Gauging Interest

ruboneout I’m thinking of maybe doing some freelance editing.

I’d probably start out with something like this:

* You send me a one-page query letter explaining your manuscript and the first 30 pages of said manuscript.

* What you would get in return: Your query and manuscript with Track Changes. Including: the point at which I would make an accept/reject decision on the piece as if I were an agent/editor/intern, errors and bad craft, overall editing, suggestions, and advice, and a one-page edit letter.

I would only be able to do about three of these a month, and I’d charge a flat fee through PayPal for each.

Right now I’m in the process of gauging interest to see if this would even be viable. Is there any interest in this sort of thing? And what would it be worth to another writer? I would have to initially charge something in the neighborhood of $250-$300 to make it worth doing on my end.

What do you think?

  • Jess

    I think that it is a wonderful idea. There is nothing quite like having a voice of experience at your side.

  • That would be an awesome thing!

  • I’m torn.

    The part of me that works for a living and has proofread theses and the like thinks you’re undercharging to be honest. 30 pages… that’s a LOT of potential work. OK, some of them you’ll reject on page 1 and then you’re being pretty well paid, but if you get past page 3 or so I think you’ll probably go all the way on a lot of them.

    The bit of me that’s an aspiring author and struggling to make ends meet is looking at $300 and saying “Erg, I can’t afford that.”

    I think it’s a good idea. I’m just not sure how many people will take you up on it.

  • Sarah Marie

    I think it’s a great idea! On the other hand, how much trouble will it be? While I’d love to send you my work, I don’t want you to stop writing fabulous stories in order to read my crap. It will be a balancing act of epic proportions. Good luck!

  • I would pay for that!

  • Kelly

    I think if she does not charge a serious rate she will have all kinds of folks wanting her to read their manuscripts etc. I think it is a great idea to help an aspiring writer, certainly, but would worry about being overwhelmed. I have to agree I am fairly self conscious of my own writings and would be terrified to send a manuscript for $300.00 they have lived happily in milk crates for nearly ten years πŸ˜‰

  • Is this something that someone would like? I think so. If I had the money, I know that I would jump right on this. The problem is, the publishing industry is so fickle. What you might love another agent/editor/publisher is going to hate. It comes down to so many different angles, like your genre and whether or not the market is oversaturated.

    Though I will say, for a first time author, just having the pitch line and query letter critiqued is well worth every penny.

  • R Morris

    Great idea but…. I would suggest some way of filtering at the front end to avoid the blog whiney backlash of people who send you a pile of crap and expect you to turn it into gold for $300. So general public, no. Selected individuals yes. Back to your point about people’s response to “Writers write.”

    Just a warning as someone who used to help friends with business plans. Lost a few of them when they half listened to me and screwed things up.

    Good Luck. Maybe I’ll have the guts to send you something of mine. (Ego’s way too timid about it right now)

  • Holli S

    I would be very interested!

  • martian moon crab

    You undervalue yourself.

  • That is exactly what I need! Yes, please. Bump the price range by $100.

  • Bruce Woods

    Sounds like a wonderful service, but I will echo many of the above by saying that at the suggested rate you might well find yourself overwhelmed.

  • If you’re not sure about price and want to do exactly three per month, do an auction for the three slots each month.

  • As a freelancer who switches between copywriting and editing, I’ve found it’s a tricky balance between charging rates that make it worth the effort and finding a budget that works for the writer (many of whom often have tighter budgets). But yes. There’s a market for this. Especially if you also open it up to writers who are pursuing self-publishing as well and want independent editing to get their manuscripts polished, versus just the query/agenting route.

  • Lots of competition. Rates are lower than you think. Won’t get what your experience is actually worth. Indies don’t have budgets for editors. Traditional pubs have staff editors. Have a savings for survival for at least your first year.

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  • Jessica Robison

    Keep us updated. I would do it in a heartbeat πŸ™‚

  • Love it and will pay for it! πŸ™‚

  • Ashley

    Well see for me, I’d love the idea of it, see what you’d have to say, what you’d change, if it’d be something you’d be interested in, etc, etc…. But I can’t afford $250- $300…. And 30 pages is a lot of work, plus I’m super busy with finals and stuff over my summer, so writing always has to take a back seat. But it’s a great idea πŸ™‚

  • I would do this in a heartbeat. If I had something that was finished to the point where I was comfortable sending it out…I would find the money somewhere. πŸ™‚

  • Kristina L.

    I’ve seen similar services offered, but no lower than $550. Because seriously, editing takes a lot of time and brainpower and makes people a shadow of their former selves. If you’re going to do that, please at least get paid the going rate?

  • R Morris

    You might want to do some sort of preview to avoid or return stories too close to something that you are working on or have considered. Avoiding conflicts. OR ones that are just too creepy, like demon possessed drooling puppies.

  • Adrian

    I would consider it, although I’d probably have to balance against paying a moderately higher price for an editor to look at the entire manuscript, which might get the story all the way to the finish line, instead of paying for the two pieces separately. No doubt that you have a wonderful perspective to offer, though! πŸ™‚ I think you’re a wonderful writer. Good luck.