Q: Is it worth it to get a second opinion before shopping around for literary agents or taking the self-publishing route?

A: Without a shadow of a doubt, the answer is yes. Literary agents and those publishing companies that accept unsolicited manuscript proposals are extremely picky. They receive hundreds or even thousands of queries a month, and are therefore hard-pressed for time. So they will disqualify you for even the smallest typo just to make their jobs easier. As for self-publishing, you want to present your best foot forward, and that is rarely done alone.

Q: Why not just rely on family and friends for my editing needs?

A: Getting second opinions from family and friends presents two problems to the serious writer.

  1. These people are usually not qualified or committed to handling such a detailed, time-consuming task in an acceptable time frame.
  2. Too often, they don’t give completely truthful answers. Because they’re concerned about hurting your feelings, they’ll hold back on constructive criticism that could mean the difference between landing a publishing contract and falling by the wayside. It’s almost always best to get an objective, honest third party involved.

Q: That sounds frightening. Are you going to tear me and my writing apart?

A: No. Having published 10 stories and counting, I’m very well aware of how personal creating a novel can be. My job as editor or writing coach is to build you up, not tear you down. So I’m not going to make you feel stupid about areas that need to be corrected… What I will do is guide you in improving your craft with a series of suggestions, questions and answers that will help you build a much better finished work.

Q: What kind of genres does Innovative Editing accept?

A: If you’re writing about most non-fiction topics, mainstream fiction, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, chicklit, mystery, Christian fiction or just about anything other than erotica, I’m confident I can offer you worthwhile guidance. If your story resembles Fifty Shades of Grey in any way, shape or form, however, please seek help elsewhere. Otherwise, bring it on!

Q: How difficult is it to actually get published?

A: It can be fairly difficult. However, even if you’re unable to catch the attention of a literary agent or publishing company directly, there are increasingly favorable self-publishing options through Amazon’s CreateSpace and other such services. In addition, literary agents now troll popular online databases for “the next big thing,” as well as rely on more traditional outlets.

Q: How long does the editing process take for a fully completed draft?

A: That depends on how long your manuscript is. Generally, it takes three weeks to review about 100,000 words.

Q: What if a story isn’t started yet, is stuck halfway, or simply needs additional guidance above and beyond the standard edit?

A: Innovative Editing can still help with sit-down consultations or scheduled tutorials. Brainstorming is one of my specialties, and I’m happy to offer insight to get you past your writer’s block.

Q: I don’t live in or near Lancaster, PA. Is it still possible to have a sit-down meeting?

A: Unfortunately, a traditional face-to-face meeting isn’t possible in that case. However, Innovative Editing can offer the next-best thing through Skype video chats.