Professional Book Designer | Get A Look Inside The Cover

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Often writers come to me at the end of the writing stage of their project. They’re usually excited to take the next step, and rightfully so. They have a completed manuscript and are ready to self-publish, but most are unsure of the steps between. This is the place where a professional book designer comes in, when you need your manuscript to become a book, and that book to look its best.

Part of what makes a book a book is the look and feel of it. If you’re a writer then you probably understand the joy of picking a book up off the shelf, or the coffee table, and leafing through the pages. If you’re like me, before reading, you really explore the book, checking out the table of contents, the forward and afterward, and the “Also By The Author” section that lets you know everything else our potential new favorite author has written.

In order to bring this level of polish to your manuscript, and really compete with the other books out there, you need a professional book designer to bring it to life.

WHAT THE WORK OF A PROFESSIONAL BOOK DESIGNER LOOKS LIKE

Pictures are the best way of understanding what a professional book designer can do with your completed manuscript. Words alone would not adequately capture the professional look. For these examples, I’m showing you some Amazon eBook pages from my novel, Permanent Shadows.

If you want to see examples of print pages, please feel free to inquire. 

In the image below, you can see the first page of Chapter #1. A clear delineation between the book’s many chapters is a critical element of professional book design. Look at the perfect spacing between chapter number and the first words, which are “illuminated” in a traditional sense. 

professional book designer

In this image, you can see the “Publication Page” which shows the reader all of the book’s many pertinent details, from date of publication to the key contributors. This is among my favorite pages in any book. I also know from experience that many of my clients really respond to this page as it represents the book becoming official.

 

professional book designer

Have you ever read the first book in a series that you absolutely loved? What’s the next step? You want to click right over to buy the next one in the series. With a properly formatted “Also By The Author” page like this one, you’re not only able to show your reader the cover of the next book in your series, but add a clickable link for them to follow. Sell through is key to book series success, but without a page like this one, you can’t convert your readers into fans. 

 

erick mertz, professional book designer

One page that brings a book to life for me is the “About The Author” page. With a wide range of readily available options, a professional book designer can showcase both the author’s smashing photo and compelling bio as well as a series of links to social media accounts, websites and mailing lists that are invaluable to building a long lasting readership.

 

erick mertz

What Else Can A Professional Book Designer Do For You?

Of course, these pictures represent just a few of the basic interior design possibilities. Fonts can be changed to give a book an entirely different feeling. A professional book designer can implement a host of additional elements. I can everything from in-line pictures and tables, to citations and a compelling forward.

Novels and novel length books are the baseline products a professional book designer creates. There are a host of other intriguing possibilities as well. Amazon and other on-line retailers have thrown the doors wide open on the possibilities. For my own book series and publishing ventures, I create and release high quality short stories, chapter excerpts, novellas and box sets. 

Anything is possible!

Do you want to get started? First you need a finished manuscript. In this day and age, the only limits on what you publish comes from your imagination. There are on-line readers out there right now looking for new content, and the Amazon/self-publishing landscape is broadening the possibilities of what that could look like.

Whatever vision you have for your book, an interior book designer is an integral step toward bringing that to life. You’ve worked that hard to write your book – bring in a professional and take it the rest of the way.

*** 

I hope this blog addressed some of your questions about a professional book designer. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. 

Your guide to writing a memoirHave you always wanted to write your life story? Do you ever sit down to write but find you get lost? Do you struggle to get the story down the right way? If you answered yes to any of these questions, memoir ghostwriting may be the best solution for you. 

I believe every one of us has a book in us. If you’re trying to write a memoir, or considering it, now is a great time (actually, it may be the best time). I have written a book, Memoir Writing: The Nine Things You Need To Know to help you get off the ground. 

Don’t wait. Get your free eBook Memoir Writing: The Nine Things You Need To Know by clicking here to download today.

I created this volume to be short and easy to read. My goal is to help you understand everything you need to know, from getting started, to all the reasons why now is a great time to write that book.

