What do you mean by “Write for Success”?
Success is a very personal term. For one person, it means publication, for another it means getting into the college of their choice. An editor’s purpose is to help you achieve your goal.
We are a small business and take on only clients who resonate with us. The editor-writer relationship is often long-term; we take that commitment seriously and are there with you, in the many ways needed to reach publication.
Why choose Write for Success?
Our editors are professionals with English Masters Degrees; all are published authors. Our headquarters is in Hollywood, where we have our fingers on the pulse of the book-publishing industry.
We are listed in the Literary Marketplace—a source that includes only industry professionals who are established and reputable. Each listing is carefully evaluated prior to inclusion and requires positive recommendations that are current, written, and verifiable. See our listing at www.literarymarketplace.com.
Our intent is to preserve the voice and intent of your piece, while advancing the quality of your book. We believe an editor’s purpose is to understand the intentions for your piece and help you achieve that goal. An editor can analyze your work and explain how it relates to a particular genre.
In March 2014, we added a new feature to our website, spotlighting some of our clients. This promotes the author’s product and increases discoverability—a key element in today’s flooded market.
We are also open to having you sell your book on our tables at the various book fairs and conferences throughout the year. This is a valuable service as it gives the author exposure to readers and gets their product out into the marketplace.
There are many stepping-stones along the way. Perhaps we may suggest excerpting a section of your novel for submission as a shorter piece.
We can help you with interviews, Skype, publicity events, and other exciting author opportunities that come along the way. This is your moment to shine!
How can you help me?
If you’ve written anything and wish to polish it, improve the quality, and receive professional feedback, then we can help! We work with authors at all levels, in any genre.
It is our goal to help you through all steps of the process, to make you a more confident and successful writer.
We offer a wide array of services from a collective of qualified consultants.
INFORMATION ON EDITING LEVELS
Unsure of which type of editing your project needs? Send us the opening pages; if the job is a match for our editors, we will provide you with feedback, including the type of editing.
Projects are priced based on the kind of editing selected (see below), the level of time involved, and the manner in which the author requests feedback (electronic-edit, hard copy edit, or both). In all levels of editing, the author’s voice is respected and kept true. Upon request, a document which includes examples of the different levels of editing will be provided. Any changes made may be rejected or accepted by the author. When editing in Word, the Track Changes feature is used along with the balloon-style comments in the right-hand margins.
BASIC to HEAVY COPY EDITING – All edits begin with a careful line read of a printed copy of the manuscript. Copy editing includes a thorough review of grammar and elements of style; your document will be amended accordingly. Using Word's Track Changes feature, corrections are made to the manuscript for grammar, style, and other technical errors; comments can be viewed in the right-hand margin. We use the latest editions of The Chicago Manual of Style, Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, and The Bedford Handbook. Formatting can also be included. Please see developmental editing if you seek feedback on story line, plot, pacing, and so forth.
WEBSITE COPY EDITING – This is the same as described above, except as applied to a website. Again, the primary purpose of copy editing is to check for adherence to the rules of grammar and style.
DEVELOPMENTAL EDITING – Developmental editing goes beyond copy editing, by also providing you with a professional critique on story line, characterization, pacing, plot and structure, point of view, scenes, and dialogue. Though some of these items refer specifically to fiction manuscripts, developmental edits are similarly effective for nonfiction manuscripts.
This level includes copy editing and developmental editing; we also take an extra step and consider your manuscript in its entirety and how it fits into today’s market. Your manuscript will be plotted out and analyzed against today’s genre specifications; this one-page document is called a Manuscript Analysis. Suggestions may include areas in which you can clarify, rearrange, and cut or add material. We will help to ensure that you are meeting the goals of your project in areas where there are specific requirements such as writing for a call or an assignment. The expected requirements for your medium, category (such as picture book, middle grade, young adult, new adult, or adult), and genre are reviewed (such as the standard length of a novel for the genre in which you are writing). Some rewriting may be included to illustrate language and sentence structure improvements
In a Manuscript Critique, the book is analyzed in its entirety and you receive a written summary covering the key areas of the book. Developmental commentary addresses the manuscript’s flow, content, and structure. Areas critiqued include point of view, story type, theme, pacing, main characters, dialogue, setting, and others, as relevant. The book’s strengths and weaknesses are summarized. Review of grammar and style is summarized. Suggestions may consist of places in which you can clarify, rearrange, and cut or add material. Other key parts examined include dramatic arc and growth or change of protagonist. As a goal is to hook a reader and keep them engaged in the world of the story, the opening lines and pages receive careful attention. Forward movement is evaluated throughout and in chapter endings and chapter beginnings. The expected requirements and current trends for a manuscript’s category and genre are reviewed and commented upon. Identifying a book’s audience is critical as each category can have different readers and different agents/publishers who handle that material. Of course, crossover books are possible and, if that is the case, the multiple categories or genres will be identified.
