IWSG: A Desperate Plea for Help (and a hyperbolic post title)

I'm stealing this as a badge, cuz it's prettier than the other one.

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds! Click the badge for full list of participants.

For today's IWSG, I don't have much to talk about as far as writing goes, but I do want to reach out to the wider IWSG community for help/suggestions/tips.

Background: Last month I announced that I planned to self-publish Weaver. The next day everyone in my department at work was called in to a conference room, and told that we were being laid off effective December 4th. (And then the day after that, they fed us all ice cream. This company...)

I had planned to hire an editor to comb over my novel, and to get a professional cover made. I'd even budgeted a modest amount to cover the cost. But now, with unemployment looming, I've had to rethink my plan of attack.


Anyone have any good tips, resources, and/or suggestions for self editing? Particularly, any really in depth information on grammar? I've spent the bulk of my time working on plot, characters and such structural things, but I've been known to rewrite sentences to avoid having to decide between who and whom. Don't get me started on lay/lie/laid. I know getting a professional editor is the best bet, but with estimates starting at $300 and quickly skyrocketing from there for a proofread - never mind copy or structural edits - I can't commit those kind of funds anymore. I've found some lower priced (much lower priced) editors, but I don't know that I can trust them. So I guess if anyone has worked with a really good, very...flexibly priced editor in the past, I'd appreciate a tip in the comments, or you can email me at jenellis@gmail.com.

I think I've discovered a way around the cover situation, (Fiverr, Pre-made book covers) but if anyone knows of an artist who does quality custom covers at a low price (how low? however low you think, think lower) please let me know. I don't know how to use Photoshop or GIMP (I've tried), so anything I make myself will be directly posted to Lousy Book Covers.

Thanks in advance to anyone who responds to my plea for help.

(About the whole laid-off-need-to-pay-my-bills thing, don't worry about me. I'll survive. I've been in worse pickles. And besides, maybe now I can find a job that isn't 40 miles away.)


  1. So sorry to hear about your job. Hope you find the advice you need to move forward. Sorry I have no experience in this area that could help you.

  2. You can always barter for services if you're on a shoestring budget. Plenty of other writers are looking for another set of eyes, and a few good alpha readers basically give you the same kind of help you'd get from a developmental edit. Bartering can also be effective for other things too, like formatting, cover design--even marketing and publicity.

    If that sounds challenging, you could try this guy; he'll proofread your book for whatever you're willing to pay him, since he's trying to make a career change and figures this is a good way to break in. Don't be fooled by the atrocious website design; I've worked with him before, and he does a pretty good job with excellent turnaround time.

    Good luck!

  3. There are some editors that will let you try there services the first time for free. Just ask around. As far as covers, Deviant Art is the best place, find someone new tot he site or that doesn't have many views and ask them for a commission. You can get them pretty cheap most times.

  4. Busy Days are here again!!!
    Busy Times are ahead too
    Keep Going
    Best Regards

  5. Hey Jennifer! Sorry about the layoff. Gosh that sucks! As for editing services, I think you should consider contacting Gwen Gardner. She's a self-published author and also runs her own Indie Services. She's got some prices up on her left sidebar. http://indieservices.blogspot.com/ Best of luck :)

  6. So sorry to hear about the layoff. A friend of mine is going through the same thing right now...there seems to be a lot of good editing advice in these comments. I really like the one that suggested bartering. A lot of creative types barter for services. My husband has with photography before: he did some food photography for a guy who paid him in food. That, to me, was a sweet deal (pun intended).

    Nice to meet you via IWSG! Best of luck to you!

  7. Layoff are always tough, but hopefully it just means something better is on the horizon. I've been very happy with my cover designer: http://edhgraphics.blogspot.com/. A few other newer resources I've looked at that seem to have reasonable prices are: http://nickwilfordeditor.blogspot.co.uk/ & http://www.morganmedia.co/. There are so many to chose from, it's kind of overwhelming. Good luck! :)


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