Saturday, February 20, 2016

Why is it taking the freelancer so long to edit?

So, I push the need for all authors to hire professional editors. However, sometimes it can take longer than expected for the editor to do the work. I, in fact, have had bad feedback because of the time it can take for an editing job, but I want to explain the editors side of it.

On the particular project I am thinking of, if everything had gone the way I had planned it, the project would have taken a month. However, this particular job required a LOT of rearranging of chapters because none of them made chronological sense. Then, our transmission in our van stopped working.

Well, that meant for two weeks I had to spend 4 hours each day just driving - driving to take my husband and kids to work and driving to pick them up. You don't get much editing done while you are driving, but I let the author know what was happening.

When we got the situation taken care of, I settled in, already at my month's deadline, and finished the first edit. I sent it to her, and she sent it back in a day or two. However, instead of accepting or rejecting the changes, she sent it back to me just as I had sent it to her. I asked some questions and she said she was going to upload some pictures for it, and then she disappeared.

Now, in all fairness, she had some family issues that she needed to take care of. She did send me some sporadic e-mails saying she was busy. The process for her took over a month. When she returned, she had expected me to keep editing without her - uh, and she hadn't even told me what changes to keep or reject...

In the end, it seemed as if she just wanted me to keep all the changes I made. So I did - that at least was easy enough. And I started my second edit. Now, at this point, I left my comments from the first time in because she had not addressed any of them. I worked through the manuscript and sent it back to her.

This time, she not only did not accept or reject ANY of my changes, but she commented - in text - when she wanted me to accept or reject them. Now, the first edit I did was a lot of moving things around, this was a bit more than just a grammar edit. When I edit, you can expect an average of 70 changes per page - especially if I am your first editor. She rejected about 30 changes in the entire 100 pages. She did it in text, not using the comment feature, but her "changes" (read comments) showed up in blue. This meant, I had to go through and click every single change, stopping at the blue ones to see what they said - usually "keep this part you deleted" after the deleted section.

Authors, it is very important to learn how to use the track changes feature. It is also important that you go through each change and accept or reject it. If you don't care, just accept everything. Do not return the red manuscript to your editor and expect them to be able to work with it. Do not comment in text because that makes it even more difficult for the editor. Editors should work with changes tracked- I say the one exception is with formatting because you need to see your changes immediately when you are doing that. Keeping the track changes feature on while you accept or reject changes can be helpful because sometimes you may want to make a change that the editor doesn't know about. However, if you want to directly speak to the editor or address comments the editor had made. use the comments feature.

Aside from the issues that came up in my life and hers, there are many other reasons why an editor may be taking longer than expected. For example, the document may have been well edited in the beginning so the editor glanced over that and decided it was a quick job; then, as the editor got into the work more issues appeared. If you did your homework and hired a good editor, you should be confident that there is a reason for the delay. In most cases, a quick e-mail to the editor should resolve the reason. However, keep in mind that if you want a rush job, the editor may not be able to reply to daily e-mails because he or she is working on the job.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Goodreads Book Reviews Post 1

Goodreads is a great way for authors to connect with others. I have talked about some of the review groups that allow authors to exchange reviews. Here are a few of the books I read for the Review group:

(swearing, sex, some violence)
I received this book free from the author for an honest review.
In Strange Worlds by Brenda Cheers begins on page one with tension as the main character wakes in a Melbourne, Australia, hospital. The plotline is solid as the story unfolds we see the main character taking charge of her fate and learning to survive on her own. Plot twists keep the reader turning pages to unravel the mystery surrounding the new world the character has entered.
There were a few things I didn’t like. I thought the author had only done precursory research on some of her topics. However, I suppose it would be easy to brush these off as part of the plot twists, but I don’t like that excuse. I didn’t feel the things that were inconsistent were purposefully placed, but accidental. I also didn’t like the pacing of some of the story. However, this did fit in with the plot twists, so I can accept it.


