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Editing and Consulting Services

My Editing/Publishing Experience

I am a published author of three Young Adult novels with Viking Children’s Books/Penguin Young Readers Group (Tokyo Heist, Latitude Zero, and Blue Voyage). In addition to writing novels for teens, I also write essays, article and stories for adults. My short works have appeared in The Huffington Post, Brain Child, Literary Mama, Writer’s Digest, The Writer, The Santa Barbara Review, The Indiana Review, and others.

I also have over fifteen years of experience as a freelance editor and a college-level writing instructor. I served for three years as the Fiction Editor at YARN (Young Adult Review Network), an award-winning online magazine featuring short-form writing for teens. I currently work part-time as an academic and writing coach for high school and college students.

Before becoming an almost-full-time novelist, I worked in educational publishing, authoring and editing many types of textbooks and online educational materials. My clients included McGraw-Hill, Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and the University of Michigan Press.

I have also worked as a freelance development editor for fiction writers, helping writers to develop their stories and to polish them up for the agent querying process. I have served as a guest mentor at the award-winning blog Adventures in YA Publishing (First Five Pages workshop), and as a judge for the ITW (International Thriller Writers) Novel Award in the Young Adult category.

In addition, I have led numerous workshops on the writing craft at SCBWI regional conferences, Grub Street Writers, and in schools and libraries.

How Can I Help You?

I love working with writers to bring out the best in their manuscript!

I can help you find your real story, develop characters, cut excess verbiage, expand thin sections, restructure sections, tighten scenes, work out satisfying introductions and endings, and get through the middle of a book project if you are feeling lost or stuck. Is your manuscript near the end of the revising process? I can also help you to refine a query letter and your opening pages to grab the attention of an agent.

Working with writers on developmental editing is my specialty. Developmental editing typically involves working on big-picture issues (structure, plot, characters, pacing). It can also involve looking at scenes that might need restructuring, tightening, or expanding (or deleting).

I also offer line-editing services. This type of editing involves more careful attention to language, style, word choice, and grammar. I can also help identify places to cut if a word count needs to be dramatically reduced.

Please note: I am not a copy-editor or a proofreader. I do not typically check or research facts, verify historical dates or events, or do very close readings of manuscripts for consistency issues. I do not proofread a manuscript for typos. (Though if I see them along the way, I may flag them). For that type of editing service, I am happy to make referrals. 

I also do NOT assist with final formatting of manuscripts for submission to self-publishing platforms.

While I am a published author of young adult novels, I am an avid reader of middle grade and adult novels as well. I am happy to look at manuscripts for different age groups (middle grade, young adult, new adult, adult), but I do not work with picture books. I have special interests in mysteries, historical fiction, action/adventure, and contemporary fiction, but I will be glad to read across genres. If you are a writer of fantasy or science fiction, we can certainly talk about your project to see if I might be a good fit, but if you need considerable assistance with world-building, I might suggest working with an editor who is more grounded in those genres.

For a full manuscript critique, I typically provide a combination of big-picture comments (in the form of an editorial letter, up to ten pages of feedback) and in-text edits and comments using Track Changes and marginal notes. See my rates/services section below for variations. I am also happy to schedule an initial phone call or Skype chat – free of charge -- to discuss your project and your editing needs.

Services and Fees

Query Critique

  • $35.00 (read-through and commentary of one draft; includes both in-text editing and written critique of query letter)
  • $40.00 (a draft and a revision of a query; includes both in-text editing and written critique of query letter)
  • $50.00 (a draft and two revisions; includes both in-text editing and written critique of query letter)

My turnaround time for query critiques is typically 24-48 hours.

Synopsis Critique

  • $50.00 (one read-through and commentary; includes both in-text editing and written critique)
  • $65.00 (in-text editing and written critique of a draft AND a revision, or a synopsis draft AND a query letter)
  • $75.00 (in-text editing and written critique of a draft, revision, and query letter, or a draft and two revisions of the synopsis)

My turnaround time for query critiques is typically 3-5 business days.

