On Editing Professionally and Shit, It’s Been Two Weeks

I thought it’d only been one but apparently I’m in some kind of time warp and it’s already the end of September and I don’t know my ass from my elbow.  I’m telling you, fall is very strange in Arizona.  Growing up in New England fall couldn’t get more fall if it fell on your head.  Here?  We’re still hitting 100 and I can’t believe people are putting pumpkins out already because the heat will rot them right down.  We don’t have anything that feels even remotely close to a real fall until maybe November, if we’re lucky.  It’s weird.  It’s my third autumn here and I still haven’t adjusted to it.

The San Diego wedding hump went smashingly.  Other than having to call a restaurant to get group dining information we figured out the last remaining major things for the wedding and that butt-scratching gorilla has been lifted from my shoulders.  Thank god.  Now I just have to email people to let them know we want their services and we can kick this ball further down the line.  Stupid small wedding.  It’s supposed to be SMALL.  Ahahahahahahahaha!

My writing mojo has returned.  Or at least I’m writing at my designated time again.  I’m adjusting to new work times so my sleeps’s a little funky but not so much that I can’t write a couple pages before bed.  I try to write at least a page in my college-ruled notebook.  I don’t think I mentioned this before but I write the first draft in long-hand so I can’t go by word count unless I manually count the words on the page or type in after every time I write and screw that.  I type when I finish a chapter.  That’s the easiest way for me to do it.  So I write long hand, a page at a time.

And I think I’m going to delve into professional editing.  I’ve been doing it forever for friends and people online in various formats.  I beta-read my first professionally published book a few years ago (like major publisher and well-established author and it makes me faint every time I think about it) and to see my recommendations actually put into action in a book that is published and bound and available in brick and mortar stores and currently sits on my bookshelf is amazing.  It gives me a rush every time I think about it.  And the author is always telling me how much she loves my editing and my reviews so I figured . . . why not?

So I solicited her for some referrals for established authors she may know (either commercially published or indie/self-published) that would be interested in an edit in exchange for a referral.  Basically what I want to do before I start charging (aside from more research) is build a client list with viable authors and viable books that can basically validate this computer screen’s claim that I really can help you edit your book.  I’m offering my services for free so I can build up that padding a little simply because I don’t know how else I’m really going to be taken seriously as someone who does edit without known people to vouch for my abilities.  Sure I can do the friends and family route but editing a buddy’s fanfic won’t get me too far when I’m trying to get a good base of authors to edit.

And I’m not going to limit myself to commercially published authors either once it all gets going.  I really like helping people become better writers and I’d like to be able to establish long-term relationships with all sorts of writers instead of having a revolving door of people using my services.  I know that’s how it’ll probably be to start and if I can get some solid professional references to bolster my editing claims I’m hoping to be able to attract authors from all writing walks of life.

I don’t even think I have any readers here but if anyone knows anyone who’s looking for someone to edit their work, my services are free for the time being.  It would have to be the right project and the right author but I would be willing to look.  Whether commercially published or indie/self-published with nominal name recognition (think blurbing for a book, I need to have people have some idea of who the author is so they can reference their books because the authors I would edit now would basically be blurbing my services) with grabbing stat information (NYT bestseller, for example, actually applies to self-pubs, so I want to be clear I’m not leaving them out, top 25 Amazon rank in X category, whatever I could use to help you help me would work).  This is the exchange I’m basically going for: editing for a service blurb.  I basically want to make a client/reference page where I can say This Person, author of these books, well-ranked seller on X website, says awesome things about my services.  Because really, why would even someone self-pubbing their first book come to me for editing?  Who am I in this wide webby world and why would anyone trust me hyping myself right now?

What I would edit is YA in the fantasy, supernatural, or horror genres as long as romance isn’t the main plot element (no YA PNR, no contemporary coming-of-age stories, I’m going to stay away from sci-fi for now because it’s really not my thing, no “issue” books because I’m really not well-read in them, and I’m going to say no historical fiction only because I may be lacking in the historical accuracy portion of it, if you’re looking for edits aside from historical accuracy I will consider).  I would only consider NA as long as romance isn’t the main plot element in the same categories as YA.  For adult I’d consider PNR (current or historical but keep in mind my historical parameters, I’m okay with PNR simply because I like sex in my books, especially if that sex involves some kind of mythical being) and horror/supernatural.  I may consider erotica but fair warning I’m not all that well-read in it but it’s not a crazy stretch from PNR so it’s doable (pun intended).  My guidelines for anything historical applies for adult as well.  I’d recommend taking a look at this shelf on my Goodreads account to get a better idea of what I like in my books.

Email me at donna.sirianni@gmail.com and we’ll see if we click and we can get something going.  I’m willing to do a ten page trial edit so you can get an idea of how I work and what I may be able to offer you.  We’ll see how it goes.

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