Tag Archives: publisher query letters

Out of the Closet with Author Services

For the past decade, I’ve been an editor first and foremost. My ideal is to help authors make their storylines sing and their characters so three-dimensional, they practically leap off the page. I also aim to smooth out my clients’ dishevelled sentences and slim down their bloated prose. I nitpick to make sure the wrong words aren’t capitalized and the quotation marks are turned the right way around and are consistently curly (or straight, if you prefer). Like most editors I know, my editing work runs the gamut from the big-picture stuff to the finest details. But lately, I’ve been doing more than editing.

As the years have flown by, more and more authors have turned to me to help them promote their books, and I’ve found myself writing for them. I admit, I fell into this–it wasn’t something I actively pursued. Initially, I lacked confidence in my ability to help, but I’ve gained a lot of experience and received plenty of positive feedback from clients about what I’ve written for them.  As I’ve gained self-assurance, I’ve discovered that I love the challenge of this work. And it’s so gratifying to have another way, besides editing, of helping my clients realize their publishing dreams. Until now I’ve been quiet about my writing work, but I’m declaring myself out of the closet. Loudly and proudly, I’m officially adding Author Services to my bag of tricks!

For those of you wondering what writing services for authors I offer, here’s a brief rundown:

Back-cover Blurbs. You’re self-publishing and need a catchy blurb that will hook potential readers emotionally and convey your novel in a nutshell–without giving too much away, of course. Writing a good blurb always gives me a delicious thrill (I’m funny that way), and I love the opportunity to use my words to move people to read your book.

Note: “Blurb” in this case does not refer to critical reviews that may appear on your book’s cover.  It’s unethical to write these for an author when I have worked on their book.

Query Letters. You’re trying to pitch your short story to a magazine or your novel to an agent or publisher and don’t know to tackle the all-important query letter. I’ll craft a concise one that will cover everything it needs to and help get you noticed.

Chapter Summaries. You’ve been asked by a publisher to submit succinct chapter summaries, but you feel much too close to your work and can’t find the forest for the trees. Using vigorous, engaging writing, I’ll zero in on the essential plot threads in each chapter.

Synopses. Boiling a novel down to five or six hundred words is a task most writers dread, and with good reason–it’s tough work, especially when it’s your baby. Your synopsis can’t read like a dull, mechanical account of events; a good one tells your story but in a lively, colourful way. I can help.

Biographies. Whether it’s for the back cover of your book or for your website, tell me about yourself and I’ll help you, Mr. or Ms. Author, present yourself in the most flattering light.

Although I’m delighted to write any of the above, I will edit your versions if you’d prefer. Whether I’m starting from scratch or simply polishing your existing material, we’ll work together to create the best blurbs, query letters, summaries, synopses, and biographies we possibly can.