I was able to snag a very rare interview with Editor Kim Young! I had several questions and I had gathered more together to get the most from this opportunity. I’ve known Kim for some time now and had wanted to know more about her, the editing business, and with this chance I wanted to share with readers, with the launch of the new website, this event with everyone else. Questions range personal interest to advice to those interested in getting into editing for themselves, there’s even sound advice for writers!
Bachman: As an editor, what are the most common mistakes you see upon receiving a manuscript?
Young: I think the biggest thing I see with authors are paragraphs. They either don’t understand where to split up paragraphs, don’t make a new paragraph for different characters speaking, or make a new paragraph for each sentence. There are paragraph rules, but it’s my job to fix it.
Bachman: Have you ever come across a manuscript that was so riddled with mistakes that you almost gave up on editing it?
Young: HAHA!! I hate to admit it, but yes. None recently, but more so when I first started doing this freelance back in 2013. And, honestly, I should have told the author they needed to develop their story more, or even go to writing classes. I’ve come to realize that some authors need “tough love”.
Bachman: How do you find time to balance family life and your career as an editor?
Young: When I first started freelancing, I was editing 14-17 hours a day, neglecting my family and my home. After much reflection, I’ve decided that family is first. I make time in my schedule for my family. I take breaks to talk to my fiancé, I coached my daughter’s softball team this summer, I take a mommy/daughter trips with my 13-year-old, I take breaks to text my 20-year-old to see how he’s doing… My business is important, but my family will always take precedence over everything.
Bachman: Have you ever considered having your hand at writing?
Young: Oh, no, no, no, no… Between writing the synopsis, formatting, trying to get people to want to buy your book, and promoting, I think that would be too much stress for me to handle. I have enough of that with editing. Plus, I have some clients who have 3, 4, 5 stories bouncing around in their heads… I have enough in my brain when I just go to the store, making sure I get everything.
Bachman: Besides editing, what do you like to do?
Young: I’m a paranormal investigator, so I try to do that when I can. I also go “cemetery hopping”. Cemeteries are my passion, and I even have one tattooed on my arm. I’m also a collector of skulls. I have about 8 scattered around our place.
Bachman: Is there anything you want perspective clients to know about looking for an editor?
Young: Ask other authors, research editors who have been recommended to you, talk to the editor for a while; ask the editor if you can send them a sample to see their editing style. The editor shouldn’t have any problem with any of these things. If they do, run like hell!!! I have a few clients who just watched my Facebook page for months before they even contacted me. An editor should just want an author to be happy.
Bachman: You must read lots of different books, what are some that you’re looking forward to?
Young: Unfortunately, I don’t have time to read for pleasure. I love to read, but I haven’t read a book since 2013…unless I was editing it.
Bachman: Favorite genre to editor? Favorite genre to read?
Young: Well, being into the paranormal, those are obviously my favorites. However, I love historical, apocalyptic, romance… I’ll read anything, so I’ll edit anything.
Bachman: Is there anything you wish the world knew about you and your editing style/editing technique?
Young: I NEVER RUSH!!!! Some editors say they can edit a 250-page book in a week. Well, unless they don’t have family or edit 20 hours a day, that’s not possible unless you are rushing. Also, I only make suggestions. The manuscript is my client’s “baby”. It has to be how they want it in the end. I’m not the author. They are. Another thing is that I read through a manuscript twice. I edit it, send it back to the author to make their corrections/changes, they send it back, and I edit through it once again. People will say, “Why do you need to do it twice?” Well, I catch a majority of the mistakes the first time around (spelling, punctuation, sentences that don’t make sense, etc). On the second read, I’m reading it to see how it flows, reading it like somebody who just bought the book. You’d be amazed how many flow issues I find on the second read.
Bachman: Any tips for those that want to get into editing?
Young: I’ve helped a few get into the freelance thing. The first thing I’d say is contact an established editor. We don’t bite lol. We’d gladly tell you the best way to get your own clientele. I always suggest that people who want to get into it start off as proofreaders. That gets your name out there. Also…promote, promote, promote. When I first started, I’d spend 2-3 hours a day promoting myself.
Bachman: Any obscure yet important tips you’d like to remind writers of?
Young: You know, we’re all in the indie community together. It’s not a competition. There’s no reason to talk bad about others. There are enough readers to go around. Support, support, support… That’s huge with me. I don’t promote books I haven’t read, but I try to promote authors (I’ve kind of been slacking on that with my workload lately… SORRY, AUTHORS!!!!!). Remember, your editor is your friend. We’re just trying to help make your story the best it can be.