Childrenís Editorial Services
Are you one of the many writers writing for the children's market?
Have you found it difficult to get editorial input on your work ? How do
you know if it has real commercial potential?
Writing for children
Over the last few years there has been an increasing emphasis
on childrenís writing, previously the Cinderella of the publishing world.
Harry Potter has helped change that, but there are many other childrenís
writers who now command big audiences.
Childrenís publishing has become more commercial and more
glamorous, but remains tremendous fun. And what could be more important
than the reading-matter of the next generation of book readers?
Many writers are now tempted to Ďhave a goí at writing for
children. There is a widespread belief that it is rather easy to write for a
younger audience. Actually itís a highly competitive field in which you need
good writing, originality and a clear grasp of the market to succeed, plus a
good illustrator if you are writing illustrated books for younger children. (See Michael
Legat's Factsheet on Children's Books)
Our services cover writing for the general childrenís
market but not the educational market, which is quite different in that
publishers commission writers for specific projects.
Our childrenís editorial section offers three services. Please feel free to
email us if you have any other requirements relating to
childrenís writing, and we will try to help.
Please let us know which age group you are
|Provides a short first report on the work|
|Informed comment on:|
|The content |
|The storyline (if appropriate) |
|The style and tone|
|The language and whether it is appropriate for the intended age-group.|
|Whether further work on the manuscript will improve its chances of publication.|
|If it is intended as an illustrated book, the suitability and quality of up to 10 illustrations which can be sent
to us in jpeg or tiff format with the typescript.|
|The likelihood that it will be taken on by a commercial publisher.|
|This fuller and longer report will offer a more substantial critique of the work, covering:|
||The storyline (if appropriate)|
||The style and tone of the work and its suitability
for the intended age group.|
||The language and whether it is
the age-group and for other English-speaking markets (especially the
US for non-American writers and the UK for non-British writers).|
||The editor will say whether further work will improve
its chances and will outline her
recommendations for the work to be done, allowing the writer to go
back and rework.|
||If it is intended as an illustrated book, the editor
will comment on the suitability and quality of up to ten
illustrations which can be sent in jpeg or tiff format with the typescript. If no
illustrations are provided but they are required, he/she can comment on
what might be suitable.|
||The likelihood that it will be taken on by a
commercial publisher, with some comment on its international
|Copy editing writing intended for children is a
highly skilled task, demanding specific knowledge of childrenís
vocabulary levels at different ages. |
|The copy editor will correct your spelling and
punctuation, check the sentence structure, grammar and use of words,
and impose consistency, using standard copy editing procedures
|The vocabulary will be checked to make sure it is appropriate for
the age group.|
|Although the text for a childrenís book is likely
to be considerably shorter than for an adult title, every word
|If the book is intended for the international English
language market, then the copy editor will use their specialist skills
to check for unsuitable or misleading language.|
|If the book is illustrated, this adds an
additional level of complexity and may involve the editor in
checking the positioning of the pictures.|
For all these reasons we would need to assess the material
before we can give a quote for copy editing childrenís writing. The figures
quoted below are only a guide.
Copy editing alternatives
You will also need to decide whether you want your work copy
edited on screen or on hard copy i.e. on paper, and give us clear
- Hard copy - Since the decision about specific
copy-editing changes is yours, as the author of the work, the manuscript
will come back to you with the copy editorís changes marked up and you can
decide whether to implement them or not. If the editor is doing the work on
'hard copy', you will then have to input the changes.
- On Screen - Alternatively, we can arrange for your
manuscript to be edited on screen and to email you the
edited manuscript with the suggested changes marked up. Using the
'track changes' facility you can check
through the changes on screen and decide which ones to implement.
- Changes made on screen - The third alternative is
that the copy editor can simply make the changes, working on screen, and you
will get emailed back to you a manuscript which is clean and ready for
press. If you opt for this solution, which involves the least work for
you, we would advise you to read through the manuscript when you get it back
to make sure that you are happy with all the changes.
Please bear in mind that working on screen is more
time-consuming and that flagging up the changes as described in 2 above takes
even more time, so these may be slightly more expensive.
What it costs
The amount of material to be assessed is usually shorter than
for adult books, but it takes our editor just as long to consider the work and
to write the report. On the copy editing great care needs to be taken with every
The Readerís Report
The Readerís Report costs £80 for childrenís work of
up to 50,000 words, payable in advance. We will have to quote individually
on longer manuscripts. We would normally expect to email the Readerís Report
to you within two weeks of receipt of your order. Please remember that we will
need the word count of your manuscript, which your word processor will provide.
The Editorís Report
The fee for the Editor's Report is £110 for
manuscripts under 50,000 words, payable in advance.
We will have to quote individually on longer manuscripts or
if the job will be particularly complex. In either case, we will email you with
the revised fee. We would normally expect to email the Editor's Report to you within
two weeks of receipt of your order.
Copy editing a manuscript is a demanding and skilled task,
with no shortcuts. On childrenís work we charge £.008 per word, with
a minimum charge for up to 10,000 words of £80. You can get your
word-processor to work out the length of your manuscript.
|If your manuscript is in a very untidy state or needs a
heavy copy-edit, we may need to quote you a higher fee. Please email
your manuscript to us in the first instance, with a note of how you
would like the copy-editing carried out (see above), and we will give you a quote.|
|Make sure you send us a note of anything specific you
want the copy editor to look at and tell us the age group you are
|We would normally expect to get the copy edited
manuscript back to you in about three weeks of receipt of the
manuscript and payment, but please remember that many hours of detailed
work are involved. When we send your quote we will let you know if for
any reason the work will take longer than three weeks and we would
normally give you an approximate date fro completion of the work. |
All fees are payable in advance.
Please send your manuscript as one unzipped Word file, unless it is over
125,000 words, when we recommend splitting it into two files.