Owner’s Corner

Fifi Edem

Book Editor, Book Reviewer, Book Indexer, Book Collector, and Popcorn Cruncher.

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OF THE MAKING OF BOOKS

Every aspect of bookmaking is fascinating to me. From how an author selects a title, to how they proceed to use words to build worlds which justify this description (or vice versa), to how an editor carefully measures and sieves every inscription to make sure it is worth its weight in ink, to the science of indexing, to the interior font and layout decisions, to how the book designer interprets a story on the cover (and how little or how much he gives away in the process), to the margins the printer decrees for the book, to the economics of paper weight—I am very much into the whole process of bookmaking.

As often as my economy permits, I collect books. I read most of them (maybe a few chapters just to see how the book is put together, and if it is that good I might read it to the end) but some of the books I buy is just so I can admire them, and for the comfort of knowing there are still writer sapiens in this world.

In a way, this is what New Books Nigeria is about. It is a place where I can collect books I don’t have to read, or store for that matter. I started the blog to keep up with who was publishing what and when as it can be quite hopeless keeping up with names and titles and dates. I also hope to generate some interest in the authors and works listed here.

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My EDITING SERVICES

Over the years, and to varying degrees, I have been involved in different aspects of the making of books but I have become best known for my editing skills. I have developed a good general knowledge of several subjects and an instinct for how words and sentences should be strung together.

I have been editing professionally since 2008.

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EDITING GUIDELINES

I usually request to see a sample of the manuscript you are interested in cleaning up, about three pages of double-spaced, 12-point, Microsoft Word document (2003/2007).

Depending on the kind of editing your manuscript needs, my editing often includes checking your grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, spelling, and generally trying to catch out inconsistencies in spellings, plot (in fiction) or logic (in non-fiction), as well as factual errors. I may offer suggestions for rewriting but I do not rewrite or rework manuscripts unless we have a special agreement for me to do so.

Before we start, I will usually provide you a brief of my personal Editing Style Guide. Not as complex as it sounds, this is the part where we can agree on your writing goals and the terms of reference, things like whether you prefer to use American (Am.E) or British English (BE).

During editing, I track changes I make to your work so that you can choose whether or not to accept the individual changes. I also leave lots of notes providing you my thoughts why I have made or suggested the specific changes to areas of your work. Sometimes I do a second round of editing after you have made the necessary adjustments. There is a surcharge for doing a second round of editing, which is a tiny percentage of the initial fee. The surcharge represents your appreciation of the time I take off some other project to look over your work a second time. I would love to do this for free, and indeed I have done so in the past, but at this time I can no longer do free work.

When you are satisfied with your clean manuscript, I can usually make arrangements to provide you bound proof copies of your new book so that you can make your final corrections or have copies to give to your proofreaders, advance readers and reviewers.

As good editing takes a lot of careful work and plenty of time, I appreciate it when clients send their manuscripts to me in good time rather than when there is a race to get it to the publisher.

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OTHER MANUSCRIPT SERVICES:

Other than copy editing, line editing, substantive editing, developmental and stylistic editing, here are other manuscript services I offer:

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INDEXING

I prepare intelligent back-of-the-book index if a (non-fiction) book requires one.

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PROOFREADING

After a designer has typeset your manuscript, I can offer proofreading services to you. This usually means proofing your manuscript to make sure your page numbers are in order, page headings are correct, pictures, diagrams, illustrations, tables, graphs, are all in the right places and captions describe the correct images. I’ll also check that footnotes and endnotes, cross references and credits are properly cited, the page layout is free of widows and orphans, font size changes that are not intended are removed, and that everything from half page title to index is in the right order.

For proofreading, I usually ask that you only send me your manuscript in PDF and not MS Word format.

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REVIEWS

Occasionally when I read a book, I might write a response to the author’s work, whether I have worked with them in some capacity or not. But I’ve done this only very occasionally in the past. You can read the reviews I’ve done on my now defunct blog here. I am looking to get back in there in the near future.

If you would like me to write an honest and fair review of your work, please request one by sending an e-mail. Kindly note that I will not open or read unsolicited manuscripts, so please ask me first by e-mail. In your e-mail,  please include a synopsis of your work, the number of pages and any other useful information so I can be properly guided to the decision whether or not it’s something I am interested in doing.

When I write a review for you, I’ll post it to this blog but you are welcome to publish it on your own blog or wherever you have an audience, provided that not one jot of my writing is altered. To publish a review I’ve done for you, you do not need my express permission so long as I get proper credit for it and this blog is mentioned.

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ONLINE PUBLISHING

I help clients publish to online stores such as Amazon.com, Amazon Kindle, Barnes and Noble. I do not advertise or promote books as part of online publishing and make no promises about sales figures. Once your book is available online, it is strictly your job to promote and drive sales to the book.

I’ll have a tip or two for you, however, so please get in touch.

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FEE SCHEDULE

Authors are not all in the same place in their writing careers. I have worked out an attractive fee schedule which reflects this reality, and my fees are negotiable.

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SOMETHING NOVEL?

I keep getting asked to help out in new ways and I am usually happy to oblige. If you have a question about any other aspect of making your book which you want to run by me, feel free to contact me too.

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You can reach me by:

E-mail: efioanwanedem(at)gmail(dot)com

Phone: +2348036970282

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I look forward to working with you!

4 responses »

  1. You are the one i have been searching for, if what this corner says about you and the services you provide are anything to go by. there are great many clueless writers like me out here who really should meet you.

    Like

  2. Am interested in your work, I need ideas about marketing books on e-bookshops. Please, kindly inform me more on that aspect.

    Best regards

    Like

  3. What is the rate at which inspirational book(not a novel) is being bought in Nigeria? People in Nigeria don’t read books like that. I will be so happy, could you tell me where there is a great market attraction for buyers in Nigeria!

    Like

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