Sal, Captain of the Baby Guards Giveaway

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Sal, Captain of the Baby Guards by Jennifer Reinoehl

Sal, Captain of the Baby Guards

by Jennifer Reinoehl

Giveaway ends May 07, 2014.

See the giveaway details at Goodreads.

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Business Connections

As I have mentioned before, I use LinkedIn and Google+ to make business connections. I will friend anyone who asks on these social networking websites. I give advice on LinkedIn in some of the freelancing groups and I give advice on here. Most of it is general, and I don't mind doing it. However, I recently had someone connect with me on LinkedIn and then ask to critique his stuff.

I know it sounds heartless, but I don't even critique/ edit my close friends' stuff for free. I have had two or three friends who were "writing a book," and they wanted me to either be their writing partners (i.e. encourage them to keep writing it by pestering them weekly) or to edit it. At this point, I said, "Sure, this is how much I charge..." and then they dropped the subject.

Sorry, I feed my family with my work. Every minute I spend working on something other than what I am getting paid to do is that much food I am taking away from my kids. My husband's paycheck pays the bills; mine pays gas, food, and to grow my business. So, when this person asked me, I calmly quoted my rates and referred him to my Guru profile link.

I have recently had someone contact me outside of Guru about doing freelancing. Expanding my work beyond Guru would be the next logical step in my freelance business growth. However, I have not made a final decision about it yet. I will keep you posted. Guru (or elance) is a lot safer than going it on your own.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is a good way for authors to put their books out. You post a project on a project board and have friends and family (and hopefully strangers) donate. It actually works for a variety of things, but there are some websites that particularly target authors: Pubslush and Unbound are two that looked particularly appealing to me.

However, not every crowdfunding website is ideal. Since I am trying to create an entire publishing company, crowdfunding loans look good to me right now. Traditional banks give loans to small businesses sparingly and my bank has already told me I would have to show increasing returns for five years to get one. I have only worked a little over a year as a freelance writer, so I would have a long time to wait to expand into self-publishing. They also have donation crowdfunding and reward crowdfunding (where you give people who donate a reward like a free book or two after you reach your goal). The only kind of crowdfunding I don't recommend for freelancers is equity or royalty crowdfunding. Not only would these be difficult to pay out and manage on your taxes, most freelancers/ authors are not going to have a corporation set up that would easily be divided into shares.

Be prepared - you will have to show you know what you are doing and you are going to complete the project. Many of the better crowdfunding websites will screen people who want to post and all the loan/ equity ones will.

Friday, April 18, 2014

What Does It Cost to Get a Manuscript Edited?

I am always harping on people who self-publish to edit their work. I am an editor, but I am not saying you should have your work edited just because I want you to hire me. I am saying it because most people are not going to recommend a book that they struggled their way through because of editing errors. Generally, every time I publish a post on editing, it is because I recently read a self-published book that was awful because of the editing.

Today, I was reading a book that was self-published through a vanity press. In case you weren't aware, a vanity press is a brick and mortar press that will print your books for you and occasionally help you market and distribute it. However, unlike CreateSpace, they charge an arm and a leg and make you purchase a certain amount of hard copies when you do it. Before the internet, this was the only way you could self-publish - but it isn't really self-publishing. It is also not what I call "assisted self-publishing" - an online publishing company that charges you to print your book, but turns around and publishes it for you with CreateSpace/Kindle (or through another online self-publishing company).

In the old days, vanity presses always edited your book for you - but you would have to submit an order of thousands of books at a time. They were also fly-by-night and occasionally authors would pay to have their book published and never receive the hard copies because the company would go under before they finished. Now, with print-on-demand (through modern technology), they still cost an arm and a leg, but you can choose from a variety of packages and you can order fewer books. It will still run you thousands of dollars to do it, though.

Sadly, editing services are often offered only in the more expensive packages. Looking at their prices, I know you can find freelancers to edit your work for less. So, I did some research, and I looked at how much freelance editors will charge you for their services. As expected there is great variation in rates charged, but in general you can expect to pay $2.50 - $12.00 per page (double spaced - 250 words) ($0.01 - $0.05/ word). Rates vary based on what type of service you need - obviously content editing costs more because the editor is making your manuscript flow and fixing problems with content that go beyond standard grammar and spelling errors. Paying more money does not necessarily mean you will get a better editor.

If you post a project on Guru (or elance), look at work samples of the freelancers who bid on your project. Make sure the person is (1) finding errors and (2) not correcting something that is correct. Generally, editors on freelance websites are going to charge on the lower end of the spectrum because they are bidding against others, but be careful of choosing someone simply because they bid lowest (or highest). If you don't want to hire a freelancer, you can also get Grammarly to edit for you, but I think you have to have a subscription and actually put the document into the checker before you get that option.