Services recommended by Preditors
name is MICHAEL GARRETT, and I don't want to be everyone's editor.
cherish my life as an author and editor. It has always defined who I
am as a human being, and as such, I've derived great joy in helping
other writers, whether I serve as their editor or not. For years I've
offered free advice on my web sites and have taught writing workshops
across the nation.
This is admittedly a tricky business, and it's easy to make a poor decision.
I've served on many occasions as a second editor to writers who paid
far more than I charge for an initial edit that ultimately proved disappointing,
and even when a manuscript has been previously edited, I typically find
just as many problems as with a manuscript that hasn't been edited at
I'm selective in choosing clients because I only want to work with those
who are serious about improving their skills. Some people want to be
published authors, but don't care about the writing itself. I want those
"writers" to find another editor. I intend for my edit to
be an educational experience; in fact, I've been told many times that
more was learned from a single edit from me than from years of previous
study and attendance at writing workshops and conferences.
If you truly want to become the best you can be, to improve your skills
and reduce your future dependence on editors, I'm the editor you're
looking for. You must be agreeable to an extensive rewrite following
completion of my edit; in fact, if you only plan to make mindless corrections
from the marked up manuscript, I prefer you to find someone else to
edit your work.
One thing is for certain -- there are serious problems in your manuscript
that must be addressed. No one can possibly get it right the first time.
You'll likely be exposed to issues that you've never even heard of because
they aren't taught in schools. Even though there are problems in your
work, however, it doesn't mean that you're a weak writer; you're just
an uninformed writer until you learn the entire scope of what
makes commercially successful manuscripts.
I've edited over 2,000 book length manuscripts, and no more than five
or so of them were anywhere close to meeting commercial standards, but
even they needed additional work. Many, if not most, of my clients have
decent writing skills, but there's far more to effective manuscripts
than writing skills alone. Be prepared to learn new dimensions of the
writing process if you choose me as your editor.
If you're a serious writer, you're a special person. Writer's tend to
have a unique perspective on life and have a tendency to see life events
and issues differently from the average person.
If you're a serious writer, I urge you to embrace it and constantly
strive to get better. There's always room for improvement.
Good luck with your writing!
When it's time to get
please keep me in mind.
HERE to apply for my services.
Garrett's editorial services are listed
the publishing industry's official directory
of professional resources.
manuscript editors and editing
as there are good literary agents and bad literary agents, the same applies
to manuscript editing. Only a few "A-list" editors are available;
the rest are wannabe's. Don't make a crucial mistake. Take your time to
find the right manuscript editor for your work.
does a manuscript edit cost?
seen rates vary from as little as one cent per word to as much as five
cents per word, and the five-cent editor may not be any better than the
one-cent guy. Make your decision based on verifiable commercial experience
first, then by cost. My fee is only 1.5 cents per word, and you'll find
complete details about securing my services at www.manuscriptcritique.com.
types of editorial services are available?
The process of finding the right editor can be confusing and
frustrating because there's little uniformity between editors in terms
of how they describe and offer their services. They tend to develop their
own terminology which can vary from one editor to the next.
I personally find it difficult to turn my brain on and off to offer varying
levels of service. I prefer to devote my entire attention to every manuscript
and look for all potential problems, so I offer one service only, a full
scope edit that includes a line edit with a marked up manuscript and a
detailed written report. See www.manuscriptcritique.com
for more info.
can I expect from manuscript editing?
Book edits are largely misunderstood. Edits alone won't improve your manuscript;
only you can do that. A true editor is actually a consultant who identifies
and informs you of issues within your manuscript, but it's up to you to
An artist would never allow an art critic or consultant to apply a brush
to his canvas, and true authors should be equally as protective of their
own work. A qualified book editor will tell you where your manuscript
falls short of publisher and reader expectations, then it's up to you
decide which issues and to what degree they should be addressed in a rewrite.
Your manuscript is your work and no one else's. You should be the only
one to decide on necessary alterations.
OF THE IN-HOUSE EDITORIAL SERVICES OF PRINT-ON-DEMAND PUBLISHERS!
