It is vitally important that would-be authors spend an adequate amount of time not just writing their work, but understanding the publishing industry. Many authors have wasted months, if not years, trying to have their work reviewed by agents and editors, only to find themselves rejected, simply because they don't know the right way into the business. Similarly, many authors rush to self-publishing, and then find their reviews are mixed, because they didn't spend the time getting a professional edit, and putting in all the steps required to have a product in which they can look upon with pride.
Having been in the book publishing business for thirty years, I have seen it all from behind the editor's desk as an acquisitions and developmental editor, participating in the kinds of discussions about whether the publisher should buy the book or pass, worked briefly as an agent, and for over twenty years an editorail consultant. I can assist you in determining whether you should spend your time perfecting your proposal and manuscript for a literary agent, or whether to invest in self-publishing. Whichever route you choose, I can help make your book the best it can be through the developmental edit, self-publishing consulting, and writing services.
Developmental Edit with Line Edit, and Developmental Edit (Read Through with Editorial Letter) :
Developmental editors look at all aspects of a manuscript - how does the information flow, is the style of writing too formal or too casual, is it wordy, are there too many chapters, or is more information necessary, etc.. For novels, we look at character development, the hero's journey, dialogue, settings, pacing, timelines, backstory, and more. For nonfiction, my goal is to make sure you establish your role as the expert and make the material as accessible as possible. For memoir, we need to make sure what you've included is pertinent to the overall theme of the story, and that if you're leaving out relevant parts or issues, I'll make sure to prompt you to give the reader more.
In a line edit, I take notes throughout the manuscript, make hands-on edits with "Track Changes" throughout that you can review, accept or reject, and write up a detailed editorial letter with critiques on both the technical aspects of your writing, along with an assessment of the big picture of how the book is working as a whole, and also marketability at this stage in the book's draft. In a read-through, I read carefully but quickly, taking notes and summarizing my findings on your writing and the story in the editorial letter only.
An edit is like an intensive crash course in writing an effective and readable work, done right on your page.s (Note: This is NOT a grammatical copyedit - that comes later in the process after the book is ready to go into production.)
If you are considering self-publishing, it is critical to your investment and reputation that you get a professional editor with years of experience in book publishing. Don't leave it to your English major friend who has never edited a book before, or a beloved family member. If you are seeking a literary agent, it is imperative that your manuscript is polished and reads beautifully in order to gain the notice of an agent.
I am honored to have ghost-written and co-written over many nonfiction books, from memoir to business, inspirational and motivational, on health and parenting, race relations, and psychology. My clients are professionals (doctors, psychologists, professional athletes, public relations) who want to write a book because they have important information to convey, or a story they want to share, but do not consider themselves writers. The ghost-writing process depends on the client - I can step in to interview you for the book, use any papers, presentations, or audio recordings that you give me, or I can assist you as you write and make your writing resonate. We will collaborate to get your voice right and get the book you want written out on the market, whether through a traditional publisher or self-publishing.
There are many different options for self-publishing, and numerous companies pop up everyday with packages of bundled services that, on the surface, seem like an easy path to publishing. However, the convenience of ordering these packages often end up with a costly, yet substandard result. You don't know who you're hiring within a company or what their level of expertise. You will have little input into design, and the fees could be vastly inflated over market-cost. I have assembled a team of people, with years of experience in producing books for the top five publishers in New York. They can make your self-published book truly look, feel, and read like a traditionally produced book, with the convenience and speed of print-on-demand publishing. I charge hourly for consulting, take no cut from my team of freelancers, but assist in the coordination and communication with the team in order for their time to be respected, and assure that you are happy with their services.
Queries and Nonfiction Proposals:
If you want to take a shot at being published in the traditional publishing world, you need a professional looking query letter and proposal to attract an agent. With most successful literary agents receiving over 10,000 queries a year, it's imperative to stand out from the crowd. I can also assist in compiling a list of agents to get you started.
How I Charge:
Every writer is different, and no book project is alike. Some authors have marvelous writing skills, but might have problems with descriptions, plot, or character. Others may have a terrific idea, but little notion on how to execute it through to a finished book. I quote for individual projects based on a timed estimate of an edit of five sample pages in the case of finished books or chapters, or on a case by case basis for helping with proposals and ghost-writing. I bill monthly and ask for an advance to get me started. You can pay on Paypal (plus the charge they charge me) or send me a check. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to get a sample.
Types of Books:
I have assisted many authors in many different varieties of genres, including: Fiction (Romance, Women's Fiction, Thriller,Literary, YA, children's books, mystery), and in Nonfiction: (Business, Self-Help, Memoir, Parenting, Christian, Nutrition, Health, Travel, and Reference). I can not help you with your screenplay or poetry.