As a former literary agent’s assistant, a published author, and a freelance as well as subcontracting editor, I know what works and what doesn’t. Here’s what I can offer:
***A note: All of these editorial forms can be done either via the hardcopy, or digitally. It is up to the client. I work with novels, nonfiction books, memoir and short stories; clients come from every background whether interested in pursuing publication or not. Also, a one-time-only free ‘Test Edit’ can be included if the client prefers whereby I will test-edit 5-10 pages and send those (either via snail-mail or electronically as the case allows) to the client for review. Upon deciding the client would like to work with me, we will sign a short, simple contract and I’ll begin work on your manuscript. I recommend you check out Credit the Edit (credittheedit.com), the company I subcontract with, along with my profile on Elance (elance.com) to get a better feel for what I have to offer.
I offer several different types of editing and a few types of writing. Email me for a rate-quote and test edit. Here’s The Breakdown:
1) Developmental Editing:
This is a comprehensive edit that scans the whole book looking at: plot, structure, pacing, character development, dialogue, point of view, and more. Questions overall: Is there a discernible beginning, middle and end? Is there drama and tension throughout? Is it relatively fast-paced or are there areas that need speeding up? Are the characters real feeling, three-dimensional? Will a literary agent buy the characters? Are there any issues related to logic? Any loose ends left over that need tying up? The Dev. Edit includes a 5-10 page editorial letter covering general points and providing insight not covered in the individual marks on the ms.
2) Copy Editing:
Looking through your book with these things in mind: Grammar, punctuation, spelling, fact-checking, consistency, tense agreement, syntax, diction (word choice), structure, proper sequencing of story and content, etc. The point here is to edit the small stuff so the story can be clear to the reader.
3) Heavy Copy editing:
The same service as ‘Copy Editing’ but also includes elimination of wordiness, jargon, improving sentence/paragraph transitions, additions/deletions suggested, possible light rewriting of unclear sections.
4) Line Editing:
A line edit looks at a novel or short story sentence by sentence focusing on: The author’s voice, narrative tone, consistency, style, phrases, awkward dialogue, sentence organization, syntax, unneeded words, redundancy, diction, etc.
5) Ms Evaluation/Critique:
An overall evaluation of a manuscript’s strong and weak points in the areas of storytelling, writing skill, marketability/salability. This is similar to the developmental edit but strictly for evaluation. This involves reading the entire ms (of course), making light general notes, and writing my conclusive findings in a 5-10 page letter to the client.
6) Short Story Editing:
The same editorial practice as above applies (as for novels) but with a financial minimum of $100 to offset the time it takes to read and edit.
7) Query Edit:
I will walk you through the very key process of penning your query letter, which is your first professional handshake with an agent. Increase your chances of making it through the literary gate. Working as an agent’s assistant, I was able to see why writers get rejected, and how to best avoid that easy pitfall. I charge a minimum of $50 for the query edit, and then $30/hr for however long it may take to assist, edit, or even help to write (or completely write) your letter.
8) Professional Writing:
Looking for a fiction ghost writer, a professional blogger, or a writing coach? I might be your guy. Email me for further details on this and for a specific rate sheet pertaining to these services.
If you are ready to take your novel, memoir or nonfiction book to the next level, shoot me an email: email@example.com. Please email me the specifics of your project and a word.doc attachment of the query and the first chapter of your ms. I will respond with a rate-quote. I look forward to working with you!
“In an industry that predicates itself on precision, and yet is too often overwhelmed by those who claim to have mastered it, yet are belied by their tendency to ‘dot their T’s and cross their I’s,’ Michael Mohr cuts through, clears the way, and, in the main, raises the bar. A delight to work with, Michael is that rare breed of editor who understands the literary merits of a work while keeping an eye (not the dotted variety; the kind that provides vision) on what the agency circuit looks for. Still, he doesn’t sacrifice those literary merits simply to satisfy the bottom line demands of the prevailing status quo. In practice, he’s actually providing editorial insights that raise the bar for agents as well. No question we will work with him again, or at least until writers run out of words to craft and commit to paper.” [Ralph Scott d.b.a. 'Edward It,' Managing Partner: CREDIT THE EDIT, LLC. (firstname.lastname@example.org; www.credittheedit.com)]
“Michael’s edits on my novel HUSTLE were invaluable, to the book and to me as a writer. I came away from the edited manuscript feeling like a better writer. His work was extensive and astute, but the best thing about his style is his constant enthusiasm. He rolled through the story with me, excited at each turn. There was as much encouragement as there was gentle correction. When my next manuscript was done, his was the first door I knocked on.” [Tom Pitts, author of "Piggyback." Agented by Elizabeth Kracht. tompittsauthor.com]
“Michael, Invaluable. You pointed out the obvious. Except I couldn’t see it. I’ve gotten feedback from agents at writers’ conferences. You think like they do. You’re exactly who I’m looking for. Do you critique mysteries? I’m doing a major rewrite on my first novel, which I hadn’t touched for almost two years. This is the ninth revision, and it will be the next work needing your services. I also think it has more commercial potential.” [Gustaf Berger, freelance client]
“Michael was very thorough and gave me great ideas on how to make the story more action-packed for the kids. Definitely worth the money!” [D. Adrian, freelance client]
“For the aspiring novelist, scrolling through the classified ad section in back of Poets & Writers magazine is almost as dispiriting as strolling through the fiction section of a major, inner-city branch of Barnes & Noble; the choice confronting wannabe-famous authors in the former setting being only slightly less bewildering than the choice confronting wannabe-satisfied readers in the latter. I cannot now remember what it was about Michael Mohr’s ad which made me read it all the way through, and then read it again, and then scribble his email address in my notebook. But I’m very glad that I did. Michael’s assessment of the sample chapter I sent him pulled no punches. But in amongst the candid negatives there were enough well-argued positives to make me think that the year I had spent writing my book had not been a complete waste of time, and that I might just be able to turn it into something that other people might just want to read. Two months later, thanks to Michael’s further assistance, I’m quietly confident about that. I just hope Barnes & Noble can give us enough shelf space.” [Simon Collins, freelance client]