Why have your manuscript edited?
"But I reread that manuscript umpteen times ... how could I have missed it?" We writers have all uttered that phrase at one time or another. Still, missing words and transposed letters do slip through the process, ending up as glaring errors on the published page. Blame it on the human brain (or your spell-checker). As you read and reread your all-too-familiar manuscript, your mind subtly corrects missing letters and words and your writing looks fine. Fine, that is, until you see it in print.
A fresh pair of eyes, an outsider, can pick up bad habits you've never noticed, errors in your all-too-familiar manuscript that you've overlooked. And that's okay ... the writer’s job is to write. Leave the style and function rules to an experienced editor who understands the different standards required by newspaper, magazine and book publishers. Why have your manuscript edited? To correct errors before you invest in printing, of course.
Understanding today's publishers and editing
You polish off your manuscript, mail it to a specific editor of a large publishing house, and anticipate working with your very own editor prior to getting published. The writing-publishing business has changed. Editors no longer have the time needed to serve as your mentor on the road to a published work. As large conglomerates gobble up smaller publishing houses, there are fewer and fewer editors available to read more and more manuscripts. Study the market listings and you'll soon note that most publishers require you to submit through an agent.
So, you spend the next year trying to meet with an agent who has ties to the type of publisher you seek. When you finally find one that will talk to you, he/she tells you this: "Hire an independent editor to read your work for errors, style, grammar, story flow, and sentence structure before you submit it to me." Like publisher's editors, most agents do not mentor writers, either. They want to represent authors who present a clean manuscriptone that will not require much, if any, rewritingand they'll want to look it over before agreeing to represent you. I can help you make it agent-ready.
The importance of analysis and critique
Your manuscriptwhether fiction or nonfiction book, short story or magazine articleis done. Your friends and relatives have read it and tell you it's wonderful. Your Grandma thinks it's grand, or your kids "just love it." Unless they are bonafide editors looking for a manuscript to purchase that is likely to earn a profit for their publishing company, chances are they didn't take note of its strengths and weaknesseslike plot, character development, construction slip-ups, incorrect word usage, grammar errors, proper paragraphing, shifting points of view and typos. An editor would notice these flaws.
Publishing house editors rarely read past the first paragraph of your manuscript before rejecting it. Consider yourself extremely lucky if your photocopied rejection slip has a line scribbled at the bottom that indicates why they didn't want it. If you plan to self-publish and market your writing, a professional analysis and critique, along with proofreading and a line-edit, is especially important and can alleviate probable frustration and expense in your quest for a quality, marketable product (not to mention what you might learn about writing).
How much will it cost?
Editing fees depend on what your project is, its length, structure suggestions, error potential and so forth. Because manuscripts can differ a great deal from one to another, each job estimate is separately made, based on an initial free sample-edit.
My rate is $30 per hourthat averages $1 to $3 per page, or I'll do a sample edit of 30 double-spaced pages for $50, or a FREE SAMPLE EDIT of (1) up to five pages for a book-length manuscript, or (2) up to three pages for articles and manuscripts less than 10,000 words.
What my clients are saying
"I have worked with Heidi and been well-pleased with her work." Lori Copeland, Now and Always, Twice Loved: Belles of Timber Creek series. www.loricopeland.com
Mary E. Trimble, author of Rosemount and McClellan's Bluff. www.MaryTrimbleBooks.com
Jennifer Wilke, Civilities. www.jenniferwilke.com