Marry your Editor

In a previous post, Quick! Find an Editor! Go!, we had a lively conversation regarding writer resources. From this conversation, I gleaned these four tidbits:

1.Writer’s Digest.com. This link was provided by Serena(e) Artiste, and it has a lot of seminars and there is some free content which is probably meant to entice you to purchase the seminars. I didn’t locate a listing of editors, but I did sign up and will now get lots of adverts for seminars. And some free content!

2. http://pred-ed.com/. Preditors & Editors

Preditors and Editors, this was suggested by Ms. Brandy at Blood Toy and Russell J. Fellows.  This site is one I want to discuss in more detail, because it is the precursor to what I envision. You see, P&E was constructed back in the dark early days of the internet. As they say in the About page on that site,

Preditors & Editors was founded in July 1997 by Dave Kuzminski as a resource and a simple compendium for the serious writer, composer, game designer, or artist to consult for information, regardless of genre.

Web design has come a long way, baby. (Now women can smoke cigarettes and die of cancer, too! Thanks, Virginia Slims.) That is, if you look at the web site, you’re going to see coding that looks…  Let’s just say it’s not been redesigned for some time.  Nevertheless, the intent is good-hearted and there are extensive links.  Which one do you click first? I went with AAAAA BOB’S PLUMBING.  Alas, the link was dead.

The organization of the site is alphabetical. There is no categorization or any search widgets or any optimization. Back in the wild wild west days of the web, they frowned on pictures. Pictures slowed down website loading and the people with 2400 baud modems hated you. Times, they are a-changing.

This website, sort of like most churches I’ve seen, exists in a time-warp that takes us back to the days of 1997: The Backstreet Boys are singing “Quit Playing Games (with my heart)” and Elton John is making another gazillion dollars off Candle in the Wind.  Remember Jewel? Foolish Games. (The churches are usually still back in the 1950s. “We love hymns,” they say.) Time travel exists!

I digress. One of the things the site does well is warn against publishing scams. Thus, the predator part. Or Preditor. See what they did there?

They have umpteen zillions links, if you want to click through them.

The website does NOT seem optimized to reflect the giant sea change in Indy and e-publishing.  We’re more savvy out here, and we’re used to being able to sort our content of databases by more than alphabetical. I want a specific kind of editing, with a certain price range, and someone in my own currency. Quick, find it! Not with that website. This feels a lot like craigslist.

3. UK Artist’s Yearbook. Ah, the Artist’s Yearbook, now in it’s 114 edition. Or so. That’s a lot of £11 going in someone’s pocket. Or several someones. I haven’t seen it, though Vanessa-Jane Chapman told me about it. In a southern English accent. She says it’s splendid and lovely.  There’s articles and lists of resources and such.

4. Which lead me to the Writer’s market. (USA). Right. So the Writer’s Market, that’s the US equivalent of the Brit one above, and thus the idea that no good idea goes unpunished is supported.

Back to the website with editors information. Amidst the examination of such an object, Dave S. Koster pipes up (in that Alaskan drawl he has… do Alaskans drawl? I’m sure he will turn out to be from Iowa) and says, “The real question though is how do you find an editor you can work with and who won’t send you back something that really doesn’t help?”  That sent me to idea #2, which is to use dating software to match up authors with editors. Why not? Choosing a spouse and choosing an editor are similar ideas. While there’s some things about an editor that I might not look for in a wife, by changing the human factors that make up good matches, you can ask a flurry of questions and find ideal matches for professionals in the the Indy world.

The bare bones of such a website would be the information Preditors has on it. A greatly expanded database with coding to determine important things like price, and personality, nationality, schooling, experience, and a resume, all of them searchable by the end user would produce something that would create at least an ebay experience, if not an eharmony.com experience.  The first one, ebay of editors, is quite do-able. The second, that one would take some money and a team of programmers some time, and the payout isn’t there.

But the idea of a dating website could also be applied to authors. I know there’s a few sites that do this already, sort of, like goodreads and smashwords.  But how about a matchmaking site where we help you marry a book? You’re a reader, come in, tell us what you like, what you dislike, rate these books, and let’s match you up with some choice authors. The authors present us with their curriculum vitae, and the pedigree of their book. Who were the editors? Traditional or Indy? Can we buy it in paperback?

