What level of edit does my manuscript need?

This is a good question, but one that I, or any editor, cannot answer without perusing your manuscript. It’s like asking a mechanic how much it will cost to fix your car. He or she can’t answer that without looking under the hood to discover what’s wrong with it and what repairs it needs. The same goes for manuscripts.

I ask authors to send me a chapter or two of their manuscripts so I can read them and get a feel for some of its elements. Then I do a short sample edit. This accomplishes two things: 1) Authors can evaluate my work; and 2) I can determine the level of edit the manuscript needs and thereby establish a project fee and turnaround time.

What’s the difference between substantive editing, copyediting, and proofreading?

Please visit my Editorial Services page for this answer.

Why get a professional critique? Can’t my friends and family critique my manuscript?

Though well-meaning, your mother will love you manuscript just the way it is—she’s mama, after all! And do your friends know what an agent or acquisitions editor for a major publisher expects in a manuscript? Do they know the writing craft well enough to tell you what’s wrong and how to fix it? Are they knowledgeable about your genre’s expectations? Are they even interested in your the subject matter or genre? Can they give you an honest, objective, constructive critique that will lead to publication? How long will it take them to read and respond to your manuscript?

The Write Editor knows the industry and has a firm grasp on what agents and publishers are looking for in a manuscript. I give you an unbiased assessment of your manuscript’s strength, weaknesses, and whether or not it fits within your intended genre and audience. This professional critique is designed to move you toward publication.

Please visit my Critique Services page for more information.

How long do you keep my manuscript?

The turnaround time for editing your manuscript depends on the level of edit it requires and its length. When I do a sample edit for you (see the first question), I will tell you how much time the edit will take.

Generally, to edit a 50,000- to 80,000-word manuscript will take ten to fifteen working days. A critique will take five to ten days. An eBook conversion will take about five days.

Is a professional critique, edit, and proofread really necessary to publish my manuscript?

As a professional I am plugged into the publishing industry. I know the approach agents and publishers take when evaluating a manuscript’s salability. Agents receive so many submissions each month that they cannot possibly read them all. To lessen the pile of manuscripts, they will reject a manuscript simply because it isn’t formatted correctly—without having read a word of the manuscript.

The manuscripts that pass an agent’s/publisher’s scrutiny are those that not only tell a great story but also are well written and have been professionally edited. To give your manuscript the best chance of being the shining star on top of the manuscript pile, it is vital that before an agent or acquisition editor sees it, it must be professionally edited.

If you want to succeed as an author, you must view the entire process, from the first word written until your book is on the bookstore shelves, as a business and see yourself as a professional writer. Every successful business relies on other professionals (accountants, lawyers, maintenance workers, etc.) to stay in business and grow. The writing and publishing industry is no different. You need professional services to help establish and grow your writing profession.

Please visit my Editorial Services page for more information.

If your question is not listed, please feel free to contact me.