Møt Antonia Reed: We are at a very interesting point in the history of self-publishing.

I serien “MØT” vil du få sjansen til å bli litt bedre kjent med de mange, fine menneskene som du kan velge å ha som hjelp på veien mot bokdrømmen.

Her er engelskspråklige redaktør og korrekturleser Antonia Reed. Og denne damen har mange fine tanker vel verdt å bruke litt tid på å fordøye.

The creative problem solver

The best thing about being an editor is that I get to combine my two favourite things: being creative and solving problems.

Before becoming a full-time editor and proofreader, I performed a variety of related roles in the publishing and media industries. I have worked as a copywriter, literary translator, junior agent, script reviewer and computer game writer.

My career highlight so far, as both a contributing writer and editor, has been on a Disney publication called Storied Places. A huge anthology of comics exploring and expanding the worlds of some of the best-loved children’s movies. The book will launch in September, and you can get a taste at https://www.darkhorse.com/Books/3004-626/Disney-Storied-Places-HC.

Storytelling the biggest passion

Storytelling has been my biggest passion, for as long as I can remember. Growing up, I was writing stories and illustrating them before I even went to school.

So it was only natural that life would take me down this path. Studying Literature at the University of Cambridge and Creative Writing at the University of London not only fuelled my passion for reading and writing, but also taught me that I had a natural talent for analysing other people’s work.

I was good at recognising patterns in narrative, coming up with catchy titles for people’s stories. Taking a step back and seeing what pieces of the story needed to go, or where scenes should be added in.

I started taking on paid editing jobs, and knew that I had found a great match between my natural interests and talents.

Several years later, here I am. Very few other jobs would give me the same breadth of projects on a weekly, monthly or even daily basis, and I love it.

Looking into logic

Logic is my greatest strength. It helps me pick up micro-level mistakes and inconsistencies, from spelling mistakes to noticing that the sun is shining at the start of a scene only for the end of the same scene to seemingly take place at night.

Logic is also very useful for helping authors address macro-scale issues in their writing. Such as deciding when in the plot a particular scene should take place, or ensuring that each character’s presentation stays consistent, or changes in a way that makes sense over the course of the story.

My favourite areas to work in are Young Adult, Science Fiction and Fantasy, although there is often an overlap between these.

I do however enjoy having a wide range in my portfolio, and welcome authors from any genre or target-age to approach me.

Antonias top three tips for a writer

  1. If you want to be successful, accept that your work will take at least one round of redrafting to be ready.
  2. When writing your first draft, don’t question yourself. When you redraft, question everything.
  3. Seek a broad range of feedback. Hire a professional like me, but also ask other writers and editors, particularly writers whose work you admire.

You won’t be able to accept all feedback. Sometimes even the same person will give you two ideas that cancel each other out.

The skill in taking criticism isn’t to do everything that is suggested, but to develop and train the sense within yourself of which way you need to take your work.

This advice is specifically for self-publishing. The rules are slightly different if you are writing/editing to an agreed brief with a publisher.

Three reasons for BoldBooks

I work for BoldBooks for three reasons:

One, they are a great team who are very open and lovely to work with.

Two, they are great facilitators: they enable authors and editors to find each other who otherwise wouldn’t know the other existed, and they also act as quasi-agents when authors don’t wish to approach professionals directly.

Three, BoldBooks is helping to raise the profile of self-publishing, and it is great to be a part of that.

We are at a very interesting point in the history of self-publishing

The powerful publishing tools available now to authors themselves, and the presence of sites like BoldBooks, means that authors have many more choices than they used to.

They can invest in professional editorial services and designers, and they have a wide range of online publishing platforms and social media through which to promote themselves.

The only things standing in their way are how much time and money they are willing and able to put into the process. If they don’t want to go through, or wait for the gatekeepers of the traditional publishing route, they don’t have to.

I am involved in both traditional and independent publishing, and I personally think both serve a valid purpose. If anything, I think it is important that both avenues stay open to authors, because the friendly competition will motivate both sides of the industry to stay relevant and as useful as they can be to authors.

What are you reading right now?

I am currently reading – and loving – Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. It is delightfully silly, very clever, and surprisingly politically relevant considering it was published over two decades ago.

Antonia Reed kommer du i kontakt med via hennes profil.