Editing FAQ

Why hire an editor?

We know from personal experience that a single letter can change the trajectory of your life; whether it’s a query letter, an application essay letter, a cover letter or a love letter.

If one single letter – one page of writing – can have such tremendous impact on your life, think of the impact a novel, speech, webinar, video, catalog, or website could have.

At Graphite, we promise you’ll make an impeccable first impression with agents, publishers, Amazon readers, human resources personnel, grant committees, or university admissions boards.

As your editors, we guarantee the ideas and stories you present to the world will be meticulous and stylish whether you’re writing a fiction synopsis or a bestselling trilogy.

Engaging. Succinct. Intelligent.

Don’t let your fate be dictated by an unfortunate typo or grammar mistakes that are easily avoidable.

Do I really need an editor?

Even editors need editors.

Likewise, surgeons don’t operate on themselves, and lawyers rarely litigate for themselves. Still not convinced? Here are a few of the most common reasons why you need an editor:

  • You only get one first impression
  • This is not the time to save money
  • Can’t see the forest for the trees (or vice-versa!)
  • English isn’t your native language

As editors, we deliver exacting substantive edits, copy edits, and line edits. We check for accuracy, pacing, consistency of tone, tense, and voice. We help eradicate the passive voice, weak syntax, and common but incorrect grammar. If necessary we can “ghostwrite” a little flair and panache into the story, help with transitions, assess the overall story arc, and character development.

Asking friends to edit your work

Your friend’s proofreading might be cheap, or even free, and he or she probably loves you and has the best of intentions. But we guarantee that he or she will not be honest with you.

Friends and family prioritize your feelings and your friendship over your professional writing success. And they should.

Editors, on the other hand, are literary drill sergeants. We try to be as compassionate as possible but the bottom line is: We’re not here to make you feel good about yourself.

You pay us to make your work the best it can possibly be. That’s our job. That’s what you pay us to do.

Your friend will not do this, and your work will suffer from your friend’s kindness.

Furthermore, your friend’s livelihood doesn’t depend on the success of your written work. You won’t write a bad review of his or her editing skills, or circulate bad word of mouth about his or her editing business. Your friend never has to deal with the ramifications of a poorly executed job.

Professional freelance editors, on the other hand, need happy clients to keep food on the table. One bad review threatens our life insurance, our mortgage, our toothpaste money. Simply put, professional editors are invested in your future success to a degree that your friends are not.

That’s why, even though I have sixteen years’ experience as a professional editor – and dozens of friends in the publishing business – I hired a professional editor to do a substantive edit on my first memoir. The most gut-wrenching, soul-searing edit possible.

She gave me no-holds-barred advice that nearly killed my ego but made my writing sing. And it was worth every penny.

Do you guarantee publication?

While we guarantee that every book we edit is of publishable quality, we cannot promise publication.

The dynamics of the publishing industry are perpetually in flux, and even agents are scratching their heads these days, wondering what to make of it all. Despite the uncertainty, and the odds of breaking through, take heart in the fact that it does happen.

One thing we can promise is that you will not be published if your manuscript is riddled with errors, no matter how brilliant or entertaining it is.

Is it worth the risk?

Do you help with publication?

We have a lot of experience with both traditional and self-publication. We can help you craft compelling query letters, blurbs, press releases, synopses, and proposals for agents and independent publishers. These services are not included in the editing fee. However, after we have finished editing your text or manuscript we would be happy to draw up a new contract for publication services.