Why my fees are non-negotiable

Someone recently reached out to me regarding my editing work. I was more than happy to talk with them.

However, when it came down to the fees. This person wanted to cut the fee in half! Like it was a suggested fee and up for negotiations. Granted, he meant it lightly ( I think), but it did make me stop and think of how many others out there look at editing fees as a thing that’s bartered and traded for.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I trade with one of my clients on an occassion. I don’t offer this to anyone else. Please, don’t ask.

Look, I get it. I really, really do. I am going to invest just over 500 bucks for my current MS to be edited, and she’s one of the lowest charging editors out there for the quality of work given (I’m a returning client for this lady). I did a little research for more editors and found prices up to a staggering $7,500 for the same work I’m going to have done, and the same work I do. More on this later…

I don’t believe many authors (NOT authors who are also editors) truly understand the amount of work it takes to edit, the expertise required for quality work, and the time it takes to produce efficient work. All of this effort is put into consideration when developing fees to charge.

Note: I’m not belittling the work authors have put into their manuscripts. Not in the least. I’m an author too, and the work we put into our stories is worth diamonds and gold. Just… not refined. Which is where we editors come in. The term “polished” come to mind when editing.

And to be blunt … I should be charging more. Much, much more. Because not only do I have the knowledge and skills to charge more, but I also have 11 years of experience. I could easily charge three times the amount of fees. But I don’t. Because I have branded myself as affordable (more so than the other guys who claim to be the same) and as somone who caters to the indie community.

So, what I would like those reading this post to keep in mind is, if you are a writer, and you pitch your book to editors, please know edits are an INVESTMENT in your work. You may not get your investment back, but let me tell you, reviews that tout editing errors are much less likely to sell than those that don’t.

Now to the reason why I charge the fees I do.

I want to be truly affordable. I am already short selling myself because I am damn good at what I do and can back it with references and a portfolio of clients. But I want to also make it easier for those who have the passion, desire, and skills to write books, to do so successfully, and the indie author community has come under too much scrutiny and backlash because edits are not cheap, so many of us have forgone this all important step and skiped right on to smashing that publish button.

That brings me to another point I want to touch on.

Afordable doesn’t always mean cheap. Edits (regardless of the level), are an investment.

Read that again.

This investment will take you further than depending on self-edits alone. No matter how great of a job you think you can do on your own. There will be mistakes, and the readers out there will catch them. No matter how great you are, you’re not perfect. You’re too close to the story to catch everything. Please, don’t go it alone.

If you go it alone, please know what you are getting yourself into. Not only are you risking putting out lower quality story, you are telling your readers you don’t care about them enough to give them your very best. You set yourself up for failure before you even began.

And here’s a little secret that isn’t really a secret (at least, it shouldn’t be): Most of us will allow payment plans. There are likely stipulations to this, but it can’t hurt to ask.

Do yourself and your readers a favor. Hire an editor.

Just to give you an example of average editing costs, I did a little digging and found a few sites that share common fees with various levels of edits.

Book Baby advertises as affordable. Their fees? Edits are $7.00 per page. Based on the standard of 250 words per page, that puts their costs right around $0.028/word.

Now multiply that by, say, an average 75,000 word novel.

That’s $2,100.00.

My fee? $200.00, which equals out to be about $0.0026 per word.

Their proofreading fees are $3.00 per page. This breaks down to about $0.012 per word, for a total of $900.00.

My fee is $100.00, or $0.0013 per word.

Mary Kole explains her research suggests edits average at $0.01 – $0.02 per word for proofreading and $0.02 – $0.04 per word for edits (copy/line). I’ll let you do the math.

In closing, I hope this helps when looking at the numbers, understanding the reason for the fees, and when you reach out to an editor, don’t negotiate their fees unless they invite you to.

Also, HIRE AN EDITOR! Even if it’s not me. Trust me on this one, okay?

more of me

I have been day dreaming of what it would be like to have more of me. Just three more. And only for one day. One to write. One to edit. One to play mom. Leaving me to get the break I so very much so need right now.

Granted, I know this is pure fantasy, but still. It’s thrilling to think of all the things I could do, see, and accomplish if I didn’t have to worry about getting time to write, edit, and be mom.

I could spend some time reading. I could get more of my masterclass done for the coaching I signed up for. I could sleep. God, sleep! I could spend some time out in the sun, soaking up the vitamin D. I could play GW2 without interruptions!

The list is nearly endless of all the things I could do. And I know that it’s not possible, but I like the feeling I get when I think of all that’s possible, especially when I’m feeling extremely overwhelmed, overworked, and underpaid.

In other words, when life takes control.

Do you feel this way sometimes? Even just a little? Feel free to share. I would love to see your thoughts on this.

I was featured in an interview!

So, I did a thing, and it is glorious!

I got interviewed by L. Bachman! Check out the post here.

