Editing FAQs

An overview of how I can help you achieve your personal goal

GETTING STARTED

Please email me Christine@Write-for-Success.com or at WriteforSuccessEditing@gmail.com. Let me know what you're working on and how I can help you.


If you would also like free helpful writing advice, ask to subscribe to my monthly newsletter. I promise to keep your email and any other information that you provide confidential.


I understand that a writer and editor relationship is personal, and I strive to foster that relationship while helping you bring your project to fruition. I encourage you to take the time to find an editor that is the right fit for you.


Whichever route you choose, I wish you success!


What does “success” mean?

Success is a very personal term. For one person, it means publication, for another it means getting into the college of their choice. I believe that an editor’s purpose is to help you achieve your goal. 


As a small business owner, I value my clients. The editor-writer relationship is often long-term. I’m there with you, in the many ways needed to reach publication. 


Why choose Write for Success (WFS)?

My company is set up differently that others. Most freelance editors are individuals. I have three other professional editors who work with me as consultants on a regular basis. Some projects we work together on in pairs or as a team. We are all are published authors so we understand what it’s like to be a writer. 


My office is located in Hollywood, where I can keep my fingers on the pulse of the book-publishing industry.


My company is listed in the Literary Marketplace—a source that includes only industry professionals who are established and reputable. Each listing is carefully evaluated prior to inclusion and requires positive recommendations that are current, written, and verifiable.

It is my intent to preserve the voice and intent of your piece, while advancing the quality of your book. I believe an editor’s purpose is to understand the intentions for your piece and help you achieve that goal. A professional editor can analyze your work, give insightful feedback, and explain how it relates to a particular genre.


In March 2014, I added a new feature to my website, spotlighting some of our clients. This promotes the author’s product and increases discoverability—a key element in today’s flooded market. 


I am also open to having you sell your book on our tables at the various book fairs and conferences throughout the year. This is a valuable service as it gives the author exposure to readers and gets their product out into the marketplace. 


There are many stepping-stones along the way. Perhaps I may suggest excerpting a section of your novel for submission as a shorter piece.


How can my editing help you?

If you’ve written anything and wish to polish it, improve the quality, and receive professional feedback, then I can help. I work with authors at all levels, in any genre. Beyond correcting grammar and style, professional editing can clarify the meaning of your piece, ensure its appropriateness for your genre, eliminate jargon, re-order content, improve readability, adjust reading levels, and provide consistency of voice. 


My company offers a wide array of services from a collective of qualified consultants as well as an impressive registry of screened, confidential, anonymous beta and sensitivity readers.


Professional editing is recommended for anyone who wishes to make that step from a hobbyist to a professional author. Poor editing is a common complaint in reader reviews on sites such as Amazon. Unfavorable reviews can mean low sales or tarnish your brand as an author.


I am available for ongoing, personal attention instead of a one-time (perhaps even anonymous) edit without further contact. I can assist you along the road to publication, helping you become a more confident and successful writer and author. 


Does this apply to an author who wishes to self-publish?

If you plan to self-publish, the file that you upload should be clean of grammar and style errors, have accurate layouts for the front and back matter, and have a well-written story. A number of our clients have come to me AFTER they have self-published and received negative reviews and lagging sales on sites such as Amazon. I will then help them create a professional-quality product so that an updated (or second edition) of their book can be uploaded, replacing the previous e-copy and discarding any previous hard copies. A better option is to choose professional editing before your book is self-published.


Will I take on your project?

I review and respond to all submissions; however, I cannot take them all on. I am only one person and my calendar fills up quickly. If I have to pass on your project, please do not take it personally. 


INFORMATION ON EDITING LEVELS

Projects are priced based on the editing service needed (see below), the level of time involved, and the manner in which the author requests feedback (electronic-edit, hard copy edit, or both). In all levels of editing, the author’s voice is respected and kept true. I bid each project bid separately. Each project will be accompanied by its own contract which is created, sent, and signed by me, the owner of Write for Success Editing Services. Ongoing hourly work can be set up as a separate contract. This is useful when a writer requires a lot of short, back-and-forth type of work that often happens when a book is ready to be queried or for other personal contact between projects themselves.


Editing is accomplished electronically using Word’s Track Changes feature which shows the author all changes made and allows the author to quickly and efficiently “accept” or “reject” them. I will provide you with ongoing commentary throughout the manuscript with appears in the document’s right-hand margin.


Jobs typically require up to three passes for developmental editing, a final review which includes a proofread, then ongoing interaction as the author readies for publication.


BASIC to HEAVY COPY EDITING – This service includes a careful and thorough review of grammar and elements of style; your document will be amended accordingly. I use the latest editions of The Chicago Manual of Style, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, and The Bedford Handbook. Formatting can also be included. Please see developmental editing if you seek feedback on story line, plot, pacing, and so forth.


DEVELOPMENTAL, CONTENT, SUBSTANTIVE, OR LINE EDITING – This type editing goes by several names often used interchangeably in our industry. I will call it developmental editing for these purposes.


Developmental editing goes beyond copy editing by also providing you with a professional critique on story line, characterization, pacing, plot and structure, point of view, scenes, and dialogue. Though some of these items refer specifically to fiction manuscripts, developmental edits are similarly effective for nonfiction manuscripts. 


Suggestions may include areas in which you can clarify, rearrange, and cut or add material. I will help to ensure that you are meeting the goals of your project in areas where there are specific requirements such as writing for a call or an assignment. The expected requirements for your medium and genre are reviewed (such as the standard length of a novel for the genre in which you are writing). Some rewriting is included to teach the author how the language and sentence structure can be improved. You will receive a written summary of your manuscript’s overall strengths and weaknesses; this document is called a Manuscript Critique.