Contact For A Service Quote

erick mertz, ghostwriting services, screenplay ghostwritersIf you are serious about hiring a professional ghostwriter for your book, screenplay, or non-fiction story, or you need help with editing or self-publishing your manuscript, please contact me via email, or call.

Every new contact receives a free 30-minute 1:1 consultation about their ghostwriting project or manuscript consultation.

Additionally, I offer all independent and self-publishing authors a 10% discount on my already affordable services.

Erick MertzProfessional Book Designer | Get A Look Inside The Cover
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What are Developmental Editing Services and Why Do They Matter?

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For most aspiring authors, the journey from first to final draft can be a challenging one. The process stirs up many questions, especially for those working on their first book. 

Does my book, specifically the quality of writing, measure up to a professional standard?

Will this story resonate with fans of my genre?

I’ve looked it over a hundred times – am I missing something?

I field these questions all the time and have pretty much the same response to each one. That’s a valid concern. Until an author truly finds their groove, they are bound to encounter insecurity.

I can’t honestly tell you that developmental editing services will answer every lingering question you have. As a professional editor and author, I can tell you, doubt always exists.

But if you want to publish that book with confidence, knowing that it will measure up, resonate with fans, then you definitely want a developmental editor in your corner.

Man with question mark graphics

Why Developmental Editing Services Matter

Why do developmental editing services matter so much for your book’s success? Let’s first answer that by discussing your story’s overall structure. 

More often than not, when we talk about the quality of a person’s writing, we’re talking about the overall structure. Does the story, as it’s presented, unfold and evolve in a way that is satisfying to most readers? There are time tested, classic storytelling structures that many readers expect.

Is your book meeting those expectations?

A professional developmental editor can help you transform your first draft to ensure that it conforms to those structures. Identifying where your book moves too fast (or, in most cases, too slow) makes a world of difference when it comes to reaching those readers.

People put books down all the time – don’t let that be yours. 

The second place I see developmental editing services being absolutely vital is the development of the story’s characters. If your book has a heart, it almost certainly resides in the main character and your reader’s growing relationship to them.

Over my many years as a professional editor, I have worked with countless authors. In almost every case the version of that character in the first draft needs some attention before he or she (or it, in some cases) can realistically resonate with readers.

Is your character strong enough to keep the reader’s interest?

Does your main character take charge of a scene?

Or, does your hero come off as passive when really they need to seize the moment?

Some authors can pick these flaws out on their own. To do that effectively takes insight and a heck of a lot of writing experience though. Most often, to fully round a character into shape takes a developmental editor, especially when it comes to helping you strategize a way to remedy the situation. 

Does Genre Matter? (Answer: Yes)

The last place I see developmental editing services offering their greatest benefit is in genre. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at reader behavior and I can tell you one thing: readers choose the books they read based on their expectations.

If it’s a science-fiction book, they expect to be shown a magnificent world beyond their imagination.

Writing a mystery? Without compelling characters and devilish twists, you’re going nowhere.

Are you writing fantasy? Then you’d better have a compelling monster or magic system embedded somewhere in the story, otherwise readers move onto the next one. 

I advise all authors to read widely within their genre. Know what the bestselling books are like. Even if this is something you’ve done already, however, bringing a second set of eyes in, those of an expert, is a critical step. 

Man sitting at typewriter

Why Not Do It Yourself?

Knowing what works when it comes to writing can be a real challenge. That challenge becomes double when it comes to working with our own writing.

What does that mean? 

In order to really assess the quality of a work of fiction, non-fiction or memoir, a writer needs to introduce that element of objectivity. In my experience, when it comes to looking at our own writing, the required level of objectivity isn’t realistic. We’re too close to our own writing to see it for what it is.  

I’ll let you in on a secret. As an author, I worked hard on my first novel. I’m talking really hard. I exerted a lot of energy trying to self-edit that book, going through it over and over, trying to diagnose the issues in my own fiction. Again and again, draft after draft, it simply didn’t work. 

Then I brought in developmental editing services and you know what happened next? With that person’s expertise, I was able to unlock that manuscript’s potential, and consequently, delivered a book that has garnered a lot of praise from readers. 

