Do you want some help with your writing but donít quite
know what you want? Are you a bit puzzled by the various services on
offer, and not sure what to go for? Chris Holifield can help you work out which
service is right for you.
A shorter version of this article,
Which service? is also available
If you have finished writing your manuscript and donít know how to
proceed, I would strongly recommend thinking about having a report done on
it first. Most writers need to do further work on their manuscripts
before submitting them or self-publishing.
Itís really best to do as many drafts as you need to before trying to
find a publisher or agent, or deciding to self-publish, as you could be
wasting your time with submitting your work before it is ready. In this
very competitive market, you need to make sure that you are giving it its
very best chance when you send it out.
WritersServices offer a Readerís Report,
which is a fairly straightforward short first report, and an
Editorís Report, which is more
substantial and will give you a framework for further work. I would advise
you to think hard about going for the Editorís Report if you can,
especially if you think you may need to do some substantial further work
on your manuscript, as it will provide more help with this.
Our Editing service is for anyone who
feels that they need more help than these two reports offer. The
editor will assess the manuscript first and then we will give you a quote
for a longer report which is presented in a chapter-by-chapter format.
Please note that this service does not involve the editor working on the text but takes the
form of a more
Copy editing is a service which
involves correcting the grammar and spelling, and preparing the work
for publication. It is distinct from
Proof-reading, which is just a final check on the proofs
and assumes that the text has already been copy edited.
explains the difference.
If you are an author planning to self-publish, then I would
recommend having your manuscript professionally copy edited first, to make
sure that your finished book is something you can be proud of and that it
is not riddled with errors. Itís hard to accept this, but most writers
cannot spot their own mistakes and need the help of an experienced copy
editor to make sure their text is in good shape for publication.
If you are intending to submit your book to agents or publishers,
having it copy edited will certainly improve its chances, as no-one in
publishing enjoys reading really messy manuscripts. Strictly speaking
though, copy editing is something your publisher will be responsible for,
once you get to the stage of having a publisher interested in publishing
It can be a major waste of time and money to have your manuscript
copy edited until it is in the best shape you can manage. I would
always recommend having a report done first, so that you can undertake any
further work before the copy editing is done.
Copy editing a manuscript takes many
hours of an experienced editorís time, so it is never cheap, and you need
to make sure that you are doing it at the right stage.
Are you working to prepare your PhD for submission? Professional editing can help
you improve the presentation of your work and iron out any grammar or spelling errors.
If you need more assistance, we can quote for that as part of the
package. PhD Editing
Proof-reading is a check of
the final proofs and should not be confused with copy editing, which
should come first. Authors have traditionally checked their proofs
once they are set up in pages, but publishers also get a skilled
proof-reader to read through the proofs at this stage, as it is amazing
how many errors can creep in (as any reader will know!)
Poetry Critique service is
a new service for poets who are looking for a line-by-line critique of
up to 150 lines of poetry, together with some marketing advice,
essential reading if you're trying to get published or intend to
useful if you have a non-fiction book and what to use the services of a
professional indexer to make sure your index is properly prepared.
You may need to organise this because you are self-publishing, or because
your publishing contract says that you should provide the index.
Rewriting is a service which
requires a highly experienced editor and we would recommend having an
Editorís Report first, before proceeding with
this major and comprehensive service. In this case the report will lay
out what work needs doing and will enable us to give you a quote for
Rewriting, which is a major task and
therefore both time-consuming and quite expensive.
If you are an author for whom English is not your native language,
then you should consider whether the work you need to have done on
your manuscript might involve rendering it into correct and idiomatic English.
We call this service Manuscript Polishing.
The editor will copy edit the work at the same time and you will end up
with a manuscript which is ready to go to a publisher, or to submit, if it
is a dissertation, or to self-publish.
As well as all this work on full-length manuscripts, we also offer the
which provides a commentary on the material you have prepared as a
submission package. It is vital to present your work in the best
possible way and this service provides advice to help you give it its best
As well as this we have specialist services for
Scriptwriting, which encompasses
writing for the stage and screen, and for TV. Our range of
Childrenís Services uses skilled childrenís
editors, recognising the importance of specific advice on material
intended for this market.
We can even help with writing your
Synopsis, if youíre finding this difficult. We've also just
introduced a new service called
Blurb-writing, to help writers prepare the back cover copy for
Our Coaching service puts you in
touch with an excellent coach for non-fiction writing.
Finally, we have a Typing service for
hand-written manuscripts and tapes, and a
Contract vetting service which is
an excellent way of getting your contract checked if you don't have an
Then, if you have decided to self-publish, our
WritersPrintShop will definitely be able to help you with getting your
own book into print.
Email us if youíre still not sure
which service you should choose.
An Outline of all the Services
Fictionalised stories of how the services
work for writers.
Advice for writers lists many pages of guidance on topics
such as Finding an agent and