An Interview with the Editor in Chief
So back when my first book was published I belonged to a group on Goodreads. This group offered weekly ARC’s and I offered my book up as a sacrificial lamb to this group of readers, who named themselves after a popular erotica novel followed by support group. Therefore I felt my steamy novels would fit well. I was right and I was wrong. You see, while my books contain steamy sex and explicit detail and language, what my books aren’t is BDSM or erotica. These gals for the most part liked my book, but were looking for more “Fifty Shades of Grey” type stuff. Ooops.
So, what did I do? Well when my second book was ready for beta reading I went to those who had read my book and reviewed it. I selected anyone who reviewed “constructively” and didn’t just make off the cuff, blithe remarks. This introduced me to several gals who I still converse with regularly and whom I’ve come to enjoy and love.
Mitzi Pummer Carroll is the first lady I contacted. I’d asked her if she would consider beta reading and she seemed excited to be asked. From there, we’ve chatted, and chatted and chatted. Finally this spring I got to meet Mitzi in person, and the time was far too short and I felt as though we could have talked all night long. Since Mitzi began working as an editor, she’s been my editor and always will be. I trust her to do the best job she can do. I trust that she wants my story to be the best story it can be and I honestly believe no one could do it better, with the flexibility and determination that Mitzi does. Really.
Therefore, I am excited to introduce you to Mitzi Pummer Carroll.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I am first and foremost a child of God; He has blessed me beyond belief. I’m a wife and mother of an adult daughter and son-in-law, and I live with my husband in a small town in Michigan. I have been a lover of books and all forms of literature since I was a little girl. After many years of bouncing back and forth between jobs I had no real desire to be in, I’ve finally found my true fit in a career I love. I put a hundred percent into all the books I edit, and I take pride in all I can accomplish.
How long have you worked as a professional editor?
For over two years now. I now employ a proofreader who works with me to give a manuscript its final polish before returning it to the author.
Many authors edit themselves and proofread themselves. Why do you think authors need editors?
Editing and proofreading is an important step that many self-published authors overlook. A lot of times it’s because of the bottom line—they just don’t want to incur the additional expense of hiring an editor. But you can’t assume your eyes will catch all of your mistakes. There is simply no substitute for having someone with knowledge and expertise to take a second look. You only get one chance to make a good first impression.
Poor editing detracts from the story and shapes the reader’s experience, which goes a long way in determining if they will come back for more.
Tell me about the different types of editing.
Substantive (developmental) editing:
This is the most intensive form of editing. The document is evaluated as a whole and problems of structure, organization, coherence, and logical consistency are corrected. Sentences may be removed or added. Paragraphs may be rewritten, condensed, or expanded. Blocks of text may be moved from one section to another. Please note: I DO NOT do substantive editing.
Copyediting (sometimes called line editing) includes any or all of the following:
• correction to grammar and style (e.g., verb tense, use of numerals and words such as “5” or “five”)
• correction to capitalization, punctuation (e.g., the use of commas, semicolons, colons, periods, dashes, apostrophes)
• correction of spelling and word usage errors (e.g., to/too, affect/effect)
Proofreading – This is the lightest form of editing. Minor errors or misses are corrected. This step is the last step in the editing process and just as important as the other.
Tell me what types of editing you offer.
I offer copyediting and proofreading. To date, I’ve edited or am editing for 25 authors.
You must need to use reference sources here and there, tell me what you like to use.
Chicago Manual of Style
On top of those resources, I primarily use Microsoft Word.
What is it about editing you like?
I think it comes from my joy of reading and doing editing in whatever capacity over the years in the different jobs I’ve had. Especially when I worked in litigation.
Every job has its physical strains, what are the strains you get from editing?
Many hours in front of a computer lead to back, neck, and eye strain.
Let’s talk training. Where did you get yours?
I did a lot of on-the-job training over the years. Also, I’ve taken online courses and lots of study and research.
Do you find it difficult to market your services in today’s world?
Surprisingly, no. Once I became established with an author or two, all my work has come through referral. In addition to running the occasional ad on Facebook, I belong to LinkedIn and several author and editor groups.
Would you ever consider working for a big publishing house as an editor? Why or why not?
Well, never say never, but at this point in my career, I’m completely satisfied working with the indie authors. I’ve developed some great and lasting friendships with my indies and I don’t think I’d be privy to the personal relationships if I worked for a big publishing house. Also, I have control of my work by remaining freelance. I can involve myself to whatever degree I want to in helping my indies market and promote their work.
Specifically, besides earning a living, what do you like about editing?
Yeah, it’s not totally about making a living. As stated above, I love my indie authors and the relationships I’ve developed with them. I’ve been introduced to some genres I wouldn’t have necessarily chosen to read had it not been for editing, and I’ve found some new loves.
How about some fun questions? What’s your favorite music and song right now?
Home by BlueOctober
Favorite highlight of this year?
My daughter got married to a wonderful young man and I got to meet the first two authors I edited for.
Paperback or eBook?
Check Mitzi’s services out and stalk her here:
@themitzz on Twitter