A new writer emailed me about hiring me to edit and mentor at The Writing Spa. He was unsure about hiring me, a stranger, so I sent him some folks I’d worked with so he could ask them about how it was to work with me. One of my clients, novelist Austin Boyd, wrote this back to him and copied me:
I can recommend Mary with the strongest of praise, and I can give you some metrics to boot.
See the story of how I got started with freelancers to get published. Since I wrote that article, I found Mary. I’m staying with the Writing Spa from here on. I have used five freelance editors, four that I paid for (now over $12,000 invested in four years), and one paid for by my publisher. Mary is at the top of the pile without question, and here’s why:
1. Mary takes the time to get to know you as a person and then takes the process into a mentoring function as well as an editorial one. I truly appreciate that. Mary and I have been published at the same house, have made our trip to the same award stands, yet I am in awe every day of her skills. I could sit at her editing table and never leave, she’s that good. I have so much to learn.
2. Mary is the only “expert” editor I’ve found. All the others were accomplished authors, or authors who’d not sold much but got into editing to make ends meet. Mary has a degree in English which makes her advice technically expert, not just wise.
a. Do you remember what a participle is? I’d forgotten, to tell you the truth, and could care less, until Mary showed me one day why it stinks to link a “be” verb (E.g., are, is, am) with a word that ends in “-ing” (a participle). Once she showed me that, it was incredible how much tighter my writing became.
3. Mary mixes developmental editing with line editing, and in this she is one of a kind. With all other editors I have gotten one or the other. That can be very frustrating because you do all the developmental fixes, simply to learn “you don’t write good.” Each edit I am sending to her right now gets both treatments. I’ve done the math and discovered that I actually paid more to the “lower priced” editors because it took twice as many passes to get the same quality as one pass with Mary. And many more weeks of work.
4. Her rates are very competitive. Here’s why. She zips through the work because she understands the craft, whereas others take their time to dig out the problems. She bills me in increments of an hour if that’s what she uses, and other editors round to the hour.
I could load you up with platitudes, but I believe measurable results count for more, and there’s more I can share if you’re interested.I’d encourage you to give her a try. You won’t be disappointed.
“A Novel Approach to Truth”
A side note: At the Writing Spa, I have two mentors who work for me, Leslie Wilson and D’Ann Mateer. Leslie is an expert in nonfiction and nonfiction proposals. She’s also an excellent publicist, coach, and speaker. D’Ann is an expert in fiction and will have her first historical novel released via Bethany House this summer. We offer proposal coaching, hour-by-hour mentoring, substantive and copy editing, and much more. To see our packages, click here.