Q: So how does this work?
A: I like to look at your first 20 pages. I’ll do a deep dive into character, desire line and inciting incident. I’ll also look at scene construction and how you handle exposition. Then I’ll send you a letter—and arrange a phone call if you want—after which we can decide how we want to work together.
Q: What if I’m not sure exactly which service I need? Can I talk to you to help me figure it out?
A: You can always email me with any questions. But I really do start the editing process by looking at the first 20 pages of a manuscript. Then we can talk about what we want to do next.
Q: Do you line edit or copy edit?
A: I promise you, I am not the person you want copy editing your work! I do know several great copy editors, and would be happy to make recommendations. I will be happy to line edit up to 20 pages of a manuscript to help call out any issues I see in the prose, but more than that is not my specialty.
Q: Why don’t you line edit more than 20 pages of a manuscript?
A: 20 pages is enough to catch most of the prose issues in a manuscript. I think writers are best served by having their biggest issues pointed out so they can learn how to fix them. When a line editor takes over, the author loses a lot of control over word choice, sentence rhythm and white space. Three things that most writers want to keep their hands on.
Q: Do you help with submission materials? Query letters, synopses?
A: I’m happy to chat with you about it, and can answer any big-picture questions about the process, but helping you perfect your pitch is not my specialty.
Q: Why don’t you specialize in pitching work?
A: It doesn’t matter how good your pitch is if your story isn’t great. I work with you on your story.
Q: What is the payment schedule?
A: 50% due upon agreement; 50% due upon delivery of finished project.
Q: What forms of payment do you accept?
A: I accept both checks and PayPal.
Q: How should I submit my work?
A: Please format submissions with standard margins, double-spacing, and 12 point font.
Q: What is your turnaround time?
A: Barring unforeseen circumstances, I will return feedback on the 20-page submissions within two weeks of receipt and feedback on longer projects within four weeks of receipt. Sometimes rush service is available.
Q: What about refunds?
A: If I have received partial payment but have not yet started your manuscript review and editing, I’ll happily refund your deposit at your request. If, due to unforeseen circumstances, I am unable to finish your manuscript in the time frame agreed upon, I will return a prorated portion of your money and partial notes, at your request. Otherwise, no refunds under any circumstances. This policy is nonnegotiable.
Q: Can you guarantee I will get published?
A: Oh I wish I could! If I had a magic wand, I would!
Q: Can I copy your notes onto my blog?
A: I love getting great feedback, and I love that you want to spread your enthusiasm. That being said, please do not copy my editorial suggestions on paper or online without my permission.
Q: Are you going to steal my idea?
A: No. I would never do that! It wouldn’t work anyway. Your idea comes from you, and takes shape only as you develop it and breathe life into it. Besides stealing is just bad karma.
Q: So why exactly should I work with you?
A: Because I love what I do, and I put it all into your manuscript! Which just makes your work better.