FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Question: What is collaborative editing?
The word collaborate means "to work together, especially in a joint intellectual effort" (so collaborative = cooperative, synergetic), but collaborate can also mean "to cooperate with an enemy." Authors and editors are sometimes portrayed as enemies, but I prefer to see editing as a partnership, inspiring teamwork between could-be adversaries.
Depending on the manuscript itself, I edit on the following levels:
1) What must change: material that is incorrect (format, grammar, spelling, punctuation); inaccurate (facts, historical details, contradictions); or improper (offensive, libelous, defamatory).
2) What should/could change: suggestions concerning style, flow, word choice, sentence and paragraph structure.
3) Suggestions about the overall work itself (plot, setting, characters, pace, tone, themes).
4) Steadfast attention to maintaining Clarity, Conciseness and Consistency.
At present, I primarily edit word processing documents, usually marking the work for correction and offering suggestions, but leaving the client (publisher or author) to make final decisions. However, if hired to do so, I make the actual changes to the word processing document for the client. I prefer to work directly with the author: discussing (usually by phone with no phone charges to US-residents) various aspects of the work. If I'm unsure what an author is trying to convey, I may ask questions to clarify the situation, then brainstorm ways to correct/improve problem areas.
I'm interested in—and enjoy editing—a wide variety of subjects, including but certainly not limited to: history, animals, self-help and psychology, spirituality, humor, science fiction and fantasy, as well as most environmental and social issues. I especially love historical fiction and have extensive knowledge about the American West in the latter half of the nineteenth century, including wide research on Native American life and culture. But I always love it when editing brings me to read and learn about new peoples and places, eras and events.
If I work for you, I'll be honest—and I'm often tough—but I'm fair, and I'm kind. As an author myself, I know how difficult it can be to receive critique—especially when it involves more work on something I felt was finished! Knowing first-hand how vulnerable an author is, I'm well aware how important it is to work with an editor who has the author's best interests in mind. I believe in encouraging and empowering other writers, sharing what I've learned and pressing them to do the best work they can. Most people I've edited say they "learned a lot about writing" during our process and felt they were better writers afterwards.
Question: What books has Vicki Werkley edited?
Question: What does Collaborative Editing cost?
Rates are negotiable, depending on the project and usually run between $1-$5 per double-spaced, typewritten page. Unfortunately, I am unable to accept anything that is not typed, but I can probably connect a client with affordable typing services (including electronic preparation of a manuscript), if needed.
For more info about collaborative editing, its costs and/or a quote, contact Vicki:
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