It is vitally important that would-be authors spend time not just in the writing of their work, but understanding the publishing industry. Many authors waste months, if not years, querying agents and editors, only to find themselves rejected, simply because they don't know the business. Similarly, many authors rush to indie-publishing, and then find their reviews are mixed, because they didn't spend the time not only getting a professional edit, but 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 editorial 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 indie-publishing, and importantly, what are the pros and cons of each. Whichever route you choose, I can help make your book the best it can be through the developmental edit, indie-publishing consulting, and ghost-writing or collaborative writing services.
Types of Projects I Work On:
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.
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, I 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 check to make sure you're not leaving out relevant parts or issues. My goal is to make the book clear, entertaining, and for the reader to want to read the book from start to finish.
In a line edit, I take notes throughout the manuscript, make hands-on edits with "Track Changes" throughout that you will review, and accept or reject after your edit. I write a detailed editorial letter with critiques on both the technical aspects of your writing, along with an assessment of the big picture issues (how the book is working as a whole), and also the marketability of the book at this stage in the book's drafts. 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, but there's no line edit.
An edit is like an intensive crash course in writing an effective and readable work, done right on your pages. (Note: This is NOT a grammatical copyedit - that comes later in the process when the book is ready to go into production.)
If you are considering indie-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. As literary agents work on commission, they do not have the time to help you with your manuscript to get it to the next level. And editors at publishing houses also don't have the time to do much editing at all. Sometimes my job is to fix what Big Five traditional editors do not have the bandwidth to fix.
I am honored to have ghost-written and co-written 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. My ghost-writing process depends on the client's capabilities and how much they can accomplish themselves. I can step in to interview you for the book, use any papers, presentations, or audio recordings that you have, or I can assist you as you write and make your writing resonate. Other ghost-writers might have a set fee for coming up with a book, but I don't like to over-charge if I can do it for less in billing by the hour. My goal is to get your voice and story right, and get the book you want written out on the market, whether through a traditional publisher if possible, or indie-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 means that you end up with a costly, yet substandard result. You often 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 seen this many times when my clients come to me with seemingly great offers to get their book published, but when we break down the fees they're often twice as expensive as hiring out trustworthy freelancers and having me consult. 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 in nonfiction, a proposal to attract an agent. If you have a finished novel, it needs to be pristinely constructed. 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 for consults, and ask for an advance to get me started on longer editorial or ghost-writing projects. You can pay with Zelle, Venmo, or ApplePay, or send me a good old-fashioned check. Please email me at email@example.com to get a sample.