Noah Lukeman is a successful literary agent, with plenty of experience rejecting manuscripts. In The First Five Pages he shares that experience with the reader, giving good advice about how a manuscript can be improved in the revision process to make it more likely to be accepted. If you’re thinking of doing your own editing, read this first.
If the work in question is book-length, it’s customary for a potential editor to provide a sample for a small fee, or no charge. (If you run across one who doesn’t, run.) This gives the author—that’s you—a chance to see the editor’s style, and to decide whether you’ll enjoy working with him (or her!) on your manuscript.
It also helps the editor to provide an accurate estimate of editing costs and timeline, so both people win.
Please submit a sample edit of about 1000 words (about four manuscript pages). That’s enough to let us each get a good idea of what the project will be like.
I suggest that you choose either a random section or a section that you’re having trouble with. Please do not use the opening or the conclusion. Those parts often present special problems and special opportunities. In fact, they usually receive more than their share of the editing time. That is, if a book is 100 pages long, the first four pages will take up more than four percent of the editing time.
To request your sample edit, please fill out the following information. Once you submit, you’ll be given instructions for submitting your manuscript.