Almost two years ago now, I started to hunt for every book / fictional work that mentioned or was set in Bristol. I turned this into the Best Bristol Novel search. It turns out the best way to do that was to become the Books Editor of a magazine. Since I only write about Bristol authors or relevant Bristol fiction, I overwhelmingly come across more and more Bristol novels.
I also come across novels that could do with some editing. A friend book blogger tells authors that she only accepts professionally edited works but I often get sent books unsolicited so I don’t have much choice. I can’t find it in me to send back criticism or what I feel would be good advice, because however well-intentioned, it still feels like spreading negativity.
Instead, I will focus on what I can do, let people know that I offer editing services ranging from copy editing to story structure suggestions.
If people feel they need some help with their writing then they can contact me at email@example.com for a quote or some advice. This isn’t just for Bristol writers and sending me your manuscript doesn’t mean that I will write about you. This is a service I am offering so that when I receive something full of mistakes I won’t have to point them out. (Aside: Would you point them out?)
For a wider range of what is available to writers, also check Book Helpline (Disclaimer: with whom I occasionally work**) for a comprehensive description of what they offer in story advice and text editing.
Now here is some unsolicited but relevant advice: If you are going to send your writing to an agent or a publisher then check with a professional about whether it needs some editing. It doesn’t have to be me but it should be someone. Don’t ask your friends or your writing group as they are more likely to be nice to you. If you send me, or any editor, work that it is self-published and riddled with mistakes or bad writing then it will be a wasted chance to get reviewed or to get coverage in the media.
There is a lot of competition out there so don’t waste your opportunity to get published professionally.
For a quote, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
** For who afficionados, Sentence First has some good news.Tweet