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It’s An Editing Thing Presents: An Interview with Kimberly Hunt, editor

Editor’s Bio:  Kimberly Hunt is a freelance developmental editor
with Revision Division, specializing in Romance. While she serves
independent authors of Romance, Women’s Fiction, Mystery, Suspense, and
Psychological Thrillers, she also edits creative nonfiction and memoir for
publishers. She’s happy to answer questions about writing and editing, but beware,
as she can go on at length about her passions: reading, running, and
volunteering. 

In addition to her experience as a developmental editor, she has
certifications in copyediting and project management. All of which enable her
to deliver edits ahead of schedule and under budget. Have a look around
Revision Division’s website and let Kimberly know if she’s a good fit for you,
your book, and your budget.

 

Deliah
Lawrence: What are the different types of editors?  


Kimberly
Hunt:
In
order to explain the different types of editing, I’d like to tell a story about
my journey as an editor. Knowing my story isn’t important, but knowing the
different types of editing is critical for evaluating what you need and which
editor may be able to help you best. For many years, I was a beta reader and I
continue to provide this service between editing projects. When I beta read, it’s
less about how the story is crafted and more about how it’s received by a
reader. For beta reading, I send simple notes in an email about what I observed
while reading. My beta reading clients do get superb value since I can’t
completely turn off my editing skills, but they get a list of problems without
any ideas for how to solve those problems.

 

Early
in my career, a friend of the family sought out my help. His story was amazing,
but I couldn’t get past the number of errors, and this was my initial
inspiration to look into copyediting. I found a natural ability to spot the
punctuation, usage, grammar and spelling errors lent itself well to this type
of work. My educational courses introduced trusted resources to references like
the Merriam-Webster dictionary and the Chicago Manual of Style. And working
with publishers taught me how to create and maintain a style sheet for
consistency per book, which is critical when writing a series.

 

Still
at the detailed level but a bit more of an art, is line editing. This looks at
each line at the sentence and paragraph level for improved flow and better
transitions. I tread carefully when line editing to make sure I’m respecting
the author’s voice while keeping concision and clarity a priority. The more
advanced courses I took revealed my true passion was earlier in the process,
with developmental editing. I love assessing the big picture elements that
truly make or break a good book (structure, plot, pace, POV, and character
development). Not only do I identify problem areas and make comments directly
in the manuscript, but I provide suggested solutions and discuss the global
edits needed in a revision letter.

 

There’s
great value not just for one book, but for your entire writing career, in
working with a developmental editor. I have one author that reserves my time
for this service every time she writes in a different genre. Then for each book
in her series we skip to a manuscript evaluation which still looks at these big
picture elements but doesn’t have the in-manuscript suggestions. Perfect for
seasoned authors.
 

I’ll briefly mention
proofreading—which is not editing. It used to be a comparison between the
edited manuscript and the printed proof. I do very little of it, but
occasionally I’m asked to be that last set of eyes before publication to catch
typographical errors. This should be done after formatting your manuscript and
the goal is to change as little as possible—meaning only indisputable errors.
 

DL: What sets one editor apart
from another?

KH: Given that qualifications,
experience, and rates are equal between two editors, I’d say the
differentiating factor comes down to fit. I’ve lost a project to another editor
who shared an obscure hobby with the author. I’ve politely turned down projects
when I perceived low author-editor compatibility. If I were an author, besides
qualifications, experience, rates, and fit, an editor who acts like a
professional and provides diplomatic feedback in a timely manner would be my requirement.
 

DL: What qualities make a good
editor?


KH: If I were an author, I’d look for
an editor who returns my email or phone call promptly. I’d expect their
certifications, qualifications, and memberships to professional organizations
to be listed on their website. Yes, it’s important that an editor’s rates are
within an author’s budget, but be careful not to select on cost alone. Look for
an established process for getting started (contracts make expectations clear!)
and for sharing files and seeing revisions. Good editors explain suggestions
objectively, citing references to help educate, and encourage authors with
positive feedback as well.

