Why do I need a professional book editor?

An experienced acquisitions editor provides an answer:

I work with tiny publishing houses, rejecting dozens of manuscripts every week on the basis of sheer unreadability. Large or small, few publishers will purchase rights to a manuscript that could require hundreds of hours of work. To push a proposal toward the top of the stack, hire an editor. No matter how fascinating the concepts, dubious prose will kill a project.

--A. R., letter to the editor, Inc. Magazine, April 2002, 20

Another publishing professional makes a case for using developmental editors:

Too many people want to rush their books out as soon as they finish the writing. Fortunately, I'm now seeing authors who want to be taken more seriously, so they're using developmental editors....Just as you can't skip steps in a recipe or the cake won't rise, you can't overlook the requisite steps of the publishing process.

--Jessica Page Morrell, "An Editor's Take," Poets & Writers, November/December 2015, 87-88 (quote on 88)

What if you feel a manuscript is unpublishable?

We don't knowingly take on projects we feel are unpublishable; this isn't a good use of our time or our clients' money. Occasionally we don't decide until we've begun work on a manuscript that it's too flawed to have a realistic chance of publication. Either way we will give you an honest assessment and will suggest solutions or strategies you might consider.

What if I'm basically a good writer and just need a little help?

We'll tailor our services to your situation. We may be able to just fine-tune your manuscript; alternatively, if your manuscript needs extensive work and you're able and willing to do it yourself, we can provide guidelines for you to follow.

Can you guarantee acceptance of my manuscript by agents and publishers?

No, no reputable editor or editorial firm would make this guarantee. But Casco Bay Literary Services can increase the odds by providing professional services that help you produce a first-rate manuscript.

© Casco Bay Literary Services 2019