That’s right. Even a professional developmental editor and author needs an editor for their book. 

You’ve already gone through the work of writing the first draft of your manuscript. If you really want to take it to the next level and publish a memorable book that readers will identify with, a developmental editing service is the right next step for you. 

*** 

I hope this blog addressed some of your questions about developmental editing services. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. 

Your guide to writing a memoirHave you always wanted to write your life story? Do you ever sit down to write but find you get lost? Do you struggle to get the story down the right way? If you answered yes to either of these questions, memoir ghostwriting may be the best solution for you. 

I believe every one of us has a book in us. If you’re trying to write a memoir, or considering it, now is a great time (actually, it may be the best time). I have written a book, Memoir Writing: The Nine Things You Need To Know to help you get off the ground. 

Don’t wait. Get your free eBook Memoir Writing: The Nine Things You Need To Know by clicking here to download today.

I created this volume to be short and easy to read. The goal is to help you understand everything you need to know, from getting started to all the reasons why now is a great time to write a book.

Contact For Developmental Editing Services

erick mertz, ghostwriting services, screenplay ghostwritersIf you are serious about hiring a professional ghostwriter for your book, screenplay, or non-fiction story, or you need help with editing or self-publishing your manuscript, please contact me via email, or call.

Every new contact receives a free 30-minute 1:1 consultation about their ghostwriting project or manuscript consultation.

Additionally, I offer all independent and self-publishing authors a 10% discount on my already affordable services.

Erick MertzWhat are Developmental Editing Services and Why Do They Matter?
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Freelance Developmental Editor | The Questions You Should Ask

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Writing an excellent book can be a challenge. One of the keys to turning an ordinary manuscript into an extraordinary book is getting help. A freelance developmental editor can elevate your manuscript, but before you hire them, you need to know what you’re looking for.

The first thing you need to understand is what a developmental editor does. There are lots of different kinds of editing out there, from developmental to proofreading. A freelance developmental editor comes in at the stage when your manuscript is done, but you’re looking for ways to improve the story.

Do the characters work?

Are there obvious plot holes that affect readability?

Does the story actually work?

When we write our books, it’s hard to see these kinds of issues. We know the characters in our minds, so experiencing them as your readers do is a challenge. When it comes to plot holes, our minds tend to fill in the gaps for us. Does the story work? I’m an experienced novelist, and I never know until I go to my editorial team.

If you’re going to hire a freelance developmental editor, here are the five questions you need to ask.

freelance developmental editorFreelance Developmental Editor: The Questions

What kind of books do you edit?

You need to know that your prospective freelance developmental editor works in your general area. Sometimes editors focus on specific areas. If you write non-fiction, or memoir, you want an editor that has worked with similar books.

There are some proponents of genre specific editors; I’m not one of them. You want your editor to have experience in fiction, ideally your genre, but it’s not necessary. 

What do you charge?

So critical, right? Why is it then that so many people are shy to talk about money.

You need to understand what you’re being charged, however, it’s equally important to know when you’ll be making payments. Does the editor expect to be paid in advance? 

The tip here is to understand that you’ll be paying in advance. You’re not, however, obligated to pay the entire price up front. A standard payment arrangement is half up front and half in the end. 

How do you provide feedback to your clients?

Feedback is, realistically, what you’re paying for. You hand the editor your manuscript. They hand that manuscript back, usually a few weeks later, with recommendations. 

I like to give written feedback and offer my clients a one hour consultation to discuss the changes. Everyone is different and you need to know what you’re getting. 

The pro tip here is, feel comfortable with asking for what you need. If you’d prefer written comments (for example) to a phone call, make that known. 

Do you have references? 

This one should be simple. Ask for references. Even new freelance developmental editors should have a client or two that is willing to talk about working with them.

The Bonus Question!

You ready for a bonus question? Here’s one. 

Do you offer sample edits? 

It’s perfectly acceptable for you to request a sample edit. For a freelance developmental editor, giving a free sample edit of anywhere from ten pages to a full chapter should be fine. 

