Deon Ashleigh
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Scribble's Worth Book Reviews May E-Mag ...

Scribble's Worth Book Reviews May E-Mag (Ask An Editor Questions)

May 04, 2022

1. Ashleigh, have you ever had experiences related to scams? Have you ever been scammed in the writing or freelancing world?

No, Scribble's Worth, I haven't been scammed so far. Thank goodness. I had one client who wanted to revise 95% of their book based on my developmental edit, then get the second round of editing for free, but that wasn't my policy.

We resolved this by going back to my policy, which states that the second and third rounds of editing cost the same as the first round.

For example, one round of developmental editing costs X per word. After the author revises their book, they must pay the same price for the second or third rounds of developmental editing.

Here's a tip for freelance editors and writers: Put a policy in place for revisions or second/third rounds of editing. If you're a freelance writer, make it clear how many revisions you offer and whether they're included in your client's quoted price. 

I'm not against free revisions, especially for freelance writers, but sometimes, writers can get stuck in an endless loop of free revisions that eat up their profits and time.

For example, if you spend an hour writing and editing a piece for a client and then spend an hour revising that piece for free, you've made no money. 

And you've made negative dollars if you spend another hour fixing that piece again for free. You put yourself in debt and paid your client.

If you're a freelance editor, know upfront whether second or third rounds of editing are included. Some editors charge the same price for second or third rounds; others give discounts after authors do first-round revisions. 

I don't give discounts for second or third rounds because I re-do the process. I count the author's revisions (on any type of editing) as a new project.

Another tip: Create a contract. Freelancing is a business. Not only do contracts boost your professionalism, but they spell out what you will and won't do. It doesn't have to be pages long, but don't be afraid to start with a contract.

 2. Can editors scam writers? Or, can scammers pose as editors?

Yeah. Some editors or editing companies either don't do the work or don't have the skills to help the author. Some people aren't editors; they're trying to make money. Others charge way higher prices than others, but this isn't a sure sign of a scam because, with freelancing, editors can charge what they want. 

Most writers use's guidelines to see if their potential editor is in the EFA's (Editorial Freelancers Association) range of editing rates. But, these ranges are guidelines. While most editors are somewhere close to the range, editors are free to charge what they want for their time, experience, skills, and business needs.

Just watch out for editors whose rates are extremely high or low.

Scammers can definitely pose as editors.

 3. How can you detect a scammer vs. a real editor?

To detect a real editor:

  • Look at their portfolio, previous projects, and reviews.

  • Get an editing sample before hiring them.

  • See if they're part of the EFA or some other association. This method isn't foolproof. You only have to pay a hefty annual fee to join the EFA. I'm not in the EFA or any other association, but I'm legitimate.

  • Get details. Your potential editor or editing company should provide details (what kind of editing they will do, when they will return your edits). Beware people who are vague or can't explain what they're offering.

  • Watch out for editor's websites that have many typos. Having said this, sometimes freelance editors don't have the most-professional websites; it doesn't mean they're scammers.

  • Raise an eyebrow at someone who says they're qualified to edit all kinds of work. Most editors list genres they either don't want to edit or don't have the skills to edit.

4. What are the best ways for writers to avoid scams?

These answers are similar to those above:

  • Look at their portfolio and reviews, especially if these reviews are on freelancing sites (Fiverr, Upwork, etc.) and can't be changed. 

  • Watch out for people who seem like all they want is your money. They want to close the deal super fast. They don't want to give an editing sample. They're "too busy" to answer your questions. They aren't a native or bilingual speaker of your work's language.

  • Unless you're satisfied with their portfolio and reviews, request an editing sample. Usually, these editing samples are free. Getting an editing sample can help determine if this editor will work well with your book.

  • Remember that just because someone's new to editing doesn't mean they're scamming you. New editors may have lower prices or even offer free services while building their portfolios. Often, they're looking for testimonials to boost their credibility.

