“Thank you, but we’ll pass.”
A literary agent asked for your query pitch and the first three chapters. That’s a good chunk of your book for someone to get interested, so you’ve got no excuse for an agent not requesting to see more. By the end of chapter three, a reader must be hooked. So ... the agent wasn’t? Then you’re not done yet. Most agents and editors know if a book is going to be good by the end of the first page, so you don’t have much time to make it count. Three chapters is the longest an interested reader will give you before she calls it quits, so put the effort into a beginning that pops. How can you ensure that she continues reading? Get yourself some good opinions on each of your drafts. Edit, edit, edit. Don’t be satisfied with mediocre.
Let us help.
We’ve been editing serious, eclectic, indie, and mainstream writing for over 20 years. We receive hundreds of pitches, samples, short works, and full manuscripts per year, and we can tell you without a doubt which books we want to publish before we even leave the first page. Let us help you make your book that good.
Literary agents and publishers often ask for the first three chapters. It has to pop, to slit throats and stab hearts and make them want more. Here, we offer you a chance to run your most important chapters through our Editing Bootcamp, where they undergo a panel of veteran editors, authors, readers, and manuscript selectors who will come up with a collective critique of your work. We are fortunate to have one of the best teams of editors in the independent press, and our editing services are highly coveted and requested, even award-winning.
It’s easy: You submit your first three chapters. We read them very carefully. We return to you an in-depth critique that can range anywhere from several paragraphs to several pages, depending on the work that still needs to be done before your story pops. You cry. You fix it. You become a successful, rich author. Piece of cake.
WE WILL NOT LIE TO YOU:
This is the toughest workshop you might ever encounter. That’s why we call it Bootcamp. The critique that comes back will probably make you cry and want to bury your pen and notebook in the bottom drawer. We are not here to coddle or nudge you lovingly from the nest. We are here to make your work stand out from the rest when it lands on the desk of the next agent or publisher, and we’re willing to bet that, right now, it doesn’t do that. We dare you to prove us wrong. No manuscript is ever above further improvement, even the most polished ones.
This will be the best and most painful $25 you’ve ever spent. Trust that your manuscript is worth it.
Each submission also comes with a complimentary digital copy of our latest book, currently Moon Up, Past Full, a collection of dark, rural Midwestern novellas and short stories by Eric Shonkwiler.
Furthermore, if we love your first three chapters ... we might just want to read more.
Manuscripts can be any format, subject, genre, style, length, or theme. Please indicate the genre and age target, so we know what we’re walking into. We can only critique work in English. You can send your manuscript to us at any step of your drafting process, and you are welcome to resubmit it at a later date in a later draft, as well.
Service fees are not refunded once editing has begun or if you don’t like what we say about your manuscript. We’re not lying when we say we’ll be tough. You will not receive a pat on the back.
It is important to note that we are not editing your work; we are critiquing and analyzing it. (We do also edit.)
You may submit as many first-three chapters for as many manuscripts as you’d like at any time, but the service fee must be paid for each submission. This service is for your first three chapters only. Do not send chapters from the middle of a story.
Our turnaround is generally inside of a month and a half. We make every effort to get your critique to you swiftly, but sometimes we have a great volume of work at once. Please trust that your critique is in the queue, in the order it was received, and please do not follow up on the status of your submission unless you have not heard back from us after two months.
Need it quicker?
Select the EXPEDITED option, and you’ll have it within 10 days.