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View Diary: My book is No. 1 on B&N's Nook bestseller list (267 comments)

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  •  possibly dumb question about editors/editing... (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not in this business at all but I'm thinking about taking the plunge. I have a manuscript I wrote years ago, and the idea of using an indie publisher and/or e-publishing is really attractive...

    In the meantime, I am working on a book translation for another author (from Dutch to English, non-fiction) and I find myself doing a whole lot of what I think is editing. The subject matter is very interesting to me, and the writer is a charming person, but her writing is a bit haphazard. I've been recasting sentences, moving sentences around within paragraphs, moving paragraphs around within chapters, adding transition elements, and so forth. I don't think this is really part of my job description as translator, but I'm enjoying it and the author is very happy with my suggestions.

    Is this editing? Could I be (or become) an editor? How does that work (if you know...)? I'm rather resistant to the idea of getting hooked up with a big publishing company (for all the reasons you've mentioned) but maybe I don't have to.  I got the translation job (even though I have no "training" as a translator) via a friend on facebook. The author asked me and four professional translators to do a sample translation, and she liked mine the best. And here I am.

    Thanks for any advice you can give!

    •  Yes, you've been editing (1+ / 0-)
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      Averblue: You're doing the work an editor does when you recast sentences, reorganize for clarity, etc. (on top of the translation effort). As the diarist's success in the indie pub world indicates, there is a growing need for editor "guns for hire," and the trick is to find the places where writers go to find work.

      That said, you should bone up on what I'll call "editor speak," to improve your ability to communicate why you're recommending certain changes. "It feels dense" is less convincing than "you have 6 thoughts in this paragraph and studies show that readers usually can't juggle more than about 3."

      I'd also recommend networking with other freelance editors, to find out the perqs and pitfalls of running such a business, and for developing referrals. I'm a technical writer, among other things, and when I can't take on a particular project, I make it a point to give out the names of others who might be able to.

      + + + That crazy neighbor, you know, the one with all those cats

      by cvannatta on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 06:37:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sounds like editing to me. And I would think (0+ / 0-)

      the ability to both translate and edit would be a more lucrative skill than just editing.

      I have no idea how you'd get that work, but it seems there would be work.

      Confession time: When I'm not ranting about politics, I write romance novels

      by teresahill on Sun Oct 14, 2012 at 07:47:32 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  thanks! (0+ / 0-)

        I kind of have the feeling that work will find me (the way the first job did) because apparently the author I'm working for now is very active on facebook, and lots of her fans/friends here are also writing in the alternative health field. I'll just need to work on being more efficient in my communication (re: what cvannatta said) and come up with a new tarief zodat ik me niet in de vingers snij. So that I don't cut myself in the fingers, literally, that is, give my work away for basically nothing.

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