We have a network of professional editors, book designers, indexers, and publishing/self-publishing consultants. The editors and proofreaders in the network are chosen and retained through a rigorous process of screening, testing, and monitoring. Book editor reviews are posted online, linked from each editor’s bio. The book editors and proofreaders who apply to join must have over five years of experience and a track record of editing and proofreading traditionally published books (as opposed to vanity or self-publishing). Applicants take several editing, proofreading, and writing tests. In this network, consultants may offer only the services in which they excel. Only 2% pass the proofreading test, and they alone may offer that service through this site.
“Copyediting” is a term with numerous interpretations. It is often used interchangeably—and incorrectly—with “proofreading.” The use of a service agreement, required of every consultant in this network, will clearly define the services offered and the limitations of that consultant (e.g., a developmental editor may not offer “proofreading” services) and will contain a nondisclosure clause.
The network coordinator monitors feedback submitted by clients. Repeated (legitimate) negative feedback results in removal from the network. Due to monitoring, this rarely occurs.
Traditional Publishing: Acquiring a Literary Agent or Submitting Directly to Publishers
A manuscript should be noticed for its content and quality. Being noticed for wrong word choices, fuzzy thinking, convoluted sentence structure, stiff and unrealistic dialogue, and point of view flip-flops is not the way to win friends and influence people.
In short, the final part of the writing process is having a professional book editor and proofreader (not your neighbors or your kid’s English teacher) polish the manuscript before it’s offered to an agent or publisher.
No book editor can guarantee publication, but if you want your work to have the best chance of being read and considered seriously–and if you are open to other opinions about your work–we’ll be glad to help you work toward that goal.
Legitimate literary agents often receive more than a hundred submissions each day; top, hot, sought-after agents, even more. With fiction, the query letter and first page of the manuscript (sometimes just the first paragraph) may determine whether an agent proceeds to page 2 and beyond. Grammar and spelling errors (especially misspelling the agent’s name!) are likely to result in sudden death for your manuscript.
If you’re writing nonfiction, literary agents expect fully developed, completely polished proposals that can be presented to publishers. It’s not necessary for the nonfiction book to be fully written at the time of the query; in fact, publishers who show interest in a proposal will often tell an agent or author how they want a book tweaked and buffed to match an imprint’s style or to maximize sales to a specialized target audience or niche.