Divya Dubey comes from the world of publishing and creative writing. Currently, Divya runs an organization called Authorz Coracle that offers a host of editing and training services to aspiring writers. We interviewed Divya to learn more about Authorz Coracle, her experience in the publishing industry, and for some advice on what writers should look for in an editor. Read on to find out more.
Welcome, Divya, to eBooks India. It’s great to have you with us. Can you please tell us about your background, work experience and how you got into publishing?
I wanted to be an editor ever since I was in class five. After I finished my MA in English from Delhi University, I started looking around for editing/publishing courses abroad and eventually landed up at Oxford Brookes, Oxford, for an MA in Publishing.
I started my career with academic publishing and went on to work with English Language Teaching (ELT) books, textbooks, trade books and graphic novels. But I realized I was best at and most comfortable with trade publishing (fiction/creative non-fiction). I also enjoyed it the most. The background in literature helped.
For five years I ran Gyaana Books – my own trade book publishing firm, but had to stop producing more books due to the usual problems small indies usually face.
I launched Earthen Lamp Journal – a literary e-journal – in January 2013 (www.earthenlampjournal.com). That has been receiving a good response.
Can you please tell us about your work as an editor? How long have you been editing and what types of writing do you edit?
I’ve spent over a decade in publishing now. As I mentioned, I’ve worked with a variety of genres. Under Authorz Coracle I mainly deal with fiction and creative non-fiction (adult). Once in a while a children’s book does come in. In fact I take on anything to which I feel I can do justice and add value.
Please tell us a bit about your organization Authorz Coracle and about the services it offer to writers?
Authorz Coracle was launched in Nov 2011. Many people think it is a literary agency, but it is not. It’s more of a writers’ resource.
I mainly run it alone with freelancers joining in occasionally.
It offers the following:
1. Manuscript editing services (fiction or creative non-fiction) — substantive as well as copy-editing with detailed feedback. The pace depends upon the author.
2. Copy-editing services — for scripts that are otherwise in order and don’t need substantive editing.
3. Online workshops. It includes detailed feedback on two short stories (about 1500-3500 words each), plus other input depending on the help the author requires.
4. Creative writing workshops. From time to time they are announced on the AC page on FB.
5. Individual help. If someone needs individual sessions/help with specific issues regarding their writing, they are welcome to fix up a session. Payment is fixed on a per-hour basis.
6. Ghost writing services — recently introduced.
7. Commissioned writing projects (non-fiction) — recently introduced.
One of the services offered by Authorz Coracle is creative writing/editorial workshops. How do these workshops help people and what types of people typically attend them?
These workshops are held from time to time. Usually they are about five or six hours long with a short break in between. I begin with a PPT presentation covering all the main aspects of fiction writing. We identify problem areas and discuss how to address them and then the participants are asked to write a short piece. The rest of the session is spent in offering feedback and holding further discussions.
Follow up sessions involve more writing, more feedback and more discussions.
Participants are people from all walks of life: journalists, bankers, school teachers, editors, university students, etc. They come from Delhi/NCR or even beyond. These are aspiring writers who have either never written fiction before but wish to start, or those who have produced a manuscript but aren’t sure if their work is ready to go to a publisher. Some come after their work has been turned down by various publishers or agents. But they are people who seriously wish to improve their writing skills.
Can you please share 3 pieces of advice to authors who are thinking about editing their book manuscript?
1. Choose your editor carefully. Choose a professional. Someone who has a good grasp over language and knows his/her job well. A good editor makes a great deal of difference to your work. Choose someone you are comfortable with, but whose advice and suggestions you will follow.
2. Please do not make the editor go through the grind and then send your manuscript to the publisher without incorporating a single change/suggestion. Editors work hard on your script. It’s important to respect their effort as well as their time.
3. Your editor’s goal is the same as yours – to produce a script that will appeal to the readers. The editor is not an enemy but a friend. Teamwork is vital.
You’ve also had work published. Can you please tell us a bit about what you’ve written and in what genres?
I have done some short stories and articles. I keep doing those from time to time. I do have several ideas even for full-length works, but don’t get enough time to work on them.
How can people find out more about you?
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/hv1.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Hiten Vyas is the Founder and Managing Editor of eBooks India. He is also a prolific eBook writer with over 25 titles to his name.[/author_info] [/author]