Developmental edits may include beta reader feedback. All beta readers have been tested and have signed confidentiality (nondisclosure) agreements. Readers are usually given the same ten or so questions and they provide written feedback anonymously.
In summary, a developmental edit will include corrections and comments on the manuscript, a Manuscript Analysis, a Manuscript Critique, and possibly beta reader feedback.
PROOFREADING – A proofread means occurs as one of the final steps before publication, when your book is presumed error-free and you need one last look to check for possible typos and misspellings. We carefully and thoroughly check for adherence to current elements of style and grammar. This is the final check before your project goes to print, layout, or conversion; all front and back matter should be included. Proofreading is discounted for our editing customers.
Formatting for publication is not included. Once your book has been converted to print or e-book form, it may again be submitted for proofreading to ensure no errors were introduced during the production process. Each proofread will be considered a new job with WFS unless otherwise specified.
MANUSCRIPT CRITIQUE - See the description above, under "Developmental Edit." A Manuscript Critique can be done on its own, without the other features of a developmental edit. As less hours are involved than a developmental edit, this service will cost less. No changes are made to the manuscript itself.
FACT CHECKING – Fact checking is not included in the services listed above and will incur a separate charge. Fact checking can include checking images, tables, and exhibits against the text for accuracy. Fact checking may also involve identifying required permissions or legal liability opinions. Examples of this are lyrics, quotations, or memoirs when release forms may be necessary.
GHOSTWRITER, CO-WRITER, WRITING COACH - Our editors are published writers who provide you as much or as little writing or guidance as you seek to craft the piece that is right for you. We can help you with any level or style of writing. These services are performed as “work for hire,” meaning the author retains sole right to the work. Perhaps you need assistance with a tricky section, or would like a hand in writing dialogue. We will get you there.
Who should choose professional editing?
Professional editing is recommended for anyone who wishes to make that step from a hobbyist to a professional author. Poor editing is a key complaint in reader reviews on sites such as Amazon. Unfavorable reviews mean low sales and can tarnish your brand as an author.
Why choose a freelance editor?
The editors at WFS will give you personal attention instead of a one-time edit without further contact. We are available before, during, and after the edit for questions. An editor and writer often develop a long-term relationship. We can help you improve your writing and not just fix your mistakes. Better grammar and style give you more time on to focus on your story line.
What can professional editing do for me?
Beyond correcting grammar and style, professional substantive editing can clarify the meaning of your piece, ensure its appropriateness for your genre, eliminate jargon, re-order content, improve readability, adjust reading levels, and provide consistency of voice.
How does this apply to an author who wishes to self-publish?
If you prefer to self-publish, the file that you upload should be clean of grammar and style errors, have accurate layouts for the front and back matter, and have a well-written story. A number of our clients have come to us AFTER they have self-published and received negative reviews and lagging sales on sites such as Amazon. We then help them create a professional-quality product so that an updated (or second edition) of their book can be uploaded, replacing the previous e-copy and discarding any previous hard copies. A better option is to choose professional editing before you self-publish.
Effective February 2016, Amazon has begun pulling down books for issues such as grammar, spelling, punctuation, and content.
What else can I expect?
As we work with writers, we often see significant improvements with the comprehension and correct application of basic style elements. You will learn in which areas you’re making grammatical mistakes, and how to fix them so that your writing can move toward being publication-ready. With the ever-evolving changes that are occurring in the publishing industry, let us keep you apprised of the latest modifications.
In working with you, we will help you improve your grammar, and keep you abreast of the current technical requirements and the rules of style. A consultant may provide you with excerpts from current publications to assist you in the areas needed. Such assistance can be as simple as explaining to you the difference between “lay” and “lie;” it can involve punctuation, or we can provide you with up-to-date instructions on how to format your piece.