I also take the extra steps and consider your manuscript in its entirety and how it fits into today’s market. Your manuscript will be plotted out and analyzed against today’s genre specifications; you will receive a document called a Manuscript Analysis.


PROOFREADING – At this stage, you believe your book is ready for publication and you need one last look to check for possible typos and misspellings. I carefully and thoroughly check for adherence to current elements of style and grammar. This is the final check before your project goes to print, layout, or conversion; all front and back matter should be included.


Once your book has been converted to print or e-book form, it should again be submitted for proofreading to ensure no errors were introduced during the production process.


FORMATTING - Formatting to today’s industry standards is an important step which can be added at any stage of the process. 


GHOSTWRITER, CO-WRITER, WRITING COACH – As a published writer, I can provide you with as much or as little writing or guidance as you seek to craft the piece that is right for you. My services are performed as “work for hire,” meaning the author retains sole right to the work. Perhaps you need assistance with a tricky section, or would like a hand in writing dialogue. I can help get you there.


ADDITIONAL BENEFITS

As I work with writers, I often see significant improvements with the comprehension and correct application of basic style elements. You will learn in which areas you’re making grammatical mistakes, and how to fix them so that your writing can move toward being publication-ready. With the ever-evolving changes that are occurring in the publishing industry, let me keep you apprised of the latest modifications.


In working with you, I can help you improve your grammar, and keep you abreast of the current technical requirements and the rules of style. I may provide you with excerpts from current publications to assist you in the areas needed. Such assistance can be as simple as explaining to you the difference between “lay” and “lie;” it can involve punctuation, or I can provide you with up-to-date instructions on how to format your piece.


In the past twelve or so years, the industry has changed dramatically —and it continues to evolve , with the explosion of self-publishing. Now, publishing is easier than ever. However, making money on your book has become more of a challenge. Traditional publishers have shifted the responsibility of editing to clients; a grammatically clean document is now an expectation. Facing heavy competition, an author in today’s market needs to do more than just write a great book. An author platform is expected.


I can advise you on the steps that you can take to promote your product (your book) and yourself.


Each year, new words are added to the lexicon, while the spelling of others changes. Rules of grammar and style are amended. For example, the spacing between ends of sentences has changed from two spaces to one. Newer genres are created, such as New Adult (NA). Knowledge of the industry translates to discoverability and profitability.


As an author, you want to focus on your writing. I can help keep you abreast of changes so that your book will shine for both its content and its professional, contemporary presentation.


CONTRACT INFO

My contracts list a set fee with the terms clearly defined—there is no cut of book sales. The language protecting you, the author, is there in black-and-white.


I may request the option to be listed as the editor in the hard copy and e-copy of your book, and on your website. This is beneficial for you as well because it shows the competence on their part to acquire professional editing. I will, in turn, promote your book along with any pertinent links for purchase on my company’s website.


The process of bringing a book to market is a cooperative effort. As your editor, I am happy for your success and wish to help you promote your product. The editor-writer relationship is often long-term and achieving publication is an accomplishment that deserves many congratulations. 


PUBLICATION

As with all professional editors, my job is to help you create a professionally crafted piece. A term used is “publication-ready.” This means that your writing is mostly free of grammatical errors and follows the typical elements required for your genre, such as word count and reader expectations. An editor cannot guarantee that your story will be published, that it will attract an agent or publisher, or what your sales figures will be if you self-publish. Those elements are beyond the control of any editing service. However, your odds of success are greatly improved once your work has been revised into a polished piece.


CONNECTING

I’m located in Hollywood. The three consultants who work through me are located in the Los Angeles area, San Francisco, and Minneapolis. Many of our clients live elsewhere but, nevertheless, I work successfully with them. My services are professional and accommodating to each individual’s scheduling needs. I am open-minded, appreciate diversity, and respect other cultures or ways of life. Clients from all walks of life are welcome. 


- I can schedule face-to-face meetings


- I can schedule phone consultations


- I can work with you exclusively through email


- I can work with any combination of the above


REFERENCE BOOKS USED

I use the most current print editions of Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, The Chicago Manual of Style, The Bedford Handbook, and Merriam-Webster's Unabridged online as well as annual publications of writing reference books by Writer’s Digest Books. This is crucial because each year changes happen. An editor must stay on top of these change to give their clients up-to-date, quality editing.


I edit by hand and do not run your manuscript through editing software because I believe the existing software programs cannot accurately pick up subtle distinctions or make logical judgments.


I AM A MEMBER OF THESE PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Being a member of professional organizations keeps me apprised of current happenings, involves me with current events, and provides me with opportunities that benefit our clients as well. Forging and fostering relationships with others in various areas book-publishing industry is beneficial. I also participate as an exhibitor or sponsor at prominent events throughout Los Angeles. At some, there may be an opportunity for my clients to share table space and promote or sell their books.


- The Editorial Freelancers Association, www.the-efa.org


- Independent Book Publishers Association, www.ibpa-online.org 


- Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, www.scbwi.org 


- The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society, www.glaws.org 


- Bay Area Editors’ Forum, http://www.editorsforum.org


GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY:

Nonprofit organizations: Each calendar year, I donate four $200 gift cards for editing services. If you have a verifiable 501(c)(3) and wish to request for one of these donations, please email me at Christine@Write-for-Success.com.


Struggling writers: I will accept one (1) reduced-cost edit each calendar year (examples of full-price rates are listed on the “Submissions” page). These slots for 2018 have been filled. To be considered for 2019, please email me with "2019 reduced-cost edit request " in the subject line.