Mademoiselle Français: éditeur extraordinaire

Not too long ago I wrote a blog bemoaning the challenges of find a good (and reasonably priced) copy editor. Several of you came through and messaged me with recommendations for which I am extremely grateful. As a result, I’m happy to say that I not only found a wonderful editor to take on my project, I actually have a finished project! I can’t say enough about the extraordinary Ms. French and would recommend her services to anyone in the market for editing services.
I’ll be honest, I was a little nervous at first. Editors aren’t cheap and testimonials are a dime a dozen. I scoured the web for hours looking for reputable and reasonable services, and the more I saw the more concerned I became about getting a good value for my money. I’m a firm believer that you get what you pay for and if something seems too good to be true, well, you get the idea.
Still, I didn’t want to shell out thousands of dollars because:
1) I don’t have that kind of money for editing services
2) I was concerned that I might be overpaying for the quality of work.
Ultimately, I ended up selecting an editor that came to me through a personal referral and I couldn’t be happier with the results! Ms. French was extremely professional and invested a considerable amount of time explaining both her background and her process to me so that I’d be comfortable with the arrangement before proceeding. She also delivered the project on time and on budget which was almost as important to me as getting quality work.
I’m really excited about the results and can’t wait to share with everyone! I’ve still got one step to go before I can officially call myself a published author: cover art.
Wish me luck!

Snapple Real Fact #741: Plants, like humans, can run a fever if they are sick.
(I wonder if they’re also prone to migraines? And where you take the temperature? And if I can just stick my thermometer in a potted plant the next time I want to call in sick!)
On serious note (or as serious as I get), this is kind of a big week for me. What constitutes a big week? Let’s see:
1.       I am going to get a first look at my cover art tomorrow. (Yikes! However will I sleep tonight? I hope it is AWESOME!)
2.       I received the first round of edits on my manuscript. I’ll be honest, I might’ve been expecting more red. Guess I picked up a thing or two (not about commas) in 10th grade English. I was always a fan of reading, writing, and spelling. I loved spelling.  And writing. And reading. Grammar? Not so much.
3.       I got some positive reinforcement on my manuscript. (Hey, it’s the little things). It was just nice to hear someone (outside my circle of guiding critics) say that they really enjoyed reading my work.
4.       I may be in high gear, no sleep, bags-under-my-eyes mode at my day job, but come 5 o’clock Friday I will officially be on vacation. I’ve got a date with sun, sand, and margaritas!  Viva la Mexico!
5.       Last but not least, I’m volunteering at the food bank tomorrow night. It’s just a couple of hours, but it always leaves me feeling good. Really good. And makes me wish I’d find more time to volunteer. Working at the food bank somehow makes all of the little things seem, well, little. I can’t think of a better way to put life in perspective than to give back to the community and get a gracious reminder of how lucky I truly am.

For the Love of… Editing?

Snapple Real Fact #832: Brain waves can power an electric train.
(How cool is that? I have no idea how it works, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome!)
So, earlier this week I mentioned that I’m passionate about good editing. It wasn’t a dig at the book I was reviewing. It was just me jumping up and down on my soapbox. I mean, if you don’t get to spout off every now and then, what’s the point of having a blog?
Okay, so what you really want to know is why I am so passionate about good editing? (To be fair, if you’re asking I have to assume you either don’t read that much or you’ve never read a terribly edited book!) So, why good editing?
1. Readers deserve it. They’re paying for the book after all. Typos and incorrect word use are a distraction and detract from the story.
2. In the face of an ongoing quest to legitimize indie books and their authors, examples of typos, spelling errors, and poor formatting are fodder for traditional publishing houses. Yes, the very same publishing houses who would tell you the only good books are the ones that make the shelves of big box retailers.
3. There are a lot of great writers out there working to provide us (the readers) with books that may never make it in the mainstream market, but which are wonderful in their own right. I’d hate for their hard work to be diminished by blanket stereotypes regarding the quality of indie books.
Believe me, I get it. Indie authors operate on a shoestring budget. It can’t be easy to be your own publisher, publicist, marketer, and all around guru of all things publishing related. It’s undoubtedly overwhelming. (See? I’m tired just writing about it!) But with an infinite number of freelance editors just a mouse click away, it’s one task I’d be more than happy to farm out!
I’ve always loved to read. And I’ve always love to write. But that doesn’t mean grammar is my thing. Just ask my 10th grade English teacher, who btw, you’ll find moonlighting at FYE in the mall.