CLICK HERE for
of Sample Edits
the weakest of manuscript editors can appear deceptively strong on the
basis of a few marks on pages of text. Inexperienced editors volunteer
"sample" edits because it gives them a misleading opportunity
to compete with more seasoned editors who don't have to "prove"
anything. If an editor has actual experience with major New York publishers,
what more could you want from a prospective editor? Why would you feel
the need to put him/her to the test when experience speaks for itself?
Besides, there is no accurate way to judge the depth of a potential editor's
skill based upon the results of a few pages alone. Many major manuscript
issues cannot be "marked," but must be explained in a report.
Again, when a prospective editor can prove that he/she has actually edited
some of the literary giants of the world, what more assurance could you
possibly need that this editor can deliver quality professional results?
I copyright my manuscript prior to submitting
it for an edit?
If you're concerned about the security of your manuscript during the editing
process, visit the U.S.
Copyright Office's FAQ page. You'll find that your work is
protected by law even without formal registration. It's highly unlikely
that your manuscript will be plagiarized by anyone.
an unscrupulous book editor steal your idea? It's possible, but highly
unlikely. Serious writers rarely want to write someone else's idea; in
fact, all serious writers whom I know have more ideas of their own than
they'll ever have time to write. The theft of an idea is basically a needless
fear. Hire an editor whom you trust!
my manuscript be print-ready following completion
of an edit?
No editor can improve your style; only you can do that through continued
practice. Edits alone can't make a manuscript publishable; again, only
authors or ghostwriters can do that. Editors are like coaches. They can't
play the game for you, but they can prepare you for your best performance.
An effective editing experience is not limited to making corrections to
your master file from marked up hard copy. That's the least of the process,
although its importance is exaggerated on many well-meaning web sites.
ghostwriter can possibly make your novel print-ready, but only after you
pay him/her thousands of dollars to essentially rewrite your entire manuscript,
which goes far beyond the scope of an edit. I personally know of an author
who paid $20,000 to have his novel made over by a ghostwriter and it still
didn't sell to commercial publishers. Making a novel print-ready isn't
about making grammatical and punctuation changes only; many critical issues
identified by your editor will require sentence-to-sentence reconstruction
which, again, is the work of a ghostwriter rather than an editor if you're
opposed to doing it yourself; plus, if you choose the ghostwriter route,
you run the risk of losing your own author's "voice" in your
you're willing to allow someone else to alter your work, do you truly
want to become a professional writer? Why would you allow a stranger,
regardless of his/her credentials, to tamper with something as personal
as your written word? Why would you not want to learn what it takes to
become self-sufficient as an author?
serious author objects to someone else putting words into his/her mouth.
I want clients who have long-term goals of becoming successful authors.
I was Stephen King's first editor; if you're the kind of client I'm looking
for, perhaps I'll eventually be recognized as your first editor, too.
I get a critique evaluation or
I don't recommend generic critiques or evaluations. Why? Because they
are entirely based on opinion. Ask ten editors and you'll likely get ten
different opinions. As a result, the feedback is virtually meaningless.
Why would you make an important decision regarding your manuscript based
only upon opinion? I work with concrete facts when I edit, not opinions.
In other words, I identify issues that will prove objectionable to most
legitimate publishers. As a result, you get a chance to correct or remove
real, identifiable problems prior to submission.
An opinion won't
prove helpful in making your manuscript appeal to a majority of publishers,
not even mine. What I personally "like" doesn't matter; specific
problems that routinely reflect inferior work matter a lot!
Southern Magic RWA
Start a Writing Business
The Writing Dream
do writers need editors?
Commercial publishing standards are not taught in schools. You can complete
the best fine arts curriculum anywhere and still won't know how commercial
publishers evaluate submissions. Even if you self-publish, your manuscript
should meet commercial standards or else you run the embarrassing risk
of branding yourself as an amateur.
you plan to submit your manuscript to traditional publishers, you should
eliminate all possible errors in advance. Manuscript submissions may be
rejected for the simplest of reasons. Likewise, you could be unknowingly
committing major errors. You have only one opportunity to make a first
impression on agents, publishers, and readers; a professional edit will
enable you to maximize the impression you make.
you plan to self-publish, you'll want your printed book to compare favorably
with commercially published books, all of which are subjected to thorough
edits; you could be seriously embarrassed if your published book is riddled
with amateurish mistakes. A careful edit is just as important for self-publication
as it is for commercial works.
can I trust someone whom I know so little about?
