Are there and Book Editors here at mn?

(66 Posts)
KerryMum Wed 05-Mar-08 11:00:22

particularly novels.

Wisteria Wed 05-Mar-08 11:00:48

I proof read and edit KM grin

KerryMum Wed 05-Mar-08 11:00:53


Are there ANY book editors here at mn.

As you can see there is an obvious need.

KerryMum Wed 05-Mar-08 11:01:07

What is going rate?

Wisteria Wed 05-Mar-08 11:03:32

It just depends - I charge anything between £10 - £15 per hour but I know I am on the cheaper side because I enjoy it hmm

Threadworm Wed 05-Mar-08 11:04:25

I'm not v well paid.sad

About £1000 for copy-editing a 100,000-word book. And about £300 for project managing the book from cop-edit to print.

Threadworm Wed 05-Mar-08 11:05:08

Probably I would get more if I would type 'copy-edit' accurately.

Wisteria Wed 05-Mar-08 11:06:15

PMSL TW grin

KerryMum Wed 05-Mar-08 11:07:27

would you consider discount or % of profit if you thought book worthy?

Wisteria Wed 05-Mar-08 11:09:12

I would, but that is because I am a bit of a nob when it comes to charging my time out.......

What's the book about KM? Do you want me to read it for you grin? I'm always up for free reading material.... speed read anyway.

Threadworm Wed 05-Mar-08 11:09:31

Percentage of profit is a mug's game, for authors only. Would amount to £0.07 per month in the case of most books -- esp. worthy ones!

PeatBog Wed 05-Mar-08 11:10:37

me. about £20/hr copyediting, £15 proofreading.

I've never heard of a lowly copyeditor - or even editor - getting a cut of 'profit'. There's usually so little, the author needs all they can get!

KerryMum Wed 05-Mar-08 11:12:43


well, you know I'm just another one of those who thinks they have the great american novel in them LOL.

It is a supernatural thriller.

Not in a state to be shown to anyone yet. Been gatheriing dust since I moved here 10 years ago. Am brushing it off as we speak.

policywonk Wed 05-Mar-08 11:12:45

<strongly suspects that PeatBog does not work in the environment/development sector>

KerryMum Wed 05-Mar-08 11:13:22

First draft is approx. 800 double-spaced pages [thud] - the sound of it hitting the floor.

Threadworm Wed 05-Mar-08 11:14:22

Why, wonk? Is that area spectacularly well paid?

policywonk Wed 05-Mar-08 11:15:23

No! Peatbog earns about 25 per cent more than I do...

Threadworm Wed 05-Mar-08 11:17:01

Oh. I'm always paid by the project rather than the hour, so I'm not sure of my hourly rate (and would have to perform some abstraction of time-spent-on-mumsnet to work it out).

KerryMum Wed 05-Mar-08 11:21:05

LOL threadworm

policywonk Wed 05-Mar-08 11:21:13

Mmm, good point. Mind you, you're in Trade aren't you <worships>.

Threadworm Wed 05-Mar-08 11:23:08

In Trade? <huffs in manner of Jane Austen gentry>

I do academic books, mostly philosophy.

policywonk Wed 05-Mar-08 11:26:04

Oh, I had you down as someone who did stuff for Vintage and what-not. (How do people get those jobs?)

Did you ever do philosophy stuff for Routledge - desk editor by the name of Emma D.?

Threadworm Wed 05-Mar-08 11:28:12

Not Routledge, no. But I wouldn't mind <pleading>

I've worked for OUP in the past but now all my work is for one particular well-known academic publisher, recently taken over by an American firm. Prefer not to say who because of massive and irrational paranoia about someone stumbling across me in the wide sea of the internat.

PeatBog Wed 05-Mar-08 11:29:00

grin at Threadworm - 'trade? <hand to brow>'

PW I had to sleep with most of Random House

policywonk Wed 05-Mar-08 11:30:50

Fair enough thready <Googles frantically>

Peatbog - shock! It's you!!

I used to know someone who worked at RH (Hutchinson). She really did sleep with half the people there. Seemed to be pretty much the done thing?

