Manuscript Editing

You’ve written a novel, edited it to the best of your ability, perhaps shared it with a trusted reader or two. But before you send it out to fend for itself in the world, you’d like to be sure it’s in the best possible shape. You’d like a professional evaluation.

Or perhaps you’ve already begun submitting, and all you’ve received for your trouble is a fistful of generic rejection slips. Editors and literary agents don’t have time to explain why they reject, and they generally stop reading the moment they decide the book’s not for them. For beginning writers, it’s a perfect Catch 22. Until you sell a book, you’re unlikely to receive any specific, professional feedback; yet without that feedback, it’s difficult to write saleable fiction.

That is where Barbara Rogan comes in. She knows the publishing industry from all sides: she’s been an editor at a large NYC publisher, a longtime literary agent, and the author of eight critically acclaimed novels. She will read your manuscript and write a detailed, honest, constructive report (generally between 10 and 12 single-spaced pages for a complete novel) that addresses both the large and small pictures, including structure, setting, characterization, pacing, dialogue, description and point of view choices. She will also provide a chapter-by-chapter breakdown with specific suggestions and editing guidelines where applicable.

Every manuscript is different. Some need just a little polish to shine, as shine they must to succeed in the tough fiction market. While no editor can promise publication, Barbara’s goal for these advanced writers is maximize their chances by making strong books irresistible. In the case of stories that are not yet ready for the market, her report will pinpoint the story’s strengths and weaknesses and point out specific structural and stylistic areas that need work. In addition to the written evaluation, Barbara will annotate and return the hard copy of the manuscript. Finally, a telephone or email consultation is included in the price of this service, so writers will have the opportunity to clarify comments, share ideas, and pose any further questions they may have.

Barbara’s expertise is in fiction, most genres, including YA. But even within those fields, not every editor is right for every writer. In order to assure a productive fit, she recommends that writers who have not yet worked with her begin with her Special Offer. It’s a chance for author and editor to get to know one another’s work before committing to a more extensive edit.

If both parties agree that the fit is right, writers will have the option of submitting either a full hard-copy manuscript or a partial with a synopsis. Since many stylistic problems manifest early and can be addressed without reading the entire novel, and structural pitfalls often show up in synopses, submitting a partial (typically the first 100 pages) is a good, economical option.

Price: $9.50 per page. Pages must be double-spaced with standard 1 ½” margins in 12-point print, and should average 250 words per page. Manuscript shipping costs both ways to be paid by writer.