Dani Greer runs the Blog Book Tours group at Yahoo!, is a founding member of The Blood-Red Pencil. Most days you'll find her in the virtual realms or buried under manuscript submissions, blood red pencil in hand.
Now see what we got Dani to spill with our Meet the Editor column.
When did you first notice you were hung-up on typos? 4th grade. This is in part because English is my second language and I had a real need to learn it as best I could. Plus, Mrs. London would have failed me because she didn't like foreigners. It was a matter of grade school survival.
What advice would you give someone interested in becoming an editor? Read many of the classics including punctuation and grammar books, plus all the new language books being published. Know what the style books are and look at them. Practice for free with your author pals. If you can stand to do it for nothing, you can probably do it for a living. But know your stuff. Don't just hang out a shingle, because your written word, wherever you may strew it, tells the true story. Anyone can call themselves a president, but it doesn't mean they can run the country. The same concept holds true for editors.
What's the best advice you have ever received from a writer? You need to learn to use MS Word to revise and edit manuscripts.
What's the best advice you've given a writer? Correct the grammar, punctuation, and typos in your blogs. That writing makes an impression, too. Make sure it's a good one.
In your opinion, what makes an editor great? Patience and with it, more than a fair share of kindness to buffer the truth about someone's writing. You're not just editing a manuscript. You're editing the writer, so be gentle but firm. Beyond that, you still have to be able to recognize good writing - or bad - and fast.
What's the one misperception about editors you want to clear up? That they are perfick. :o Editors make mistakes all the time. Bad editors make more mistakes than good editors.
Why should a writer choose to work with you? Because I'm cheap and good.
What genres do you focus on? Why?I charge $1 a page for cozy mysteries because they're my favorite read. $2 a page for historical mysteries because I love them, too, but they take more research to verify everything from dates to word usage. Erotica is $10 a page. Corporate reports without numbers run $20 a page. Financial reports get billed at a whopping $50 a page, and I don't get any of those latter clients for obvious reasons. Hooray for that! My goal in editing is to get paid a nominal fee for reading what I love to read as a hobby. It seems like a nice win/win situation, don't you think?
As an added benefit on the cozy mysteries, I mindmap the plot to make sure it holds together. I also create reading group questions as I go for authors who want to buy those in addition to the manuscript edit. This is a nice bonus for fans and libraries and a great way to market your book.
Jesaka Long is helping you get to know the pencils behind the blog. Got a burning question for your favorite contributor? Send it my way: jesaka [at] jesakalong.com.