New Website Theme and Other Stuff

As you can see the website’s been given a new look with a new theme. It’s the same one I’m using on my business site.  About a month ago I introduced a £20.00 charge on sample edits, as an experiment. It didn’t work, so I’ve gone back to them being free.

I’m currently working on the developmental edit of a 400 plus page Sci-Fi novel, which should be completed, other than final checks etc. middle of October.

I’ve also started another new business, since my last news. I now own an online gift store called Maureen-Anne Gifts. 

So, what with caring for dad with his Vascular Dementia, things are pretty busy.


Update on S F Editing & Business Service

Hi, I’ve not blogged anything for a while, so I thought an update was in order. S F Editing & Business Service is now over one year old. We had a reasonable first year of trading. We’re not exactly setting the editing world on fire yet, but it would be silly to expect we would in year one. However, on a positive note, we had loads of very satisfied and very talented clients in 2016, so we expect to start setting some sparks in 2017. One thing’s for certain, my editing skills have improved substantially over the past year. So has my confidence. Okay, there have been a couple of clients who were not as pleased as the others with my efforts, but you can’t please everyone, and it’s a negative that will be turned into a positive by learning from it.  I will keep plodding on increasing my skills and hopefully gaining plenty of new clients. They say it takes at least three years for a business to become established, so it’s still early days. 



Wise words from Novelist R R Virdi

Aight Turn on your listen-flaps! <Ears.

Everyone wants to be unique, and especially so in art.

That’s fine. But can I just suggest something? Something a bit radical?

I think we’re overthinking it. Why?

Because, yes, the natural inclination starting out is to emulate our favorites. That’s okay. That’s always been done.

But, guess what?

You’re already unique. You just are.

You’ve lived a life, sure, maybe in some aspects similar to others, and in many ways, so different. We all have different reading tastes. Sure, some overlap again, some fave series, and I bet you some not so similar.

You, by the sheer dint of existing and going through your life have come away with thoughts, desires, writing skills and a voice so different from anyone else.

So yeah, go ahead and write that story you feel is generic, because I’ll you what, it might be a heckuva lot more unique than you give it, or yourself credit for.

Just my observation.

I can give two people here the same general plot, but I bet you that both people will come away with two totally different stories.

That’s how it works.

Ah, but now you wonder if anyone will like your story if it’s so unique and different.

In a word—yes.

Yes they will.

Very much so.

Some so-so.

Some, eh.

Some not so much.

Some, hell no.

And there you have the general reaction most people will have to your novels.

End of the world?

Not so much.

Might a hurt a bit? Yeah.

Might excite you a lot?

Hell yes.

There are 7 billion other humans out there…

Trust me, a good chunk of them love reading. A big piece of that group will love your work.

They just will.

It may not seem like that first when you’re struggling to find readers.

But that’s not your work. That’s just marketing <which is another animal on its own.

It’s just that your work is rarely seen at first.

It has its fans out there…waiting…lurking, like members of this group for example (I see you lurkers *waves* hai, you iz teh awesomesauce too)

Keep writing.

You are unique.

Your stories are as well.

Give yourself and your voice credit.

Give yourself, your voice, and your stories a chance.

I believe in you.

*Showers you in motivational dust*


Goodbye 2016. Hello 2017

I’m writing this on the last day of 2016, a year that for me and this business was momentous. It was on the 18th January 2016 that Steve Frost Editing Services Ltd, now trading as S F Editing & Business Service, was incorporated. I never thought I’d own my own business. But, then again, I also never thought I’d have a university education and gain an honours degree in history. But albeit later in life, I did.

2016, has been a mixed year for me and for the business. For me, it’s been a year of learning how to cope with looking after dad and his still, thankfully, mild Alzheimer’s, and running the business. For the business, it’s been about developing the business going forward and building up a client base and portfolio of testimonials and work. The business isn’t yet generating enough income to pay me a salary. However, I never expected it to either.

2017, will be about continuing the work of 2016 and also developing myself and the business for what lays ahead., and welcoming lots of new clients. Hopefully, it will also be the year the business starts to generate enough income to start paying me at least a small salary.

Finally, I would just like to take this opportunity to thank all my clients and also, those that have helped me in 2016, and to wish you and yours a very happy prosperous and safe new year.



Authors, Make Sure You Do Your Research

One of the keys to writing a good successful book is doing extensive research first. Nearly every story from any genre has an element, or basis, in real life and fact. Get those facts wrong and there are reader and critics out there who will soon pick you up on it. Usually in no uncertain terms too.

For many people, I suspect the thought of having to do this fills them with dread. Where do I start? What information do I believe, and what do I not believe? Can Wikipedia be believed? I suspect there are many other questions that go through the minds of writers in a similar position.

My degree is in history, so I have had training in effective researching. The key is to not just use one source but to use a variety of sources to back up or argue against other sources.

To answer the earlier questions I posed, Wikipedia, is actually a good place to start; because at the bottom of the entry there is usually a list of cited items that were used as evidence by the author to form the piece he or she has written. Going on to them as your next move is the best and easiest way to back-up (or not as the case may be) the facts in the Wiki item.

As for the question, what information do I believe? The answer is, believe everything and believe nothing. Simply put, never rely on just one piece of evidence, always back it up with others.

The alternative, of course, is to get someone with experience to do the research for you. Here at S F Editing & Business Service, we offer a research service that uses various sources available on the internet for just £15.00 (or your national equivalent) per hour.


Tips for choosing an editor

Grateful thanks are given to Ducky Smith for this.

Choosing an editor is not easy. The good ones have fees that can choke a horse. However, they are GOOD editors, so the fees they charge are worth it. IF you can afford those fees. Unfortunately, many Indie authors just can’t break out that kind of cash.

Enter the rip off artists. They come in many levels of incompetence from an author who wants to make some side cash but doesn’t really know how to edit, to downright thieves who take your money and give you nothing in return. Unfortunately, the latter kind thrives on the internet. I know of two people who were victimised by so-called editors who didn’t even fix  basic spelling mistakes, much less any formatting, style, or continuity issues. As an editor myself, I am always learning and improving my craft. I have a couple of clients now, and this kind of thing makes me so angry that it’s hard to type this. I just want to hunt those shysters down and make them eat the books they ruined.

So here is some guidance for choosing an editor and dealing with them. When choosing an editor always:

When choosing an editor always:

  1. Go with someone you know or who has been recommended to you. If you can’t do that, the following steps can help.
  2. Get reviews and referrals.
  3. Do your research.
  4. Ask for a free sample from the first chapter of your book, BEFORE any money changes hands. (Here at S F Editing & Business Service, we strongly recommend all our new clients to do this. )
  5. Have someone you trust read the sample edits and let you know if they are good.
  6. Try to find an editor who will take a deposit up front and the balance when the job is complete. (Here at S F Editing & Business Service, we ask for a deposit of £150, with the balance being payable on completion)
  7. REFUSE to pay the balance and demand your deposit back if their work is substandard. NEVER pay the full amount up front.
  8. Steer well clear of any editor that say they can make your work 100% error free. That is impossible for even the top editors who charge an arm and a leg for their services to do. Editors are humans, and like all humans make mistakes and miss things. In addition also be wary of editors who say they can do a quick turnaround and edit a book in a week. Editing, if done properly, is a slow process. At S F Editing we estimate a novel taking at least a month to do.