Brad Vance Editorial Services
“Brad’s editing services were exceptional and exactly what I was looking for. I’ve worked with a few editors in the past, and he easily proved himself top class. Everything was professionally edited in a timely manner. I’d gladly recommend him to any romance novelist seeking an editor.”
– Leon Hart
“I’d like to give a quick shoutout to Brad Vance, who has helped me get a couple of books out this summer. Brad’s service as a proofreader and editor is fast and professional and I would recommend him to any romance novelist.” – Krista Lakes, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author
“I’d happily recommend Brad for editing services. I’ve sent a number of projects his way and found that he does what he says he’s going to do, in a timely manner, and communicates well while doing it.” – Scarlett Skyes
“For the last year, I’ve been dying to have Brad work his edit magic mojo on one of my stories. His own stories have always been flawlessly edited, but what draws me to Brad is his creative intellect. All editors can correct grammar, typos, and sentence structure. Brad, however, seemed the perfect choice for a content editor. Anyone who’s read any of his stories can attest to this. He’s a story-crafting phenomenon. And that’s exactly who I wanted for the content edit on my sci-fi story. And I wasn’t disappointed. He went over my manuscript in a timely manner and all of his notes were absolutely on point. I’m so indescribably glad I decided to bite the bullet and hand over my baby to the master. He was gentle but firm with her. Tough love and all that. And I couldn’t be more grateful. I truly believe he has just given me the tools to take my story from acceptable to exceptional. Thank you, Brad!” – Kora Knight
“Brad is fabulous. He helps me notice what I stopped noticing on the umpteenth read-through. Solid, great suggestions, and after a single – let’s try this out – I knew I’d found who I’d been looking for…who I need to improve my game.” – Ava Catori
Who are you?
I’m Brad Vance, and I’ve been self publishing gay romance and erotica for three years. I’m my own editor, copy editor, and blurb writer. I’ve been a professional writer for over twenty years under my legal name, Orland Outland. I’m now branching into editorial services, to share my expertise with other aspiring writers.
Why should I hire you?
Hmm… Let’s talk about what you might need. First off, spend $10 on this ebook, Editors on Editing. Read the articles on developmental editing, copy editing, and line editing (four articles total in the middle of the book). From those, you’ll get some clarity on what you need, and what editors can do for you and with you.
What if I’m not self-publishing? I’m going to submit to a mainstream publisher. Don’t they fix all that?
As “Orland,” I published a number of books with major publishing houses, including Putnam Berkeley. And I’ll be honest with you. The sales weren’t that great on any of them. But…what editors said time and again was, “Your writing is so clean. I hardly have to lift a pencil.” In the end, I got more books published than the economics alone justified, because my manuscripts were easy to edit. Publishing houses would rather do a contract with someone whose fundamentals are solid, than with someone who has a great idea but seriously flawed execution.
If you put your manuscript through the wash with a freelance editor before submitting it to the Big Guys, you’re far more likely to get a full reading when the story flows well and the text is free of basic errors.
Okay, I need a developmental editor, someone to help me shape the book.
Good plan. Working from a solid outline before you start writing will save you tons of grief later on. Some people are “pantsers,” and just figure it out as they go, by the seat of their pants. But for many writers, this leads them into a corner of the maze they’ve built, with no way out to the satisfying ending.
Maintaining control of your story from the beginning is easier when you have a strong outline. Have you added an extraneous character who only slows down the narrative? Can she be converted into someone who contributes, or should she be deleted? Are there any totally unrealistic scenes?
If you start with a detailed outline, an editor can help you evaluate it.
Evaluate it for what?
What is your goal? Are you looking to write commercial fiction? Say, romance? There are tropes you should know about in that genre. That doesn’t mean you must adhere to them, but you should know them. For example, how much time do the main characters (MCs) spend together on the page? Is there cheating? How many sex scenes? How much backstory? I personally deviate wildly from the “standards” of a successful romantic novel, but I do it deliberately and with conscious knowledge of why I’m doing it – and how it can impact my bottom line to do so.
And in any genre, you want your characters and their actions examined for structural integrity and continuity – would this person really do that, based on what’s happened so far? Would these characters really fall in “instalove” when they first meet? Is this ending satisfying and believable? If I’m planning a series, have I set up other characters or secrets that will carry the following books?
This is not me, rewriting your book. This is a set of plans for you to draw on, to rewrite it in your own voice and style.
I just need help cleaning up my prose. Do you do that?
Absolutely. When I do a copy edit for grammar, spelling, and punctuation, I also do a line edit, because I can’t leave stuff sitting there all wrong. One of the big mistakes that many authors make is too much “stage direction.” For instance, “He opened the passenger door for her and she got in, and then he went around the car and opened the driver’s side door and got in.” Instead, you can say “They got in the car and he turned the key in the ignition. They looked at each other.” There you go! You’ve moved them and placed them without dragging them (and the reader) through each step.
(Scoffs) You write romance. You don’t know anything about (fill in the blank).
I write romance, but I also write adventure, science fiction, cyberthrillers, historical fiction, mysteries, and more. Right now, romance pays the bills where my other interests don’t. But I’m hardly limited to that genre as a writer or a reader.
Are you mean or nice?
I’m not the asshole professor who takes joy in ripping people up in front of the class. Be professional with me, I’ll do the same with you. You’re paying me to give you constructive criticism. If there are deep flaws in what you’re doing, I’m going to be honest and tell you. But I’m going to do my best to show you how to fix it.
Any genres you don’t work with?
I don’t do anything religious, but that’s about the limit. If you write paranormal, historical, western, science fiction, mystery, BDSM, any or all of those with or without romance elements, gay or straight or flexisexual, I’m up for a look.
Also, I seem to suck at formatting. My books come out all wrong when they’re published to different sites. Can you help me?
I sure can! It’s something I’ve been doing for myself for three years now, and I’ve got the methods down pat. I’ve also done a handy-dandy CreateSpace MS Word template you can find on my CreateSpace Help page…or, of course, you can pay me to do it for you.
Okay, bottom line. What do you charge?
My base rate is $500 for a copy edit of a 50k book. This increases based on amount of work requested/required. You can send me a 20-page manuscript sample, and we can nail down a cost.
I no longer quote rates “by the word” because the amount of work from one MS to another can vary wildly. I’m going to charge more for a 50k book where I need to make 2,000 corrections to grammar, spelling and punctuation, than I am on a 100k book where I make 500.
But I don’t have any money! How can I afford this?
It’s a long term investment, to be sure. If you self publish, how much royalty income would you lose if you published something that wasn’t the best it could be? If you submit to a tradpub house, how many rejection slips do you want to collect, and how much time collecting them do you want to lose, before you need to seek help after all?
Okay, I want more info. What do I do now?
Contact me at BradVanceAuthor@gmail.com. Tell me what it is you’re looking for, and we can go from there!
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