Obviously, you can't completely trust a stranger. For your own
protection and peace of mind you should verify a prospective editor's
credentials. Check Preditors
& Editors for any possible complaints lodged against
an editor you're considering, and give major consideration to the editors
this site recommends.
is total payment in advance necessary?
When paid half up front and the remainder on completion, editors have
a tendency to sugar-coat their comments to assure receipt of the final
payment. To get the best, most honest evaluation of your work, an editor
can't be at risk for payment in full. Remember,
you're paying for criticism. You may not agree with everything your editor
says about your work. Sometimes the truth hurts, but only total honesty
from your editor will prove helpful. Editors who allow payment plans can't
be as forthcoming in their comments as those who receive total payment
there a down side to an electronic edit?
Hiring an editor to work directly with your electronic file actually excludes
you from the valuable learning experience you would otherwise gain by
making the corrections to the manuscript yourself. If you're serious about
a career as a professional writer, you should take the time to learn what
your editor points out to you so that you won't make those same mistakes
in the future. I no longer work with electronic files, as I feel they
serve an injustice to my clients. I want clients who seek to become professional
writers, and you won't get there by allowing someone else to do the work
for you. Also, many manuscript
problems such as viewpoint, show don't tell, and others require extensive
rewriting, which an editor will rarely do. That's the job of a ghostwriter,
so you will likely still need to address major issues yourself, even with
an electronic edit.
FOR THESE WARNING SIGNS
attract business based upon their own impressive credentials, not by attempting
to destroy the competition. Jealousy exists in all walks of life, but
it shouldn't interfere with the way one does business.
/ misleading credentials
take anyone's word for his or her credentials. Verify it in black-and-white.
instance, to verify my credentials, go to AMAZON.COM
and search for Michael Garrett. I'm not the only editor/ author by
that name, but you'll readily find the internationally published HOT BLOOD
anthologies that I've edited for Pocket Books and Kensington Publishing.
(I'm credited as co-editor right on the covers.) You'll also find my written
works, KEEPER, my novel, now available in Kindle and audio formats, as
well as my non-fiction book on the writing profession, THE PROSE PROFESSIONAL.
Any legitimate professional should make it similarly easy for you
to verify his/her qualifications.
on academic credentials
Academic background carries little weight in the editing of manuscripts
intended for commercial publication. For instance, a high school or college
English professor could examine the grammar and spelling of your manuscript,
but entirely miss commercial issues important to the publisher. If academic
credentials were essential to commercial publishing success, most English
teachers would be best-selling authors. Instead, best-selling authors
generally come from all walks of life, such as John Grisham's academic
education as an attorney. Punctuation, grammar, and sentence structure
are important, but they alone fall far short of making a novel publishable.
Watch out for editors who attract business based upon their own impressive
credentials, but then sub-contract the actual editing to less qualified
manuscript editors. Ask any editor whom you're considering if he/she
personally edits everything he/she accepts. I'm not affiliated in
any way with other editors.
It's not unusual for P.O.D. publishers or literary agents to recommend
that you seek
the help of an editor; however, if this same person insists that you work
with one particular editor, there could be a kick-back financial
arrangement going on, the result of which could mean that the recommended
editor isn't the best/most qualified professional to edit your manuscript.
Use caution; it's typically best to find your own editor. I
receive no referral fees from any source.
publishers are in the business of publishing and agents are in
the business of agenting. If either urges you to pay for their
editorial services, go elsewhere to someone who specializes in editing.
As is the case with all other professions, manuscript editors typically
specialize within a few specific categories. No one is qualified
to professionally edit everything. Someone who claims to be universally
qualified is likely desperate for business. If an editor isn't selective
as to the type of manuscripts to be edited, how honest can he/she be?
I often turn business away when I don't feel that I'm the best fit for
someone's manuscript. In such cases I urge potential clients to investigate
other editors before deciding on me.
consider the editorial services of Michael Garrett, CLICK