Professional Manuscript Editing Services for Writers
What’s your story?
It can often be difficult to be objective about your own work, and one of the most terrifying things for every writer is to send their “baby” out into the world, whether submitting it to agents or publishers, or through self-publishing. Is it ready? Is it as good as I can make it?
That’s where a professional edit can help. As a highly experienced editor who also happens to be a published author (see What’s My Story?), I know what it’s like to be on both sides. I bring both a writer’s creative sensibility and a publisher’s commercial eye to bear on every book I work on.
If you are not sure what type of service you might need, take a look through the range of options below. Then contact me for an estimate or quote, attaching a short sample of your work (3,000 words). I can let you know, without obligation, if your work would be a good fit for what I do, and an estimate of the cost.
I’d love an honest critical assessment of my manuscript:
Writing is often a solitary occupation, and it is difficult to be objective about your own work. If you just need a fresh, honest eye to read your finished manuscript, I can read it and provide a short, confidential manuscript assessment, generally in the form of a one- or two-page report, broadly outlining its strengths and weaknesses and potential ways it could be improved.
I have a great idea for a book but don’t know where to begin:
If you are not sure what steps to take to get your story (non-fiction) onto the page, I can offer editorial advice on what options might work best for you, including a frank assessment of the time commitment involved in writing a book, and the commercial potential of your idea. If you then decide to take the plunge, I can work with you on a developmental edit – brainstorming ideas, identifying key themes, drawing up a structure that works – effectively helping you to build a finished manuscript from scratch. Ghostwriting for non-fiction brings this a step further, taking the bare bones of a story, and working closely with you through a series of interviews, turning it into a book that people will want to read.
I have written my manuscript, but need help to get it “right”:
If you feel you have done as much as you can with your manuscript, but are not convinced it’s working, you may be in need of a strong structural edit. For fiction and narrative non-fiction, this might consist of helping you to resolve problems with character, plot, setting, narrative voice, tone or pacing. I will help you to improve your work to build a credible, relatable fictional world that will appeal to the right audience. For general non-fiction, a structural edit might range from reorganising a manuscript to suggesting additions or deletions to give weight and clarity to an argument or to tell a compelling story, drawing readers in and keeping them.
I have a finished manuscript and just want to give it a final polish:
If you are confident that your manuscript is as good as you can make it, and want to get it ready for submitting to publishers and agents (or for self-publishing), I can give it a close copy-edit. This will refine and improve language, phrasing, tone, sentence structure, grammar and spelling, as well as double-checking facts and catching errors, repetition and inconsistencies. Proofreading can identify remaining errors and typos in a final draft manuscript, or, if you are going the self-publishing route, after the final document has been typeset.
I would like to learn how to edit my own work:
I occasionally offer courses and workshops on creative writing and self-editing to writers’ groups and through the Irish Writers Centre. I will also consider one-to-one author coaching, through Skype, FaceTime or Messenger, or face-to-face if you are based in Dublin or the north-east of Ireland.