We offer editing services for fiction and nonfiction prose works of all lengths, from short-short stories to book-length manuscripts. Depending on how your project aligns with our areas of interest and expertise, either Caitlin or Frank may take the lead on it.
Developmental Editing: A comprehensive look at your manuscript at a structural level. For both nonfiction and fiction pieces, we 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, we 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 by email and up to two hours of one-on-one discussion via phone or video chat.
Copy and Line Editing: You’ve got the story figured out, but are your words saying what you want them to say? Once your manuscript has received a developmental edit, we will go through your piece line by line to ensure the language supports your intent. The copy editing pass will focus on the mechanics of your writing, from establishing a consistent style to ensuring the piece’s grammar, punctuation, and spelling align with your intended mood and meaning. The critique will be delivered as a commented draft and up to an hour of follow-up chat via phone or video.
Proofreading: More than a quick pass to make sure you’ve crossed your t’s and dotted your i’s, proofreading will catch those last mistakes and typos that can really impact the perceived quality of a manuscript. This includes making sure your terminology, such as character and place names, remains consistent throughout your manuscript, as well as cleaning up grammatical, spelling, and formatting errors. Proofreading includes a thirty-minute follow-up conference.
Translation Cleanup: A line edit for translated works. We will review your translated manuscript and double-check for American English style and presentation. We will send our revision as a commented draft, and we can follow up with an hour-long conference.
Manuscript evaluation: A wide-angle look at the direction of your manuscript. We will offer broader feedback on your manuscript’s tone, theme, style, organization, and premise, and suggest places where a developmental or copy edit may be warranted. Manuscript evaluation includes an emailed critique letter and an hour of follow-up chat via phone or video.
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 manuscript evaluation on a smaller scale, we will evaluate the structure, length, tone, and organization of your query letter, synopsis, and the first 50 pages of your manuscript, with an eye to helping you develop a query package that will catch an agent’s or publisher’s attention in a positive way. We 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, we can help you polish your back cover copy to stand out above the rest.*
*We 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 our query critique service above.
Coaching: If your needs are outside the above services, we can work something out. Coaching includes anything done best over live communication channels, whether voice or video. If you have questions about craft, career, marketing, or anything else writing-related, we’d be happy to talk.