Free Help? Really?
Okay, kids, kiddies, and kiddyettes, listen up. If you're looking for an award-winning author who's also a long-time member of the prestigious Author's Guild and is willing to see if your work has what it takes to make it in publishing, look no further.
If you're an author with a book in search of a publisher, I'll provide you with a complementary analysis of your work. Okay, okay, make that the first 50 pages of your work. In that length, I can more than tell what your literary strong points, weak points, and vulnerabilities are and offer some suggestions for helping you where you need help the most. What do I get out of it? Besides the obligatory headache, nothing more than the personal satisfaction of knowing I'm giving back to an industry that has been so good to me for nearly half a century.
Now, let's get this straight. I didn't have anyone making me this offer when I started writing my first novel at the age of 15. Nor, for that matter, at any point in my early writing career. And that's a shame, because if someone had taken a young kid from the south side of Chicago under his wing and showed him how to write more effectively, he would have saved that kid (a-hem!) a lot of time, work, disappointment, and frustration.
Don't get me wrong. All writers must suffer the mandatory slings and indignities of having their material turned down. It's just part of the racket. If you want to be a successfully published author, you'll have to get used to that. If the process were easy, everyone would be a professional writer. Damned few of us are.
But, I hope I can help change that for those deserving few who have the stuff to make the leap. For them, I'd like to help make things a little more palatible. If I see potential in your writing style and evidence that you're onto a genuinely marketable (i.e., conventionally publishable) book, I'll tell you so and offer advice on how I would proceed if I were you. And if your writing style and book need help, I'll tell you that, as well, and give you my unbiased opinions as to your most feasible options, from free to insanely expensive.
What will all this magic cost you? I'm glad you asked. Because the answer is very possibly nothing. Here's what we're looking at:
• Submission. You'll have to summarize your book for me first so I can see if it's something I think has potential and something with which I can help you.
- Contact me with your book's summary, appropriately enough, by using the "Contact" link in the main menu, above.
- If I like the prospects for your book, I'll e-mail you and ask that you send me the first 50 pages (give or take a few) as an e-mail attachment. It can be either fiction or nonfiction--adult, YA, or juvenile, since I have experience with all three.
- I'll also need you to e-mail me a succinct 2 - 3-page outline of your book so I can see where the story is going and how you intend to get there. No rambling! Keep the outline concise, please.
- Finally, if for some rare reason I don't feel qualified to give you my unvarnished, no-pulled-punches editorial feedback, I'll notify you immediately so as not to waste your time sitting around and wondering.
• Feedback. After I review your e-mail submission, I'll give you some editing suggestions to make your work stronger and from which you can learn to write better in the future. FREE OF CHARGE. From developmental (conceptual) and substantive (structural) to line editing and everything in between, my years of experience as a 90-book conventionally published author; an accomplished editor of books, articles, and newspapers; an internationally published weekly newspaper columnist, and the developer of Creative Writing Workshop at the college level are my assurances that I know what I'm talking about. I'm also an independent literary scout for conventional book publisher Elektra Press and am, thus, always on the lookout for remarkable new talent to showcase to the world.
With all this in mind, I hope that, between the feedback I send you and your innate literary talents, you'll be able to turn your manuscript into a conventionally published work within a reasonable period of time. If for any reason that's not feasible, we can talk about your hiring a professional. I'll even give you several recommendations for editors willing to work with you step-by-step to help you take your book the distance.
But first things first. Contact me with a brief summary of your book, and let's see where that leads. Then, if I like what I see, I'll request those initial 50 pages of your manuscript (in MS Word format, please--that's the only format professional editors will read) and a succinct book outline. Remember that I see dozens of top-notch stories by devoted newbie authors fall by the wayside each and every day of my life. My goal at this stage of my career is to help as many of them as possible get their works published by a conventional, advance-paying publishing house. If you believe in your work, as well as in yourself, but need some top-tier professional feedback, just let me know, and we'll see how far we can go together.
Please understand that this is an extremely rare and potentially limited-time opportunity for both first-book and experienced authors. All I ask of you is that you are devoted to the craft of writing and have the enthusiasm necessary to become a successful, conventionally published author. When I run out of free time (which I hope is never), I'll begin turning new authors down. Until then, click on the "Contact" tab in the menu above, upload your material, and let's see what we can make happen.