The question I get asked most often is what manuscript editing services do I recommend. Rather than having to keep repeating myself, I decided to write this article.
Actually, the above paragraph isn't strictly true - the most common question of all asks if I can edit the person's manuscript myself. Or if I don't have the time to edit it, could I at least read the first couple of chapters and offer feedback on the writing.
Sorry, but I can't, not even for money.
It isn't that I'm not grateful to every single one of you for visiting Novel Writing Help. But with something like 50,000 visitors a month, and no one working on the website but me, I have to be careful with how I allocate my time.
Yes and no. It depends on all sorts of things...
The bottom line is that, if your novel is accepted for publication by a traditional publishing house, your manuscript will be extensively copy-edited and proofread prior to publication - and it won't cost you a penny.
The "Catch-22" is that, if the book is too rough and ready when you submit it for publication, it stands a much lower chance of being accepted and receiving the editing it badly needs.
So what are you meant to do?
One solution might be to join an online writing community, where you can receive feedback on your writing from your peers.
Another solution might be to invest in writing software - in particular, proofreading and editing software such as AutoCrit or Grammarly.
If you still feel the need to invest in editing but don't have the resources to pay for a full, professional critique of your work, consider having just a small portion of the manuscript edited (the first two or three chapters, say).
Because I have never used criticism services myself, I am clearly not in a position to make personal recommendations.
But based on research, and on positive feedback I have received from a couple of Novel Writing Help visitors, the best I can do is point you in the direction of Scribendi (opens in new window).
If anyone reading this has had a good experience with other editing services, please let me know and I'll be happy to pass on your recommendation.