Articles tagged "editing"

Everybody Needs an Editor

Happy Editing Month, everyone. Didn’t know May was Editing Month? Well it is, because Lulu says it is! And we all have our virtual red pens poised and ready to edit some great books!

“I was an English major, so I don’t need editing.” “My professor already edited it.” “My mother was a teacher for 27 years; she can proofread it.”

We here at Lulu have heard every rationalization authors have for not investing in professional copy editing. It’s completely understandable—editing can be costly, especially if you have a very long manuscript. And for some, it may seem preposterous to pay someone else to do what your professor or a relative has already done.

So why should you consider a professional copy edit?

First, remember that, while it is great that you have friends or family that will closely read your book (trust me, not everyone is that lucky!), more than likely, these people are not editors by trade. A teacher is not an editor. An English major, while he or she may have a better grasp on the English language than most, probably isn’t up-to-date on the changing style rules. (The Chicago Manual of Style is on its 16th edition—which edition is that dusty copy of yours?) Not to mention, your friend knows how hard you’ve worked on your book and may be afraid to tell you that your dialogue is dry and unrealistic, or that Chapters 9 through 14 go off on a tangent they didn’t understand. An editor doesn’t know you from Adam, and isn’t concerned with hurting your feelings—they want your book to be as good as it possibly can be.

Second, a proofread is not a copy edit. What your friends are probably doing for you is checking for typos and grammar mistakes. While these are, of course, very important, they only scratch the surface of what a true editor looks at in a manuscript. A professional editor is also looking at syntax, word choice, organization, plot and character development, text flow, inconsistencies in tense, among other issues.

Third, consider the value that a copy edit will add to your book. You wouldn’t go out the door without looking in the mirror to make sure your shirt is buttoned correctly, right? Now imagine if you had a stylist from Vogue stopping you at the door each morning to tell you if your shoes are inappropriate for the interview/wedding/wrestling match you’re headed to. That’s what editing does for your book. It adds credibility—you obviously think so much of your book, and of the information you are relaying, that you won’t settle with only one pair of eyes going over it. Yes, the cost of editing might be higher than what you’d planned to spend on the whole pre-publishing process, but it’s really an investment in your book’s future.  You’ve worked on this book for months, or maybe years—you certainly don’t want your reviews to start, “Great message overall, but couldn’t get past the glaring typos and strange sentence structure.”

How can Lulu help with editing?

An Editorial Quality Review is a great place to start. This service is included in our three main Pre-Publishing Packages, and is also available on its own. This review not only provides helpful feedback that you might use in your own revisions, but also recommends one of our three levels of copy editing. And to celebrate Editing Month, we are offering the Editorial Quality Review itself, normally $199, for $149, plus 15% off the price of whichever copy edit we suggest. And if you decide to take that polished manuscript all the way to the finish line with one our publishing packages, we’ll reduce the cost of the Review from the package price. To get started, just click “Add to Cart” here.  This promotion, along with Editing Month festivities, will end on June 1, 2011.

The Top 3 Most Helpful Services

Here at Lulu, our goal is to help you sell more books.  One of the ways we do this is by providing you with a variety of service options to help you out during the publishing process – from start to finish.

When you buy services from Lulu, you’ll be assigned a project coordinator who will help guide you along the way and answer any questions you may have about your service.

The following are some of what I believe are the best services for getting your book looking its best from the inside out.

Making Criticism Work For You

If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re the creative type and maybe even a DIY-er. If I were to guess, I’d have to say you’ve probably written your own book, edited it, and then designed the cover. Pretty impressive, and you definitely get a pat on the back from me. But you may have noticed that it’s really easy to get stuck inside your own head and become blind or even evasive of constructive criticism when you’re doing it all on your own. The key is to not let your work suffer.

$150 Book Fair Coupon with the Purchase of a Publishing Pack

BookFairSvcs_BlogGraphicWhat better way to show off your newly published book than at a book fair?  Purchase any one of our publishing packages from now through March 31, and we’ll give you a coupon for $150 towards any one of our book fairs.  Most of the book fairs we offer start at $150, so you essentially can get a great promotional tool for free!

