What your receive
20-30 page report (the most detailed in the industry), which includes:
In-depth reviews of your plot, structure, pace, setting and tone/atmosphere, and characters (plausibility/credibility, vividness, character motivations, and dialogue). If something’s not working in your novel, we’ll show how it can be fixed.
Clear and fair discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of your novel. We suggest specific story fixes which complement your story’s style and intent, with a view to helping you come up with your own solutions.
Advice on language and style. We will identify the aspects of your writing that are unique and appealing, as well as pin-pointing key writing tics, bad habits etc. The author can apply this advice to any story or novel and avoid mistakes they may have been making for years.
Book prescription – a list of books that echo your themes, characters or style, with specific advice on what can be learned from each novel with respect to your own book. Authors tell us that these lists are of immense help, functioning both as a guide and an inspiration as they tackle their new draft.
Advice on how best to appoach agents and on submitting your work to editors/publishers.
Line edit of your entire manuscript. An line edit by The Editing Firm is much more than a proofread, and includes:
Using Microsoft Word’s Tracked Changes tool, we make detailed notes throughout your manuscript (note: Tracked Changes is compatible with Apple's Pages app). These are specific areas (from awkward sentence structure, fuzzy or unclear action and prolix, to implausible character psychology and continuity issues) which we think need to be reconsidered or re-worked in some way. These can be seen as yellow comment boxes in the margins of the document.
Stephen King’s redrafting equation is ‘second draft = first draft – minus 10 %’. We’ve never read (or written) a draft that didn’t need some cutting. If something’s superfluous, we’ll tell you. When we use strikethrough on a word, phrase or sentence in your manuscript, we’re suggesting you cut it, or we may offer an underlined alternative for your consideration.
All spelling mistakes and grammatical and formatting errors will be fixed for you.
How it works
Complete the online contact form below in full. You should expect a confirmation of receipt (and a big hello) from us within 48 hours..
During an initial informal consultation with Trevor and Maria (via email exchange, or, if you prefer, over the phone, Skype, etc) you get tell us some more about yourself and your writing generally, and to detail (if you like) any specific concerns you have about your manuscript specifically. Your input at this preliminary stage helps us to properly gauge and understand your manuscript in its right context, and gives you the opportunity to shape the kind of work we'll do for you. At this stage you also get to choose your preferred two-editor team.
You send us your manuscript via email in .doc or .docx format. Please make sure your manuscript is in a clear, unfussy 12 point font, with 1.5 line spacing.
Your two-editor team gets to work. To start things off, each editor reads your book and begins the process of creating your in-depth appraisal independently; after this, your editors work collaboratively, debating your manuscript's strengths and weaknesses and exchanging notes. This process ensures that no single editor’s stylistic or genre interests limit the appraisal of your book; instead, you and your work benefits from a broad, rich range of knowledge, skills and interests. All of our team are award-winning authors and Creative Writing teachers, as well as editors. For more on our team, click here.
A final report - your co-authored appraisal - is written up and sent to you, along with your edited manuscript.
Our line edit isn’t simply a proof read (though we include that, too); it’s a detailed engagement with your novel. The line edit allows us to deal with specific problems at sentence (and even word) level, and to work with your novel scene–by–scene.
"Hyland & Byrne are exceptional editors. They're consummate professionals. As people, they're loyal, generous and smart. I recommend them wholeheartedly"
James Palumbo, author of Tomas & co-founder and chairman of Ministry of Sound
How to apply
It's simple. Just fill out the contact form below. You'll receive an email from Trevor, and before you know it, our team will be working away on your manuscript.
For now, all you need to do is let us know how long your novel is (in words). And be sure to put Ready-To-Submit Edit in the subject line. (Oh, and it'd be great if you could let us know how you came across The Editing Firm, too!)
If you'd prefer not to use the contact form below, feel free to send us an email at email@example.com instead.)
"Thanks to Maria, Trevor and Anneliese, my first novel is ready. They've shaped and sharpened my work and made it better than I ever thought it could be. Despite facing the inevitable first novel rejections, this superb team has increased my chances of breaking into that world. Most importantly, they have increased my confidence and determination to give it a go. If I get there, it'll be because of them, and I am enormously grateful."
Peter Kettle, author of The Driftwood Giraffe
"'Hyland & Byrne have provided me with a deep and comprehensive appraisal of my manuscript. I am forever grateful for their frank but fair assessment of work areas that equip me with all I need to begin my next rewrite. Hyland & Byrne’s generosity and commitment to this critical facet of a writer’s journey was evident in their initial response to my first, tentative request for their services, right up to the appraisal document itself, and all the communications in between. I have no hesitation in recommending these brilliant editors to anyone who wants their book to be vastly improved.'"
Our line edits neatly dovetail with your appraisal, as we can cross-reference the two documents, working on specifics in the edit and expanding on our ideas in the appraisal. The end result is a manuscript that has been edited to the highest standard and, in the appraisal, a clear, detailed action plan for the author on how to create a final draft ready to send to agents and publishers.
Please note that if you'd like our senior editor M.J. Hyland to work on your novel (alongside a second editor, as outlined above), the following fees apply (click here for more details).
(Tip: if your book is teetering on the edge of the fee price breaks, why not try to cut it down a little before sending it to us, so that you're eligible for the lower fee? Almost every book can do with a shave!)
Fees and payment process
Fees are calculated according to the length in words of your manuscript.
"If you want to write, you can. Fear stops most people from writing, not lack of talent, whatever that is. Who am I? What right have I to speak? Who will listen to me if I do? You're a human being, with a unique story to tell, and you have every right. If you speak with passion, many of us will listen. We need stories to live, all of us. We live by story. Yours enlarges the circle."