So How Do You Find an Editor?

Our articles this month have told us all about editors. I personally did not realize the different types of editors available. My mental picture was always a hunched figure surrounded by stacks of books, red pencil scribbling and slashing! April’s articles have taught me I have much to learn. So now that we know what an editor does and we know if we need one, how do we find that elusive creature?

  1. Family and friends – We all do it. We have our finished project and we pass it along to a sibling, parent, or friend with the request, “Tell me if you find any errors!” But how many of us have family and friends who edit and proofread professionally? This is a good first step to editing, but often we need more.
  2. Online platforms like Reedsy, Upwork, Ebook Launch, or New York Book Editors. These and other sites like them are staffed by vetted professionals. Most will look at various genres and offer a range of prices.
  3. Let the editors come to you. Authors can post editing jobs on various sites like the Editorial Freelancers Association, Guru, or Servicescape. A writer can post a job listing the specifics, such as what kind of editing needed, total pages, turnaround time, and payment.
  4. Read articles about your favorite authors, scan their social media pages, and look at their websites. Writers will often thank the management team.

A word of caution: there are scams and con artists in the publishing world. Research any editor or service before you pay to make sure they are legitimate. One popular website I have always heard about is pred-ed.com, known as Predators and Editors.  At the time of this writing, the website is under construction and is moving to a new platform with new staff. Keep an eye out for them.

Another popular service I came across is Writer Beware. This service is sponsored through the Science Fiction Writers of America, the Mystery Writers of America, the Horror Writers Association, and the American Society of Journalists and Authors. Writer Beware has a Facebook page, plus can be accessed through accrispin.blogspot.com. It has been going since 1998 and had posts on the blog as recent as March 29 of this year, so it appears to be going strong. Their goal is to help new, aspiring authors as well as established writers. I found information about company alerts, scams, and legal actions. Their March post was updating information from 2011 and 2012 about a company.

We all know that writing a book is not a solitary venture. While we do toil at our keyboards or notebooks alone, a published book requires a team of dedicated members all working for the same goal – that perfect book. Hopefully our help this month will lead you straight to the perfect editor for your project. Happy writing!

Writing Prompt – She didn’t know if she could carry her burden any farthe.

A Love Most Worthy by Amy Anguish

IMG_5853Good morning, dear reader! Thank you for joining us on this lovely Saturday. I’m pleased to introduce you to author Amy Anguish this morning. Amy is talking about the writing process. Let’s begin!

Tell us a little about yourself.

Amy: I’m a Christian, wife, mother, author, and artist. I love cats, tea, and chocolate, as well as books that don’t let me put them down

What do you love most about the writing process?

Amy: Strangely enough, I like it when my characters take over and start acting on their own. My husband doesn’t understand this, because I’m the one writing the story. If you think about it, though, even though I created these “people” in my head, if I did my job right and I gave them enough personality and character traits, it would be obvious what choices they would make in a situation, even if I didn’t see it coming when I first started the book.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Amy: So many! Right now, I have five or six manuscripts that I would consider finished, but unedited. One edited, but not published yet. And another I’m in the process of rewriting. At least two or three more that need to be rewritten.

If you could give advice to your younger writing self, what would it be?

Amy: Don’t use dialog tags because you’ll only have to take them back out when editors start looking at your manuscript. Ha! Not to mention the few that were written back when people still used two spaces between a period and the next sentence. In the fifteen or so years that I’ve been putting together stories, there have been quite a few things change stylistically, and it still catches me off-guard in moments when I notice what I’m working on was written back when things were done differently.

Computer, Laptop, Notebook, Pen, Table

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Amy:  It’s hard to stick with one project at a time, but I highly recommend it. I’m going a little crazy right now editing, rewriting, and promoting my new book all at the same time. If you’re like me, and have an idea for a new story come to mind while you’re trying to write another, just stop, jot the idea down, and then go finish what you were already working on. That way, you won’t forget your idea, but you also won’t end up with six or seven unfinished manuscripts because you stopped to work on something else.

What does literary success look like to you?

Amy: I’m not an author for the money. Honestly, success to me is someone coming up and saying that something in my story moved them, made them think, or even gave them hope. That means more than just about anything else.

Future Projects or WIP you can talk about?

