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Now Offering Editorial Services

Welcome back from the holidays! Was your break as relaxing and wonderful as mine? I hope so. It really was a Christmas and New Years for the ages. But now it’s back to work. Speaking of work, I’m offering something new: paid editorial critique and consulting services.

In the fall, right before my book came out, I had a few writers email me to ask whether or not I offered paid critique services. It’s something I’ve always considered doing but the timing never seemed right. As is, I do critiques for my Writer’s Digest webinars, for various conferences, and for my clients (in good faith, without charging a fee) on a regular basis. It’s my favorite part of the job, hands down. I love story, I love craft, and I love rolling my sleeves up and getting into the nitty gritty of a piece of writing, whether it’s a pitch letter, a 10-page sample, a picture book, or a novel. I have a very specific set of skills, some in-depth market insight, and context that many writers have found valuable over the years. This is just another avenue that lets me do what I’m honest-to-goodness passionate about.

It’s gratifying to help aspiring authors get to the next level and I know there are a lot of people out there who want professional help to reach their next writing milestone. After getting some inquiries and taking on a few trial editing jobs, I decided to take the plunge and offer my services officially. You can check out my new website here for more information, including packages offered, rates, and submission information. My main focus so far has been full manuscript edits, which are very time-intensive but also utterly gratifying, but I offer options for picture book writers, query letters, first pages, etc. etc. etc.

I’ve always been very honest and that’s not going to change. I can completely understand why some people have issues with agents or in-house editors pursuing editorial work on the side, just like I understand people having issues with the recent trend of agencies publishing client books in digital form. As a result, I know this won’t be for everyone and that’s perfectly fine. For those who are curious, I’m making every effort to keep the line between my agenting work and my editing work clear. I have the full support of Movable Type, and the conviction that my existing and future agenting clients always come first. My customers sign an agreement that says I will not offer literary representation on any project that I’ve edited, though I could happily recommend it to colleagues if it strikes me as a fit. If you’ve been looking for an editor but don’t want any conflict of interest, email me for the names of several outstanding freelance recommendations with no current agency or publisher affiliation.

It’s four years into my agenting career and I’ve sold many books, published my own book on the writing craft, traveled the world, and fulfilled a lot of personal and professional dreams. I’ve also made some publishing dreams come true for writers, and that is a feeling that never gets old. I have a submission pile that I’m actively hunting through, a full list of clients and projects, some time on my hands, and a commission-only job that pays unpredictably (yes, everything from a love of editing to boring practicalities played a role in this decision).

It’s a new year and, finally, the timing is right.

If you’re interested in my services, please check out my freelance editing website. I won’t be pitching you hard on this blog to give me your money going forward, don’t worry. But I’m here if you’re interested, and I’m genuinely excited to help writers who are looking for a very qualified pair of eyes and some honest and proactive feedback.

Back to our regular programming on Monday! And, for the love of Gertie, if anybody spots a typo in this post announcing my editing services, please do the humane thing and don’t tell me about it. :)

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  1. Karen’s avatar

    This is very cool. I notice more agents offering freelance editing services. It’s such a natural evolution in the publishing world. If time permits, who better to offer this advice than the people whose job it is to spot and sell the publishable work?

    I love your blog and wish you great success with your new editing service (not that you’ll need it, of course, it will clearly be a hit).

  2. Christy Luis’s avatar

    I’m afraid I may sound silly for asking, but why wouldn’t you offer literary representation on a project you’ve edited? Just curious, you know, for future reference.
    Congrats on the developments. Sounds exciting for you! More of what you love.

  3. Mary’s avatar

    Christy — I don’t personally have a problem with it but a lot of people do as they see it as a way for writers to “buy” representation. The cleanest agent/writer relationship, ideally, happens with a spontaneous discovery in the slush or at a conference and the decision to represent a project should stem from passion and not a possibly complicated backstory involving the exchange of money. That’s certainly the ideal. Though we all know that things don’t sometimes happen this exact way in real life, I wanted to draw the line and take a more conservative approach in order to avoid potential conflict of interest.

  4. Christy Luis’s avatar

    That makes sense. It seems like a fate thing or a God-given blessing if you can find a gem in the sluch, which I’m sure adds to the excitement. Thank you for answering my question!

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