What else do I need to know as a publishing author?
In the past ten years, the industry has changed dramatically, with the explosion of self-publishing. Now, publishing is easier than ever. However, making money on your book has become more of a challenge. Traditional publishers have shifted the responsibility of editing to clients; a grammatically clean document is now an expectation. Facing heavy competition, an author in today’s market needs to do more than just write a great book. An author platform is expected.
We can advise you on the steps that you can take to promote your product (your book) and yourself.
Each year, new words are added to the lexicon, while the spelling of others changes. Rules of grammar and style are amended. For example, the spacing between ends of sentences has changed from two spaces to one. Newer genres are created, such as New Adult (NA). Knowledge of the industry translates to discoverability and profitability.
As an author, you want to focus on your writing. We can keep you abreast of changes so that your book will shine for both its content and its professional, contemporary presentation.
Will an editor get part of my book sales dollars?
There are cases such as co-writing or ghostwriting when a contract includes a percentage of book sales. However, the contracts for general editing charge a set fee with the terms clearly defined—there is no cut of book sales.
We may request the option to be listed as the editor in the hard copy and e-copy of your book, and on your Web site. This is beneficial for the author as well because it shows the competence on their part to acquire professional editing. We will, in turn, promote your book along with any pertinent links for purchase on our Web site.
The process of bringing a book to market is a cooperative effort. As your editor, we are happy for your success and wish to help you promote your product. The editor-writer relationship is often long-term and achieving publication is an accomplishment that deserves many congratulations.
After you edit it, will my work get published?
As with all editing services, our job is to help you create a professionally crafted piece. A term that we use is “publication-ready.” This means that your writing is free of grammatical errors and follows the typical elements required for your genre, such as word count and reader expectations. We cannot guarantee that your story will be published, that it will attract an agent or publisher, or what your sales figures will be if you self-publish. Those elements are beyond the control of any editing service. However, your odds of success are greatly improved once your work has been revised into a polished piece.
How do we connect?
We have consultants located in the Los Angeles area, San Francisco, and Minneapolis. Many of our clients live elsewhere but we can and do, nevertheless, work successfully with them. Our services are professional, and we are very accommodating to each individual’s scheduling needs. International clients are welcome.
- We can schedule face-to-face meetings
- We can schedule phone consultations
- We can work with you exclusively through e-mail
- We can work with any combination of the above
E-mail Christine@Write-for-Success.com. Tell us what you're working on and how we can help you.
If you would also like free helpful writing advice, then ask to subscribe to our monthly newsletter. We will keep your e-mail and any other information that you provide confidential.
We understand that a writer and editor relationship is often long-term, and we strive to help bring your project to fruition. You are encouraged to take the time to find an editor that is the right fit for you.
We wish you success!
REFERENCE BOOKS USED
We use the most current print editions of Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, The Chicago Manual of Style, The Bedford Handbook, and Merriam-Webster's Unabridged online as well as annual publications of writing reference books by Writer’s Digest Books.
We edit by hand and do not run your manuscript through editing software because we believe the existing software programs cannot accurately pick up subtle distinctions or make logical judgments.
WE ARE MEMBERS OF THESE PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
We are members of professional organizations which keep us apprised of current happenings, involve us with current events, and provide us with opportunities that benefit our clients as well. For example, we set up tables at prominent events throughout Los Angeles, where we may provide authors with space to display and sell their books and promote their products. WFS and its representatives do not sell books.
The Editorial Freelancers Association, www.the-efa.org
Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, www.scbwi.org
The Greater Los Angeles Writers Society, www.glaws.org
Bay Area Editors’ Forum, http://www.editorsforum.org
GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY
Nonprofit organizations: Each calendar year, Write for Success donates up to the equivalent of three free hours of editing services gift cards. If you have a verifiable 501(c)(3) and wish to request a donation, please e-mail Christine@Write-for-Success.com.
Struggling writers: Christine will accept two reduced-cost edits each calendar year. These slots for 2017 have been filled. To be considered for 2018, please e-mail Christine on October 1, 2017, or later with "2018 reduced-cost edit request " in the subject line.