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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Interview with Freelance Editor Leah Wohlfarth

According to RB4U's own Marianne Stephens, Leah Wohlfarth is new, fresh, eager, and does an amazing job. Authors always need a great editor, and we like to have a few extra names just in case our usual editor is unavailable. I’m delighted to interview Leah here today. Let's see how she approaches the process of editing works written by her clients.


BIO: Hello! My name is Leah Wohlfarth, and I graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Humanities, which really just means world literature. I love to read, and proof read. I was always editing papers for my friends, and classmates, during college which was a lot of fun for me. I live in Colorado Springs with my adorable dog, Combo, and my boyfriend, Brian, who is in the Air Force. I love to watch movies, go hiking, and crochet. I also speak German, so it is so much fun to add German fairy tales to my reading list!

Q: Describe your job, please. How do you go about your day?

A:  As an editor, I read over written work for spelling and grammatical errors, as well as inconsistencies, awkward sentences, and works that just don’t fit. It is my job to make sure the work flows correctly, and to fine tune the piece to amplify the author’s vision.

Q:  What’s one important thing you’ve learned about your job as you became more involved with it?

A:  I’ve learned that when you are editing, you need to understand the author’s voice. Every word carries a lot of meaning, so putting it in the right place is tricky, but important for amplifying the author’s vision, and voice.

Q:  How do you handle complaints/negative feedback from readers/authors?

A:  I have to take it as constructive criticism. They put their time, effort, and passion into the piece that I got to edit. I need to understand what they want, and take their feedback seriously to make their piece perfect for them. It can be hard, but it’s a necessary part of growing, and becoming better.

Q:  E-books or print. Do you read both? If you read e-books, what reader device do you have?

A: I read both. I prefer print, because there is nothing like the smell and feel of a new book, but I do have a kindle that I use. When I was in college, I used my Kindle for my fun books, that were not related to my classes so I could escape a little. 

Q:  What do you consider the best way for an author to do promos?

A:  In my opinion, the best way to do promos is through social media, and blogs. When I worked at a publishing company in Kansas City, one of my jobs was to search through, and compile a list, of blogs. Those lists were used for advertising, and even for recruiting authors. Blogs are a great way to put yourself out there, show your skills, advertise, and even network.

Q:  Conferences and conventions. Do you attend any and how do you decide which ones to go to?

A:  I unfortunately have not had the opportunity to attend any conferences or conventions. I would love to in the future, and would decide by looking into what is offered at the convention and consider what I would be able to learn.

Q:  What’s one of the most common mistakes you find over and over again, that you can bring to the attention of authors?

A:  It's mostly punctuation, or awkward sentences. When you write, and read through, what you've written so much you can easily overlook those simple things. Also when an author reads their work, they can read what they meant to write, instead of what was written.

Q:  Is there a common misconception authors tend to have about your specialized field or any unrealistic expectations authors have about what you can do?

A:  I haven't encountered any unrealistic expectations, but a misconception is that I will be offended if you don't chose to use a correction, or suggestion, that I made. It's my job to edit, and give another point of view, but it is ultimately the author's book, and the author's choice.

Q:  What’s the one most important thing a reader/author should know about your business?

A:  I am just starting out but I LOVE what I do, and I always have. When I look at a written work it is looking at a tile floor, and I can see when one thing is out of place, so I will do a great job for you.

Q:  What are your guidelines for a writer/author to submit a book/manuscript for an edit?

A:  I just need to know what kind of edit they want. Some people don't want anything changed as far as sentence structure, because it is important to their voice as an author, so I just look through and make sure everything is correct. Others want another point of view, and their content edited. It is just important that you communicate what you want from me. 
Q:  Can you tell us about the cost of using your editing services?

A:  Yes. Here’s a snapshot of my editing fees, which can also be found on my website.

Proofread: $2 a page. A proof read would include, checking for spelling, grammatical errors, punctuation, and typos. This will include one round of edits.

Copy Edit: $3 a page. A copy edit will not only include checking for spelling, grammatical, and punctuation errors, but will also include checking for tense, flow of the words, plot inconsistencies, formatting, awkward sentences, and overused words. This will include two rounds of edits.

Q:  Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, etc. Where do you appear?

A:  I have both a Facebook, and a twitter that I am active with.

Q:  Let’s get personal. Tell us a little about yourself… astrology sign, favorite food, drink, movie? A place you have visited that you’d like to return to? Favorite season? Do you prefer mountains or beaches, deserts or forests? Three items in your refrigerator right now are… and last but not least, name two things you wouldn’t want to be without if you were stranded on a desert island.

A:  I am a Scorpio. My favorite food is pasta, of any kind, any sauce, don't matter! My favorite movie is The Shawshank Redemption (also a great book). I studied abroad in Germany, and everyone around me knows I cannot wait to go back! I definitely prefer the beach, but I live in the mountains of Colorado. Three things in my refrigerator: Dr Pepper, a LOT of strawberries, and almond milk. If I was stranded on a desert island, I would HAVE to have a toothbrush, and a great book.

Blog: located on my website


Rose Anderson said...

I enjoyed your interview, Leah, and I feel the same way about pasta. lol

Rose Gorham said...

Great interview, ladies - love your choice of foods, Leah.

Judy Baker said...

I too love the beach, but live in the Salt Lake valley surrounded by mountains. I enjoyed your post.

Lynda Bailey said...

Great to *meet* you, Leah, and awesome interview! Best of luck with your editing career. (Oh, and I'm bookmarking this post for future reference... ;) )

Sandy said...

It's lovely to meet you, Leah. I'm saving you as a possible editor for me.

A lot of my family lives in Colorado Springs, and I intend to visit them this summer, so maybe I can meet you then.

Paris said...

Welcome Leah! Great interview and I have to agree about the pasta, any kind, any sauce:) Best of luck with your editorial career!

jean hart stewart said...

Very interesting to know how you work. That is one hard job you're doing..

Leah Wohlfarth said...

Thank you! I'm glad I'm not the only one crazy about pasta!

Leah Wohlfarth said...

Thank you, I appreciate that :)

Leah Wohlfarth said...

Thanks so much! I hope to hear from you some day :)

Leah Wohlfarth said...

Thank you! I would love to meet you when you are out here!

Leah Wohlfarth said...

Thank you for your support!

Leah Wohlfarth said...

I love the challenge! Thank you for reading my interview!

Leah Wohlfarth said...

So you know exactly what I'm talking about! Thank you for reading my interview.

Melissa Keir said...

Wonderful to meet you Leah! I know I'm going to contact you about some editing! :)

Leah Wohlfarth said...

Thank you! I can't wait to hear from you!

Janice Seagraves said...

Hi Leah,

Good to meet an editor. I love pasta too.


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