screechowl.jpg

Services

Reader’s Report

This is a one- to three-page assessment of your story’s major strengths and weaknesses, analogous to the first read your manuscript will get when you submit it to a publishing house. If you’re looking for a fresh perspective as you begin to revise your work, this is a great place to start.

Developmental Edit Report

This chapter-by-chapter analysis of your manuscript is your road map to revision. You’ll get insights into plot, pacing, world-building, character construction, language, thematic development, and commercial concerns. 

Developmental Edit

The report described above is included as part of this service. During this process, you'll use that report as a guide to refining your storytelling, and youll do it with my help, every step of the way. I will suggest detailed changes myself, and Ill give you in-text feedback in the form of editorial comments. Ill be available to help you work through any problems you encounter while revising. 

Line Edit 

This is spelling and commas and verb tense and word choice—all the tedious little details. If you only purchase one service before sending your manuscript to agents and publishers, make it this one. Your story might be brilliant, but technical errors can make a reader lose patience before she has a chance to discover that.  

Synopsis 

Three facts about synopses: All authors loathe writing them, few editors and agents enjoy reading them, and theyre absolutely crucial to marketing your manuscript. Let me help. I will read your story, distill it to its unique essence, and craft a summary that will leave the reader wanting more. 

Query Letter 

Much like the synopsis, the query letter can be tedious—for the writer and the reader. I can spare you the agony and provide you with a succinct, enticing pitch. You can choose whether you want a general query that you can send to just about anybody, a letter tailored to a particular agent or publisher, or some combination of both services.

Sales Copy 

This is it: single best tool for capturing a new reader. I offer both hardcore marketing mojo and a strong background in bookselling, which means that the copy I craft is both artful and informed by knowledge of the marketplace. You can see recent samples of my work here

Research 

I believe in artistic license. I also believe in getting things right. Put another way, I like my fantasy grounded in real-world details I can trust. But I also know how research can get in the way of writing. This is where I come in. If youre writing historical fiction, I will expunge anachronisms. If you make use of mythology in your storytelling, I will do my best to distinguish ancient beliefs from Renaissance accretions and modern reinventions. I have a strong academic background, lending privileges at a university library, and access to the miracle that is inter-library loan. Im also adept at separating the wheat from the chaff online. Chances are good that I can find the information you need, but, for best results, please consider my areas of expertise.


Jessica was a lantern of wisdom for me in the realm of folklore and plot design during the comprehensive editing stages of my first novel. Her expertise, patience, and insight helped me turn my ambitious story into a breakthrough success.
— Lenora Henson, author of The Wicken Garden series

Fees

My rate is $50 per hour of work. What does this mean in practical terms? The answer depends entirely on your manuscript and the service you purchase. The industry standard for freelance editors is 1 - 5 manuscript pages per hour for developmental editing and 1 - 6 manuscript pages per hour for a line edit. It’s harder to offer general guidelines for other services, because so much depends upon the length of the manuscript and where you are in the process of revising it. Most of the services I offer require a full read of your manuscript, and I do bill for that time. If you’d like a more detailed estimate, please contact me and tell me about your project. And please be aware that I’m happy to come up with a payment plan that works for both of us.