We're not like other editors.
We're not here to turn your manuscript into what we think it ought to be. We're here to help you see past your blind spots. We avoid telling you what we think (because we're editors--not critics) and focus on telling you what we know, We supply evidence-based feedback that specifically justifies why the story elements we've highlighted command attention. If there's something we feel needs work, we will be articulate and clear in explaining why. You'll never wonder whether our feedback is just another subjective opinion.
- Not a red pen, a pink pen. We're not here to do a hatchet job on your work. Were here to point out issues and opportunities, with compassion.
- Not just what, but why. If something isn't working, we serve up evidence. This keeps us accountable by eliminating the potential to bring biased viewpoints into the mix; and it places your in a position to see the exact places where your choices impact the trajectory of reader experience.
- Not just issues, but opportunities. We're equally committed to commenting on what's right as we are on what could change, and our favorite part of the job is telling you what we love. Our margin notes will tell you when we laugh, cry, and swoon at what you have written. We want you to know when you tickle our funny bone or strike an emotional chord. We think that telling authors what's working, and highlighting their strengths, is equally important to helping them grow.
- Not commands, but questions. In our developmental edits, we don't tell you how to "fix" elements of your story. We tell you where we have questions, see inconsistencies and perceive issues. From there, we engage you with framing statements and suggestions that we hope will lead you to your personal right answer.
- Not making you dependent, making you better. Our goal is to not merely leave you with a better manuscript--we want to you to leave our work together as a more confident, more effective writer with better habits , good editors understand how much they stand to learn from authors, and how mutually beneficial a great relationship can be.
Finally, we operate not only from a craft perspective, but from a marketplace perspective. We never forget that you care as much about gaining loyal readers, earning great reviews, and selling books as you do about releasing a great work of fiction, and we'll help you strike the right balance between craft perfection and market-readiness.
Also called story editing, and substantive editing, our developmental edit has a dual focus.
- Our craft review evaluates plot, character, tension, pacing, and story structure. Commentary is delivered via an organized document summarizing each of these elements as well as inline notes placed directly within the manuscript at critical points.
- Our acceptance review evaluates editorial decisions likely to impact concept marketability and reader reviews. We approach topics including trope execution, managing reader expectations, dealing with sensitive subject matter, and current market trends.
We avoid subjectivity and biases by taking an evidence-based approach, citing specific examples from the text (or from the marketplace) that may be driving our opinions. After highlighting areas that need attention, we offer questions, comments, and tradeoffs (rather than definitive revisions) to help authors think through decisions and revise manuscripts based on their own intention for their stories. After authors have absorbed our written feedback, we encourage phone discussions to enhance collaboration and bring closure to this phase of the process.
Our line editing review improves phrasing and story flow in ways that align to authors' writing style and character voices. This includes editing for clarity, optimizing sentence construction, aligning tone with content, and cleaning out redundant words and information. The goal of the line editing process is to "tighten up" the cadence of your work without erasing your artistic insignia, and without homogenizing or standardizing your words. We don't want your work to sound like everybody else's--we want it to sound like you--our job is to strengthen your voice.
Our copy editing services focus on technical writing. Spelling, grammar, punctuation and syntax will all be addressed, as will the standardization of formatting and other elements that need to align. An internal consistency check (e.g. character names, traits, settings, and other details that may have been altered during the writing process) is also included.
Standard Beta Read
Good betas are hard to find (and, by "good", we mean honest, articulate, and experienced). Sure, you can find people to give your book a read, but feedback from everyday readers can be less than helpful. Our standard beta read is intended to provide thoughtful feedback to authors with stories that have been edited and are nearly ready for release. For this service, we place ourselves in the shoes of the end reader and deliver the review we would leave had we been paying customers. In addition to a reader-type review of the content, we'll tell you how well the book delivered on the promise of its description and the price point of the book.
Subject Matter/World Building Beta Read
Sometimes authors write about topics outside of their own expertise. This beta service eliminates questionable facts and story elements and suggests revisions that will make your story more realistic. For example, if your story is set in New York, but you aren't familiar with New York, we will weed out inaccuracies and supply details that will make your story more authentic. Or, if you're writing about a millionaire (sorry, we hate the "b" word), and your story deals with wealth, privilege and elite worlds, we'll weed out clichés about how rich people live and help your story come to life in an authentic way. This service is available only for topics where our editors have expertise. In certain cases, where we don't have internal expertise, we are happy to make informal referrals to other authors or editors who may be able to help.
On a case-by-case basis, we take manuscripts written by authors portraying characters and cultures outside of their own experience. Our goal is to help authors build portrayals that feel authentic, that are free from stereotypes, and that are free from elements that may be harmful to the represented culture or group, Ideally, we offer minor, helpful suggestions. However, if we feel that a work egregiously misrepresents or harms the group or culture that is portrayed, we will bring that forward and have a meaningful, specific discussion about what made us uneasy and what we believe a responsible course of action is.