And with this the Blogbuster Tour comes to an end. I’ll have a full wrap-up of events on Friday, but today I have an interview for you.
Neal Hock has proofed three of my novels. Not only is he good at his job, he’s very affordable. When my first book came out a year ago, I couldn’t find any trustworthy proofreaders who weren’t out to gouge college students and who were easy on the wallet. Since that time a few have cropped up, and I expect a cottage industry to blossom for indie writers in the near future. I had a few questions for him, and Neal was kind enough to indulge me.
Tell us about Hock’s Editing Services. What assistance do you provide authors?
Currently, Hock’s Editing Services provides freelance proofreading, copyediting, and concept editing for authors, websites, and businesses. Hock’s Editing Services was created over a year ago to address what I saw as a need in the self-publishing market. The biggest criticism of self-pubbed authors I would come across was that quality was missing, especially with regards to editing. In my opinion, there is nothing worse than an author being slammed for technical issues, such as typos and punctuation, that can be addressed. It’s important to have a second set of trained eyes to go over a manuscript in order to catch mistakes that the author may have missed. I had a natural skill set and a passion for quality writing, so I stepped up to provide assistance in dispelling the notion that self-published authors lacked quality.
What in your background prepared you for such an undertaking?
I have bachelor of science in computer engineering. My studies helped me hone my focus on details and technical issues. I’ve had a voracious appetite for books my entire life, so I’ve spent a lot of time soaking in both good and bad writing. It also helps that I’ve spent countless hours working with authors and studying grammar-related issues during the past couple of years.
Do you work in specific genres, or are you open to all works? Which genres do you prefer and why?
I’m pretty much open to all genres. I’ve worked with science fiction, horror, thriller, adventure, fantasy, and even romance. If I had to pick a preference, I guess I’d choose horror or thriller, simply because that’s where my love as a reader lies.
Take us through your process from when you receive a manuscript to when you deliver the proofed version. How long does that generally take?
I usually make three passes through a manuscript. The first pass is a detailed reading. During this reading, I scour the manuscript for typos, grammar, and punctuation issues. The second pass is a much quicker pass to catch anything I may have missed the first time through. The final pass is made using a checklist that I created to make sure I’ve checked for common mistakes. After I return a manuscript to an author, I’ll gladly answer any questions, even if it’s months later. The length of time for the entire process from receipt of manuscript to its return is typically around ten days, although it really varies from manuscript to manuscript.
Which writers have you worked with in the past, and how do you navigate each author’s individual style choices?
I’ve worked with a wide variety of authors and small publishers, including Scott Nicholson, Jenna Anderson, Christa Polkinhorn, Jeff Bennington, Crossroad Press, and R.E. McDermott. Every author has his/her personal preferences, and identifying these preferences is my first order of business before I start proofreading or editing. I’ll send the author a few questions to get a feel of his/her personal preferences about some common issues, and then as I read the manuscript I’ll query the author about any issues that raise questions.
How do authors contact you if they’re interested in having their books proofread? How much do you charge?
Authors can stop by my website, http://www.hockseditingservices.com, or e-mail me at hockseditingservices(at)live(dot)com. I respond to e-mail inquiries within twenty-four hours. My current rate for proofreading is $3.00 per 1,000 words.
Thanks for your time, Neal.