There’s something like 3 million books on amazon. That’s 3 BILLION words. I can’t read that many. You can’t read that many. But out there in the slushpile, there’s some gems and we don’t know it yet.

There’s the name for the website: SlushpileBooks.com.

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17 thoughts on “Marry your Editor

  1. Some Alaskan’s do have a drawl, I don’t. I probably sound more like I’m from Iowa, but I’m not. Google Dave Koster Alaska, you will find some results that are me, even though I’m listed as David Koster, not that Koester guy (incidentally, our similar names once got some business travel jacked up, which is another story altogether). That aside, put together a good idea for one of these marry a writer to an editor or a book to a person site, and I will donate to a Go Fund Me, or if the idea is compelling enough, I’m a reasonably accomplished data analyst and programmer, I might be interested in putting some time in.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I appreciate your confidence. Though… are you avoiding your book rewrite? ;D I’ll put more thought into it and see what we can do. Ideally, a site that would sell books, hook up authors, hook up editors, hook up the readers, and do this all in one big package– that’s what the world wants. We could have a firewalled section for the Communist fiction and the Chinese. (Or a separate site.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Lol, I thoroughly enjoyed this post. I was directed to Pre-Ed while working on my first book and got lost in it for a week (air-sea rescue eventually found me and pulled me up out of its depths).
    I’ve been encouraging my son to free write and his response was, if he did that he’d have to ‘marry an editor.’ You could be on to something here, Matt. 😉

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    • It’s the headlines that bring ’em in! Take the most extreme thought and put that up there. Pretty soon I’ll have posts labelled: “When you see #3, you’ll have to change your pants!” and “Mind. Blown. See #8,” and “12 Reasons You Will Have to Love Taylor Swift,” “This kid wrote a book. When he finished, you’ll never believe what happened next.”

      I think all these clickbait titles are a sign of the coming Apocalypse.

      I’ll put in some preliminary research on the editor search website. It may be possible to do it on the cheap and very easily. Then I have to figure out a way to monetize it so it pays for itself, and also things like policies (do we police the entries and demand professional standards? Like Uber. If you don’t get good reviews every month, they boot you out). Editing a book isn’t the same as driving someone to a bar, though.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. LinkedIn and Elance.com are (not what you’re looking for per-se) good for getting editors to come to you. With LinkedIn you just go to one (or more) of the writing groups and ask for people’s opinion on who’s a good US Editor (although you’d miss out on my services doing that since I’m Canadian – but that doesn’t mean I can’t charge US Dollars 😉 ). With Elance you tell people what you want, they bid to get your contract and you can look through their bios to judge for yourself it they’re a good fit… and you can request things like “US Editors only” and set your max limit for price on word count.

    Still, if you could just marry your editor then you’d never have to pay her a dime!

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    • You didn’t marry an author, did you, MJ? I’ll take a look at elance.com. That points me toward other social networks that may be useful to include– writing groups.

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    • The kernel of the idea behind these websites is connecting people professionally in a social way. The better the connection, the better the professional product.

      That was an interesting exercise. I learned that any old picture is okay for promoting yourself as an author. (To be fair, some of the pictures are good. A majority are pretty casual.) Is this a recent new site? Once you get to an author’s card, there’s a fair amount of information, but it’s not processed in a way to encourage people to use it. I’m supposed to find authors by their picture?

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        • I’m guessing it’s new. There’s only one agent listed. The concept is good, but not sure the execution is going to work in the long haul. It’s like people keep saying, “we need a shovel,” then they go out and design one from pot metal with no handle. It’s a shovel, just not very good at what it does. Or they make a shovel that’s too small, or they design the blade wrong, or they make a shovel that looks like a pick.

          Ultimately, you want a site that will make someone a boatload of cash while putting together people in a meaningful way.

          Author pictures are nice, but why would a casual browser spend more than 30 seconds here? Where’s the compelling content? What’s sticky about the site?

          This is capitalism. Everything else fails. 😉

          ISBN.NU is a an interesting site from a useful and functional perspective. Find a book, any book, and the best price for it on one of the many other sites the site trawls for information. That takes a specific purpose (find a new or used book for the best price) applied over multiple platforms (adlibris, ebay, amazon, B&N, etc).

          Liked by 1 person

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