Here’s the pro tip: Don’t expect wonders with a sample length edit. Even the best editors can’t work wonders with a chapter, but they should be able to give you a taste of what it’s like to work with them.  

Choose A Freelance Developmental Editor With Confidence

Hand picking person out of crowdIt’s OK to ask these kinds of questions. Sometimes I meet clients who seem hesitant, or unsure, perhaps feeling out of their depth in the interview process. You’re hiring for a service. You’ve got to be sure that the person you bring to your team is the right one. 

That’s the overall mentality you should take on. You’re building a team that will help bring your book to your audience, to the world. 

Is this the right person to team up with?

My advice? Don’t feel at all shy. Interview your prospective freelance developmental editor with confidence. They are the professionals in the situation. They’ve edited numerous books before yours 

Remember the most important thing: it’s your book. 

You’ve invested the time in writing a good manuscript. Take the time and ask the necessary questions to make sure you’re on the right path to making it a great book. 

*** 

I hope this blog addressed some of your questions about a freelance developmental editor. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. 

Your guide to writing a memoirHave you always wanted to write your life story? Do you ever sit down to write but find you get lost? Do you struggle to get the story down the right way? If you answered yes to either of these questions, memoir ghostwriting may be the best solution for you. 

I believe every one of us has a book in us. If you’re trying to write a memoir, or considering it, now is a great time (actually, it may be the best time). I have written a book, Memoir Writing: The Nine Things You Need To Know to help you get off the ground. 

Don’t wait. Get your free eBook Memoir Writing: The Nine Things You Need To Know by clicking here to download today.

I created this volume to be a short and easy to read. The goal is to help you understand everything you need to know, from getting started to all the reasons why now is a great time to write a book.

Contact For Ghostwriter Services

erick mertz, ghostwriting services, screenplay ghostwritersIf you are serious about hiring a professional ghostwriter for your book, screenplay, or non-fiction story, or you need help with editing or self-publishing your manuscript, please contact me via email, or call.

Every new contact receives a free 30-minute 1:1 consultation about their ghostwriting project or manuscript consultation.

Additionally, I offer all independent and self-publishing authors a 10% discount on my already affordable services.

Erick MertzFreelance Developmental Editor | The Questions You Should Ask
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Editing By Erick Mertz

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what to expect with editingThe journey to becoming a professional author can be an uncertain one. Getting the right words down on paper is enough of a challenge. What inevitably comes next, the editing and publishing processes, can feel, to some, insurmountable. 

If you’ve come to this blog with a finished manuscript, congratulations. Now you’ve probably recognized that you need an editor. Here is a crucial pro tip you need to remember. Even professional writers, with numerous published books to their credit, work with editors.

In order to be successful, you need to know what to expect with editing.

Editing With Erick Mertz: Expectations

editing with erick mertz, portland oregoThe first thing I like to lay out is that a good editor meets you, and your book, where you are. That sounds simple enough, but what does that mean though?

Over the years, I have worked on a lot of books. I have edited everything from literary fiction to memoir to business books. I’ve done developmental edits for many authors whose books were fairly sharp and well developed. I have also worked with authors whose work, for one reason or another, needed a little more help.

You should expect that your editor understands where you are as an author.

They should be able to meet the needs of you and your book in a positive and constructive manner. That means simply this: there is no shame that your book has not reached that ready to publish, professional level yet.

Actually, look at it this way. That’s why you’re hiring an editor in the first place. Your editor is the one that helps elevate your understanding of craft and, ultimately, the work you create.

 

What Does The Process Look Like?

portland oregon, editing with erick mertzThis is a question I’m asked a lot. Take me through the process of working with you as an editor.

I will preface this short list by saying every writer is a little different. Editing isn’t a “one size fits all” process. I have worked with a diverse array of authors and every single one needed something a little different.

