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So, I Read This Book Today . . .

Editing Fees and Guidelines


As my editing jobs have become more numerous, I have updated my Editing Fees and Guidelines. My editing and proofreading includes checking for grammar, sentence structure, misspellings, and pointing out plot inconsistencies, etc. At this time, my base charge is $0.008/word, with a minimum of $50payable via PayPal. Editing jobs I am currently working on, received before May 1, 2014, will continue to be edited at the old rate.


 If your manuscript is less than 5,000 words please let me know and we can work out pricing. I prefer to set up appointments for your manuscript, but please, send your manuscripts to me as early as possible.  I can often work them in sooner than they are scheduled, but advance notice is much easier.


 I use Microsoft Word 2013.  I use the Track Changes application while I edit and leave the decision as to whether or not to accept those changes to you.  I also tend to leave extensive notes outlining the reason for specific changes, noting uneven or awkward sentence or paragraph flow, or even if I noticed something that just doesn’t feel right.


 Full editing is completed in one of two ways.  The first choice is that I completely edit the book and provide you with a corrected copy, highlighting changes and corrections and making when appropriate extensive notes. Your second choice is full editing. I take the book in hand, do all corrections and changes and provide you with print ready copy. The charge for print ready copy is $0.010/word.


Please note:  Books from authors who speak English as a second language, hence requiring a great deal more correction for grammar, or books with extensive re-write may be significantly more.  You may send me your book for pricing if you feel there may be extensive work needed on the book. Pricing available upon request.


After I have edited a manuscript, I will send it back to you. Once you have made changes, you can always send it back to me for a second pass at no charge. Please note: If second-pass changes are truly extensive, I will reserve the right to bill a second payment for the second pass. I want to be fair to you, but I also want to be fair to myself. Just as writing is difficult, though rewarding, editing a book in a manner that will make you proud of your final product is a lot of work.


For available books on which I have worked, please see my “i-edited” shelf on Goodreads. You may contact any of the authors with whom I’ve worked for a reference. I am also very willing to provide you a sample of my work to see if we are a comfortable fit. I can be easily contacted through Goodreads or by e-mail at soireadthisbooktoday@centurylink.net


I look forward to working with you!


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Gator Moon

Gator Moon - Max Ray When I pick up a book, whether it has been presented to me for review, or simply because it caught my eye for a well-written blurb, concept, or sometimes just the cover, it is always my intention to go into the read with an open mind and a positive attitude. Someone has sweated and yearned, poured their hearts and minds upon the page. They are opening their soul for your perusal. That sort of endeavour takes guts, without a doubt. It is a part of the author – but it is also a group effort. The writer writes. But then, there must also be those ‘outside eyes’. The eyes of those who see the work as what it is, without the blinders of soul-straining obsession. Editors, proofreaders, publishers, even caring and literate friends, who take the rough work and hone it to a literary knife’s edge.

Ray has much to say in his preface to the book. One of the things he says, that I truly agree with, “. . . fiction writing is an art form of the stature of the artist stoking oils on canvas.” OK, the sentiment works, but the wording? Well, not so much. That should have told me something about what to expect. I absolutely agree with this concept. Fiction writing is, indeed, an art form. However, even artists must hone their craft, accept the help and counsel of teachers and connoisseurs who are versed in the field and know what true ‘art’ is.

Through his own admission, Ray took all of the knowledge and suggestions given to him by erudite and experienced persons, and used it to line the cat box. Apparently, because his own ego refused to accept that his grand capability as a “syntactician’ (his term, not mine) was in any way imperfect.

From his description of his work, I expected a beloved child of Faulkner, Hemingway and James Lee Burke. Eagerly, I dove into the book, expecting the work to draw me into the poetry and the heat, the mystery and the scents of the ‘Grand South’. What I got instead was the bastard offspring of a sixth-grade English composition class for the learning disabled. Southern dialectics can include poor grammar, and with proper writing this simply pulls you into the story allowing you to become part of the scene. I try not to be a ‘Grammar Nazi’ without good cause. However, this book presented a simple case of truly bad writing, with no redeeming qualities. The writing is by turns stiff and pompous, robotic and preening. Even the punctuation was pretentious, which is, admittedly, quite a feat in and of itself.

It is such a shame when authors feel that they are so ‘special’ they don’t have to take advice from willing sources. The idea was interesting. CIA undercover operations, unauthorized transplants, mystery, suspense, thrills and chills and all that jazz. How disappointing that everything fell so short of that goal. I am a huge fan of original Cussler, James Rollins, Russell Blake, Brad Thor, Lee Child, John Sanford, Robert Crais and Steve Berry. The list of great thriller writers is long and distinguished. It is being added to all the time, with upcoming Indie writers such as the amazing Michael Hurley, Gordon Gumpertz, and Eric Martin. That list, also, is long and becoming more distinguished, as their works become better known. So, imagine my distress when this author stands up on his metaphorical soapbox and states that his book is only for “15-55 year old males”. So, wait. If I am a 56-year old male this book isn’t for me? What about the fact that I am a (mumble mumble)-year old female with a huge collection of books in his particular genre? Am I not supposed to read this book either?

My final word to this author, and to others like him would be to actually listen to those whose job it is to take your work and help you to mold it into an object of beauty. Apparently, many people tried to help Ray, and all offers of assistance were shunned. My suggestion to hopeful writers everywhere? Be careful. If your ego is too large to fit in the same house with you, consider allowing yourself to accept the use of a straight pin to pop the darn thing before it sucks all the oxygen out of the universe.