Whether you’re preparing to submit your manuscript to an agent or you’re planning to self-publish, you want your book to be the best it can be. Partnering with a freelance editor can identify your manuscript’s strengths and weaknesses. An editor can help shape it into the story you’ve dreamed about. Being a novelist, I know how hard it can be to review my own manuscript with an objective eye. It is invaluable to get unbiased comments from a professional editor before you send your work out into the world.
Many authors work with freelance editors to polish their material before querying agents or before self-publishing. In today’s competitive publishing arena, the need for polished manuscripts has never been greater. I provide one-on-one manuscript editing services with honest, constructive feedback about what is working and what isn’t. There is no one-size-fits-all approach here. I treat each manuscript as if it were my own, giving it the time and attention it deserves.
Check out Seth Godin’s short blog post about the editorial partnership.
What services do I offer?
- Copy Editing
- Developmental Editing
- Introductory Editing
- Submission Editing
- Writing Coaching
Before you hire a freelance editor, it’s important to know what kind of editing services you’ll need.
I’m looking for a “big picture” overview. I need to know what is and isn’t working in my story. Then you’ll want Developmental / Content Editing. This is where I delve into the content and structure of your manuscript. I want to make sure you’re getting the most impact from your words as possible. I’ll peel back the layers of your story and review points such as:
- Characters—Are they realistic and compelling?
- Dialogue—Is there enough subtext? Does it sound conversational without being loaded with filler?
- Plot—Is the story arc structured in an efficient, emotionally engaging way? Are there any holes in the story?
- Setting—Is the location optimal? Are the details woven throughout the story?
- Hook—Does your opening entice the reader to turn the page? Is it powerful enough?
Each of these elements needs to work in harmony to create an engaging world for the reader. Fill out the contact form below for more information.
I need someone to help with grammar and punctuation. Then you’ll want Proofreading. Every author needs a second set of expert eyes. Proofreading is the final check before you begin your agent search or self-publish your manuscript. This is reserved for manuscripts that have been through a developmental edit. Proofreading involves:
- Missing or misused words
I will make sure every word in your manuscript is in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style (16th) and Webster’s 11th. Questions? Fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page.
My manuscript needs to be checked for consistency, clarity and tone. Then you’ll want Copy Editing. As a copy editor, I’m your very own quality control expert. My focus is accuracy, consistency, and problem-solving. I will help polish and organize your sentences to make sure your reader has a terrific experience. I’ll be reviewing your manuscript for things like:
- Accuracy—If your story is set in 1860, your characters should not be talking on the telephone.
- Consistency—Your character’s name is spelled Ally on page 3 and Allie on page 28. I’ll flag that for you.
- Clarity—I’ll make sure that each sentence is constructed in a way that is grammatically correct, while preserving your voice and style.
Copy editing can go hand-in-hand with proofreading. Copy editing is reserved for manuscripts that have been through a developmental edit. Drop me a note using the contact form below if you have any questions.
I’m not sure if my manuscript is on the right track. I have a great story idea, but I got stuck along the way. Then you’ll want to take advantage of my Introductory Editing. Introductory Edits are for high-level content edits. I will review your first fifty pages for characterization, plot, and suspense to make sure your story is moving in an optimal direction. With an introductory edit, I’ll give you:
- an honest assessment of your story and characters, offering suggestions for moving forward.
- strategies and exercises to break you out of the rut and get back on track.
- advice for developing your strengths and building on them.
These edits do not include proofreading for grammar or punctuation. (It’s too soon for that.) Using the contact form below, tell me a bit about your story idea and we’ll go from there.
My search for an agent and publisher has begun. I’d like to know if my query letter and synopsis is up to snuff. Submission Editing offers a review of your query letter and synopsis. These elements are your calling card to potential agents. It’s important to make sure your query letter is clear, concise, and highlights the best parts of your manuscript. Submission editing includes:
- Review of your query letter and synopsis (typically 2-3 pages)
- One-page comment sheet with suggestions for improvement
- Second review of your revised query letter and synopsis
The cost is $30. Please fill out the contact form below and we’ll get started right away.
I need one-on-one help to develop my writing skills, but I don’t know where to begin. As a creative writing instructor, I’ve worked with hundreds of students from beginner to advanced to help them hone their writing skills. Think of this as your own private mini-MFA course. We’ll work together using exercises, workshop techniques and short master works to develop your writing intuition. Contact me for more information about being your Writing Coach. (Got a friend or two who wants to join us? Share the cost and we’ll have our own workshop group.)
It’s important to stay current on the ever-changing world of grammar and punctuation. (Did you hear that the word “selfie” was just admitted into the Oxford Dictionaries?) In winter 2014, I completed two refresher copyediting courses — levels II and III — through the Editorial Freelancers Association.