 

DL: Is
there any particular genre you prefer to work with?

KH: 100% Romance. Steamy contemporary
romance is my favorite. I love the enemies to lovers, grumpy/sunshine, and fake
relationship tropes. I have experience with all heat levels, some historical
romance and romantic suspense in addition to the many rom-coms and contemporary
romances I’ve edited.
 

DL: What can writers expect when
they work with you?


KH: Diplomacy. Quality.
Professionalism. Affordability. I aim to provide valuable feedback through
constructive criticism AND praise. By me pointing out strengths or showing
where something works well, authors learn and grow. I provide exceptional
quality by going over a manuscript multiple times. I have invested in my
education as well as programs and resources.
 

As a professional editor, I take
responsive communication seriously and appreciate clear expectation setting. I
quote projects conservatively so that I may deliver ahead of schedule and under
budget. Finally, I value affordability. I’m a member of the Editorial
Freelancers Association (EFA) and set my rates within their range based on my
years of experience. This all sounds a bit stuffy, so please know that I can be
fun too! I have fun references if needed.
😊 

DL: Who is your ideal client?

KH: I have given this a great deal of
thought over the years. To ensure I’m filling my days with positive
interactions and work that I love, I foster long-term author-editor
relationships with clients who treat writing, editing, and publishing as a
career. I like to work with professionals who value my time and expertise. My
clients include new writers, seasoned independent authors, and a few small
publishers. A handful of my clients have gone on to secure agents and
publishing contracts.
 

DL: What is one of the most
challenging projects you have worked on?

KH: The most challenging projects for
me are the ones where an author is not interested in putting in the work. I
treat each project as a chance to educate, taking the time to explain why I’m making
corrections or suggesting changes. It’s tough to stay motivated during a
copyedit when I see that developmental feedback has not been put to good use. 

Also, it’s a little discouraging to copyedit manuscripts from returning clients
with the same mistakes I’ve addressed in previous books. I do my best to
deliver valuable edits and exceed expectations. At the end of the day, the book
baby belongs to the author, and it’s their choice what changes are accepted or
rejected.
 

DL: What advice would you give to new
writers?

KH: Read not just for entertainment,
but with an analytical eye. Take notes about what works and try to figure out
why. Take advantage of free critique swaps with other writers, find a mentor,
and save up for whatever professional services you need to make sure you’re
putting a quality product in front of readers.
 

DL: What do you like to do when
you are not working on an editing project?

KH: Obviously, I’m most likely to be
reading when not editing. I am unashamed about taking a book everywhere I go in
case I find the opportunity to “wait” or politely tune out the rest of the
world. I love to travel, will hike in fair weather, and tolerate rustic
camping. To give back, I’m a dedicated blood donor and habitual volunteer.
 

DL: Where can writers learn more about
you and your services?


KH: Writers can get more information here:

DL: Thanks so much for being here with
us today. I know my fellow creatives will enjoy getting to know you as an
editor!

KH: Thank you for this opportunity!


It'S An Editing Thing Presents: An Interview With Kimberly Hunt, Editor &Raquo; Kimberly%20Hunt Headshot%209 18 22


Originally Published on https://vocalexpressions.blogspot.com

Deliah Lawrence Attorney, Author, Blogger, Workshop Facilitator

Deliah Lawrence is a Maryland-based attorney and award-winning author of two romantic suspense novels (Gotta Let It Go and Gotta Get It Back) set in Baltimore. She’s also a blogger and workshop facilitator who writes poetry and short stories.

When Deliah isn’t writing, you can find her reading a book, indulging in her addiction to investigation discovery shows; or painting her yet-to-be exhibited oil artworks of landscapes, portraits or whatever else comes to her creative mind. Constantly on the go, she is also a member of the Black Writers’ Guild of Maryland and Sisters in Crime.

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