April 7th, 2010


Introducing--- Cass Marshall, freelance editor

Today I'm posting something a little bit different, but I think it could be helpful to my readers. I get frequent questions from writers asking how they can find crtique partners (something ALL OF YOU should have). I point them to the usual message boards and professional organizations.

Something I hear pretty often is that it is very hit or miss, finding a good critique partner. Some are very frustrated becuase they spend hours upon hours critiquing someone else's work and then they don't find that it paid off. And what can you do but try again and again, hoping it works better the next time?

For some, the answer may be a freelance editor. Now, i still think critique partners are absolutely vital, but hiring a freelance editor could be enormously helpful, particularly if you're struggling to get a good critique out of anyone.

I know first hand that she's savvy and smart, and has a very discerning eye when it comes to finding good work. And I know she's learned a lot from many months of working under one of NYC's top agents! 

A quick disclaimer: I do NOT benefit, financially or otherwise, from any referrals to Cass.

Anyway, here she is!


There's been a bit of brouhaha over hiring a professional editor lately, 


And I can't help but agree on some of the points they bring up.

Rachelle said it best, that "using a freelance editor can be a great idea - if you use it as a learning experience."

An editor's job is not to (re)write your novel for you.  That's what ghostwriters are for.  
An editor can point out things in your manuscript that you are too close to see, those "big picture" errors or find dates and character traits that don't quite add up.  

If you use my service, you will find that I correct grammar, delete redundancies, fix problem sentences, and even sharpen your vocabulary. I also edit for overall wordiness, replace inappropriate words, and eliminate obvious spelling errors, etc.

To improve the overall clarity and organization of your manuscript, I even suggest the rearrangement of sentences, paragraphs, and/or chapters if necessary.

I offer simple copyedits all the way through full manuscript evaluations for documents as small as an email and as large as 500+ pages.  This includes scholarly work, novels, ESL documents, and job application cover letters.  If you can write it, I can help you write it better.

I also do non-fiction proposal walk-throughs in which I will email you each section with explanation notes and you can work on it at your own pace and when it's complete I will give it one last review.

I also do query help.  I will look over your query and make suggestions on what you can do to improve or tighten it.  Query help is always absolutely free.  Just send the best query you have to me like you would to an agent and i'll get back to you in a day or two, sometimes within the hour.

If you do decide to use a freelance editor, even if it's not me, always ask to see some sort of resume or CV up front, and be sure to look over the contract carefully.  Don't work with anyone who won't freely share this information with you or insist on working without a contract.  Anyone can call themselves an editor and charge outrageous fees for shoddy work.  If you can, check with previous clients about their experiences.  A full manuscript evaluation with "the works" by some high-profile editors can cost as much as $2000 or more and you'll want to make sure they are worth the price, especially as more and more "pro" editors spring up hoping to make a quick buck in this economy.

I have recently completed an MA in Creative Writing from Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne, England with Merit honors.

Whether you are an author, student, or professional, I offer competitive pricing and a friendly approach that takes the worry out of writing. With a quick turn around time and experience you can trust, your work will be transformed into a document you can afford to be proud of.

My copy/editing rates are as follows:2000 words or less: $40
2000-3000 words: $60
3000-4000 words: $75

Please contact me ( http://camarshall.blogspot.com/p/contact.html ), describing your project and expectations, and I'll get right back to you about how to proceed.

Have a larger job? Please contact me, describing your project, and I'll give you a customized quote. I promise my rates are reasonable. :) Manuscript services start at $300 and never goes over $1500.

Mention Mandy's name and get 10% off any services!

For more information or to view my recent feedback, please visit my website ( http://camarshall.blogspot.com/p/editing-services.html