I bring a variety of skill sets to my editorial services.
First, as the Submissions Coordinator for Month9Books, I have intimate knowledge of the market. I know what agents and editors are looking for. I handle well over a hundred submissions in a month, as well as read over a dozen reader reports from my interns each week. This has enabled me to efficiently zero in on whether an opening is weak, if a scene lacks structure, whether the pacing is too slow, and if the plot has an inciting incident and is coherent.
Second, I’ve successfully completed an editorial internship with a publishing imprint. I’m now an Editorial Assistant at Month9Books. I am well-versed in recognizing voice and helping make it shine (not editing it out!), ensuring that all point of views best serve the overall story, that proper character development is occurring, that dialogue is believable and crisp, and that there are no continuity issues. I also possess a keen eye for grammar, sentence structure, punctuation, and overall story structure.
Lastly, as a published author, I bring to my editorial services extensive experience in writing query letters and synopses and how to get them to stand out from the hundreds of others in the slush.
I will critique and/or edit Middle Grade, Young Adult, New Adult, and Adult. I do not offer editorial services for nonfiction.
Query Letter – I will focus on whether your query letter shows the inciting incident, main plot, and consequences for the main character if the conflict (plot line) isn’t resolved. I’ll also pay attention to whether the query letter is cohesive, not to mention fix clunky sentence structures and grammatical errors. Estimated time frame for returning edits: 3 days. $15 for one pass. $5 for additional passes.
Synopsis Letter – It’s not easy boiling your novel down to a one-page summary of the plot. I will help you focus your synopsis on detailing out the core conflict (main plot) and the main characters. I’ll pay attention to whether the storyline feels streamlined and vibrant, if there are too many extraneous details clogging the synopsis, as well as fix clunky sentence structures and grammatical errors. Estimated time frame for returning edits: 5 days. $20 for one pass. $7 for additional passes.
First 10 Pages – Many literary agents require the first 10 pages of your manuscript to be submitted along with your query letter. If you’d like a second opinion before querying an agent, this is the package for you. I will critique the first 10 pages of your manuscript for: originality in scene opening, pacing, voice, worldbuilding, and also grammar and punctuation. Basically, I will help you increase your chances of catching and holding an agent’s attention to ultimately earn that full request. Estimated time frame for returning edits: 7 days. $30.
Submission Package – This package includes a critique for the query letter, synopsis letter, and the first 10 pages of your manuscript. For more information on what each of these critiques entails, please read the above critique options. Estimated time frame for returning edits: 15 days. $55. That’s a ten dollars savings!
Substantive Edits – With this package, I will critique the “big picture” items such as plot, continuity, pacing, dialogue, scene and story structure, character development, characterization, and so on forth. I will utilize MS Word’s Track Changes and Comments feature. This package also includes an editorial letter summarizing my findings in a more in-depth analysis. Estimated time for returning edits: ranges anywhere between 10 days and 2+ months based on word count.
100k+: Prices rated at $1/250 words.
Copy Edits – This package focuses on the “micro” level of your manuscript. I will focus on such things as: grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, sentence structure, spacing, crutch words, tense changes, etc. I will utilize MS Word’s Track Changes and Comments feature. Estimated time for returning edits: ranges anywhere between 10 days and 2+ months based on word count.
100k+: Prices rated at $1/300 words.
Editorial Letter – Through this package I will not mark-up or make in-line comments within your manuscript. I will instead read your pages and then compile an editorial letter summarizing your strengths and weaknesses in the following areas: point of view, voice, character development, plot, dialogue, pacing, setting, and continuity. Estimated time for returning edits: ranges anywhere between 10 days and 2+ months based on word count.
100k+: Prices rated at $1/350 words.
Proofread – Only choose this package if your manuscript is fully polished and in need of a “final pass”. This is basically like the Copy Edits package, but on a smaller scale. Should the manuscript prove to have too many errors for this particular package, I will get in touch with you to discuss switching to the Copy Edits package or adding additional charges for the surplus of errors. Estimated time for returning edits: ranges anywhere between 10 days and 2+ months based on word count.
100k+: Prices rated at $1/400 words.
To order one of my editorial services, simply use the contact form below or email me at rachelrussellbooks (at) gmail (dot) com. When you get in contact with me, I will give you a time frame for when I expect to finish your edits. Generally, the estimated time frame will reflect the quoted time in each editorial package, but may fluctuate depending on the size of your submission. If you need your material rushed back ASAP, let me know and we’ll discuss the details (an additional fee will apply). I will use PayPal to send an invoice to you. Payment is due up front when materials are sent to me.
When you submit your manuscript, please make sure it is properly formatted as follows: double-spaced 12-point Times New Roman, 1-inch margins. Please save the manuscript in MS Word as a .doc file. I realize that some clients struggle with visual disabilities, so if that is the case for you, let me know and we’ll find a way to make things easier on you.
Rachel has a keen eye all elements of a story and what works and what doesn’t work. She provides clear feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of you manuscript with breakdowns for character, plot, dialog, and pacing. Her editorial letter that she provided me was very helpful in showing me where I needed to make revisions to improve my story. I would recommend her for anyone looking for a fair and honest critique of their manuscript. – Andrew Patterson
Rachel is a well-rounded editor, with a keen eye for line edits and formatting while making sure developmental edits are strong, too. She’s got a very methodical and organized work style that I’m in awe of. If you need help taking your manuscript to the next level, she’s your girl! – Jessi Shakarian
Rachel provided professional, in depth, and meaningful editorial notes throughout my manuscript. Her strong sense of Point of View, Voice, and Character Development (and clearly given direction on steps and exercises I can take to improve upon them), have proven invaluable on my latest revision. The editorial letter she provided along with the manuscript summarized everything neatly and gave the exact nudge needed to get the next revision off on the right foot. I only hope I can absorb and act on all her wonderful advice. – Alexander Pierce
Rachel’s critique was extremely helpful. In her line edits, she pointed out places I had used passive voice, instances of telling (vs. showing), places where the description was not colored by the Point of View character, areas the description was too dense, and opportunities to deepen the POV by adding internal monologue. Her 3-page editorial letter (for a 50-page sample) convinced me that I should move my prologue to later in the novel (where it belongs chronologically), move flashbacks later in the story (or delete them) because they slow the pacing too much, and summarized some of the recurring issues found in the line edits. She additionally recommended a book I could read for further tips on deepening the POV. And she ended on an encouraging note. All this she did for free, because I won a contest on her blog. Thank you, Rachel! You’re awesome! – Margit Sage
Rachel Russell wrote a very helpful editorial letter for my novel broken down into point of view, voice, character development, plot, dialogue, pacing, setting, and continuity, followed by an overall feedback section. She is also good at responding to comments where I was unsure of something, usually an odd word choice, or sentence structure issues. – April Brown