Amy: My “edited” manuscript has been submitted to the contest Love Inspired is running right now. I’m waiting to hear if I’ve made it past round one or not. It’s about a girl who is trying to adopt a baby because she and the infant were the only survivors of a car crash. In the meantime, she’s moved back to her hometown and is trying to renew her friendship with her lifetime best friend, only to discover there may be something more to it.

Great advice and thanks for stopping by today!

Click to Tweet: Author Amy Anguish shares lessons learned in her writing journey #Amy Anguish #FaithandHope @InspiredPrompt


Faith and Hope

cover

Two sisters. One summer. Multiple problems.

Younger sister Hope has lost her job, her car, and her boyfriend all in one day. Her well-laid plans for life have gone sideways, as has her hope in God.

Older sister Faith is finally getting her dream-come-true after years of struggles and prayers. But when her mom talks her into letting Hope move in for the summer, will the stress turn her dream into a nightmare? Is her faith in God strong enough to handle everything?

For two sisters who haven’t gotten along in years, this summer together could be a disaster … or it could lead them to a closer relationship with each other and God. Can they overcome all life is throwing at them? Or is this going to destroy their relationship for good?


IMG_5853

Amy R Anguish

Author of An Unexpected Legacy

Amy R Anguish grew up a preacher’s kid, and in spite of having lived in seven different states that are all south of the Mason Dixon line, she is not a football fan. Currently, she resides in Tennessee with her husband, daughter, and son, and usually a bossy cat or two. Amy has an English degree from Freed-Hardeman University that she intends to use to glorify God, and she wants her stories to show that while Christians face real struggles, it can still work out for good.

Follow her at her website or on Facebook.

Meet Jennifer Uhlarik–Managing and Acquisitions Editor for Trailblazer Western Fiction

By Jennifer Hallmark

April is all about editors on Inspired Prompt blog. So I’m more than happy to introduce Jennifer Uhlarik, managing and acquisitions editor for Trailblazer Western Fiction, the newest imprint of Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.

Trailblazer Western Fiction seeks to recapture the glory days of the Western, but with an updated feel that will ignite the hearts and minds of a whole new generation of readers. Trailblazer offers stories that combine the action, adventure, mystery, and romance of the American West, all wrapped up in the rugged men and brave women who left the comfort of life back east to discover and settle untamed lands in the West. Whether historical or contemporary, our westerns tell the stories of those who braved rugged terrain and insurmountable obstacles to make a life in the beauty and vastness of the western frontier.

Welcome, Jennifer! What a great name you have 🙂

You are the managing and acquisitions editor for Trailblazer Western fiction. What drew you to this particular job?

The job really fell in my lap. I’ve been in the writing industry as an author for years, and while I’ve had some successes selling western romance stories, I have other titles, either fully written or in the works, that are more western/less romance. Those have been a much harder sell. So as I was talking with author extraordinaire Eva Marie Everson about the difficulty in selling the more traditional western titles I have, she dropped the idea of opening a western line.

I was already working for Eva in her Southern Fiction line as an editor, so after hearing her out, I thought about it, prayed about it, and a very short time later, I felt like this was the direction God was leading me in. So Eva and I approached Eddie Jones at Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas about opening Trailblazer Western Fiction, and Eddie quickly said yes. And, “poof!” I was the managing editor of Trailblazer Western Fiction. LOL

When you first entered the writing world, did you want to become an editor?

Nnnnoooooo! In fact, years after entering the writing world…when Eva first approached me about working for her as an editor in her Southern Fiction line, it was such an overwhelming idea that I was paralyzed with self-doubt for several days. Tears were shed, friends and family had to give me pep talks, and only after a lot of thought and prayer did I know this was a direction I was supposed to go in.

What are some pros and cons of being an editor?

I think the pros far outweigh any cons. As an editor, I get to read and acquire some amazing fiction, which is always a plus. Another part I love is that I can now help other authors realize their dreams of publication. After years of struggling to find my path to publication, it’s fantastic to know I’m in a place to help others along the way. And it’s also exciting to be able to help other authors hone their stories into that bright, shiny gem that readers will love!

Cons? Well, for one, I can’t take every story. I wish I could, even just to encourage the author. But Trailblazer is small, so there’s no way I could take every story that came across my desk. And…Life is busier when I’m working with an author toward publication of their book. But in those busy times, I refocus on the pros and move right on past these minor cons!