Marketing your book at a book fair is a great way to get exposure to booksellers, librarians, agents, the media, and more.  Your book is displayed at the show and is also included in the book fair catalog.  This catalog is a valuable tool that book buyers use when they’re making their annual purchases.

If you’re ready to publish and were going to use one of publishing packages anyway, why not get some extra icing on your cake?  Not only will we help with editing, formatting, cover design, and ISBN distribution, with our book fair offer you’ll get a great marketing push as you introduce your work to the market.

This promotion cannot be combined with any other offer or discount. Author is responsible for cost of shipping 2 books to be displayed at the book fair. The $150 coupon is applied toward a book fair service, but may not cover the entire cost of the book fair. When selecting a book fair, the publisher should consider the time it will take to go through the pre-publishing process.

The Importance of Editing

photo: Unhindered by Talent

photo: Unhindered by Talent

One of the most common questions I receive is, “Why isn’t my book selling?”  The answer is usually painful to hear.  Avoiding that question altogether lies in tackling another question early in the publishing process, “What will prevent my book from selling?”

Editing is one of the absolute factors that will influence your book sales. The degree to which you personally edit your thoughts and writing, combined with the degree to which you invest in professional editing will ultimately play a large role in developing reader comfort.  A great edit will not ensure your book sells, but it will definitely eliminate one of the largest potential detractors that might prevent book sales.

Customize Your Way to a Published Success

When I was in school, nothing stressed me out more than having to edit and format those 10 to 15 page term papers, so I can’t even imagine how much pressure authors must feel when tackling those massive 300 page manuscripts. Now, Lulu authors have it easy! Lulu Services has whipped up some exciting new offerings to better meet everyone’s needs and ease a little of that pre-publishing anxiety.

Introducing (drum roll, please)…Customizable Publishing Packs!

The standard Publishing Pack is PERFECT for anyone who is feeling a little overwhelmed about putting the finishing touches on their work, because this service bundle has industry professionals take care of pre-publishing needs like editorial work and custom cover design.

Wait…it gets better! Now, anyone interested in the pack can choose to customize their bundle with one of Lulu’s four formatting services. These offerings range from a basic service for text-only manuscripts to a custom service for longer books with an unlimited number of images.

If you’re looking for a way to move your project to the next level, a Lulu publishing pack will take you there and beyond!

Burn, Which, Burn!

By Richard Curtis

Of the million ways that digital technology has impacted on publishing, one that has not been noted to my knowledge is the significance of manuscript submissions online. Only a few years ago, the only procedure for submission of manuscripts by authors and agents was US mail or, in urgent cases, courier or messenger. Emailing manuscripts as attachments unless expressly requested by editors was a breach of protocol to say nothing of good manners.

Two or three years ago that changed. Though unsolicited material was still prohibited, email submissions by recognized authors and agents were accepted, and today this practice is commonplace. But until the introduction of the Sony E-Book Reader and the Amazon Kindle, editors receiving emailed manuscripts printed them out and read them in the traditional way – on paper. Agents and authors rejoiced because the cost and bother of printing and mailing manuscripts was shifted to publishers. And though publishers bore these burdens stoically, the scramble for photocopier time, the expense of purchasing and maintaining high-speed machines, and the wasteful generation of paper were just further proof that publishing was still stuck in a twentieth century brick and mortar/mechanical business model.

Last summer, an editor told me at lunch that her company had experimentally distributed Sony E-Book Readers to its editorial staff and encouraged it to download manuscript submissions into the device and read them that way. She said she was deliriously happy; it solved a million problems from schlepping heavy manuscripts in back-straining briefcases and backpacks, to shameful waste of environmental resources. Some other benefits were the ability to read books on crowded buses and subways without having to shuffle pages.

Since then, publisher after publisher has followed suit. As a great many editors commute between Brooklyn and Manhattan, the subway line between the boroughs has been nicknamed the Sony Express. (Some editors prefer to read submissions on Amazon Kindles.)