Tips 'N Treats: Week 9

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~National Literacy Trust published The Book of Hopes: Words and Pictures to Comfort, Inspire and Entertain Children in Lockdown, a free collection edited by Katherine Rundell, with contributions from more than 100 children’s writers and illustrators.

My Tip

This week, I’ve got a site that helps you build and keep track of your story world. This one might be more for my speculative fiction writers, but I’d say anyone could theoretically use it.

This is a powerful tool built to grow with you. Bring your world and characters to life and keep track of all the little details in one place. Build a town, a continent, or a universe. With the paid version, you can even create languages, governments, foods, sports—it’s a whole world at your fingertips. also backs up your content to the cloud.

The free version of has some limitations and only lets you create and store up to a certain amount. If you want the unlimited version, it’s just $9.00/month. Of course, it’s up to you. My advice is to try it free and see how it goes. Not every tool is right for every writer, but might be exactly what you need.

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This week’s posts:

-Monday: SOPHIE WASHINGTON: MY BFF by Tonya Duncan Ellis
-Wednesday: LINAGE by C. Vonzale Lewis

Guest Tip

This week, I’m pleased to welcome Lisa Thompson to Tips ‘N Treats. Lisa’s here to offer some insight into that ever-puzzling question of how much to pay for having your manuscript edited and what factors go into the price. And here we go…

One of the most common questions I see about editing relates to pricing. And understandably so. If you are self-publishing, you will probably need to hire an editor, cover designer and formatter. Editing is usually the most time-consuming — and therefore, the most expensive — part of this process.

Editing prices include many factors. Here are just a few:

1. The type of editing. developmental, copy editing, line editing or proofreading. These all differ from each other.
2. The condition of the manuscript. I have refused to edit books because they had so many issues: character development, plot flow, overall organization and much more. Instead, I provide a critique with an assessment of these issues. The author can then go back and make corrections. If an author is stuck, I can provide coaching.
3. How quickly the client wants the manuscript returned. The quicker the turn-around, the higher the rate.
4. How many Bible verses are in the book. For example, I recently edited a 60K word book with 300 verses. I charged extra for that as I checked every single verse. Note: The correct Bible version was listed for each verse.
5. How many citations are in the book. For example, I am now editing a book of around 220K words with at least 800 citations. Again, that increases the price.
6. The writer’s grasp of English. Sometimes, a nonnative speaker wants the book edited for standard American English. That involves rewriting content and extra work for the editor.
7. The editor's experience. A new editor just starting out often charges very low rates. As in almost any profession, rates increase based on the editor’s experience.
8. The demand and work load of the editor. High demand usually means higher rates. See point 7.
9. The amount of self-editing the author has done. I once proofread a manuscript for a small publisher. The client told me that the manuscript had been edited 10 times — yes, really! — and I still found minor errors. However, because of all the work the client had already put into the book, my rates for that project were very low. In addition, the publisher has sent me quite a few projects since then.
10. The word count. I charge more for shorter projects as I still have the same amount of administrative issues and back-and-forth communication with the author that I do on larger projects.
11. The number of future projects the client has. I usually (not always) offer a slight discount on future projects from the same client.

This list is by no means exhaustive. If you have any editing questions, please feel free to contact me at I’m happy to help. For further information, see my website at

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