Yes, it’s a few days old, but I was moving. I’ll have more on that on another day, once things are settled and unpacked, and I don’t have a thousand things on my to-do list.

However, you can check out the interview now and don’t forget to follow L. Bachman’s blog for more interviews and other bookish interests! You’ll thank me later. 😉

This has never happened to me before!

So, today I stopped at BK to pick up some lunch for the fiance. Since I was hungry and had three other mouths with me, I decided to get something for everyone.

For years, I’ve ordered a double cheeseburger with mayo and onions ONLY. Not once has there ever been an issue.

That is…

Until TODAY!

For some reason, the poor cashier had a hard time understanding what I wanted. This is a run-down of how the order went.

“Welcome to Burger King, can I take your order?” asked the friendly female voice.

“I need 7 double cheeseburgers.”

“You need 7 double cheeseburgers?!” The shock in her voice was extremely evident.

“Yes,” I said. “I need 7 double cheeseburgers, but I want only 1 of them mayo and onions only.”

“We don’t make them with mayo or onions normally. We make them with ketchup, mustard and pickle,” stated the cashier, sounding more and more confused.

“I get—”

“But I can put that on them if you want,” the cashier continues as though I hadn’t tried to explain again what I was trying to order.

“What I want is just for 1–only 1–to be just mayo and onion only.”

“Please pull forward to the second window.”

I do as I’m instructed, and as I arrive, the cashier looks young. Not young enough for this to be her first job. In fact, she strikes me as a college kid. Strange.

“Okay, sorry about that, can you explain to me what you want? I have the 7 double cheeseburgers.”

I nod. “Yes. I want just 1 of those to be mayo and onions only.”

“Okay, but you do realize that we don’t make them with mayo and onion.” She looks at me, dark brown eyes wide with probably way too much coffee with too little sleep.

My fiance, sitting in the passenger seat, mutters, “Oh my fucking god.”

I chuckle, even though I try to fight it. “Yes. I do realize this.”

She tells me to hold on for a  moment and closes the window while a more experienced manager walks her through the steps of what is required for special ordered cow meat patties with extra creamy fat and tear makers.

Minutes later (probably like, 2) the window opens. She apologizes and reads me back my order, which, yet again, is wrong.

“7 double cheeseburgers. 1 with mayo and onions added.”

“Yes, except I wanted ONLY mayo and onion on the burger. Nothing else except the meat, cheese, and bun.”

“Okay, I will fix it again.” She closes the window and furiously presses the buttons on the screen to correct the mistake. A few moments later, the window opens again. She apologizes and reiterates the order. This time it’s correct and totals me out, holding out her hand for payment.

I smile, politely tell her I need to add something else to my order, I wasn’t finished.

She huffs. “Okay, what else can I get you?”

I take a deep breath, hoping that this doesn’t go wrong as well. “An order of  your jalepeno chesse bites.”

“4 or 8?” she asks.

I tell her 8.

She restates the order for the last time, gives me the total and I make my payment.

 

All the while, I was finding it hard to keep myself together. I was laughing so hard.

I have ordered this cheeseburger for YEARS. YEARS! I have not once had  to go through so much hassel for just a simple, input plain, add mayo and onion.

 

Thanks for reading! I hope you got a kick out of this too!

Busy, Busy, Busy

So… I did a thing, and it is lovely.

Wanna see?

Check it out!20200515_123237

I literally did a happy dance when this thing was done.

This is also the result of the necesity for having my own sacred space to do my work. I had a smaller, built-in sort of desk that is in the kitchen. However, with the Covid-19 crap, my kids were stuck at home and I was losing about 4 hours a day in work for their schooling.

So, I bit the bullet, bought a desktop (because I couldn’t replace/repair my laptop without spending a ridiculous amount of money), and did my own little version of an Ikea desk hack.

There are still some little tweaks here and there, but I’m in LOVE! I have my two screens, my mugs on display (I love mugs, FYI). Plus, I can play GuildWars2 again! Eeeee!

Suffice it to say, this little project of mine has taken over me. While I was consumed by this, writing hasn’t happened.

BUT!!!!

I got some done yesterday and I fully intend on getting more done today, despite my oldest son, Zach, having a friend over.

Wish me luck!

20200515_123548

 

Welcome to My New Home!

I’m baaaa-aaaack!

It’s been a while.

Too long, actually. But man, the lessons I have learned.

This is the new site. I let the other one go for personal reasons. I took a break to explore life and new opportunities, and now I’m back with vengence.

I know I haven’t published in a while, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been writing. In fact, I have something in the works right now that I hope to have out to you late summer/early fall. That is, if everything works out well.

Meanwhile, it’s great to be back and I have a lot of stuff in store. So, grab a coffee, take a look around, and leave a comment or two.

USA Today and Amazon Bestselling Author