What percentage of your authors are debut authors?

At this moment, fifty percent. However, I don’t have a set formula for how many debut authors vs. established ones I’ll take. It really depends on the story for me. Tell a great story with even a middling amount of skill, and I’ll give it serious consideration.

What submission advice do you have for aspiring authors?

Two things. First, Trailblazer is a niche market, so it’s important that you know the genre. Read western books, get a feel for the genre, and then craft a story that fits.

And second, be sure to study the guidelines and develop a proposal with all the elements listed on our submission page.

As a bonus piece of advice, keep in mind that Trailblazer (and all of the Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas lines) are moving to a Christian worldview, but not overtly Christian style of storytelling for 2020 and beyond. We are still looking for clean reads, so no gratuitous violence, language, etc. But there doesn’t have to be an overt Christian theme or spiritual arc to the story either.

What stories are you and Trailblazer interested in for future publications?

I am open to new and interesting ideas. I love the classic westerns like Louis L’Amour used to write, but I’d also love to find some contemporary westerns, westerns told in a more complex way, or westerns paired with other genres. You can read more of our vision and desires at https://lpcbooks.com/trailblazer-western-fiction-submissions/

Thanks so much for sharing, Jennifer!


Jennifer Uhlarik discovered the western genre as a pre-teen when she swiped the only “horse” book she found on her older brother’s bookshelf. A new love was born. Across the next ten years, she devoured Louis L’Amour westerns and fell in love with the genre. In college at the University of Tampa, she began penning her own story of the Old West. Armed  with a B.A. in writing, she has finaled and won in numerous writing competitions, and been on the ECPA best-seller list numerous times.

In addition to writing, she has held jobs as a private business owner, a schoolteacher, a marketing director, and her favorite—a full-time homemaker. Jennifer is active in American Christian Fiction Writers and lifetime member of the Florida Writers Association. She lives near Tampa, Florida, with her husband, college-aged son, and four fur children.

You can find Jennifer at her website, Facebook, TwitterPinterest, and Instagram.


Sand Creek Serenade

Dr. Sadie Hoppner is no stranger to adversity. She’s fought to be taken seriously since childhood, when her father began training her in the healing arts. Finding acceptance and respect proves especially difficult at Fort Lyon, where she’s come to practice medicine under her brother’s watchful eye.

Cheyenne brave Five Kills wouldn’t knowingly jeopardize the peace treaty recently negotiated between his people and the Army. But a chance encounter with the female doctor ignites memories of his upbringing among the whites. Too intrigued to stay away, tension erupts with the soldiers, and Five Kills is injured.

As he recuperates under the tender care of the pretty healer, an unlikely bond forms. However, their fledgling love is put to the test when each realizes that a much greater danger awaits—a danger they are wholly unable to stop, and one which neither may survive.

Purchase link

3 Questions Wednesday with Jennifer Slattery

Welcome to another edition of 3 Questions Wednesday, with our returning guest, Jennifer Slattery. Jennifer is a writer and international speaker who’s addressed women’s groups, church groups, Bible studies, and other writers across the nation and authored six contemporary novels. Lets get started!

First question:

Who is your favorite author?

Jennifer: Oh, this is such a tough question! What genre? For Bible studies, Priscilla Shirer. That girl is amazing! For nonfiction … Probably Lysa Terkeurst. For fiction … I’m pretty eclectic, but maybe Nicholas Sparks? As far as special author friends, Jen Hallmark is a treasure I hold dear!

Great books by all those authors. And I’m sure “our” Jennifer appreciates your kind words.  Now here’s a fun question—

 If you could write about anyone or anything fiction/nonfiction who or what would you write about? 

Jennifer:  I’m not a historical writer, but I’ve always thought it’d be intriguing to get into Timothy’s (the young pastor of the church in ancient Ephesus) head. He lived and served during such a tough time, and yet he stood faithful and immovable.

He would be a wonderful character in a story. And what a challenge to write about his relationship with Paul. Last question—

If you could spend time with a character from your book or another book whom would it be? And what would you do during that day?

Jennifer: I’m fairly certain Faith and I would become great friends. She likes coffee, bike riding, art … Though she might get annoyed at my complete lack of talent. Haha! I also get a kick out the old lady that lives in the parish house. She’s feisty, quirky, and hilarious!

