You will never learn or grow as a writer if you don’t get constructive feedback on your work. A professional, objective editor will do that for you better than anyone else.” — Laurie Harper, literary agent
MY SERVICES are manuscript evaluation, critique-writing, and line editing. I have worked on a wide variety of fiction and nonfiction books over the years, but I specialize in genre fiction, including action/adventure, mystery/detective, suspense/thrillers, science fiction, horror, and crime. I also edit historical, young adult, westerns, and general fiction, plus nonfiction books of various kinds. Query me about other types of fiction.
Complete read and critique
New writers benefit immeasurably from a close first reading and an in-depth critique that discusses both literary and technical matters in detail. The critique compresses years of self-study and trial and error into one invaluable crash course. Includes reading the whole manuscript, making notes on the pages, and writing a substantial critique. The Literary section covers essentials such as point of view and scene framing. The Technical section explains errors in grammar, punctuation, and usage.
For nonfiction books, the Literary section includes such topics as the effectiveness of the Introduction, clarity, unity, economy, and coherence.
Your text will not be copyedited during the read-and-critique process. I will consider your manuscript to be a first draft, so copyediting comes later, after the rewrite. The initial goal is to tell you how to revise your book so it will be more readable and marketable.
Line editing is a comprehensive fix-all that often includes some rewriting. I line edit Microsoft Word files, using Track Changes. I offer this labor-intensive service only for manuscripts that are generally well written. If your book is not ready for line editing, I will tell you so.
What I don’t do
- I do not work on poetry, children’s books, highly technical scientific or academic works, or screenplays. Neither do I work on stories that depict cruelty to animals.
- I do not offer free sample line edits. However, if you want to dip a toe into the water before committing yourself to the full service, I will line edit 2,500 words (about 9 to 10 properly formatted pages) for $190. This is a full edit, with notes on your pages, not just copyediting. Also, I will send you a number of short lessons that correspond to problems I found in your sample.
- I am not able to take on rush jobs.
- I am not a literary agent, and I cannot help you get your book published other than by helping you to make your book the best it can be.
My fees correspond with industry practices. The cost of critiquing and line editing is based on the total word count and the skill level of the writing. My fee is higher if I have to do extensive technical revisions or rewriting. I read a sample of your book for free in order to determine an accurate quote.
If your writing is below the minimum standards of readability, I will say so. In such cases I read about 50 pages of the beginning of the manuscript and about 50 pages at the end, then write a short report. I charge only for that work and refund the difference.
Advice for Self-publishers
Additional editorial services sold by self-publishing businesses provide them with extra income. Their expertise is in publishing and nothing else. You’ll likely pay more and receive inferior work.
I often hear from disappointed authors whose works were praised by in-house editors but then were trashed when subsequently reviewed by independent sources following publication, and of course then it’s too late.
I also advise you to take your time and get it right. Many writers saddle themselves with a self-imposed deadline. Allow plenty of time for a thorough rewrite following a manuscript edit. Don’t rush the editorial process, and remain patient. You’ve devoted considerable time and effort to your work. Rushing the process will almost always prove harmful in the long run.
Self-publishing doesn’t mean do-everything-yourself publishing. If you want to publish a work you can be proud of, you are going to have to engage people with experience producing books. One of those people is an editor.” — Dick Margulis