Self-publishing has made creating that OSR fantasy heartbreaker or RPG supplement you've envisioned a reality. With the availability of cheap (or free) word processors, design/layout programs, and print-on-demand facilities, we're seeing an onslaught of material and products. But in their haste to get their product in the hands of the public, many fledgeling game writers and designers are skipping some of the basics of publishing -- primarily the importance of a thorough editorial review.
As a professional editor, I'm chagrined by a lot of "first drafts" sold to the masses as a final release. Layout and design issues abound. Spelling and grammatical errors are found on every page. Continuity is chaotic. Text is missing, misplaced, or just unclear. It's a shame, really, as a lot of these problems can be addressed and corrected with one final review prior to sending the file to Lulu or DriveThruRPG. Sure, running your manuscript through a word processor's spellcheck and grammar check is better than nothing, but that's no substitute for the human eye.
So, in an attempt to help out some DIY folks who want their products to have just an extra bit of polish, I'm offering my services as a professional editor / proofreader to the OSR community. I'm not gonna post my resume, but suffice to say I have 15+ years of copyediting / proofreading experience. I'm the managing editor of a tradebook publishing company. I've personally edited or proofread hundreds of magazine articles, manuscripts, screenplays, and books (both trade and text) over the years. I'm fluent in several editorial styles with a keen eye for consistency, continuity, and clarity. (And alliteration, apparently.) And professional game companies have their materials undergo an editorial review process, so why not the garage press folks?
A list of RPG projects that I've edited or proofread:
- Dark Dungeon RPG, 2nd Edition (Sangreal Games)
- Samaris: A Dark Dungeon Game Book of City Adventure (Sangreal Games)
- The Blasphemous Brewery of Pilz, Extra Stout Edition (Digital Orc)
- Six Sections of the Veiled Invocation (Digital Orc)
- Burgs & Bailiffs: Hunger, Disease, & the Law (Grimdark Productions)
- Burgs & Bailiffs: Warfare Too (Grimdark Productions)
- Adventure Fantasy Game (AFG)
- Tales From the Fallen Empire (Chapter 13 Press)
- Mutants & Machine-Guns (Experimental Playground)
- Crumbling Epoch RPG (Fictive Fantasies)
- The Black Goat (Purple Duck Games)
- Liberation of the Demon Slayer (Venger Satanis)
- The Islands of Purple-Haunted Putrescence (Venger Satanis)
- Cryptworld (Goblinoid Games / Pacesetter)
- Monsters Macabre (Goblinoid Games / Pacesetter)
- Chthonic Codex - Book I: Cryptic Creatures (Lost Pages)
- Chthonic Codex - Book II: Academia Apocrypha (Lost Pages)
- Chthonic Codex - Book III: Mysteries & Mystagogues (Lost Pages)
- The Complete Vivimancer (The City of Iron)
- The Beleaguered Burrow (Paper Brain Games)
- Inkling Adventures #1 (Middle Kingdoms Exploration & Trading Co.)
- Starter Adventures (GM Games)
- The Temple of Greed (D-oom Products)
- Frigga's Chosen (Genius Loci Games)
- Bards of Ur (Genius Loci Games)
- "Event Horizon" for White Star RPG (d20psfrd.com)
- Expanded Petty Gods Compendium (New Big Dragon Games)
- The Vertical Halls for DCC (Deity Disapproval Publishers)
- The Dreams of Ruin (TG Ventures Opportunity)
- Castle Gargantua (Patrice 'Kabuki Kaiser' Crespy)
- NIP'AJIN Player Rules, Wet Dwarves, Panic on Archaea-12, and Kurai Jikan (Ludus Leonis)
- Stonehell Dungeon II: Evils Beneath the Earth (Michael Curtis)
- Codex of Aihrde (Troll Lord Games)
- Heart of Darkness (Middle Kingdoms Adventure & Trading Co.)
- The Gong Farmer's Almanac (DCC RPG Community)
- The Lost Temple of Forgotten Evil (Dark Naga Adventures)
- Starjammer Core Rules (d20pfsrd.com)
- The Phlogiston Books (Other Selves)
- Tampete Sourcebook for Dark Conspiracy (Unreleased)
- Sceneplay: Narrative Collaborative Card Game (Tod Foley - Unreleased)
Since I'll be doing this on my own time and my own dime for the free projects, there are a few caveats:
1. I'd appreciate no "last minute rush" schedules. A thorough review could take a week or two. Don't expect anything turned around overnight. (Although if you are willing to pay a freelance editorial rate for a quick turnaround, I'm open to it.)
2. One editorial pass per project. Please don't ask me to re-review something I've reviewed once before because you've rewritten it or added 5 new chapters.
3. I would prefer to do a proofread on a finalized PDF, as I'd be able to offer suggestions and input on your layout and design. But I can also copyedit your original text manuscript if you prefer.
4. Please don't expect any developmental editing or rewriting. I'm just going to help you clean up what's there, not act as a ghostwriter on the project.
If anyone has any questions or if you'd like some freebie freelance editorial assistance, drop me a line at "gameagain at gmail period com."