How to Get Your Book/Publishing Project Started
Send the following information to:
- Your name and city.
- Your type of project (long- or short-form, fiction or nonfiction) and its working title, plus a short summary or brief synopsis of the contents.
- Manuscript information: Approximate length (in pages) and format (electronic or hard copy only?).
- Do you have an agent or a publisher? (If yes, who? Has the project been shopped?)
- Type of service you request: developmental editing, developmental writing, or coauthorship? (Important Note: I only offer a deferred fee on developmental editing book projects, and a single fixed-fee for short-form assignments. If you are interested in extended developmental writing, ghostwriting, or coauthored projects, I can propose specific terms only after I have examined your material.)
- A brief paragraph about you: your background, any prior publications, your education and profession? Are you a native English speaker?
- Your goals for this project: Publish a first book, first short story, or other short-form work (fiction or nonfiction)? Begin a series or serialized work? Promote a cause or issue? Self-publish an “authorpreneurial” literary or commercial book or a personal/family edition? Develop an original screenplay or adapt published or unpublished material for film? Other?
- Any other information you feel will help me understand your project and objectives.
I will reply to your query via e-mail at no cost within seven business days. I will tell you whether or not I feel I can add value to your project and help you achieve your goals. One way or the other, you will receive a reply.
PLEASE DO NOT SEND SAMPLES OR MANUSCRIPT ELECTRONICALLY UNTIL I REQUEST IT!
If I Cannot Undertake Your Project...
...I will let you know why and delete your original message in confidence. Your name, e-mail address, or other information you provide will not be used by me or disclosed to any third party.
If I Agree to Undertake Your Project...
…I will reply by e-mail with a copy of my standard developmental editing agreement attached as a PDF. Please print both pages of this form and if you agree to its terms, sign it and make a copy for your file, then mail (or FedEx/UPS) it to the address shown on the agreement along with the initial payment (check or money order) and a copy of the materials (manuscript, book proposal, or most recent draft of a short-form work) I will be using. Do not send originals or any material you cannot replace! If you want speedier service, you may scan the signed Agreement and return it as an e-mail attachment, along with an attachment containing your manuscript (please use MS Word or Rich Text Format for all electronic manuscript), and make the initial payment through PayPal (see below).
IMPORTANT NOTE: Be sure your name and contact information is shown legibly on the title page or first page of the manuscript, and that its pages are numbered. While it helps if your manuscript is in standard format (12-point Times New Roman or similar font with 1-inch margins, loose leaf and not stapled, punched, or bound) that is not strictly necessary. Although I read all manuscripts carefully, I do not mark them as I prepare the D&P memo. If you want hard-copy material returned, you must provide self-addressed, stamped packaging.
When I have received the signed agreement, your manuscript, and have deposited your check (or verified your PayPal deposit), I will notify you by e-mail of the date on which I plan to begin work on your project. I will transmit your D&P memo as an e-mail attachment within two weeks of the actual start date. If a significant delay arises, I will inform you of the new delivery date. If you prefer to receive a hard-copy of the D&P memo, let me know and include a street address with your package.
How to Pay for Developmental Edits
If your project is a book-length manuscript or book proposal, the Agreement will show a single, fixed fee covering the combined D&P and support phases of your project. This fee is payable in three equal installments.
The first installment is due when you return the signed agreement.
The second is due when I deliver the D&P memo to you.
The third is due when you notify me that you have signed a publisher’s contract for the work. If you inform me that you have decided against further marketing of the work, this last installment is automatically waived.
If your project is a short-form work of any kind (approximately 3,000 words or less), the single, fixed fee is payable in two equal installments.
The first half is due when you return the signed agreement.
The second half is due when I deliver the D&P memo to you. If you choose to have me review the revisions you make pursuant to my suggestions in the D&P memo, I will do so without further charge and return my comments to you within two weeks of my receipt of your revisions or, if I am unable to do so within that period, inform you by e-mail when such comments will be available.
You may pay installments with a personal check, company check, or postal money order made out to “Jay Wurts” or by credit card through your PayPal account. If you do not have a PayPal account, please go to www.paypal.com and follow the instructions. Payments through PayPal should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If I Agree to Undertake Your Developmental Writing or Coauthorship Project
Services involving work-for-hire writing or literary collaboration are much more extensive than developmental editing, so a custom agreement is required. If I feel it is appropriate for me to undertake your project, I will reply with an e-mail requesting more information and, in most cases, propose a date and time for us to discuss your project by phone. Should we agree after this discussion to work together, I will provide an appropriate agreement for you and your advisors to review.
Thank you for visiting my web site and considering me as a potential editorial helper. I wish you the best of luck with your project and look forward to hearing from you soon!