  • Set milestones and deadlines. If the editor isn't turning anything in—or their work is of poor quality—don't pay them anymore. Give the editor a trial run and keep the prices low if you're unsure about their legitimacy.

  • Don't pay the full amount upfront. Many editors charge half at the start. Others, like me, ask for a reservation fee and charge per week on longer projects. A few do the work and then get the payment.

Lastly, some high-quality editors charge lower prices, especially if they focus on the indie writing community.

5. Best places to learn more about scams in the freelance and writing world?

6. Tough question, Ashleigh, were you ever scammed by a writer client? If so, how?

No, I haven't been. When I used to freelance write, I had a client pay after a month. I thought they weren't going to pay, but they did after I hounded them through the freelance platform.

Another tip for freelancers: Keep all messages and payments on freelance platforms.

Thinking about this question further, I have been scammed. I scammed myself by charging too little. I was doubtful of my abilities and didn't think I deserved much. So, I worked for low amounts and stressed myself out.

Freelancers, charge what you're worth. Charge what your business and life need to thrive. The right client will pay what you ask for because they value your time, energy, effort, experience, relationship, and skills.

You are helping them, and your skills are worth way more than you think.

 7. Are you currently available to edit books? Where can writers submit their indie books?

Yes, I'm currently available to edit books, blogs, and website content. Primarily, I focus on books, but I enjoy polishing other types of content.



Email: [email protected]

Twitter: DM @editorashbonner

8. BONUS QUESTION: What are some signs you and an editor won't get along?

You don't like the editor's feedback style.

For example, suppose the editor is too blunt. It may not be a good writer-editor relationship if you want a softer feedback style. I infuse my direct feedback style with tons of humor, but you may not enjoy our relationship if you like a gentler editorial style. I don't believe sugarcoating my feedback will help you, and I want to help you make your book as good as possible.

The editor doesn't respect your vision or voice

If you give your work to an editor, and they're determined to make your work theirs, the relationship won't end well. You may become resentful of their heavy hand and frustrated as they overwrite your voice. Good editors will touch your voice lightly so your work always sounds like you.

As far as vision, if your editor isn't getting your story, especially if they're doing a developmental edit, they won't be helpful to you.

The editor is too strict

Whether it's grammar rules, the plot of your story, your character's arc, or the ending, an editor that's too strict could make for a problematic relationship. Your book is yours, not your editor's. We're here to help you respectfully and thoughtfully.

Sometimes, adverbs and (a few) clichés aren't a problem if they're tied to the character's voice or personality. Your editor should make a judgment on how many can stay to balance the good of the story and preserve the voice you want for your book.

The editor changes your work rather than makes suggestions

If you get your book back and the editor's changed everything in the document, you may not have a good relationship. This editor is taking control of your book, which is frustrating for any writer—including me!

You expect the editor to turn a rough first draft into a masterpiece—in one round! You haven't done enough self-editing

From an editor's point of view, some authors think they can throw together a book, go through one round of professional editing, and the book is finished. They are impatient and want the editor to work a miracle. No, many books need multiple rounds of edits, especially if they come to us in their infant stages.

Babies. They demand a lot.

The rougher your book comes to your editor, the more it'll cost you.

A tip: Do your editing, polish multiple drafts, get beta readers, check the grammar, and when you can't think of anything else to fix, send it to one of us! We love reading your work.

You don't respect the editor's craft

If you think an editor can turn your 120,000-word book around in two days, try another think. Editing, especially the heavier developmental and line editing, is time-consuming. If your editor returns your book a little longer than it takes to read it, that's not a good sign. Most likely, they rushed through and you wasted your money.

Now, some editors are faster. Still, budget out weeks rather than days, especially if your editor is a freelancer. They have other clients who need their best work too.

Give yourself and your editor time to put out a professional product.

We want to give your book our all, but we need time to do that.

 9. Thank you so much for being with us, Ashleigh.

You're very welcome, Scribble's Worth Book Reviews! Thank you for having me!

Have a lovely day!

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