As an experienced editor and author, I can move you fluidly through every stage of the writing and publishing process. And you can enter this process with me at any point you wish. Is your current aim to gain a mentor and improve your work greatly? To improve the materials you’ll send to literary agents? To plan and prepare for your book launch, or to bring your book to people who will love it? I’m here for you.
It’s wise to enter the market with a well-honed, thoroughly examined manuscript that carries readers along with a sure and compelling voice. This will greatly increase your changes of seeing your book in print. Whether you’re writing fiction or nonfiction, our work together will hone your awareness and skills and strengthen your manuscript. I’ll teach you throughout the process, editing and offering guidance on all aspects of craft as needed, supplying insightful and detailed comments, and making suggestions on how to further develop your intentions into a powerful work. Some writers give me, say, twenty pages every month or two, which I’ll comment on and we’ll discuss, while others provide, for instance, a four-hundred page draft for me to review closely and discuss with them. I work with drafts at every stage.
What distinguishes me from many other editors is how much I honor authors’ intentions and work to enable them to do as they wish. It’s not my job to decide what story you should tell. My job is to help you tell the story you want to tell. There are always ways of making that story more powerful by improving the craft and further developing the story’s momentum. Big changes are sometimes necessary, and I will recommend them when they are. But fundamentally, I aim to give you the tools to write the story you need to write. I’ll help you build that story into a far stronger one, with an approach tailored to you and your manuscript. What you learn will improve all the writing you do. And the deadlines, email check-ins, encouragement, and insights I provide can ease the isolation of writing.
Writing a good query letter is difficult; it requires seeing your manuscript and yourself from the outside and knowing how to frame them so your reader will feel as you wish them to feel: “I’ve got to read more!” I’ve developed ways of helping writers craft compelling letters that are more likely to inspire agents to ask to see the manuscript. (My debut novel’s query got manuscript requests from nine of the twelve agents I approached.) I’ll guide you in creating the query and synopsis, edit them as many times as you’d like, help you select agents to approach and communicate with, help you choose editors to suggest (if you get an agent), and guide you through the phases of the submission process, including evaluating agent and editor offers. Since many agents do an online search for writers whose queries interest them, having a publicly visible platform is useful. This means creating pages on social media and an author website. I can help you create that platform, including determining the structure and content for a website and getting you started on creating it, or I can create it for you.
The next phases are similar for traditional and self-published authors. I can walk you through the process of bringing your manuscript into print, whether with a publisher or not. I’ll help you make suggested changes to the manuscript, copyedit, respond to book-design suggestions, and help you work with marketing and publicity departments and/or do your own outreach. In the year prior to publication, I’ll help you choose among the many actions you could pursue, then help you plan and prepare. Tasks can include gathering contacts and other resources, choosing how you’ll seek attention, planning events, setting up social media and an author website (which I can help you develop), encouraging pre-orders, identifying and getting your book to possible reviewers, writing essays for possible publication to help bring attention to your book, and so much more. Whew!
Now it’s time to celebrate, then get back to work. I’ll help you gather the accolades your book inspires and enact your post-publication plans. These might include preparing for author talks and book-group visits, continuing to seek publicity and reviews, posting on social media, encouraging sales, keeping your spirits up (because every actual book launch leads to some dashed fantasies), maintaining records of publicity and contacts, gathering names for your mailing list, and many other things that will make the next time a bit easier. Launching a book is a multifaceted and demanding undertaking, but it’s less stressful with an ally to help you make decisions and take on a wide array of author-driven efforts. I’ll also serve as a touchstone while you’re moving through these experiences.
Since my debut novel was published in May 2017, I’ve been featured at over a hundred events across the eastern seaboard and midwest, and the book has been widely reviewed in places large and small. My work and the assistance I obtained greatly increased publicity, reviews, sales, and readership. This has taken a few thousand hours of planning and work, and I’d be happy to share what’s applicable for your situation with you.