Information Your Editor Needs

Choosing an editor for your manuscript is a very personal thing. You’re handing over a piece of you to be critiqued by a virtual stranger. To get over those awkward introductions, there is some basic information you should include when contacting a potential editor for the first time. This not only streamlines things for you and them, but lets you both know if they’re the right fit for your work.

This isn’t just a list of items to include; think of it as a personal interview that lets the editor know how you feel about your own writing. It’s a peek into how you feel about your own strengths and weaknesses and your hopes for the work at hand. It also gives the editor a sense of your voice and style, another little hint as to who you are.

Since every editor asks for different things, please include the following when contacting me for the first time:

Word Count-If you’re ahead of the game and are looking at editors early (highly recommended), you might not know the answer to this quite yet, so make an educated guess. A 75K word manuscript requires a different approach than one that is 150K words.

Genre-Many genres have conventions, or certain loose criteria (usually defined by readers), that can label them as such. Knowing what the genre of your story is goes a long way to making sure it meets those conventions or breaks them successfully. Some stories don’t fit nicely into one category or another, so list as many as you think it might fit into. If you’re unsure, say so, we can figure it out together.

Draft-Let me know if this is the first draft or the twentieth. It will help determine what services will best benefit that particular draft.

Strengths and Weaknesses-What are your strengths and weaknesses? Let me know what areas you might need me to concentrate on, such as setting or dialogue.

Budget-While I charge per project, knowing upfront what your budget is will help me direct you to the services that will best suit your manuscript. I’m pretty open to mutually beneficial negotiations, such as installments and bridging price gaps between services, but I need to know before taking on the project.

Deadlines-Ideally you’ll have chosen an editor early, but in case things have moved along a bit faster than anticipated, I need to know what kind of deadline you’re on.

Remember, when giving this vital information, to be honest and personal. It’s the first impression of who you are. You can use this contact form or email me at

Photo by Savannah Walters on Unsplash

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