Is your manuscript ready for editorial feedback or an edit?

Before spending the time and money on a full manuscript review or edit, consider whether you have done everything possible to make your story the best it can be. Take a break from your completed manuscript, and then return to it with as unfamiliar of an eye as possible—reread it, critique it, revise it. Go ahead and have a trusted friend or family member who is also a reader in your genre—or another writer—read it. Ask them for honest, focused feedback, and consider revisions based on that feedback.

If you are not certain whether it is the best time for you to work with an editor, you and I can discuss the best approach for you and your manuscript. Maybe the best thing to start with is for us to set up a plan for some coaching or a partial manuscript review.

Are you prepared for straightforward feedback?

I always do my best to be kind and encouraging, and I love pointing out to authors the facets of their manuscripts that shine, but you are not hiring an editor to just say nice things about your story. A manuscript review by definition—and to be most beneficial—includes more feedback about weaknesses than strengths. The goal is to make your story the best that it can be by building on the strengths and dealing with the weaknesses, and that necessitates your honest consideration of the editor's opinions about what is not working with your manuscript and suggestions about what could be done to strengthen the story.

The decision regarding what in your manuscript to change and what to keep is always up to you, but it's important to enter the process with an open mind and a willingness to dive fully into rewrites after a manuscript review—and if you chose to continue with an edit, to be willing to trust my ability to edit your manuscript while staying true to your voice and writing style. 

Is your manuscript a good fit for my editorial experience?

As mentioned elsewhere, I have almost twenty years of experience reviewing and editing fiction manuscripts for the Christian publishing market. Over the years I've worked with pretty much every genre available in that market. I enjoy reading books from the general market, and there are many genres within that broader market that I'm well capable of editing, but if you are looking to contract or publish a novel that would be considered very edgy in the Christian market, or that has extremely violent or sexual content for the broader market, I don't think I am the best editor for your story.

Similarly, my editorial experience is pretty much only in fiction. My strengths are in story/plot development and characterization. While I'm logical and analytical and many of the concepts of story development can be applied to the organization and pacing of nonfiction manuscripts, fiction editing is my greatest strength.