Interview with Yesenia Vargas, Part 2

Attribution Some rights reserved by JD | Photography

by JD | Photography

On Monday, we had the first part of a short interview I did with Yesenia Vargas, who just started offering editing services–which you can find more information about here. Yesenia is in the process of editing my upcoming collection, The Astrologers and Other Stories, and I can vouch for the quality of her work.

She’s also got great rates–especially important for writers who are just starting out–and for a limited time, she’s even offering a 50% discount. Catch it before you’re too late!

In the meantime, here’s the rest of the interview. As before, my questions are in bold, and her answers in regular text:

What advice would you give to new writers who may think editing is too expensive, or isn’t necessary at all?

Copyediting and proofreading, at least, are always necessary because a writer is never going to catch all of his or her own mistakes. You’re too close to it. I’m a prime example of this. I absolutely stink at editing my own writing. I thought a short story of mine was “perfect.” I got a friend to critique it, and she found all kinds of things.

I would also say getting an editor is one of the best investments you’ll make (along with getting a professionally designed cover). If you don’t believe me, take a look at the results of the Taleist’s Self-Publishing Survey. According to this report, “respondents who hired help for things like story-editing, copyediting and proofreading earned on average 13% more than those who didn’t.” That’s money you’re leaving on the table.

What are some common mistakes you find while editing?

The biggest thing is probably the misuse, overuse, and lack of use of the beloved comma. I think it’s an issue that’s pretty common among everyone, not just writers. It’s understandable. I won’t give a lecture or anything, but it’s a good idea for writers to find their biggest grammar issues and tackle one every once in a while.

Another common issue is spelling. The English language is tricky. We have a bunch of words that sound exactly the same but are spelled differently and mean different things (like “peek” and “peak”). So it’s easy to use the wrong word and not catch it.

Finally, here’s a fun one…are there any published books on the market you wish had been better edited?

Luckily, I can’t say I’ve read anything that was so poorly edited (or obviously wasn’t edited) that I just put it down. I’ve read a self-published book that had less typos and such (hardly any) than a really successful, best-selling, traditionally published book.

When there is a mistake, I think it tends to jolt the reader out of the story or whatever topic the book was teaching and tarnish the writer’s credibility a bit. But like I said, it’s simply impossible to make a manuscript 100% mistake-free.

A book can always benefit from an additional pair of eyes, though. I would say get at least one copyeditor and two proofreaders to make sure you find and correct as many mistakes as possible.

Special thanks to Yesenia for taking the time to answer my questions. You can find her website here, or catch her on twitter at @YeseniaVargas32.

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