the most? I love to read and would read from the time I get up until I go to bed if it were possible. My favourite would be historical romance but it’s becoming more difficult to find “original” story lines, so I read a lot of young adult.
If so do you find yourself editing the work as you go or are you able to “switch off?” No, I am definitely editing as I go.
What advice would you give to someone starting out as an editor?Research and marketing in that order. Look at the average prices free-lance editors are charging and determine where in that range your skills and experience fit. Decide which type of content you would be most happy reading, if you don’t love reading what you are working on then you will struggle to effectively edit that work. Then find all the places you can advertise yourself. Be willing to work for free in the beginning, building a name will help you be prosperous later on.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to self-edit? Self-editing leads to second and third guessing of what you wrote and in doing so often leads to further mistakes. It is time consuming and that time could be spent working on your next novel. Find a good editor and let them assist you in seeing your vision in all its potential.
Tell us a silly fact about yourself. I have a stuffed frog that I can’t sleep without.