BTS020, Hiring a Professional Editor, Revising Book Two, and Writing a Short Story

by | Authorpreneur Podcast, BTS Podcast Diary, editing, Revision, Writing

Hello, Writers!


Coming up in this show, I discuss how I hired a line editor and proofreader for my thriller novella, Missing, and my plans for book two. And, I’ve made progress with writing a short story which I intend to use as a lead magnet to build a mailing list.


But first, a short travel update.


Travel Update

I’m currently in San Francisco working from The Palace Hotel. The next few episodes of the Behind the Scenes Podcast Diary will be filmed and recorded in this location. So, if you’re watching this on my Youtube Channel, sorry for the lack of variety in the settings. On Friday, Roland and I flew premium economy with British Airways, and I do think the price difference between economy and premium is worth it, especially for a longer flight. The flight from London to San Francisco was ten hours. I’m not saying it flew by, but I think the seats and the extra legroom made all the difference. Now that I’ve said that I do want to point out that I’m five foot one inch tall, so I probably don’t need a tonne of legroom.


Hiring a Professional Editor

So, how did I find and hire my editor? First I had to decide what type of editing I needed. After much deliberation, I decided to go with a line edit and a proofread. So, I enlisted the help of the Google Search Engine, and over the series of a few months, I found a list of editors that I was going to contact. In the final hour, while I was listening to podcasts on writing and self-publishing, one host mentioned an editor that they still use and recommend to others. I then, went on to listen to interviews with this editor, and I was sold.


Based on the interview, I realised that I would get the editing experience I desired. The last thing I wanted was an editor to make changes then send the manuscript back to me. Through the editing phase, I wanted to learn from my mistakes. I wanted an editor that would use track changes and send me a report of suggested changes. So, I guess the best tip I can give you for hiring an editor is to know what you want from the editing experience.


Contacting an Editor

The next step in the process was to contact the editor. In the email I sent, I mentioned where I was at in the revision stage, my writing experience, the genre of my book, enquired about the editor’s availability and asked for a quote. My reason for sharing this was I wanted to set expectations to help the editor figure out whether they wanted to take me on as a client. Upon the request of the editor, I ended up sending the whole manuscript to the editor. Not every editor will do this, some editors only ask for a few chapters or a certain amount of words. In my original email, I did mention my deadline for publishing. However, because I wanted to work with this particular editor, I choose to be flexible with the date and working within the editor’s calendar. On top of this, I don’t have a fan base waiting for my next book.


That would be nice.


This is my first book so I can afford to be flexible.


Change in Plans

By now, you’re wondering what my editor said to me? I received an email from the editor I wanted to commission, who suggested the option of an in-depth edit for the first three chapters. Upon receiving this report, I will go through the rest of Missing and make changes based on the detailed report and recommendations from the in-depth edit. After these changes are made, I will send the manuscript back to the editor for a second round of edits. This is an excellent option for me because I didn’t want an editor to make changes in my manuscript, I wanted to learn and grow as a writer. It turns out that this editor is an excellent fit for me. So, in light of this, I’ve stopped working on Missing for now.


What Next?

I’ve decided to move on and start another round of self-edits for book two, which is tentatively titled Silence. Since the first round of revisions, I added three extra scenes to the end of the story which I need to write before I start the second round of self-edits. This story needs a focus on character motivation, getting clear on the crime, the whodunnit, and why.


This story will need more plot based rewrites than Missing and Immunity because of the rushed decisions I made during a National Novel Writing Month back in 2016. There’s a part of me that regrets, not giving more time to flesh out the motivations behind the crime. I would like to point out that while I did outline the story and develop the cast of characters, I did not go through and revise the outline before I started fast drafting. Yes, that was a super fun lesson to learn. So, take it from me, don’t miss that step.


A Change in Setting

There is also one more change that I need to make, and this change will affect quite a few scenes in the story. After a long weekend research trip to Oxford during the early autumn months of 2018, which is where the book is set, I’ve decided to change a few of the settings in the story. Due to this change, I will need to make minor rewrite a few scenes again. But, this change will not take as long as you think.


Writing a Short Story

On Thursday afternoon of last week, I fleshed out an idea I had for a short story within the James Lalonde universe. Just a side note, I plan on using this short story as a lead magnet to build a mailing list and fan base. I aim to start building an email list of readers before I hit publish. While I was waiting for Roland in the foyer of his work building, I fleshed out how the crime occurred in real time. After this, I got clear on the opening scene of the story, and as a result, I started to flesh out a basic outline for the story. And, as a result of taking all of these steps, I’ve come up with a title for the story.


My Tasks for Next Week

So, in light of all of these updates, what are my plans for next week?

  • Write the final three scenes of Silence.
  • Start ironing out the plot and character motivation issues for Silence.
  • Continue to flesh out the outline for the short story and create the cast of characters.
  • And, if I have time to start writing the first draft of the short story.
  • On top of all of this, I want to continue writing the weekly writing tip emails. Yes, I went back to writing weekly emails even after consider changing the email to once a month.


Concluding Thoughts

Next week, I’ll let you know about my progress on writing the short story and my revisions for book two, whether I will hire a professional editor for my short story. And, I’ll share some pictures from my USA Trip.


Thanks for listening, and happy reading and writing, everybody. 


Your coach,


Amelia xx


Amelia D. Hay

Written by Amelia D. Hay

I’m Amelia. When I’m not hosting the Authorpreneur Podcast™️ and the Book Nerd Podcasts, I write Mystery Novels under the pen name A. D. Hay. And, I’m the author of Suspicion, the Lawn, and the Candidate.

On this blog, I help new writers to finish their first draft, prepare their manuscripts for professional editing, and when they get stuck in the first draft phase or are confused about the revision process.

Right now, I’m editing and preparing my soon to be published mystery novels, Suspicion, Duplicity, 24 Hours, and Immunity for publication.

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