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Old 03-12-2012, 06:29 PM   #46
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Not being addressed is what actually is an error. For example, is using "since" when you mean "because" an error? Maybe, maybe not in today's usage.
Things like its instead of it's (and vice versa), double/repeated words — he then he, and and then, etc, sometimes even the wrong character name. One even said "the new priest at Our Lady of Guadalupe told Daryl that the priest had requested ???" and I had to email the writer to find out what it was supposed to say ("a transfer to another parish" in case anyone is interested).

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As for whether a proofreader or an editor is required, I think you need to define exactly what functions you expect each to perform. In the U.S., a proofreader does not correct grammar. They may question something, but they do not correct it; that is an editor's job.
What would you call someone who can find mistakes like the ones above, plus punctuation abuse, overly repeated phrases, and also plot holes/inconsistencies? And more to the point, how much should someone like that charge per 1,000 words?
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:53 PM   #47
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But that's the problem, Justin (and I mean no offence by saying this); self-publishing is all well and good, but readers can get a poorer experience as a result. If I were to buy your book, would I find phrases like "turn the world on it's head" in it? That why editors are so important.
Not always. I think sometimes they too freely make changes. Even changing the position of commas and dropping italics from words that were meant to be emphasised changes the meaning of a sentence sometimes, even when it's only a subtle change of meaning. An editor does not know the nuances that a writer wants to convey, and can ride rough shod over a carefully worded MS.

If I have any editor touching one of my books again, I want one that knows more than I do, and only makes suggestions, not changes.

Last edited by Marj; 03-12-2012 at 10:24 PM.
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:58 PM   #48
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Errors are common in "back catalogue" stuff, but I very rarely see egrarious errors in new books. I believe you are mistaken in saying that traditional publishers do not employ proof-readers.
I recently read a just-published Harper Collins paperback. It had 'here' and 'hear' confused, and several times used 'diffused' when it should have been 'defused.' I wasn't entirely sure about 'diffused' as it could have been American usage, but hear/here is basic. I thought someone should have been fired for that.
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Old 03-13-2012, 07:59 AM   #49
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Things like its instead of it's (and vice versa), double/repeated words — he then he, and and then, etc, sometimes even the wrong character name. One even said "the new priest at Our Lady of Guadalupe told Daryl that the priest had requested ???" and I had to email the writer to find out what it was supposed to say ("a transfer to another parish" in case anyone is interested).



What would you call someone who can find mistakes like the ones above, plus punctuation abuse, overly repeated phrases, and also plot holes/inconsistencies? And more to the point, how much should someone like that charge per 1,000 words?
The repeated words are the province of both a proofreader and an editor. The missing material (the ???) is the province of the editor. It is the editor who is responsible for "punctuation abuse" (I'm not really sure what that is but those are editorial, not proofreading, decisions.)

Repeated phrases and plot problems are editorial, not proofreading, problems.

(BTW, by province, I mean primary responsibility. A proofreader should not focus on what are the editor's responsibility. This is not to say that if somethine as glaring as the the ??? is spotted during proofreading that it shouldn't be noted, just that the fixing of the problem should have been done by the editor.)

As for charge per 1000 words, I have no idea. I don't work on fiction and I don't charge by the 1000 words criterion for the work that I do. I would think that the amount to be charged depends on many factors, not least of which is exactly what the editor or proofreader is being hired to do and how experienced the editor/proofreader is?

Last edited by rhadin; 03-14-2012 at 12:40 PM. Reason: correct misspelling
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Old 03-13-2012, 09:36 PM   #50
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I personally use both a proof reader and an editor now, but only could afford that since my 2nd book had time to rack up sales. I find the proof reader makes the editors job possible. I see them as stages of the process....


in overly simple terms that are not all inclusive...

Write trash... proof reader makes legible... editor makes it flow

Parallel to editing that I also use pre-readers.

IMO at least.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:05 AM   #51
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Once you've gone through that process, do you then sell your work for less than a dollar?
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:24 AM   #52
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Once you've gone through that process, do you then sell your work for less than a dollar?