I received this book free from the author for an honest review.
Maisy and the Missing Mice: The Maisy Files Book 1 byElizabeth Woodrum is written in a style similar to the Encyclopedia Brown mystery series with a female protagonist. The plot is fascinating and unique. The author knows her audience and has delivered writing that is spot on for the upper elementary age group. It does not contain inappropriate material, either.
I only had a few problems with the book. There are some descriptions that are repeated. I enjoyed that Elizabeth Woodrum was trying to imitate that Maltese Falcon era style (cue the background solo saxophone), but she doesn’t quite have it nailed with this first book. It will be interesting to read book 2 and see how she has continued to develop this.
Also, once we are introduced to the black and white world, I would have liked all colors to have faded. Instead, Woodrum sometimes wavers between color and grayscale (along the lines of : “her hair was not really the dark gray Maisy was seeing. It was actually a dark, coppery-red mass…”). At other times, she does a great job of keeping it without color: “She peeled the grey shaded peel from the banana…”. This is just something minor, though, in the overall scheme of things.
All-in-all, I am planning on passing this book on for my daugthers to enjoy. I know my oldest will be re-reading it again and again. Any child who loves mysteries will like this. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Hiring Me

Over the past year, I have gotten a lot of comments asking how to hire me. I don't make it a secret that I work on Guru. In fact, when I type "Paradoxical Guru" into Google, my profile is the first thing that comes up. It amazes me that after reading my blog and being familiar with my tongue-in-cheek attitude that some of you would want to do this, but if you do hire me, I will give you the best job I can. As you probably know, I don't candy coat things. 

I don't necessarily think it is difficult to find me; however, getting on Guru as an employer can be a daunting task. At the top of my profile, you will see a "join now" link and that is how you set up your own profile. Then you will need to create a job post and make it private if you only want to work with me and aren't interested in seeing what other freelancers have to offer. I actually recommend JoyMC and Pam Pieroni because they have equal or better skill than me. I use them to edit and help with my stuff. They have learned the art of PR and so probably wouldn't be as abrasive as my ADHD makes me at times. 

Once you post a job and invite me, it will show up in my leads. Now, if you invite me to a job for something I don't do- like say you send me a job wanting me to write an app for you- I will either (a) ignore it or (b) send you back a slightly sassy message that says the equivalent of REALLY?! Guru keeps track of a variety of matrices. When you see the listing of Freelancers, the ones that appear at the top either (a) paid for it or (b) earned it. Guru lets you know who paid for it so the ones that are toward the top and not marked as premium bids are the ones that deserve to be there. Part of getting to the top of that list involves not only how well you keep and retain employers (and how much you make) but also how well you bid on things. Every time I bid on a job and someone else is hired, I get points against me and can drop down that list. If I bid on a job that doesn't fit what I do, then my chances of getting it are poor. 

Also keep in mind that I CAN do some things because I have the knowledge, but there are many things I don't like to do. I know about SEO and writing web content, but I hate doing it. If you try to hire me for that, chances are good I will ignore it. I also won't work for peanuts- I prefer pecans... My going rate as of today (read: it will go up in the future) is $4 per page for formatting and proofreading. If you can't afford that, you should save until you can. I am not saying you should hire me, but I am saying I am on the cheap end of the scale for good editors. 

Finally, some times I get bogged down with work, and I may not be able to respond or accept your job. For example, I was recently hired to format and proofread a master's thesis (my absolute favorite job). It was 400 pages, filled with tables and figures that need reformatting and a general mess. I was given a week and a half to do it. That is really pushing my skills to the max and most nights I got 6 hours sleep some nights I got less. I had one guy try to hire me for a job during that time, and he got upset that I didn't get back to him. I told him I was busy and he complained that it only takes a few seconds to send an e-mail. That may be true, but it takes a little longer to check e-mail (which may have more than just his message in it), craft a reply, and then send it. I suppose I could set my e-mail to autorespond with a generic, "I am currently working on a rush job, I will get back to you when I am done." But again, that would take time and I would rather be blogging. And then my life still happens. I now have five children who all require doctors visits and other appointments, as well as a baby who requires a lot of my attention. I am thinking about a vlog for the joys of parenting.