Step 2 in the publishing process is editing. Beth Wright from Trio Bookworks, Pat Morris from Book Architects, and Sherry Roberts from The Roberts Group led a discussion titled "Professional Editing Sells Books," at the Oct. 8 MIPA meeting, held at the Carondolet Center in St. Paul.
Their presentation began with a discussion about the importance of editing. "Whether your book is fiction, nonfiction, fantasy, or a memoir, you will need a professional editor," said Wright. "Your editor is a consultant who will help make your book the best it can be."
Wright shared that the stages of editing include self-editing, developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading.
A developmental editor is someone who can get involved in the project before the writing process even begins to offer suggestions on how the author can accomplish his or her goals for the book. Advice can be offered in the areas of character development, narrative voice, pacing, style, and language.
Copyediting happens when the manuscript is in its nearly final stage. During this process the editor improves formatting, style, and accuracy of the text. Wright explained that she often will create a list of characters and places mentioned in the book during this phase, and as she makes her way through the read make sure the story stays consistent.
Proofreading is where the text is checked for typos, grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. This is done at the page proof stage.
Both Wright and Roberts suggested that all authors self-edit their manuscripts as well throughout the process, and preferably do at least one round before they turn their manuscript over to an editor. "It's a good idea to read the text out loud," said Roberts. "I will often catch things that need to be changed in my own books by doing that."
"Errors are frustrating to readers. You need to make sure the book is perfect before you put it out there, and the only way to do that is to hire an editor or team of editors to help you," said Pat Morris from Book Architects.
The presenters also offered this important advice:
- Ask the editor you are considering hiring for a sample page or two so you can get an idea of how he or she will go about editing your work.
- Find someone you feel comfortable with and can trust.
- Inquire about the editor's rates before you get started. Rates range from about $14/hour to $125/hour. Keep in mind, an editor may read a manuscript two, three or more times.
Handouts: Download handouts from this presentation.
November Meeting: "Step 3: The Secrets to Good Book Design and Eye-catching Covers" will be on Nov. 12 at 7 p.m. at the Carondolet Center in St. Paul. Please join us.
MIPA met many readers, writers, and publishers at the 2014 Twin Cities Book Festival sponsored by Rain Taxi on October 11, 2014. The MIPA Board—Sybil Smith, Rachel Anderson, Judith Palmateer, Dorie McClelland, and Sherry Roberts—staffed the MIPA booth and spread the word about MIPA.
For the first time, we had some author signings by MIPA members. Thank you to Elizabeth von Berrinberg, author of The City in Flames, and Audrey McClellan, author of the Scottish Island novels, for stopping by and signing and selling their books. It is great to show the world what a diverse group of publishers we are.
Judith Palmateer, chair of the Midwest Book Awards, distributed flyers throughout the festival letting publishers and authors know the book awards are accepting entries. MIPA is proud to support literary events like the Twin Cities Book Festival.
On September 24, MIPA offered its first webinar: “Discoverability: How to Help Readers Connect with Your Books.”
Presenter Rod Mebane, of Starshine Galaxy in Illinois, discussed ways to create buzz about your books. Rod was the recipient of the MIPA scholarship to attend the 2014 IBPA Publishing University. The presentation was based on the many discussions he attended at PubU.
“Authors will sell the book,” Mebane said. “The real work begins after the book is written.”
Mebane said all books and authors need some communication plan to connect readers with the book. When putting together your plan, consider three questions:
- Who are the right people? Not everyone who reads is your target audience or market.
- What is your pitch or the message you want to send to your readers? What is the book about and how is it meaningful to your readers?
- How can you most (cost-) effectively reach the people who are most likely to buy or be interested in your book? Find out where you readers “live,” where they spend their time (blogs, books, magazines) and what they look at regularly and find credible.
“Most people don’t like to be pushed,” Mebane said. “They like to be able to pull what they need.”
Mebane offered several other tips on how to create buzz for your books. Check out the entire webinar, which was recorded, below.
Listen to a recording of the entire webinar below or download the audio here.
Pick up a copy of the PowerPoint slides from the presentation here.