The questions I receive most from prospective clients, colleagues in the publishing world and even friends are: How do I work? Which manuscripts do I take on, and which do I turn down? What are my fees based on? Can I guarantee that people get published?
Every project is unique, so not every detail I’ve outlined here may apply to your project. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you have. If I’m not the right editor for you, I’m happy to refer you to someone who might be.
HOW I CAN HELP
I want to give my clients the same time, attention and advice that an author would receive from an editor at a publishing house. By working with me, you will receive professional expertise on how to create or revise your material so it’s the best possible.
I spent eight years at major publishing houses evaluating manuscripts and proposals for acquisition (see my bio for more detail.) I know what editors and agents are looking for in terms of nonfiction. My aim is to help clients create proposals and manuscripts that will attract the attention of an agent and/or editor, lead to a book deal, and eventually a published book.
You can rely on me to evaluate your project, provide advice on which services I offer that would be best for you, outline a schedule upfront with an end date that works for your own calendar (and stick to it), and take all the steps necessary that help your manuscript or proposal become the best product it can be to show to industry professionals.
Depending on your needs, budget, and timeline, I will offer the appropriate combination of the services I offer. I’m always happy to explain what each of my services as much detail as you’d like. My goal is to ensure that you see the value in every step we decide to take together.
HOW I CAN’T HELP
It’s important to note that I personally do NOT work with any fiction. I decided that as a freelance editor and collaborator, it would be best for me to exclusively specialize in nonfiction. Prescriptive (how-to) and narrative nonfiction is simply what I know best. By limiting my projects to nonfiction, I am able to pay close attention to what agents are selling and what books work in the marketplace, and provide my clients with targeted knowledge. I think the combination of my experience and my continued effort to learn more makes me very good at what I do.
I also cannot guarantee you will be signed by an agent, acquired by an editor, or be published. To be frank, I'm not a genie. You should be wary of anyone who makes you these promises. However, I can (and do) give my clients advice on which agents to approach as well as what strategies I think may increase your chances of being signed by an agent and/or becoming a published author.
HOW I WORK
When a client contacts me, I typically ask for a description of their work, an idea of their timeline, and a sample (if possible). Sample material could be a few pages from a draft manuscript, rough material, or simply an email outlining your book idea. Reading sample material gives me an accurate idea of how much work needs to be done.
From there, we set up a phone call to discuss the project further. In that call, I will advise you on what services I think are best (which may or may not be what you had in mind) and give you an idea of what my fee would be, based on your timeline.
Since the services, fees, and timelines are all negotiable, the scope of the work may change based on variables like the your budget or our availability. Once we agree upon terms, I send you a basic work-for-hire contract with deadlines and request the initial payment. Then we get to work!
While I'm editing or collaborating, I typically talk to my client at least a dozen times during the process either via phone or email to clarify their intention for the project, discuss the work, and/or to provide status updates on where I’m at with their manuscript. Working with me is never a situation where you send your manuscript blindly and then get a revised version back without discussion. I treat my job as an editor and as a collaborator as a cooperative effort. After all, it will be your name on the proposal or book after we’re done working together.
I determine my fees based on the complexity of the project and the deadline. If my schedule is full and you wish to book in advance, I’m happy to negotiate a small retainer fee to hold your place in my schedule.
Payments are typically split in half, with the initial portion due upon signing a contract and the latter portion due when I finish the project and send the materials to you, my client. But I'm always happy to negotiate a payment schedule that works for both of us.
I hope this post answers your questions! But if not, please don't hestiate to contact me!