If Paige and I got a chance to hang out, I’d want to go hiking and pick her brain regarding the Austin art culture and how she got into stained glass window restoration. If I got to spend time with the little old lady that lives on the church’s property, I’d probably want to bake. I have a feeling she’d create some rather interesting, though perhaps not edible, concoctions.

Baking and cookies sound yummy to me.  Thanks, Jennifer, for visiting us on 3 Questions Wednesday, and allowing our readers to know you better.

Click to Tweet: Author Jennifer Slattery answers our 3 Questions and you could win a copy of her latest release, Restoring Her Faith . @InspiredPrompt   #amreading #giveaway

Readers, Jennifer will give a print copy of her book Restoring Her Faith (US winner only) to one lucky winner. Don’t forget to comment below to be entered.


Restoring Her Faith

She left belief behind…Yet this family could change her mind.

With two boys to raise, a fledgling contracting business to run and a family ranch to keep afloat, widower Drake Owens finds his hands aren’t just full they’re overflowing. When Faith Nichols is hired to help him renovate the church, he’s drawn to the beautiful artist, but he can’t fall for a woman who isn’t a believer. Can love restore her faith and his heart?

Buy it at Amazon.


Jennifer Slattery is a writer and international speaker who’s addressed women’s groups, church groups, Bible studies, and other writers across the nation. She’s the author of six contemporary novels and maintains a devotional blog found at Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud.

She has a passion for helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she and her team partner with churches to facilitate events designed to help women rest in their true worth and live with maxium impact. When not writing, reading, or editing, Jennifer loves going on mall dates with her adult daughter and coffee dates with her hilariously fun husband.

Do You Need Help Editing Fiction? Try These Books

By Jennifer Hallmark

Writers love to write. They enjoy plotting and planning. I like to daydream about my stories for a long time before I put pen to paper.

But a lot of fiction writers don’t care for the editing stage. I find the more I learn about editing, the easier it becomes and the more I enjoy it. So I thought I’d share three books that have helped me and a little about each.

Click to tweet: Need Help Editing Fiction? Books that help. @InspiredPrompt #editing #amwriting

  1. Self-Editing For Fiction Writers: How to Edit Yourself into Print. By Renni Browne and Dave King.  In this completely revised and updated second edition, Renni Browne and Dave King teach you, the writer, how to apply the editing techniques they have developed to your own work. Chapters on dialogue, exposition, point of view, interior monologue, and other techniques take you through the same processes an expert editor would go through to perfect your manuscript. Each point is illustrated with examples, many drawn from the hundreds of books Browne and King have edited.
  2.  Revision and Self-Editing for Publication: Techniques for Transforming Your First Draft into a Novel That Sells. By James Scott Bell. Jim’s book is designed to eliminate the intimidation factor that comes with revision and self-editing. You’ve finally gotten a manuscript completed. Time for a drink. But put on the brakes! Now it’s time to start all over again at page one and start the revision process. Most writers dread this stage. Thankfully, Jim’s book will give them techniques to use during the initial writing phase that will minimize the amount of revision that’s required, as well as guidelines for editing what remains and positioning the work for the best possible odds of a sale. New sections devoted to selling the work once it’s finished. Downloadable worksheets and checklists that make keeping track of and executing revision goals easy and productive.
  3. Troubleshooting Your Novel: Essential Techniques for Identifying and Solving Manuscript Problems. By Steven James. In this hand-on, easy-to-use guide, award-winning author Steven James provides helpful techniques and checklists, timesaving tricks of the trade, and hundreds of questions for manuscript analysis and revision. You’ll learn how to:

    • ADJUST elements of story progression, from causality, tension, and setbacks to plot twists, climaxes, and endings.
    • DEVELOP authentic, riveting characters by exploring their attitudes, desires, beliefs, and more.
    • LEARN narrative techniques for elements such as dialogue, flashbacks, suspense, voice, subtext, and flow.
    • ENSURE reader engagement by aligning with their expectations, fulfilling promises, and instilling trust.
    • CHECK issues with context and continuity.

    You owe your book more than just a polish and a proofread. Strengthen your story, prepare it for the marketplace, and make it the best it can be with Troubleshooting Your Novel.

    Three books that can make a difference in whether your book gets a second look by an editor or publisher.  Take time to edit, edit, edit. It’s a decision you won’t regret…