Avoid Passive Voice | Angela Harms, Editor

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Books Worth Reading

The First Five Pages
by Noah Lukeman

Picure of the book
at Amazon.com

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.

Free Sample Editing

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.

Selecting the Section to Edit

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.

Three Steps to a Sample Edit

To request your sample edit, please fill out the following information. Once you submit, you’ll be given instructions for submitting your manuscript.

About Yourself

Please tell me who you are and how I can get in touch with you.

Full name:
Email address:
Mailing Address:
Zip/Post Code:Country:

About Your Manuscript

Please tell me something about the edit you’re requesting. These questions assume that the work is a full-length novel, but if you are requesting a different sort of sample, that’s ok too.

Working Title:
Length of completed work:
What word processing program do you use?
Are you familiar with the track changes feature?
Who is the intended audience?
Is English your native language? If not, what is?
Is this a translation of a finished work in another language?


Is there anything else you’d like me to know about yourself or the manuscript?

Submit Request

This is Step 1 of a 3-step process. Click the button to submit your answers, then watch your email for Step 2, a confirmation message.

Get in touch

If you have questions, I’d be happy to hear from you. Drop me an email at editor@angelaharms.com