Erin Brown // Professional Editor
It is essential to get your novel or nonfiction manuscript in tip-top shape before you begin submitting your work to agents. Agents receive hundreds of queries and submissions each week, and you only get one shot to pique their interest. You need a professional who has experience in the industry to provide a second set of eyes in order to catch mistakes and improve your overall content, plot, characters, and writing.
You’ve lived with your writing for so long that you need an honest, outside reader to make note of any issues that need improvement. You don’t get a second chance to impress—hire a professional editor (moi) to get your work in the best shape possible so that you can make your writing career a reality. Already published? Let me polish your work before you deliver to your agent or house editor.
After graduating from the University of Texas at Austin, I moved to New York City to make it in the big, bad world of publishing. I worked for almost a decade at two major publishing houses. At William Morrow, a division of HarperCollins, I edited mysteries, literary fiction, romance, thrillers, nonfiction (business, political, and memoirs), and almost everything else under the sun. At Thomas Dunne Books, a division of St. Martin’s Press, I was the women’s fiction editor, but also edited many other genres. As an avid book lover, I’ve had my dream job for twelve years now, as a freelance editor working directly with writers in order to improve their work (and hopefully find representation and publication). True success is doing what you love.
After many years working in major New York City publishing houses, I am an excellent content/line editor. I’ve received, reviewed, and edited hundreds of query letters. I’ve edited New York Times bestsellers and small gems. I know the market and I know what sells.
I am extremely detail-oriented and follow the Chicago Manual of Style.
Tips from the Editor
present your best work
Remember, you only get one opportunity to impress an agent or editor. And if you decide to self-publish? Definitely get your novel or non-fiction project in excellent condition—correct all typos and mistakes in grammar by hiring a professional editor to copyedit and if necessary, suggest content improvements to strengthen characters, pacing, dialogue, storyline, etc.
get an agent
Most publishers/editors no longer accept unagented submissions, so it’s imperative that you find representation with an agent. Finding an agent that’s a good fit requires patience.
Keep the faith—it can take from one month to a year to find an agent and even longer while your agent shops your work around to publishing houses. Natural writing talent is only the first step to becoming a published author. You must research agencies, have the ability and desire to self-promote, be willing to accept criticism and make changes in order to improve your writing, and have the fortitude not to give up without a fight.