With that said, here is the general process:

  1. Our first step is to talk about expectations. What are you looking for? Where do you feel confident? What areas do you need instructions in? When you work with me as an editor, you can expect that I will form my process around your answer to these questions.
  2. A review period follows. Once I have your manuscript in hand, I need time to edit. For a book of conventional length (in the range of 50-100,000 words) this can be as short as two weeks and as long as four.
  3. You can expect to receive written feedback. While I’m editing your manuscript, I create a document that covers my thoughts and feelings. I go into detail regarding the strengths and places for improvement, with a focus on attainable strategies for getting there.
  4. A one-hour consultation. Most of my clients, after receiving feedback, want to talk about it. I like to schedule a one-hour consultation for us to go over that document together. This allows you to ask me any questions you might have.
  5. Follow along Q&A. After you’ve received written feedback and a one-hour consultation, I offer follow along support. That means, as you’re implementing those recommendations, I’m available to answer questions. 

Editing With Erick Mertz: Results

I learned a long time ago to avoid making promises. As I’ve said already, every writer’s process is a little different and the same can be said for results. Not everyone ends up in the same place when we’re done with our work together.

Here is a little food for thought though.

Developmental editing is about improving the quality of the story. When we work together, I am going to show you the many ways your manuscript can improve. We’ll talk about everything from how to form stronger characters and establish a more vivid setting. 

These are critical elements of good writing. Without them, your story won’t reach your intended audience.

When we’re done, I hope you see your manuscript in a different way. Writing is tough. It is a journey that we take alone and it’s challenging to know what works and what doesn’t. That’s what I’m here for. It’s my goal to help guide you from good manuscript to great book.

man holding book out

I hope this addressed some of your interest in what to expect editing with Erick Mertz. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. 

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Free How To Hire A Ghostwriter eBook

hiring a ghostwriter, erick mertz, hiring an editor

I believe that knowing how to conduct a proper ghostwriting interview is the bedrock of success for you and your project.

In fact, I believe in that so much, I wrote a book about it.

This book will help you prepare for an interview with a ghostwriter. In this book, I cover questions about plagiarism, contracts, and, yes, of course, money.

If you would like a complimentary copy of How To Hire A Ghostwriter: Your Guide To Finding The Best Pro For Your Project all you have to do is click and download.

If you have read this book, like it, and found it helpful, please share it with some of your fellow writers and take a moment to review it either on GoodReads or Amazon.

Contact For Professional Ghostwriter Services

erick mertz, ghostwriting services, screenplay ghostwritersIf you are serious about hiring a professional ghostwriter for your book, screenplay, or non-fiction story, or you need help with editing or self-publishing your manuscript, please contact me via email, or call.

Every new contact receives a free 30-minute 1:1 consultation about their ghostwriting project or manuscript consultation.

Additionally, I offer all independent and self-publishing authors a 10% discount on my already affordable services.

Erick MertzEditing By Erick Mertz
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How Much Does A Book Editor Cost?

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how much does it cost to hire an editor, erick mertzHow much does a book editor cost? As you might guess, this is a very common question, one you’ll hear frequently in writer’s circles. You have a completed manuscript, and because you’re interested in publishing the highest possible quality book, you understand the need for help.

But ultimately what should you pay for that service? A quick web search reveals that the cost for editorial services varies widely between the many service providers.

I’m going to give you three things you need to know before you hire an editor.

Editorial Services You Will Need For Your Book

how much does it cost to hire an editor, erick mertzWhat kind of editor you’re looking for is the first thing you need to know. Not familiar with the different types of editing available to writers?

Let me help clarify the differences.

First is usually a developmental editor. This is the editor that takes the manuscript when it’s first completed and works with you on the overall content.

Do the characters make sense? Is the plot well developed?

Think of your developmental editor as a detailed-oriented first reader, someone who is going to comb through and find all of the flaws, weaknesses, and inconsistencies. Once you’re done working with this person, it’s time to re-write the manuscript.

The second editor is what’s referred to as a line editor or a copy editor. Think of editors from large to small. These professionals pick up the manuscript when the content is honed in and ready to go, but maybe the language needs a little work. Answering the question of what kind of work does the manuscript need on the level of paragraphs and sentences is what these editors will help with.

The last editor is the good old proofreader. That red pen mark-up should be familiar to anyone who ever survived high school English. Once the story is right and the language is clear, they come in and help clean up typos, misspellings, and issues dealing with grammar.

