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FAQs

Editorial Services

Frequently asked Questions about our Services

You may have questions about WritersServices, how our services work and what they can do for you.  Here we answer some of the most frequently asked questions :

  1. Why do I need a report on my manuscript?
  2. Can you get my work published?
  3. Is it very hard to get published?
  4. How can you help with finding a literary agent to represent me?
  5. Why should I wait for weeks to discover what you think about my work?
  6. How do I know WritersServices aren’t going to rip me off, by praising my work just to get me to pay for their services?
  7. How do I know that my writing won’t be used by someone else?
  8. What do I get for my money?
  9. How is this service different from the traditional way of sending manuscripts to publishers?
  10. Are you tied to a publisher or agent?
  11. Why not just send my manuscript to a publisher or agent?
  12. I write plays for children.  Is this service only for books for adults?
  13. Can I choose which freelance editor my manuscript is sent to?
  14. Is WritersServices a vanity publisher?
  15. Do you handle scripts?
  16. My manuscript is handwritten, how can I get it typed?
  17. I am not a native English speaker, but need to write and publish in English.  Can you help?
  18. I am an American writer.  Can you handle American copy editing?
  19. What are your fictionalised accounts of the services?
  20. How can I get my poetry published?
  21. What is the difference between copy editing and proof-reading?


 

Why do I need a report on my manuscript?

If you are proceeding happily towards publication, with a publishing deal all set up, then you probably don’t need any help from us. If, on the other hand, you have been struggling to get anyone to comment on your work, let alone to offer to publish it, or you're thining about self-publishing, then maybe we can help. Why not let our professional editors assess your work in a Reader's Report or a fuller Editor's Report, or even our most detailed Editor's Report Plus, so you’ll know just where you stand?

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Can you get my work published?

We are not publishers.  Neither we nor anyone else can guarantee that you will get your work taken on by a publisher. What we can do is offer as much assistance as we can and the promise that our comments will be honest and professional. Then it's over to you.  Persistence is essential, but it’s a sad fact that some writers will never make it into print through a publsher, but you may like to consider going it alone with self-publishing.

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Is it very hard to get published?

Manuscript submissions do heavily outnumber published books, but you should remember that over 100,000 books are published annually in the UK, and more than 120,000 in the United States.  A great many authors do get their work into print. The advice most frequently encountered in books on writing is that you need to be very persistent. We agree with this. Improve your chances of avoiding rejection by ensuring your work is in the best possible shape before you send it off. Alternatively, since the world has changed, go for self-publishing.

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How can you help with finding a literary agent to represent me?

We have very good contacts with UK literary agents. If we are impressed with your work, we may be able to recommend it to an agency which is looking for new writers.  Some of these agencies specialise in particular kinds of books.  They will have to make the decision whether or not to offer to represent your work.

Apart from that, use our UK and US agency listings, the Writers' and Artists' Yearbook or The Writer's Handbook and make up your mind whom to approach on the basis of what individual agencies specialise in. In general, the newer agencies tend to be more interested in new authors, whereas the older-established ones often have full client lists. See our page on Finding an Agent. Make sure you follow the agents' submission guidelines.

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Why should I wait for weeks to discover what you think about my work?

We do not think it reasonable for you to wait when you are commissioning a service from us. We will give you a quick answer and follow this up with a date for the work to be completed by our freelance editor.  If you want to commission our Manuscript Polishing or Rewriting services (which do take longer because of the work involved), you’ll be given a date for the work to be completed. See the individual services pages for details of our turnaround times.  These can vary, but we do our best to keep you up to date with the latest information.

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How do I know WritersServices aren’t going to rip me off, by praising my work just to get me to pay for their services?

It takes time to build trust but we have been providing editorial services since 2001.  You can check the credentials of everyone involved with WritersServices and also look at our Endorsements page. We are publishing professionals and use only experienced freelance editors.  Our intention is to build an ongoing relationship with the writers’ community. We can only do this by providing a quality service and by being honest with you about your work.

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How do I know that my writing won’t be used by someone else?

It’s as well to add a copyright line to your manuscript, but your work does not need to be published to establish your copyright. WritersServices takes the greatest care to employ only reputable editors to work on any material submitted to us. We guarantee that your work will be safe with us. If you ever did have a problem with somebody taking your ideas we might even be able to help you, as we would have a dated archive copy of your manuscript to help you establish your copyright.

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What do I get for my money?

You will get a professional service, rapidly delivered via email. Each service will conform to the description laid out in the individual Services pages, so look there for the detail. We provide both outstanding value for money and a speedy response.

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How is this service different from the traditional way of sending manuscripts to publishers?

We do not undertake to publish your work, or guarantee publication. What we will do is to help you with a professional assessment of your manuscript, with editing, rewriting or whatever service you choose. You will then be able to approach publishers and agents with a much better chance of getting your work taken on. We may be able to show your work to agents, if we think it is likely to interest them, provided you have not opted out of this possibility on the order form.

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Are you tied to a publisher or agent?

No, we are not tied in to a publisher or agent. We are here to help you prepare your work for publication or self-publshing and to help you present your work to publishers and agents. We work for the writers, but we can let agents see the reports on your work if you agree to let us do so. 

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Why not just send my manuscript to a publisher or agent?

You can certainly submit your work directly to a publisher or agent.  If you have already done so you may have experienced frustration with the delay and the lack of response. Publishers and agents are overwhelmed by their 'slush piles', so many of them no longer make any attempt to read unsolicited manuscripts. You may still feel you need some help to prepare and target your work.  That is what WritersServices was created to do. Look at Making Submissions.

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I write books for children. Is this service only for books for adults? 

Our children's editorial services use specialist children's editors.

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Can I choose which freelance editor my manuscript is sent to?

We're sorry, but you cannot choose. Our editors are working as freelances and we cannot be sure of their availability or workload at any particular time. The information you provide about your manuscript will help us to ensure that it goes to the right editor.

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Is WritersServices a vanity publisher?

No. We are not a publisher: We are a service for authors and writers. We do, however, offer a service called Self-publishing, where the design and production work, together with the book distribution, are managed by WritersServices on behalf of the writer. See our Writers Services Self-publishing, which offers masses of information about self-publishing.

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Do you handle scripts? 

Yes, we have a scriptwriting assessment service, which deals with scripts, screenplays and plays and which is provided by a highly experienced editor.

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My manuscript is handwritten, how can I get it typed?

If you can't handle this job yourself, or don't wish to do so, you can use ourManuscript Typing services

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How can I get my poetry published?

We have an article on this which may help.

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What are your fictionalised accounts of the services?

They are fiction and provide an illustration of how each service might work. Find them listed here.

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I am not a native English speaker, but need to write and publish in English.  Can you help?

This is a real problem for many writers.  Check out our Manuscript Polishing service and it may help also to look at our page on American copy editing.

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What is the difference between copy editing and proof-reading?

Copy editing, or line editing as it is sometimes called in publishing circles, is the painstaking job of going through a manuscript line by line to correct the spelling, grammar and punctuation.  Proof-reading is a separate activity from copy editing and should always be done afterwards as part of a final check that the text is in good order. This article may help to explain the difference.

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