Partial Manuscript Critique

  • $150.00 (first 30 pages or three chapters and a query letter)
  • $125.00 (first 30 pages or three chapters without query letter)
  • $75.00 (first twenty pages, no query letter)

My turnaround time for partial manuscript critiques is typically 5-7 business days.

Partial Manuscript Critique

  • Rate negotiated on a per-project basis, depending on length and type of manuscript

Full Manuscript Critique / Developmental Edit

  • $1,000.00
    • Includes up to ten-page editorial letter providing detailed commentary, a 30-minute phone conference or Skype call if desired, some line edits in Track Changes (pertaining more to big-picture issues – not proofreading); marginal notes (electronic comments, in the manuscript).
    • Fee is for manuscripts up to 400 pages; longer manuscripts will be negotiated at a per page rate.
  • $600.00 Manuscript Consult only
    • Includes up to ten-page editorial letter providing detailed commentary, a 30-minute phone conference or Skype call if desired, but no in-text line edits.
  • $700.00 Line Edits only.
    • This service is for a manuscript that is fairly far along, almost submission-ready. Ideally, it has already received some editorial feedback on big-picture issues and has already been revised several times.  I will read through the entire book and use Track Changes in Word to suggest places to tighten, expand, or improve sentence structure and style. I look at consistency issues to some degree.
    • I will request a sample of the manuscript before agreeing to provide this service. If I feel the manuscript needs more substantive, developmental editing first, I may decline the project.
  • $1,500.00: Two-Draft Deal!
    • I will read your book TWICE. The first time, I will provide an editorial letter with big-picture feedback, and line edits, as in the full manuscript critique described above.
    • After you revise, I will read again and provide EITHER a second editorial letter, OR a round of line edits. You will also get two 30-minute phone or Skype consults, one for each draft.

My turnaround time for full manuscript critiques / full manuscript edits is TYPICALLY 14 business days, but I will give you a time estimate after I receive the manuscript. Time estimate will depend partly on my schedule and partly on the stage of the manuscript and the level of work that is needed.

I take manuscript consulting work seriously. I will be dedicated to your novel while I am working with it. I would prefer to give you an accurate time estimate and do the most careful work that I can. I will also provide regular progress reports for full manuscript critiques.

Client references are available upon request, as are sample edited pages and sample cover letters, if you’d like to see my editing style.

Requirements
  • Manuscripts must be submitted in standard format: 12-point font (Times New Roman), double spaced, standard margins.
  • Manuscripts must be submitted as Word documents, and sent to me at dianarenn@gmail.com.
  • For Full Manuscript Critiques, a deposit of $500.00 must be received before I begin work on the manuscript.  The balance is due within one week of the commentary I provide. You may mail a personal check or use PayPal.
Disclaimer: My editing and consulting services do NOT guarantee that you will sign with an agent, or sell a book to an editor, or sell thousands of copies on Amazon. You are ultimately responsible for the final product that you put out into the marketplace—and even then there may be forces beyond your control that impact its success. I will do all I can to help you make your book the best book it can be, but publishing is an elusive and tricky business, even for established authors, and there are no guarantees.

Testimonials

"I was so grateful to have Diana Renn consult with me on three different occasions. The first time, I was still working through my first draft and she read a section of my manuscript and a 5-page novel synopsis. She talked through my story with me, making many useful suggestions to deepen my plot by adding twists and turns and creating more complicated character dynamics. Next, she edited my query letter, adding more vibrant language to my pitch, which again was extremely helpful. Most recently, she read my first two chapters, which I was preparing for submission to agents, and suggested ways I could compress scenes and heighten the drama. At each step, her knowledge of story structure, plotting, and characters and her keen insights and concrete suggestions helped make my book the best it could be. If – and when – it gets published, I’ll have Diana to thank for it!"
--Bonnie Waltch

"As a first-time novelist, I struggled to write my query letter until I consulted with Diana Renn. Thanks to her editing services, I was able to perfect my query, write a synopsis of my book in an hour, and recognize plot holes in my premise that I had not seen before. I would recommend her to any writer that wants the perfect query letter."
--Andrew Livera