JODIE RENNER’S EDITING PROCESS:
I accept new manuscripts by email only, as attachments, and do all my editing on-screen and online, using Microsoft Word Track Changes, with comments in the margin, and I offer a full range of editing services.
I specialize in fiction, especially suspense-thrillers and other fast-paced stories.
My services range from content and substantive editing through stylistic/line editing, to final copyediting and proofreading. I also do initial critiques. For details on the various services offered, please click on Services. Also, please read some testimonials on my editing by authors I’ve worked for.
If your synopsis and first pages interest me, I’ll usually do a FREE SAMPLE EDIT of about 6–12 pages first, so you can see how I’d handle your work. If your first chapter is not ready for a sample edit, I’ll ask for an assessment fee of $25, then give you some suggestions for revising/rewriting it first. If we decide to work together, the “free” sample edit pages are included in your overall word count for my fee for your manuscript.
Also, please note: I never give a price or commit to editing a manuscript sight-unseen, and Jodie Renner Editing reserves the right to refuse any manuscript for any reason. As an editor, I best represent “Joe Public” or “Jane Reader,” rather than narrow topics or special-interest groups. I read mostly bestsellers, so that’s my mindset – popular commercial fiction.
Not finished your first draft? Not a problem. It’s best if you’re well into it, though, with a very good idea of where you’re going with it, and a synopsis of the main story points. I usually divide the manuscript up into chunks of 3-6 chapters and work on the earlier ones while you prep the later ones for me, often based on my suggestions on the earlier ones, which I send back to you for revisions before/while going on to the next section.
GENRES JODIE PREFERS TO EDIT:
Because my time for book editing is limited, I prefer to only accept manuscripts that “speak to me” in some way, or that have a good story that fires my passion. This will also ensure that you receive a dedicated, conscientious editing job.
At this time I am accepting:
Fiction manuscripts: thrillers (not too gruesome, please!), romantic suspense (with more suspense than romance), mysteries, other crime fiction, mainstream, historical fiction, YA fiction, middle-grade fiction, action/adventure, and westerns.
Nonfiction manuscripts: writing craft books, narrative nonfiction, life-style, self-help, nutrition, alternative healing, wellness, gardening, “how-to” books, entertainment, topical issues, and relationship and social issues.
At this time, I am not accepting: memoirs, horror, literary fiction, romance, humorous fiction, religious stories, fantasy, or science fiction.
CONTACTING JODIE FOR POTENTIAL EDITING:
FIRST, YOU EMAIL ME:
The first 15-20 pages of your manuscript, plus 10 pages from somewhere in the middle:
- as an attachment in Microsoft Word,
- Times New Roman, 12-point,
- double-spaced*, left-justified, one space between sentences,
- Indent each paragraph by pressing “Tab” or using the MS Word paragraphing or formatting tools. (Do NOT press the space bar repeatedly to indent.)
*For basic formatting instructions, please click here for my blog article “Basic Formatting for Your Manuscript.”
- a brief plot outline or synopsis: 1/2 to 1 page, single-spaced – 2 pages maximum; paragraph form, telling the main points of the story, with a beginning, middle and end. Start with your main character, and be sure to include the main story problem.
(or, for nonfiction, topic overview and goals or chapters)
- a brief description of each of the main characters, in order of importance
- the genre (or subject matter)
- total number of words in manuscript (or projected)
- number of words written so far, if not complete
- your target readership
JODIE’S INITIAL RESPONSE & PROCESS:
First, I’ll read your synopsis and the first 10–20 pages. If I decide to accept your manuscript, I’ll perform a free sample edit of the first 5–10 pages of it and email it back to you within a few days, with my proposed fee for editing the whole manuscript.
If I feel we can go straight to copyediting (light, moderate or heavy/substantive), I will give you a per-word rate (and total fee) depending on the amount of work the manuscript seems to make it publish-ready.
If the genre and premise interest me, but I see various elements that will definitely need revisions before I can start copyediting the manuscript, I will suggest articles and books for you to read, or a manuscript critique, and you can choose among several options. Click on Services for more details on these options.
If we decide to go ahead, I’ll require a down payment of about $200, by Paypal, before continuing. I will expect regular payments of $100–$300, in advance of each section, as the work progresses.
Once I have received the first payment, I will start the editing and proofreading process. All work is done electronically and sent by email as attachments. Using Microsoft Word Track Changes, I’ll go through each chapter twice, looking for bigger issues the first time, then doing “fine-tuning” the second time around. I’ll also add comments, suggestions and questions in the margin, and other comments by email.
ONCE WE’VE DECIDED TO WORK TOGETHER:
Initial assessment and overall advice: When I’ve received your down payment (usually $200) and response to my sample edit, I’ll first look at the “big picture” and address any noticeable craft-of-fiction issues, such as your opening, characterization, point of view, pacing, style and dialogue. Then, after you’ve done subsequent revisions of the first chapters and returned them to me, I’ll get started on the copyediting stage.
I’ll divide your manuscript into sections of about 3-6 chapters each, and work on one section at a time, then send it back to you for your reactions and revisions before going on to the next section. We’ll usually send each section back and forth several times, until we’re both happy with it, before going on to the next section. And you’ll likely be going ahead and tweaking or revising future chapters, based on what you’ve learned from feedback I’ve given you on the early chapters.
At the copyediting stage, I perform two edits on every chapter. The first pass is to address content and style issues, as well as word choices, sentence construction, reducing wordiness, and smoothing out awkward phrasing, etc. Then, when you send that section back to me with your revisions, I go over it again with a fine-toothed comb. Using Microsoft Word Track Changes and Comments and my well-used copies of The Chicago Manual of Style (956 pages) and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (1624 pages), I’ll correct typos, spelling, punctuation, and grammar, and make suggestions for word choice, sentence flow, and clarity.