"...I AM CERTAINLY GRATEFUL for the many editors who have been poring over the books and fixing those little flaws which drive me crazy and which I cannot, for some reason, spot on my own. For others looking to self-publish, I would highly recommend paying for professional editing services. That is my biggest regret."         
--Excerpted from the blog of Jeff Wheeler, author of the best-selling Muirwood Trilogy

Why, hello there. How are you?

I'm J.M. Martin. I have twenty years experience writing and editing*. I've edited quite a few writers in quite a few genres in my time, and before you submit your manuscript to an agent or publisher, or upload it to an e-store such as Amazon, Smashwords, and/or Barnes & Noble (if you're going the independent publishing route), you need a good editor. You don't want to lose credibility with a potential fan by glazing over this crucial part of the publishing process.

The fact is, about 98.9 percent of unsolicited manuscripts submitted to traditional book publishers are rejected. That's where a reputable editor can make all the difference. I want to help you fine-tune your manuscript until it's sharp as a razor's edge, so watertight a Navy Seal wouldn't mind climbing inside without an oxygen tank, so polished that George Hamilton himself would gaze at it for hours marveling at his own reflection. Okay, on to the serious stuff.



ROUGH MAGIC by Kenny Soward
Whether your goal is to land a publisher or agent, or you're planning to publish it yourself, investing in a reputable editor increases your chances of success. Here are a few of my testimonials:

  • "Joe played a big part in the polishing of my first successful non-fiction book, THE BUDGET OF YOUR LIFE: BREAKING THE CHAINS OF DEBT. Joe edits all of my short fiction and is currently editing my first fiction novel, ROUGH MAGIC. Joe is personable, responsive and dedicated to helping polish your work. His services are a must if you want smart, professional editing."
    -Kenny Soward, The Budget of Your Life 
  • “Working with Joe was a highlight in my time as a writer and designer in the pen and paper game market. He is intelligent, funny, and a highly capable writer and editor. As a colleague, his input and commentary is insightful and valuable, and I would happily work with him in the future.”
-Robert Baxter, Games and Systems Designer, Dead Rising 2
  • “Joe was my very first editor and I'd have been hard pressed to ask for someone more encouraging and creatively supportive to a fledgling writer."
    -Paul D. Storrie, Freelance Writer



Before you submit your manuscript to an editor, it's always a good idea to do a final read-through and self-edit. Remember, editing is NOT just about catching errors. Sure, that's part of line editing, but a good editor will keep a critical eye out for point of view, voice, pacing, word choice, cliches, verbosity, tautologies, continuity, and plot.

Be prepared to rewrite. Sometimes it will be a sentence here, a paragraph there, sometimes it may be entire scenes, and then, of course, some books will call for a complete overhaul of the draft. Ultimately, the choice is yours, of course, but bear in mind that an editor very rarely pats you on the back, raises his cup, and says "well done!" after the very first pass. If you're good with all this, we're going to do some amazing things together.



Yeah, this does cost a little moolah. Here's how much.

Copy Edit: 8 cents/word
I read through your manuscript line-by-line with a critical eye, using Microsoft Word's correction tool to make editorial changes regarding spelling, grammar, and style. I also insert objective comments in the margins throughout with my editorial feedback. You can, of course, choose to accept/reject all changes at your discretion. Copy editing typically takes two weeks, give or take a week, depending on the word count.

Literary Edit: 20 cents/word
The focus here is on the structure of the story and will include suggestions for redrafting (copy editing is also included). Literary edits typically take 4-6 weeks, depending on word count, as it entails more than one read-through.

Proofreading: 5 cents/word
This is essentially a pass to make certain there are no errors in grammar and spelling. This service is included with editing (either of the above services), but you can contract me to simply proofread at a lesser rate. I will not make comments or suggestions regarding the story or structure, however.

NOTE: A non-refundable fee of $50 is required. This is to retain my editorial services and book a date, and it will be subtracted from the total fee. You will be billed for the complete fee in full (minus the $50 retainer) prior to commencement of editorial services.

Contact me at MARTINJM70[at]YAHOO.COM if you have any other questions I haven't covered here.

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