The Novel Editors
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Dedicated Professionals Work Towards Two Primary Goals

       There are no great writers, only great rewriters.

As soon as you open the webpage on the mission statement of just about any freelance novel editor (even good ones), you will invariably find a list noting items of editorial emphasis to be approached, e.g., developing character arcs, examining plot, theme, tweaking narrative pacing, and so much more. Now, let's call the elephant in the room. What precisely will be the point of money and effort aimed at polishing a manuscript with a story that will *not sell* to this market in the first place? Well, there isn't one.

So what to do? We will solve this unavoidable problem in the next section below.

First, a little about us. We specialize in successfully developing, editing, and market-positioning commercial genre and literary novels, concluding the process (if humanly possible) with query letter supervision and agent consultation. The primary goal for each novel we take on is simple: to have it published by a major house or distinguished press. The primary goal for the clients we take on is simple also: to remake and mentor them into better writers.

Our success and expertise in developing and editing the popular genres of mystery, crime, suspense and thriller, SF/F adult and YA, historical and narrative nonfiction of any type, as well as women's fiction in all sub-genres, is the result of many years in the publishing business (both commercial and literary presses) as well as authoring our own fiction, and editing fiction for others, not to mention leading workshops at the most successful writer event in the country, the New York Pitch Conference. Many who attend are mentored by us into successful commercial publication.

What Makes us Genuinely Pragmatic and Unique?

       In our case, two editors working in tandem equal your single best chance to become published.

What are the sum of factors that differentiate our editorial methods and faculty credentials from the many academic instructors, former authors, ex-publishing house editors, and others of various stripes who labor daily on hundreds if not thousands of novel and nonfiction manuscripts?

Answers as follows.

As noted in the beginning, we initiate the process by examining and discussing your novel premise itself, not on ways to "perfect" your extant manuscript, and we do that via an interview even before we sign the editorial contract. Again, what is the point of money and effort aimed at polishing a manuscript that will not sell to this market in the first place? In our opinion, to rave and flatter over a story that won't sell is quite simply dishonest.

Our proven track record of a total of over thirty years working on the publishing side of the business as well as on the novel writing and literary agent side. As a result, we are successfully networked with many literary agents and publishers in New York, and on the west coast. We work with authors to produce books that are either published by major commercial publishers and/or signed by major agencies, and unlike most freelance novel editors out of New York, we are published authors of fiction, nonfiction, and short stories who have also written extensively, and in a professional capacity, on the subject of fiction writing technique and story craft.

Our "first line to final contract" services for any given project are more comprehensive and pragmatic than other novel editing outfits. A four-step editorial process (outline and details here) includes a preliminary story premise and plot review, a core manuscript development review, and a follow-up review of the manuscript rewrite. Why? Because there is rarely any such thing as one-shot manuscript editing that results in commercial publication. Follow-up reviews are mandatory, especially if we plan on moving successfully towards the fourth and final step: the querying process.

We only take on a small number of clients and do not absurely portion out our services like dim sum, and neither are we a manuscript editing factory dependent on large volume to stay in business.

Dedicated and careful editorial work on your project will be accomplished by not one, but two highly experienced editors working in tandem. In our case, two editors of our caliber working on your novel or non-fiction manuscript equal your single best chance to become published.

Finally, we have many years experience as successful workshop leaders at the New York Pitch Conference. This fact connects us to what the market is looking for in terms of high-concept stories and specific fictional elements (types of characters, settings, etc.).

Very Important Questions to Ask Yourself

Whether or not you choose to utilize our services, ask yourself the following questions before you engage any novel editing service:
  • Do you get to review the credentials of the precise person who will be working on your ms?
  • Do the credentials include any real-time experience working in tandem with New York publishing or mid-sized publishers or quality independent presses?
  • Is there a demonstrable track record of commercial or literary publication of any kind associated with past clients of this particular person who will be editing your manuscript?
  • Is the proposed editor person an actual writer of fiction, narrative nonfiction or novels with a track record of any kind? (self-publishing not included)
  • Do the accolades or testimonials about the business appear to include a lot of buzz phrasing rather than pointers to actual contracts?

Editing Service Details

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