Dennis De Rose is the editor at Moneysaver Editing. He’s also the co-author of Jumpstarting Your Inner Novelist. Find the book here: https://www.amazon.com/Jumpstarting-Your-Inner-Novelist-Thompson/dp/151530437X/
How did you get into editing?
I never wanted to be an editor. It just happened. About 10 years ago, I decided I wanted to help writers by reviewing their books, but I didn’t want to purchase them. I contacted a wonderful lady, Deborah Gaynor, from Kentucky. She has a reviewing service (Readers Favorite) she had started a few years earlier. She accepted me as a reviewer and I began reading an adventure novel. (I edited the next book he wrote and it won a gold medal for best fiction in the category.) When I sent my review to Deborah, she realized it was well written. Apparently, most of the reviews she received needed tweaking. She asked me to do that for her and I accepted the challenge. I tweaked 1000 reviews for her and she agreed to put me on her website as her editor. The first thing I edited was a children’s story about a horse. I wanted to edit the story for free but the author insisted on paying me. I accepted five dollars as payment and that is how this adventure began.
How do you choose which manuscripts you will accept?
I don’t really choose a manuscript. The writer has to choose his or her editor. I will only accept a job if the writing is somewhat coherent. If, after a lengthy conversation with the writer, I decide we are a good fit I will edit a short chapter at no charge. I need to see how well a piece is written and the writer’s style. That really is the best way.
Is there any reason you would turn a manuscript away?
a) Perhaps the writer refuses to communicate with me via telephone.
b) We might not be a good fit.
c) The manuscript is so poorly written that I can’t even understand the first sentence.
d) The writer cannot afford to pay me even after we set up a payment plan.
e) It’s nonfiction and I know nothing about the subject matter.
What is your position on self-editing within the author community?
A writer is free to do whatever floats his or her boat. I have no problem with someone choosing to self-edit. But chances are, and this has been proven over and over, that the book will not be the best it can be. I have been editing for almost 10 years and I have only met one writer that did such a good job that I could not improve on his writing, not even a little bit.
Do you have any advice for authors who legitimately can’t hire an editor?
a) Take your time. Do not rush the process. I believe the slow turtle wins the race.
b) Have your manuscript read by several readers, not just family, and listen to what they have to say.
c) Join writers groups on Face Book and LinkedIn. Let those writers help you to write better.
d) Go online and read tons of writing how to’s and spend a few dollars for a few good writing manuals. You might be able to pick up a used copy of A Pocket Style Manual 6th ed. written by Hacker and Sommers for as little as 50 cents at your library’s used bookstore.
Are there specific genres you prefer to work in? On the flip side, are there any genres you refuse?
I prefer fiction in any genre, but I love: adventure, mystery and fantasy. I will no longer edit poetry, or any nonfiction that I am not familiar with.
What does a typical editing day look like for you? Do you keep typical 9-5 hours?
Since I edit part-time, about 3 to 4 hours a day, time is no longer a factor. I retired 5 years ago and my wife lives to shop, so I do a lot of editing when she is not around. As I work on this she is out and about, probably at Sam’s Club or another favorite place, Kohl’s. When I am not editing, I am busy promoting myself, creating an all-purpose website, reading and reviewing books, talking to other writers and keeping in touch with my writers/friends. I believe volunteering in your community is a wonderful way to give back, so I volunteer at our local library bookstore two days a week. I also love spending time with family and friends, especially camping and traveling. Why not see the world and make a few friends along the way?
Picking an editor is a big decision. What advice do you have for authors who feel they are ready to take this step?
a) Take your time looking for a good editor. Think of it as a job interview with you as the employer.
b) Ask yourself a few questions… Have I taken the steps to write the best manuscript I possibly can? Can I afford to pay a good editor? Do I have the time to work closely with an editor so that I know my book will be the best it can be?
What should a writer look for in their ideal fit?
A writer and an editor need to become a writing team. They both have to be willing to take the time to form that bond. Plan to meet either in person or converse on the phone for as long as it takes to get a feel for each other. Look for common ground. People that think alike tend to work better together. Don’t stress yourself out; find someone (like me) that is willing to make a payment plan, one that you can live with.
How can an author reach out to see if you are the right editor for their book?
Feel free to call me at 845-239-4513. Be sure to write all your questions down first. Let’s talk as long as you like. Email me at DDEROSE@HVC.RR.COM. Or do a search for Moneysaver Editing. I am all over the place. Check out my LinkedIn site at https://www.linkedin.com/in/dennis-de-rose-15262917 I am here to help you make your book the best it can be.