What genres do you edit?
We edit everything. We have particular expertise in literary, speculative, LGBT, and historical fiction; and narrative nonfiction.
…and for what intended age ranges?
We edit everything. However, we have less experience with middle grade literature than with fiction and non-fiction for adults and young adults.
Do you only coach fiction writers?
We coach everyone. From memoirists, to graphic novelists, to role-playing game designers, to those who have a great idea for a book but no idea how to go about it.
Do you edit business materials?
We edit everything. We can bring clarity and precision to your important business communications–including emails, marketing materials, and presentations. Kelley has an extensive corporate background; her last position was as Vice President of Project Management for a company with annual revenues of over $600m. She is the Managing Partner of Humans at Work. (For business material piecework we usually ask a small retainer.)
…and science articles?
We edit everything. Clarity and precision are especially important when it comes to imparting complex or specialist knowledge. Nicola’s work has appeared in Nature and New Scientist. She has a particular fondness for the life sciences, but is comfortable with most topics. (For editing purposes, we assume all equations, graphs, and tables to be correct.)
…and grant proposals?
We edit everything. Nicola has won many grants on her own behalf. Kelley has extensive experience of writing corporate grant proposals.
Do you work with beginners?
We work with anyone who wants to make their writing better. However, we encourage brand new writers to take classes and workshops, or participate in an in-person or online writing group, before approaching us for professional editing.
…and previously published authors?
We work with anyone who wants to make their writing better. We have had particular success with authors who have published several novels and find themselves wanting to follow a new direction, or rekindle their love of the work.
How do I check references?
We have several testimonials up on the home page. Click on the names below each and the link will take you to the writers’ websites where contact information is available. (Additional names available on request.) We urge you to talk to our satisfied clients, who will confirm that we will take every care with your career and your work.
What’s your minimum fee for short documents?
For a simple line edit of a one-page document (such as a cover letter) with a turnaround time of 72 hours or more, our minimum fee is $50. A rewrite would cost more. So would a rush job. Some of our business clients prefer to pay a monthly retainer.
A monthly retainer is a cost-effective choice for those who would like us to edit short documents (important emails, special cover letters) on a regular basis. With notice from the client that they are sending us something for review, we can edit short items on a next-business-day basis and simply deduct the piecework cost from the fee. Our minimum retainer is $450.
I can’t afford to have a whole novel edited. Will you do it a chunk at a time?
No. It’s not a good use of your money or our time. Successful line edits and developmental edits both rely on consistent editing throughout the entire text, and we need to have a global perspective on the manuscript in order to dig down into the details. It’s not effective to do this a piece at a time.
How about submission packages?
Yes. We’re happy to work with writers on submission packages for agents and publishers: query letter, synopsis, partial and so forth. We’re happy to customize our approach to your needs. However, it’s easier to advise on a synopsis if we’ve read the book.
How much do you charge for contextual reading?
We charge $80 an hour. How long your ms. takes to read depends on the writing, but most 100k novels, for example, take us from 7 – 9 hours.
Do you both work on each manuscript or do you take turns?
While we often confer, in general we do divide tasks–usually by author rather than by project. Who gets whom depends on both our availability and suitability. The exception to this is the mentor program, when a writer occasionally chooses to work with us as a team.
We’re still building our FAQ page. What do you want to know? Feel free to ask us (almost) anything.