Professional Editing Services Since 1988
Novels, Nonfiction Books, Proposals, Queries
• About Editing International
• Substantive and line editing
• Critical read-throughs
• Consulting and marketing assistance
Scores of editing clients have had their dreams come true through publication of their novels, nonfiction books, articles, essays, and short stories. Many have won contests, and a few have secured movie options. Over the years, Lyon has established positive relationships with dozens of literary agents, many of whom give preferential reading to her client's books. Although a steady of number of Elizabeth Lyon's clients over the years have self-published, an ever-increasing number of writers now choose to "go indie." Lyon has always been a proponent of "completing the circle"; meaning, all writers deserve to take their idea from draft to polish to audience, to experience the immense satisfaction of holding their books in their hands. At last all avenues of publication are open.
About Editing International. We live and work in a global writing community. We have worked with writers who live in countries throughout the world, but our largest client base is in the United States. Not infrequently, novelists from the US often create foreign-born characters or set their stories in other countries. Writers of memoirs may include events from the author's upbringing in a foreign birthplace or with roots to another country. We only read and edit books that are written in English. Over the 25 years since Elizabeth Lyon began book editing, her company has included associate editors, co-editors, editors-in-training, and partners. At this time, she is a sole proprietor working alone.
Substantive and line editing. Expect abundant corrections and detailed comments on your pages. Substantive editing refers to analysis and constructive criticism about your execution of the elements of craft and style, and to the conventions of your writing genre. Line editing refers to correction of mistakes in spelling, grammar, punctuation, and format.
Critical read-throughs of books. This service provides a professional assessment of your manuscript's strengths, weaknesses, and what changes need to be made before marketing. These findings are covered in an evaluation. The critical read-throughs do not include substantive comments or line editing on the pages. This service is a best match for published authors or for writers who have already revised after thorough editing and feedback.
Consulting and marketing assistance. You may be surprised how often getting a few questions answered can lift the fog and reveal a clear path forward. Elizabeth Lyon consults, via phone or e-mail, about the industry, marketing, literary agents, stumbling blocks in writing, and how to mesh the writer's needs with the demands of life. Often a one-hour session for $125 will save you months, even years, of unproductive directions or writing.
Evaluations. Comprehensive editing and evaluations of client manuscripts have become the trademark of Elizabeth Lyon and her associates. Evaluations are custom courses in craft and range from 15-40 pages (single-spaced) as needed. We also indicate where we think you are on the learning curve, from beginner to apprentice to a professional writer who is ready to publish.
Policies. After an e-mail or phone agreement, we request submission of your book's first 100 pages and a synopsis. (Critical read-throughs may range from a partial to the whole book.) The synopsis reveals your plan for the book and signals potential other problems regarding your conception of the whole book. There are several reasons why we prefer to limit our first editing work to a partial: Writers reveal nearly all of their strengths and weaknesses within the first 100 pages and then repeat them for the rest of the book. It is less costly for you and more time-saving for us to do substantive editing on a partial, write a comprehensive evaluation, and then ask you to revise your whole book based on this feedback. After you have revised, we can discuss your next best step.
Nonfiction book proposals are a special type of manuscript. We edit these in their entirety, which means the proposal including the first three sample chapters that are usually about 60 pages. In some cases, it makes sense to edit the sample chapters prior to the proposal. As well, editing the whole book is sometimes best. We recommend that you read Nonfiction Book Proposals Anybody Can Write prior to arranging to submit a proposal.
Fees: We prefer that you know our fees upfront. For editing work, we ask $100/US per hour. Writers often ask two obvious questions: "Well, how fast do you work? How long will it take?" According to the industry guidebook, The Chicago Manual of Style, comprehensive editing requires two times through a book, about 10 pages per hour for the first time. Writers' skills vary tremendously. Sometimes we may reread the beginning of a manuscript two, three, or more times while reading and editing the final fifty pages only once. On average, editing 100 pages plus a synopsis, and writing the evaluation, will involve 15-25 hours.
Scheduling: A backlog is not unusual, although consultations and shorter manuscripts can be worked in more quickly. As soon as you decide to seek editing, contact Elizabeth and she will pencil in a soft commitment for you, and hold your "spot." She will send a contract for editing your manuscript prior to beginning the work. At that time you will be asked to pay a retainer of one half of the low end of the total estimated time. Credit cards, checks, and postal money orders are accepted.