Storybites
 a taste of the world's best short stories

 

Editing Service by Karen Bernardo

Many people really hate to write, or they just feel they don't have the gift for it. That's too bad, because many of those same people have something important to say. I love to help less-experienced or less-confident writers make their work the best it can be. Several recent clients have acquired literary agents after I edited their books; others have published their work in print or on the Internet. I'd like to help you do that, too.

How does the process work?

You contact me and tell me what you've written, where you hope to have it published or how you expect to use it, its word count, and what kind of time constraints you face. I'll write you back and tell you whether I think this is something I may be able to handle. I don't accept all types of manuscripts; for example, I don't feel I'd do justice to something highly technical, I just plain don't like science- or fan-fiction, and I refuse to do porn, gratuitous violence, or class assignments. (Really, guys. No term papers.) I'm pretty open to most other types of work.

Next, you email me the manuscript and I'll read it. I'll write you back within a week and tell you what I think. This won't just be a sentence or two telling you "it's very nice but could use some polish;" I will send you a two to three page critique – a breakdown of what works, what doesn't, and what I think your manuscript needs. I may suggest that you have some more work to do on your end – restructuring, clarifying, etc. If so, I'll charge you a down payment of $5 per 1000 words to cover the work I've done so far, and send you back to the drawing board. During the revision process, I encourage you to contact me as often as you like. You can't possibly ask me too many questions; my goal is to make you a better writer, not just to produce one good manuscript that comes out sounding like me rather than you. When we've gotten the manuscript into good structural shape, I'll edit it.

But what happens if your manuscript was in pretty good shape to begin with, but just needs tweaking here and there? Well, I'll tell you that in your critique, and, after you send me a down payment – again, usually $5 per 1000 words – I'll begin tweaking immediately.

If you use Microsoft Word, I will use the "track changes" feature so you can not only see immediately what I changed, but change it back if you don't agree. I also insert comments in the margins. (Unfortunately, these features aren't available for users of software other than Microsoft Word.)

When I return your job to you, I'll often send another lengthy note explaining why I changed what I changed, so that when you encounter that problem in your next writing project, you'll know how to handle it.

And after I've edited your manuscript, don't forget about me! I want you to feel free to email me any time (no charge). Should you have your manuscript self-published? I'll weigh in on that. What if you combine chapters one and two? What if you change the tense or point of view? I can help you there too. I will generally answer within 24 hours, and there is no cost for this type of service, ever. I want you to feel I'm in your corner, always, whether I'm in the middle of editing your work or not.

In fact, once we have a working relationship, I'd love for you to stop in for a cup of joe whenever you happen to be in upstate New York. That's what friends do.

What if I don't have time for all that?

The scenario I've outlined above assumes I'm editing a book you've taken months or years to write. If that's the case, it's probably not a problem for you to wait a week for me to read and comment on the manuscript, followed by a few more weeks for you to make any necessary changes, followed by yet another week for me to copyedit your final product. But if you're a business client who needs your job turned around pronto – or if you've got a potential publisher or agent breathing down your neck – let me know your deadlines and I'll do my best to meet them.

How much do you charge for this?

My fee schedule is based on the length of your manuscript, and starts at $3 per 250-word page. I'm not out to make a million bucks. I'd much rather help you produce a a manuscript that will sell.

Unfortunately, there are a few downsides to working with a one-person editorial firm. There's a 25¢ per page surcharge for any document that is not submitted to me in a Microsoft Word-compatible format (in other words, any document submitted on paper or in a word processing format drastically unlike Microsoft Word). Non-Word-compatible formats create upfront grunt work to even get the manuscript into an editable state.

There is a $20.00 minimum charge for any job I do. In other words, if your story is six pages long, it's $20.00; if your story is two pages long, it's still $20.00. (Obviously, you'd be better off having me edit three two-page stories.)

Methods of payments accepted include checks (for US customers), money orders (US and international), and PayPal. When we chat, I'll give you an email address for PayPal payments.

Want to know more about me?

Click here to read my bio.

Books I've Edited, Copyedited, and/or Designed

Rescue Pup

Rescue Pup
by Brenda Louise Fiorini
Joyful Journey Books, 2010
ISBN 0615392245

Drugs, Strangers, and Other Dangers

Drugs, Strangers, and Other Dangers
by Ron Conley
SPS Publications, 1997
ISBN 1881099172

Golfers: Take Care of Your Back

Golfers: Take Care of Your Back
by Susan M. Carpenter, Florence P. Kendall; John Marshall, Illustrator
Thistle Ridge Press, 1994
ISBN 0963753509

Lottery

Lottery
by Edward M. Merrill
Commonwealth Publications, 1996
ISBN 1551971054

Maridée: The Memoirs of María Haydée Corbalán

Maridée: The Memoirs of María Haydée Corbalán
by Maria Corbalan
Plain View Press, 2007
ISBN 1891386972

Lon Chaney: The Man Behind the Thousand Faces

Lon Chaney: The Man Behind the Thousand Faces
by Michael Blake
Vestal Press, 1996
ISBN 1879511096

Absolute Flanigan

Absolute Flanigan
by Jack Gilroy
Global Publications at Binghamton University, 2002
ISBN 1586842331

Far Beyond the Falls

Far Beyond the Falls
by A.D. Crichton
Network Creative Services, 2008
ISBN 978-0-9805939-0-7

There But For the Grace of God

There But For the Grace of God
by Carol J. Franz
AuthorHouse, 2009
ISBN 1438968698

The Wisdom Box

The Wisdom Box
by Jack Gilroy
Global Publications at Binghamton University, 2002
ISBN 158684234X

Piano Servicing, Tuning and Rebuilding

Piano Servicing, Tuning and Rebuilding
by Arthur A. Reblitz
Vestal Press, 1993 (2nd Edition)
ISBN 1879511037

Stories from the Heart/Cuentos con todo Corazon

Stories from the Heart/Cuentos con todo Corazon
by Gregorio C. Pedroza
Firekeeper Publications, 2001

The Secrets of Stonewood Sanitarium

The Secrets of Stonewood Sanitarium
by Linda A. Krug
Outskirts Press, 2010
ISBN 1432763393