7 Questions With Editor Jennie Rosenblum
Jennie Rosenblum is young in the editor world, having left her job as a librarian to pursue working with Independent Authors just three years ago. She likes people and prefers a face to face (or Skype to Skype) conversation over a text exchange. Jennie offers editing with a personal touch and enjoys getting involved in her author’s books.
“I care how the story develops and would like the author to be successful. The better I understand the author and their story, the better I can edit their book. Reach out, contact me and let’s see what I can help you create.”
In today’s interview, Jennie shares some insight on how authors should approach an editor, what details are needed on behalf of the author and how important is the compatibility between author and editor.
Esther Rabbit: What’s your own definition of a good editor?
I believe a good editor is one who listens to the author when it comes to their vision of what they believe their book should be. I am not an author;
I take the rough diamond the author has created and I make a jewel. I believe that the editor must get into the voice of the characters and ensure that the voice is maintained in the manner the author would like to present them.
Esther Rabbit: What mistakes do authors make when approaching you and what advice do you have for them in that sense?
As a freelance editor, I am lucky in that I get to choose the authors I work with. If I was not working for myself, but instead in an editing firm, books would be assigned to me. I want to have a connection with the author.
When an author approaches me, I go looking for any information I can find about them whether it be social media or their previous works to help me have a sense of who this person is. I would like it if authors took the time to also check on me, my web pages and social media to get a sense of who I am.
Esther Rabbit: Have you ever found authors you were not compatible with? Can you share more details on this experience?
In the beginning, I would edit and then get paid. Thanks to an author not paying me, I now request ½ when I receive the manuscript and the other ½ when I return it to them.
This particular author had several characters with all the same voice. An English professor, a street hooker and an elderly neighbor all used the same slang, phrases, and bad grammar.
When I tried to suggest that they needed to be different, the author said: “That’s the way I talk so everyone’s gonna talk like that – it’s my book and my creation.” If you, as an author, are not willing to listen to what I am saying, then you have wasted both of our time.
Esther Rabbit: What are some of the myths around the editing business?
That we know all the answers! Have best friends in the standard publishing world and can read at the speed of light! Don’t I wish! But the reality is we’re people doing a job and just like all industries there are good and not so good people. Get to know your editor, have conversations, take recommendations from other authors.
Esther Rabbit: Looking back, what advice would you give yourself at the beginning of your journey as an editor?
Go with your gut. The classes and practice were great but really the best books have been those where I knew what the author was trying to do and I felt in my gut that the story portrayed that.
Esther Rabbit: What should authors do before handing you over a manuscript?
Some kind of spell check – please. Do you really want to pay an editor to tell you not to spell forgut that way or do you want them to help make your story the best it can be?
Also, have someone besides immediate family or friends read it. Find that friend of a friend and ask nicely for them to give it a read. Not to answer a bunch of your questions, but to give you a feel for how they view the story. Then start talking with an editor.
Esther Rabbit: How many services can you offer authors and how do they differ? (For many authors, especially new authors it’s hard to know exactly what to pick)
First, I offer a beta read. This is a gut reaction to the story. Can I see what you are trying to tell me? Are the characters believable? Can I follow the plot or subplots? Are there any gaping holes? I will answer specific questions (not 20 of them) or concerns you may have. As of today, this costs $50-$75 depending on the length and condition of the manuscript.
Second, Content or Developmental Edit. This is where I go line by line and make sure that all aspects of the story work. Are the characters consistent and believable?
Do all the plot and subplots weave in a way that the reader can follow them? Does the voice of the characters stay the same and are they easily understood by the reader? Does the book as a whole work? This price varies on the number of words. See my website for the most accurate cost. This service also comes with one last free proofread before you hit that PUBLISH button.
Third, Proofreading. This is a read for typos and grammatical errors. Grammar is subjective so my suggestions will be what keeps to the voice of the piece.
Fourth, Coaching – this is a new service I have decided to start after being asked by authors for help staying on schedule. This is a weekly check with authors to review their progress, brainstorm ideas for writing blocks, problems, or issues they have. The fee is an hourly charge of $35.
Find Jennie here:
Are you in the Writing Industry?
Shoot me an email, I’d love to interview you!
And if you’re a fan of Paranormal Romance, check out Lost in Amber:
“A new Interplanetary Alliance ambassador on an earthbound mission.
A handful of genetically altered humans to be rescued.
Meeting her changed everything.“