Here is a reality most writers don’t understand. You’re probably going to need all three of these.

Different Rates For Different Services

While all professional editors possess a keen eye for writing, the necessary skills between the different types vary widely. While a developmental editor needs to know how a story should work, specializing in character, plot, setting, and structure, a proofreader’s focus will be more detailed.

These go hand-in-hand but are very different when it comes to executing an effective edit.

A highly skilled developmental editor with professional experience charges in the range of $60 to $75 an hour. This contrasts with line editors where the range runs from $45 to $50 an hour and proofreaders where rates run from $40 to $50 an hour.

There are a lot of editors out there that charge far above the recommended rates. Many come in significantly lower.

You don’t want either one of those.

Why not? For one, an editor charging far above recommended rates probably doesn’t warrant the additional cost. I say “probably” because there are quite a few celebrity editors out there (maybe someone who edited Stephen King or JK Rowling) and they definitely deserve a bump in rate.

But do you need that level of expertise? Probably not until your books sell like the aforementioned authors.

An editor that’s too cheap may not have enough professional experience

Pay By The Word? Or By The Hour?

Not every editor charges by the hour. Some editors I know charge by the word.

What accounts for the difference?

In all of my years working as a fiction editor, I have found this is as much about the editor’s comfort as anything else. Because charging a flat rate for editorial services doesn’t really make any sense, a professional must choose between these two.

I prefer an hourly rate because I find it works out best for both me and my client. That shouldn’t deter you from working with someone that charges by the word though. The key to a good writer/editor relationship is fit.

How Much Does A Book Editor Cost? Bottom Line

The bottom line when it comes to editorial services is you need to know what you need.Light bulb graphic with symbols around it

It doesn’t help to seek out a proofreader when your core story still needs work. You’ll end up changing too much and just need to go back for proofreading again. 

You also need to know the range in which those editors should charge.

Finding a solid, affordable editor who knows your work and is capable of improving it to its best quality costs money. Investment is necessary to craft a high-quality book that will sell.

But it shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. 

When you’re hiring an editor, ask a lot of questions. Find out what their specialty is. Learn how they communicate. If you’re down to a couple of editors, ask them to edit a sample. Give them 500 words to see if you like their comments and communication.

I hope this blog addressed some of your interest in the cost of hiring a book editor. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below. 

~~~

Your Free “How To Hire A Ghostwriter” eBook

hiring a ghostwriter, erick mertz, hiring an editor

I believe that knowing how to conduct a proper ghostwriting interview is the bedrock of success for you and your project.

In fact, I believe in that so much, I wrote a book about it.

While this book does not necessarily cover the cost of hiring an editor as this blog does, it will help you prepare for an interview with a ghostwriter. In this book, I cover questions about plagiarism, contracts, and, yes, of course, money.

If you would like a complimentary copy of How To Hire A Ghostwriter: Your Guide To Finding The Best Pro For Your Project all you have to do is click and download.

If you have read this book, like it, and found it helpful, please share it with some of your fellow writers and take a moment to review it either on GoodReads or Amazon.

How Do I Contact You?

erick mertz, ghostwriting services, screenplay ghostwritersIf you are serious about hiring a professional ghostwriter or editor for your book, screenplay, or non-fiction story, or you need help with editing or self-publishing your manuscript, please contact me via email, or call.

Every new contact receives a free 30-minute 1:1 consultation about their ghostwriting project or manuscript consultation.

Additionally, I offer all independent and self-publishing authors a 10% discount on my already affordable services.

~~~

If you would like to read more on topics related to book editing services, check out these additional articles.

How To Publish A Book On Amazon

How To Write A Query Letter

What Is A Query Letter

Ask A Ghostwriter – Help With Self-Publishing

The Best Self-Publishing Podcasts

Publishing Consultant For Fiction

What Goes Into Successful Fiction Books?

Is Self-Publishing On A Budget Possible?

What Type Of Editing Do I Need?

Book Layout and Design

Self Edit Your Novel

How To Write Historical Fiction

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