My current pricing is that book one is free, book 2 and 3 are $2.99. When book 4 is ready I plan to charge $2.99 for it.
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:56 AM   #53
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This has been my point throughout this thread. I think (and this is only my point of view before Robert Jordan kicks in again) that $2.99 is a fair price for someone who isn't Robert Jordan.
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Old 03-14-2012, 11:04 AM   #54
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It's funny that we are debating $.99 prices at the same time Apple is being sued for colluding with publishers in a major price-fixing scheme--the benevolent Steve Jobs' underhanded attempt to lop the Kindle off at the knees.
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Old 03-14-2012, 12:49 PM   #55
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This has been my point throughout this thread. I think (and this is only my point of view before Robert Jordan kicks in again) that $2.99 is a fair price for someone who isn't Robert Jordan.
I think the point that others were trying to make -- and I know I was trying to make -- was that $2.99 is a fair price for an author whose work I am familiar with. I have bought VydorScope's books 2 and 3 at $2.99 (and expect to buy book 4), but I wouldn't have bought either book had book 1 also been $2.99. Why? Because I wouldn't have paid $2.99 for an unknown author; too many of the unkown authors write poorly and/or fail to use editors so that I am constantly barraged by hear when here is meant, who's when it should be whose, there when it should be their, you're when it should be your, etc. At most I would pay 99 cents for that first book, but even then, with all of the free books available and the limited time I have to read, I might not.

VydorScope's books are not the only ones that have followed this pattern with me. Shayne Parkinson and Tracy Falbe are two other examples. The first books were free and I tried them. I got hooked and have bought every novel they've written since at prices as high as $4.95.

So, yes, $2.99 is a fair price for an author I am familiar with; not with an author with whom I am unfamiliar and thus have no certainty that they know how to construct a sentence, let alone a paragraph and a book.
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:26 PM   #56
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So, yes, $2.99 is a fair price for an author I am familiar with; not with an author with whom I am unfamiliar and thus have no certainty that they know how to construct a sentence, let alone a paragraph and a book.
How often are we truly unfamiliar with an author though? Everything we need to get familiar is right there for the taking. Amazon reviews and customer ratings, sales ranks, writer blogs, forums, and--most importantly--the ability to preview a good chunk of whatever book you are thinking about buying.

It's only really a shot in the dark if you don't make use of these resources. The instant we see that a book has 100 reviews and a four star average, though, we can't claim to be unfamiliar anymore.

It makes some sense that a book with no ratings and a low sales rank, or a book that is poorly written, would be priced at $.99. But in my opinion, no book with a bunch of positive ratings should ever dip below $2.99.

Taking things in perspective, it is absolutely absurd that $2.99 is high for a book when people are paying nearly twice that for a latte. Experience a book that someone probably slaved over for an extended period of time--or buy a bag of Doritos?
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Old 03-14-2012, 02:43 PM   #57
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:56 PM   #58
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It's only really a shot in the dark if you don't make use of these resources. The instant we see that a book has 100 reviews and a four star average, though, we can't claim to be unfamiliar anymore.
But how many .99-2.99 self-pub eBooks have 100 reviews?
Most seem to have less than 10.
If I'm just cruising Amazon following the 'Customers who bought this also...' links, and I come across an interesting blurb on a 99c book, I'll buy it. I might get around to reading it, I might not. If I do read it, I might like it, I might not, but at 99c that is worth the gamble. At 2.99 it isn't. (For me)
If I like the first book, I'll probably pay 2.99 for the next one. But if the first one is 2.99, chances are I'll never try it, not as long as there is a more-than-sufficient supply of free and 99c books available.
Ultimately it is a free market, and you are competing with all the other authors for the pool of customers. If they are willing to sell at 99c, you better have something extra to offer to charge significantly more.
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:22 PM   #59
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How often are we truly unfamiliar with an author though? Everything we need to get familiar is right there for the taking. Amazon reviews and customer ratings, sales ranks, writer blogs, forums, and--most importantly--the ability to preview a good chunk of whatever book you are thinking about buying.

It's only really a shot in the dark if you don't make use of these resources. The instant we see that a book has 100 reviews and a four star average, though, we can't claim to be unfamiliar anymore.
What does that mean though? It means 100 people liked it enough to leave a review. And it received generally positive rating. But then some people, lots if the people I read on forums are representative will only leave positive ratings (4 or 5). And it says something different if that 100 comes from 250, 1000 or 10,000 copies sold but there's no easy way to tell that. Even if there were there's no way to tell how many people actually read it. Maybe there are books that particularly appeal to the e-hoarder (good blurb and nice cover).

And even after all that, if this really is a book truly loved by a lot of people, does that mean I'll like it? I've tried to read Dan Brown, Stephanie Meyer and James Patterson and given up. But I enjoy authors that other people might hate.

So the info that's available is a hint, a small clue but we're still really not "familiar" with that author's work.

Not that I'm arguing for 99c prices. I'm arguing we need better ways to find out about new books than "try it out because it's cheap and got some good reviews"
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:10 PM   #60
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I can buy a movie that a few hundred people spent millions of dollars making over more than a year for about the price of a paperback. Pretending that there is some intrinsic worth of a thing - that the price you charge is related to its inherent artistic merit - is a total fallacy. Stop worrying about it.
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