Threadworm Wed 05-Mar-08 11:31:48

Bugger. The only perk I get is a free book.

Wisteria Wed 05-Mar-08 11:32:52

I never knew I could get free sex shock grin

Threadworm Wed 05-Mar-08 11:34:26

How many editors does it take to change a lightbulb?

Three. Two to hold the author down and one to screw in the bulb. grin

KerryMum Wed 05-Mar-08 11:35:15

If I sleep with 1/2 of RH will they publish my book?

having not had sex for nearly 5 years this would go into the "perk" category for me.

Threadworm Wed 05-Mar-08 11:35:31

How many proofreaders does it take to change a lightbulb?

None. They can't change the bulb; they can only query it. grin

PeatBog Wed 05-Mar-08 11:37:16

grin actuwally am quite proud that I never did sleep with anyone there.

Have very rarely done stuff for Hutchinson, but I'm sure you're right!

policywonk Wed 05-Mar-08 11:37:41

LOL at thready's jokes.

KM - I think you'll have to sleep with a few agents first. Or even agents' assistants.

PeatBog Wed 05-Mar-08 11:38:49

Thread, I am an editor's nightmare proofreader.

I change stuff

In ink shock

But only when I'm absolutely sure and even then I'm sure they hate me for it!

KerryMum Wed 05-Mar-08 11:39:01

Sure thing. I'll work my way up the ladder.


fencesitter Wed 05-Mar-08 11:41:41

Ahem. I used to work at Hutchinson, PW! We always used to joke that everybody works there at some stage... turns out to be true! Never slept with anyone else at RH. It was the done thing, though. Probably why I moved on. grin

PeatBog Wed 05-Mar-08 11:42:46

Hmm, yes <serious face>, you must throw yourself squarely at agents, not publishers. I have seen the slush piles at publishers and there's stuff there going back decades.

policywonk Wed 05-Mar-08 11:43:15

oops. I'd like to completely and utterly retract everything blush

PeatBog Wed 05-Mar-08 11:44:47

Ah, fencesitter, when I did work (like proper work, in an office, where you have to turn up, like, every day) it was over the 'other side' ... wink

PeatBog Wed 05-Mar-08 11:45:57

PW, why?

PeatBog Wed 05-Mar-08 11:47:43

oh god, don't worry - any suggestion that I had an exciting sex life hundreds of years ago is gratefully received grin

policywonk Wed 05-Mar-08 11:47:46

in case fencesitter does me for libel...

PeatBog Wed 05-Mar-08 11:48:37


KerryMum Wed 05-Mar-08 11:49:01

I miss the days when you could say what you want on the net.

fencesitter Wed 05-Mar-08 11:49:19


Am wondering now who it was that you knew...

I'm now a freelance editor but will only take on work through publishers.

ahundredtimes Wed 05-Mar-08 11:50:11

When you say the 'other side' do you mean up the stairs fencesitter?

KerryMum Wed 05-Mar-08 11:50:14

As an aside can any of you tell me what is the copywriting process in UK or specifically Ireland?

If I want to protect my work that is.

fencesitter Wed 05-Mar-08 11:52:58

PeatBog - do you mean 'upstairs' at RH in the hallowed literary halls? Or through the wall in the CHA area (now, I believe, smashed down to reveal all the Hutch staff asleep at their desks)?

fencesitter Wed 05-Mar-08 11:53:51

cross-posted with 100x... think you meant peatbog. But same thought!

UnquietDad Wed 05-Mar-08 11:54:16

You mean copyright, as opposed to copywriting for ads etc?

In my experience (of writing and teaching), people stress too much about "copyrighting" ideas. They are paranoid that someone at a publishing house is going to steal their idea and pass it off as someone else's. This just doesn't happen.

PeatBog Wed 05-Mar-08 11:54:16

KerryMum, you should have no worries about copyright. Just make sure you send the MS to established agents/publishers (see Writers and Artists Yearbook) and keep a copy and it'll be fine.

