I offer editing services for fiction and nonfiction prose works of all lengths, from short-short stories to book-length manuscripts.
Developmental Editing: A comprehensive look at your manuscript at a structural level. For both nonfiction and fiction pieces, I will evaluate tone, style, flow, and the general structure and organization of ideas, with a firm focus on your piece’s overall impact. For fiction pieces, I will additionally address elements of plot, dialogue, characterization, and world-building. The critique will take the form of a commented draft. You will also receive a detailed critique letter and revision plan by email and up to two hours of one-on-one discussion via phone or video chat. If you’re looking for more clarity on what kinds of things my edit would address, you may find my Revision 201 guide to be helpful; I’ve also linked to it from my Resources page.
Query package critique: Writing a great query letter may be one of the most important skills an author can develop to be successful in the traditional book market. However, authors are rarely taught what makes an effective query letter, or how to make the other materials in your query package stand out from the slush pile. Like developmental editing on a smaller scale, I will evaluate the structure, length, tone, and organization of your query letter, synopsis, and the first 50 pages of your manuscript. This will help you develop a query package that will catch an agent’s or publisher’s attention in a positive way. I will provide emailed critiques for up to two revised drafts of your query letter, plus half an hour of follow-up chat via phone or video.
Back Cover Copy Writing: Now that your manuscript is ready to be published, do you have enticing back cover copy that will make potential readers hit “Buy”? Writing successful marketing copy, especially for the web, often requires an entirely different skill set than writing a book. You need to be able to reduce thousands of words into a few key points to quickly communicate to readers why they might be interested in your book. Whether you don’t know where to begin or just have a paragraph that needs some tightening, I can help you polish your back cover copy to stand out above the rest.*
*I offer this service to self-publishers who intend to market their books independently. If you intend to seek publication through a traditional agent and publishing house, you may be interested in the query critique service above.
Coaching and Courses: If you want help with an in-process manuscript, or if your needs are otherwise outside the above services, we can work something out. Coaching includes anything done best in real time, whether by voice or video. If you have questions about craft, career, or anything else writing-related, I’d be happy to talk. Likewise, if you need a cheerleader, accountability buddy, or someone who will help you work out drafting problems as they come up, this might be the best service for you. For those who want to do the heavy lifting themselves, I also teach one-on-one correspondence courses on novel revision. Learn to see your manuscript with an editor’s eye!