​​​BEP Services

​​​​​​​​​​a personal touch for your

treasured manuscript


laurie@bookeditingpro.com

"The publishing world is very timid. Readers are much braver."  Kiran Desai

If we do your line editing or developmental editing, we will take 25% off our query and synopsis rates. 


Let BEP polish your

rough draft or completed manuscript into a "publisher-ready" presentation. 

The query letter is just what the name implies. It is a formal letter, addressed to the editor at the publishing house. It should have a formal salutation and closing and be written in a professional manner. The purpose of the letter is to give the details of your book, such as title (if finalized), the total word count of the story, a brief description of the book, and a little information about yourself. It should also inform the editor that you are submitting this manuscript to other houses. But the ultimate goal of this letter is to entice the editor into wanting to read more of the manuscript.


Some publishers state the query letter should not be more than one page, doubled spaced, so taking the salutation and closing of the letter into account, you have approximately 150 - 200 words in which to do this. If the letter does not grab the editor's attention, then he or she will send a letter rejecting your inquiry. If the editor is interested, he or she will ask you for a sample. Other publishers might want you to send a synopsis of the manuscript with the letter. This is the reason for researching the publishing houses you wish to contact. Be sure to send them the information they require, and only that information.


A synopsis is a brief summary of the plot and characters and a description of the tone and style of the book. It should also state the type of novel and the desired emotional impact that you wish to convey through your writing. For example,  "...Wilhelm's Field is a historical fiction of 103,987 words that addresses the societal norms, adversities, challenges and heartbreaks a teenage boy and his younger sister face in 1944 war-ravaged France. The orphans, raised as children of the Resistance...". The required length of the synopsis is typically one page (SMF also), but this can also vary according to publishers. 


I can help with composing, constructing, and editing of the query letter and synopsis before you send it on to the editors. Remember: What they read in the query letter and synopsis will determine whether or not they wish to go further with your project. The object is to entice them to want to read more, to want to read YOUR treasured manuscript.

​​Query Letters and Synopses

Publishing Houses: ​​Submitting your manuscript to a publishing house is a more detailed process because specific requirements must be met. And I can help you with this step of the journey. But first, here are some fundamentals about publishing using this method:


Your manuscript must be formatted to Standardized Manuscript Formatting (SMF). If you do this first, it will save you some time later. Some publishers will require 50 pages as a sample and others might require a more specific sample. Some will accept the query letter, synopsis and sample in email as .pdf or .doc attachments, and others will accept hard copy only.

 

Then you must decide if you want an agent  to represent you or if you want to submit the manuscripts and query letters to the editors at publishing houses directly. And if you want to submit it to more than one, you must also inform them of this fact because rules might apply for this. Some publishing houses or vanity presses are genre-specific, so you must determine the category your book falls into and the audience it will attract.


After you make these decisions, you are ready for the final steps. This is where I can help.

Self-publishing: This can sometimes be a misnomer. As defined in Merriam-Webster's, the term means "to publish (a book) using the author's own resources." Yes, you use your own resources for the process, both financially and creatively. The cover design, proper formatting, publishing, and marketing are your responsibilities, whether you do it yourself or hire someone else. When you are ready to publish, you next find a printer, and order a certain number of copies. Some independent publishers and printers will print your book "on demand" which means you do not have a few hundred copies stacked on your living room floor.


Another option is to use a "self-publishing" company. If needed, they will format the book, design a cover, print a limited number of copies, and ship them out for you. Some might also submit your book to re-sellers such as Barnes & Noble and Amazon, and include an e-book version in their pricing. Most involve a percentage of royalties based on sales.

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A third option is to use a publishing service such as CreateSpace (an Amazon Service) or Smashwords. These companies might assign you an ISBN number (or require that you obtain one), point out formatting errors when the cover and book are downloaded, print an advanced copy for you to review, and sell it on their website (and possibly others), for either an "up front cost," a percentage, or at no charge. 

​You've finished reviewing the edits and your treasure is now ready to move on to the next step of the journey. But what is that step? At this point, some authors choose to have the manuscript read by Beta Readers (goodreads, for example), family members or friends. The purpose for this is to get other opinions on the book as a whole. Beta Readers do not edit or proofread, but rather give their opinions and insights as to the plot, flow, characters, appeal, impact, etc. of your book. Whether or not you choose to take this step, publishing is the next thing to consider. I'll explain some of your options.