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Editorial Services

(I stole this section from my brother.)

Since I do editorial work through my brother Steve's site, noveldoctor.com, I figured it would be easier to just replicate the services here. One of these days, I will get around to asking him if that's okay. (I did edit this, because, you know, but most of the words are still Steve's.) The services are the same. The ink color is the same. The prices are the same. Heck, even the last name of the editor is the same. If Steve sent you here and you are still more comfortable with having his hand in the process (but don't want to or can't wait for his next available slot), then might I suggest the Tim/Steve Combo Platter, detailed at the bottom of his page here.

My editorial services are for writers who have worked hard on their novels, have written a first draft and a second and a third and a fourth and have cleaned up grammar and typos and formatting and are ready for an editor’s assistance to take it to the next level. In other words, this isn’t your first draft. It’s not your rough draft. It’s not a collection of ideas slapped together in search of a point. It’s a complete novel. Maybe not a great one yet, but finished.

1. Editorial Review (Green Pen of Helpfulness)

I’ll read your manuscript cover to cover (front to back, in that order), then offer my evaluation of your novel in a 6 to 10 page document, noting areas in need of improvement and your strengths. I’ll point out editorial issues that might be keeping you from landing an agent or catching an editor’s eye. I’ll tell you what I think about your plot, the believability of your characters, and the quality of your writing. An Editorial Review often is just enough information to point you toward revisions that can dramatically increase the chance for publishing success. It can make your book better.

Cost: Starting at $750

2. In-Depth Editorial Analysis (Red Pen of Life and Death)

This is an in-depth analysis of your novel. This service is designed for those of you who are getting good feedback on your novel (it’s your fifth draft, right?) but still no offer of representation. I’ll read your manuscript cover to cover and provide specific editorial suggestions throughout (using the Comment and Track Changes features in Microsoft Word, when possible). I’ll also include editing examples for many of these suggestions. And, I’ll even spend up to an hour on the phone with you to talk in general about the book as well as answer any lingering questions you might have about my notes. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the difference between an interesting, well-written novel and a compelling, must-publish-this-now novel. I’m reasonably skilled at uncovering those little things.

This is not a line edit. I won’t be dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s or correcting every grammatical error. I will focus on identifying the bigger issues that need work, then offer a customized prescription to help cure those problems. Oh, you’ll still get plenty of little editing marks – and I’ll dot some of those i’s and cross some of those t’s as I see them, but this is a macro-edit (or “developmental edit”), not micro-edit.

Cost: Starting at $1,500

3. Comprehensive Edit (Purple Pen of Pulchritude)

This service includes a big picture edit (similar to the Red Pen above), followed by a detailed line edit after you’ve made your changes to the manuscript. This is designed for authors who are intending to self-publish, and want the book to be in the best shape possible before…hiring a copyeditor to make sure it’s even in better shape before hitting publish on Amazon or wherever. See what I did there? I emphasized the importance of hiring a separate copyeditor even after the line edit. Copyeditors are the unsung heroes of all manuscripts. They find things we don’t. But before they get the manuscript, the line edit will make things as clean and neat and lovely as possible. I promise. Oh, and also with the Comprehensive Edit, we’ll chat on the phone or via email or Skype throughout the process as needed. Because editing is a lonely life and I could use a friend. Well, that, and it’s easier to sort out plot and character issues via conversation than smoke signals.

Cost: Starting at $2,000

A few notes:

  • I want you to succeed and to feel good about your novel, but the only thing I sugar-coat is doughnuts. I’ll do my best to offer direction, but I’m not going to give you false hope if I don’t think your novel has much of a chance finding success in the traditional publishing process. Perhaps someone else will see something I missed. I hope so. I promise I’ll unabashedly cheer for you when your debut novel eclipses J.K. Rowlings’ aggregate sales numbers. (For that matter, I'll cheer with the same level of enthusiasm when it gets published.)
  • I can’t guarantee you’ll sign with an agent or get published if you take heed of my editorial suggestions. Also, if your plan is to self-publish, I can't guarantee that you will sell any copies beyond the ones purchased by your significant other or your mother (and even then...) Anyone who guarantees your success is not being straight with you and is not a nice person. I hope you come away from the process feeling like you’ve learned something of value – something that makes you a better writer.
  • Most projects qualify for the starting rate, but first novels and books that are more than 90K words will typically have a higher fee. This will be determined before we commit to working together. If your project is more than 150K words, I’m probably not your editor. Unless you're really good.