Saturday, April 21, 2018

S = Scamming Editors Gets You Blacklisted

Welcome, A to Z bloggers, visitors, and of course all my faithful regular readers! This year's theme for my A to Z:
Short & Sweet Reasons Why You Need an Editor

So without further ado . . .

Scamming editors gets you blacklisted, just like the post title says.

Honest people may be stunned to hear this, but there are actually writers out there who try to scam the system to get free edits. How, you ask?

The writers contact a variety of professional editors from a particular group. They may approach members of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Society for Editors and Proofreaders, people on LinkedIn, or similar. They then ask for a free sample edit, which most will provide. However, these scammers will give a different portion of the work to each editor in the hopes that eventually, they’ll cover enough ground to get an entire book done, free of charge.

Unfortunately for them—as is the case with most petty thieves—they don’t realize how obvious they are. When red flags go up, editors talk to each other to see if anyone else has recently received a request from someone with the initials XYZ, and sure enough, at least a handful in the group have . . . all with the same suspicious email, evasive answers, and changing word count (to avoid suspicion, I suppose).

One editor told a group of us how an author kept changing his email address and the name of his characters to try to get different portions of the same book edited by her over the course of a year. Bad enough to try to scam her, but to think she was enough of an idiot not to recognize the same manuscript over and over? Almost laughable if it weren’t such a waste of time.

Don’t be “that” person whose name gets passed around as a “Do Not Respond” because you thought you could beat the system.

Friday, April 20, 2018

R = Really Bad Books Are a Dime a Dozen

Welcome, A to Z bloggers, visitors, and of course all my faithful regular readers! This year's theme for my A to Z:
Short & Sweet Reasons Why You Need an Editor

So without further ado . . .

Really bad books are everywhere.

When I first got a Kindle, years and years ago (2009, if I recall correctly), I discovered a thing called “Top 100 Free Books.” Not only could I get classics for free, but I had a list of 100 books at my twitchy, download-eager fingertips.

I naively loaded a bunch of them without even bothering to read some of the descriptions—because my Kindle, the newest of its type that Christmas, was equipped with “experimental 3G connection” that was convenient for speed but didn’t lend itself to any kind of decent book cover graphics (think one-inch thumbnails). It was the precursor to the Paperwhite, except mine had a tiny (tiny!) push-button keyboard to navigate, and no touchscreen capability. Hot stuff that Christmas, old news the following year.

I soon discovered that “Top 100” only meant “downloaded more than others.” At least 97 of those 100 books were absolute garbage, unedited and filled with writing that was worse than what a grade school child could put together.

You don’t have to search for bad books. Just don’t let yours be one of them.