Do you need some help with your manuscript? Here is what I can do for you:
This is a strong read of your pre-edited book. I will look at characters, theme, overall consistency, and structure. I’ll make plot suggestions and talk to you about pacing and genre conventions. I’ll make comments in the document, as well as provide separate notes with overall impressions. A Beta Read does NOT include correction of grammatical errors, spelling, or typos. It is generally assumed you will do some major rewrites after a Beta Read, and then you should hire an editor for detail work. (I do that, too. See below.)
I will look at content, structure and clarity, and help you smooth out the language to better express your story. If anything is confusing or unclear, I’ll ask questions to help you clarify your meaning – did you mean to imply this? Was that your intent? Can we ramp up the tension? I’ll note overused words or redundancies as well as inconsistencies in your story or timeline. I will note head hopping or POV shifts. I will do basic fact checking and correction. I’ll correct grammatical errors, spelling, typos, and punctuation.
This is the last step that will make your manuscript shine like the top of the Chrysler Building. It’s a final check for typos, misspelled or misused words, and grammatical errors. In a proofread, I will not work on content, style, or characters – by the proofreading stage, I assume this is your very best work, and you are looking for a final polish before your work goes to print.
I’m comfortable working in almost any genre, including nonfiction, sci fi, erotica, fantasy, and humor. In my free time, I read mostly literary fiction, romance, biographies, historical fiction, suspense, humor, and trashy celebrity gossip magazines. (Though let’s be honest, that last one is usually a poor life choice that I only make at the dentist’s office.) I’m not a big fan of gore, so if you are working on horror or something particularly gruesome, we’ll need to talk about the details in advance. If I think it’s going to be too scary for me, I will recommend a braver editor and you and I can wish each other well and part as friends. Please don’t haunt me or send your axe murdering main character after me. Be cool, Author. Be cool.
Yes, I do free sample edits! Send me 1000-2000 words and I will edit it and send it back to you. If you like the way I work, we can talk about scheduling.
In general I need 7 days for a 50k manuscript. I ask you for an honest assessment of your deadlines so I can manage my schedule accordingly. There will be additional fees for rush jobs.
Shoot me an e-mail and let me know your estimated word count, genre, and deadlines. I can give you a production deadline and a fee estimate.
I track all changes in MS Word and make margin comments. I’ll e-mail any additional notes if there are structural problems that can’t be addressed inside the document.
When I finish your manuscript, I’ll send a bill for the remainder of the fee, and when I receive final payment I’ll return your corrected manuscript to you. You will go on to glory, honor, and riches.*
*That last statement is not guaranteed. But I certainly hope it’s true for you.
DO YOU HAVE TO MAKE THE CHANGES I SUGGEST?
Of course not. But you are paying me either way, so why wouldn’t you?
Back in the day I edited magazines for a living. Real magazines made of paper that people subscribed to with actual money. Writers submitted their work and I would change, delete and rewrite as I saw fit. They had no say in the matter. I was like the Wolf of Wall Street. (I’ve never actually seen that movie so I have no idea if that is right. It sounded badass so I used it. Should I change the example to some stabby person from Game of Thrones? Or GoodFellas?)
Ironically, I was also a freelance article writer in those days, so I knew the agony of seeing my hard work show up in print looking different than I wrote it. I don’t have a good movie example for what that was like. Picture me in a heap on the floor, weeping because my hard work was trashed, then raising my fist to the sky, cursing the ignorant peasants who would never understand my particular form of literary genius.
But those days are over. No more stabby, vengeful editors. No more weeping, helpless authors. Now we are living in the Brave New Publishing World. The Wild Publishing West. The Halcyon Days of the Indie Author. The Renaissance Era of Publishing.
You, the Awesome Indie Author, have the final say. I would love to be a collaborative part of your creative process, and I will give you honest, thoughtful, and clear feedback.
But ultimately, the end product is totally up to you.
Let’s rock this.