Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of editing do you do exactly?
I am a developmental editor. Unlike copyeditors-who take a manuscript that has already been developed and subject it to a much more technical process focusing on elements such as spelling, grammar, punctuation and formal style-developmental editors are more concerned with the big picture. We look at many various elements including the voice, setting, narrative structure, and pace to see how it all comes together. Like a doctor diagnosing a patient, developmental editors need to figure out how to help a manuscript reach its full potential, while keeping the author's own voice and vision intact.

Why do I need a freelance editor?
A good editor can help you take your manuscript to the next level. While it is always a good idea to share your writing with writing groups and other unbiased readers, there is tremendous value in getting a professional and objective opinion from someone with real industry experience. Agents and editors don't always have the time to take on a manuscript with big problems. Therefore, many of my clients come to me before they start submitting their work to agents. Other clients have already submitted manuscripts and received nicely worded but vague rejections in return. I can help you pinpoint where there may be problems as well as offer suggestions to improve and polish your work.

There's no guarantee working with me will get you published-that's something no freelance editor can guarantee-but I can help you produce a much more commercial manuscript. Plus, the techniques that you learn from working with me will stay with you over your entire writing career.

What kind of material do you work on?
My specialty is crime fiction, but I have experience working on a wide range of commercial fiction and nonfiction. Please feel free to email me a short synopsis of your project and I'll let you know if I can help.

How long is this going to take?
It usually takes me about one month to get back to an author with an editorial letter, although that depends on how many projects I have in my queue. I will always do my best to fit in a rush project so please email me and I'll let you know what I can do for you.

How much is this going to cost?
My fee is on a sliding scale, depending on word count and extent of work needed. It usually falls somewhere between $800-$1500 with 1/2 due when the manuscript is submitted and the remaining 1/2 due upon receipt of the editorial letter. When you work with me, I produce one very extensive editorial letter (based on 2-3 readings of your manuscript) with suggestions and revisions. I am available for 1-2 phone calls to discuss and brainstorm as you revise from my letter. I will also read your query letter for that project. If you want me to edit future drafts of your manuscript, that would require additional negotiation. Please email me for further discussion and specific rates.

"Kristen Weber has to be the most patient and caring editor there is. Her assistance with my query letter was like rewriting the alphabet from A-Z and it has already paid huge dividends."

- Ed, New York (The query for his memoir that I helped Ed with is receiving rave reviews and had a 100% success rate at a recent writer's conference.)
How does your query letter critique service work?

The power of a good query letter cannot be underestimated. A query letter is the first thing an agent or editor reads when they receive a project, and it totally shapes their opinion of your work. It is very important to make sure your query letter is clear, concise, and puts you and your manuscript in the best light possible. I have read thousands of query letters over the course of my publishing career and can tell you exactly what kind of impression your query letter is making and will also give you at least a paragraph back of thoughtful suggestions as how to make it even stronger. The price of $30 includes an initial critique of your query letter as well as a second critique of the revised query letter after you implement my suggestions.

Can you tell us a little more about the phone consultation service that you offer?
Often an author finishes writing their book only to realize that was the easiest part. Publishing can be a very confusing business. I worked for over ten years as an in-house editor at two of the top publishing houses, and during a 1-hour phone call I will answer all of your questions about the publishing process and share my own advice. We can talk about any part of the publishing process that you're interested in, including how to handle your current project and what to write next, questions about specific agents or writing conferences, how exactly to write an effective query letter and make the most of the submission process, and why it takes so long for an agent or editor to get back to you. I will try to answer any question that you have, and if I can't, I'll find out the answers for you before our talk. I charge $60 per 1-hour phone call. Please email me for more details or to schedule a phone consultation.


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