Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions prospective clients have asked us over the years about the editing process.

Q: Why do I need editing? I know how to write!

A: Because professional feedback is important to serious writers. Literary editors can pinpoint your strengths and weaknesses in both your writing and your subject matter, and it’s best to change your weak spots and develop your strengths so a publishing house will see the best you have to offer. You want your manuscript to be in the best of shape before you get it to an agent or a publishing house.

Q: But I’m an excellent, seasoned writer; why do I need editing?

A: The question is: Why wouldn’t you? Hemingway did; Stephen King does. J.D. Salinger, John Grisham, Anne Rice, Toni Morison, Joseph Campbell, Dr. Phil McGraw – heck, even the Bible needed editing. You are only human and everyone makes errors, be they technical errors or storytelling errors.

Remember: Editing isn’t all about pointing out and correcting mistakes; it’s also about pointing out strengths and giving positive feedback, knowing what works. We can cheer you on when you’re on a roll or make suggestions for change when things fall flat. You want to know what you’re doing right just as much as you want to know what’s not working right. An editor’s work is so highly regarded among successful writers, we’re always profusely thanked for our tireless services within the first two pages of any book – with good reason.

Q: Don’t publishing houses have their own in-house literary editors so I can get edited for free?

A: That used to be the case many years ago, before the publishing business changed by making cuts in their staff. Most, if not all, publishing houses no longer offer in depth editing to prospective clients. That is why there are many freelance editors.

Q: Does an editor change my story or my literary voice?

A: Not unless you ask us to make changes. If you ask for a rewrite, of course the literary voice of the editor will come through the story. And if you have a great idea but find yourself unable to tell the story the way it needs to be told, a Rewrite is a service we offer. Editors suggest changes, make corrections, but you make the final decision on all counts regarding where the story goes. It’s your call, ultimately.

If we want to write a book, we are more than happy to write our own. But we sure enjoy helping you find your own literary voice.

Q: Can you promise I’ll be published?

A: We cannot promise you will be published, and I’d be wary of any editing service that makes that promise. Editors can anticipate up to a point what publishing houses are looking for based on their years of experience and expertise regarding editing and writing, but the literary world is a fickle unpredictable business.

Q: I am self-publishing my book; why do I need an editor?

A: Whether a publishing house is reading it or a few hundred, a few thousand, or a few hundred thousand readers see your work, you want to make the best impression possible. Be warned: It has come to our attention from many of our clients that many self-publishing companies are not very thorough or savvy when it comes to editing, nor do they have a vested interest in the subject matter or condition of your book. Most self-publishing companies are, sadly, glorified printing companies. If you pay them, it matters very little to them how you or your story come across. Our editing services provide thorough and personal attention to you and your work because we care about how you and your story come across to your audience.

You’ve spent a great deal of precious time and energy writing. Our utmost respect for authors and the written word is apparent in the care we take with each and every client and each and every manuscript. If your book doesn’t look and sound good, then our business doesn’t look good. And, because of our love of the written word and our deep respect for our clients and their work, we strive to guide your way to become the best writer and storyteller you can be, whether it’s your first or your fifteenth book.

Q: What’s in it for you?

A: We pride ourselves on a job well done, and it pleases us to know we’ve helped hone the skills of some brilliant minds with creative imaginations and great stories to tell.

Q: Do you get a percentage of the book’s sales?

A: No; it’s your book. You make the money off of it. We’re guides; we don’t need the glory. A simple heartfelt note of gratitude within the book would be nice!

Q: Why do you edit?

A: We love books. We love writing. You love writing. You are serious about writing, and we are serious about helping you do it the best way possible. We respect the written word and those who dedicate their lives to do it. I guess that’s why we have dedicated our lives to do it as well.

Q: Why is editing so pricey?

A: Literary editing is time and energy intensive work. Many hours and thought are put into not only corrections but guiding the writer and the story in the direction we feel they should go, while at the same time offering time-honored, practical, and highly beneficial advice and guidance. We are published editors, after all; our influence and guidance must be working. We promise you will be given the tools to write a better story. Our drive is to make you a better writer; our passion is to help you develop your story so it’s the best work you’ve ever done. Your manuscript will be in the best shape of its life under our tutelage, whether it needs a complete overhaul or a few tweaks here and there to flesh out the story and its characters.