I’ve been working as a freelance editor since 2006, editing an average of three manuscripts a month. Much of my work comes through Writers’ Workshop but I also accept direct commissions.
I tailor my feedback to the author’s needs, so the content of my report varies accordingly, though it is usually a minimum of 3000 words for a full length MS.
This will cover the following:
- the commercial potential of your concept and where your book fits in the market
- analysis, comments and suggestions re structure, plot, pace, characterisation, prose style
- if appropriate, feedback on your synopsis and covering letter
As an author myself, I’m very aware that I hold someone’s beating heart in my hand when I work on their lovingly crafted book. I’m always careful to point out where an MS’s strengths lie, as well as those areas that need attention.
Some people are hoping to be signed with an agent and achieve a traditional publishing deal, others may intend to self-publish, and some might just love writing and want to make their novel as good as it can be. My feedback is designed to provide each person with what they need to have the best chance of fulfilling their particular ambitions.
I have experience of working in all genres and I’ve had the enormous pleasure of seeing several authors I’ve worked with sign up with agents. Some have gone on to be published and at least one has become a bestseller.
Needless to say, it takes time to read a full MS and prepare a detailed report. I also offer further conversations after I send the report, to discuss any issues that arise or clarify anything where necessary. None of this comes cheap, but, at the risk of sounding like a certain advert, I think I’m worth it.
*tosses hair and gurns at camera*
- £5.50 per 1000 words for a full length MS.
- £95 for feedback on synopsis, covering letter and first 5000 words.
- Other charges, eg longer extracts, proof reading etc, are available on request.
- I also occasionally mentor authors and work with them in greater detail until we agree the MS is as good as it possibly can be. This is a major commitment and I can only offer this to one author at a time. Details available on request.
- I am available to run workshops and creative writing courses and have significant experience in hosting these, both in Real Life and online, including a 6-week online Self-Edit Your Novel course.
Here are some of the comments I’ve received from authors I’ve worked with.
- ‘The overwhelming message I want to send you is “Thank You”. I received your report yesterday and have read it – ooooh 30 times! Not only have you identified the key points (both fundamental and in finer detail) but also you have given precise and workable pointers towards where and how the improvements should be made. I feel validated and expertly instructed. I know you are ‘doing your job’ – but I feel you have applied great care and empathy in your reading and review of my manuscript, for which as a lonesome, first-time novelist working in isolation is very heartening and I’m so grateful. I’m also chuffed that you seemed to like it too!‘ MC
- ‘As for your detailed report – it’s very impressive. I agree with almost all your comments (and where I disagree I know you’re probably right). I can’t believe that you can see the issues so clearly… Debi – I can’t thank you enough. Writing is such a solitary business. It’s a great relief to get some encouragement after all this time, and so much good advice.‘ AC
- ‘Thank you so much for this. It was vastly more than I expected and I doubt all the time that you obviously put in was covered by the fee that I paid for the appraisal! You’re a great lady for detail and I can see a number of instances where you’ve latched on to something, usually in dialogue, with which I’ve struggled manfully and still haven’t got right … There is very little which you have noted that I am not prepared to look at again with a view to amending, tightening or deleting, and in regard to making the plot work more smoothly. ‘ JC
- ‘I have written a flawed work that needs a major overhaul. But, now I know how to take it forward in the right direction, and I am confident I can make it better. Thank you for the guidance.’ AH
- ‘Thank you so much for your constructive comments and suggestions – all of which I have found to be invaluable in my attempt to improve and finalize my book.’ GG
- ‘Having reflected on your suggestions and discussed them with a close colleague (who has also read the book), we agree that, to get the book to a level where it may be considered for publication, I need to address all of your points – which I will do with the same enthusiasm and excitement that I composed the original draft with!’ TH