If you are published, the standard agreement you sign should cover you fairly. And any agent worth their salt will defend you from any weaselly publisher trying to get more than they should.

PeatBog Wed 05-Mar-08 11:55:20

yes, fence, it was 'upstairs' at the time, now all over the shop after the 'reorganisation'

KerryMum Wed 05-Mar-08 11:55:45

is it as hard to get published here as in the States?

KerryMum Wed 05-Mar-08 11:56:14

I have friends in the States who say it is virtually impossible to even get an agent.

policywonk Wed 05-Mar-08 11:56:26

100x! What were you doing at RH?

KerryMum Wed 05-Mar-08 11:56:28

would agents be used much over here?

Threadworm Wed 05-Mar-08 11:59:39

Yes I think agents are much used here. And it's hard evebn to get them to pay attention to your stuff.

UnquietDad Wed 05-Mar-08 12:00:12

I'm not an expert on the US market, but it's hard to get published anywhere.

An agent has to love your work and take you on. My agent has taken on one new person in the past year or so. Then they have to get an editor who loves your work too, and who can persuade all their colleagues it is wonderful. Then they have to get it past Sales and Marketing.

Then if you finally get a contract it will be for a paltry advance which you think must be missing a zero somewhere.

And a year later, they smuggle the book on to the shelves under cover of darkness, hide it in the back of the shop in the wrong section - if you are lucky enough to get it in any shops at all - and it will sell 727 copies. They know this because they have only printed 1000 and expect 25% of them to come back. They then tell you it is your fault that the book wasn't commercial enough to sell well. And drop you.

Meanwhile your friends bang on about JK fucking Rowling all the time and you want to shove their heads in the oven.

KerryMum Wed 05-Mar-08 12:00:51

coughing fit from blowing off the cobwebs but here it goes....

PeatBog Wed 05-Mar-08 12:01:19

Yes, agents are very much used over here. Most books that get published - the vast majority in fact - come through agents. I'm so out of touch, I wouldn't know which agent is best for a supernatural thriller, but you need to send it to the right sort.

Once you've worked out who that might be, though, it will (eventually) get read.

also, re your previous queries, don't worry about having to get your own work copyedited at this stage - the pubs will look after all of that once they've taken you on.

fencesitter Wed 05-Mar-08 12:01:30

PeatBog, you must be massively in demand if you can charge £20 an hour for copy-editing fiction! I thought I was doing well getting £18 [considers re-invoicing current job]. Hmph!

policywonk Wed 05-Mar-08 12:02:25

I'm afraid UQD is very much on the button with that analysis.

snowleopard Wed 05-Mar-08 12:05:17

Ha ha UD! I'm a writer/editor (not fiction though so haven't got much to contribute here) and I live in the same area of Edinburgh as JK.

I have heard "Oh so you are like JK Rowling then... you must be friends with her!" about 100 million times.

No I'm not. No I don't. And if I could compare myself to her don't you think I would have a slightly larger house?

KerryMum Wed 05-Mar-08 12:05:18

oh missed that post UQD. sad

Still I will persist.

Have been writing since a child and has always been what I KNEW I must be doing with my life.

Life has just waylaid me for 10 years or so.

But it's time.

If I knew an established author can I ask for help or is that not a done thing?

PeatBog Wed 05-Mar-08 12:05:21

UQD, sadly yes.

Fence, £20/hr is for on-screen, major editing ('change whatever you want' hmm), which saves them money on typesetting, and which I seem to be doing more and more (tis tres dull deleting commas and spaces).

Otherwise it varies, but around £18.

KerryMum Wed 05-Mar-08 12:05:49

have won silly school awards and the like for my writing.

snowleopard Wed 05-Mar-08 12:10:06

UD is right in general KerryMum, but still, you've written the thing which is a major step, and I wouldn't give up hope.

Get a copy of the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook and select some publishers and agents and send them a one-page summary and the first three chapters. Send to lots of people and don't hang about waiting for replies - but you might hear from some.

Also, if you want to write, working on your next novel is a good idea - if an agent or publisher likes you they'll be hoping you do more.

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