Queries and manuscripts are, at their hearts, auditions and stories. Nobody knows auditioning and storytelling quite like a professional actor and author.
Let me help you hone your pitch, query, or manuscript. As an agented and published author, I’ve been where you are now and am ready to share the knowledge and expertise that helped land me an agent.
My BA in Theatre Performance taught me invaluable lessons in character development, story arc, setting, dialogue, and, most importantly, action. My attention to detail is evidenced in my nearly obsessive formatting, punctuation, and grammar critiques.
As a presenting guest at the 2015 Pennwriters conference, I appeared on a panel about the author/agent relationship as well as moderated a query-writing workshop and participated in a read-and-critique. If you couldn’t attend the conference, my freelance services are the next best thing!
1) -NEW- The Diagnostic: $250.00
Are you sick of form rejections and dying for some feedback? Maybe you’ve been submitting to agents or editors for weeks, months, or even years, and have never gotten a single request. Send your manuscript my way and I will give you the comprehensive manuscript feedback you crave, along with specific revision ideas for your submission package to help you get noticed. Each Diagnostic package includes:
*A Three-pass Query Critique (scroll down for description)
*A full Story Edit Letter (scroll down for description)
*A fifty page Line Edit (scroll down for description)
*Unlimited dialoguing with me as we customize a solution for you and your book.
Diagnostic testimonial: “Before I found Laura, I literally spent over five years querying agents without a single request for more pages. I’d just endured another round of rejections for my latest novel when I stumbled across Laura’s website. I hired her to do what she now calls “The Diagnostic.” Laura’s editing and comments were thoughtful, thorough and honest, and her approach to composing query letters was easy and almost formulaic. She’s also very fast, and gets things done exactly when she says she will. After working with her to revise my novel and letter, I sent in a new round of about a dozen queries, and within just a few weeks got three—yes, three—agents asking me for the full manuscript (and one asking me for an exclusive revision). I think that really says it all — Laura’s editing just works. If you’ve been struggling with the query process like I was, I cannot recommend Laura highly enough. I only wish somebody would have told me about her when I first started querying agents. It would have saved me years of frustration and rejection.” -Jason, querying writer.
2) One-pass Query Critique: $25.00
A query letter is like an audition- it should show you at your best. A good query letter grabs the attention of the reader and leaves them begging for more. I will help you find the essence of your story so you can best exhibit it to agents or editors.
*1st pass: Examining hook, content, and plot. I’ll give my real-time reactions in comment boxes. You’ll also receive a detailed questionnaire explaining what your query shows your characters, stakes, action, plot, and genre and where it can be improved. I’ll comment on your grammar and punctuation as well as your bio.
Link to a sample one-pass Query Critique
3) Three-pass Query Critique: $50.00
If you like the first pass but you still feel like you need some work, upgrade to a Three-pass Critique for another $25.00 and we will work together, through multiple revisions, on your query.
*2nd pass: Correcting hook, content, and plot. After you complete your own questionnaire and revamp your query, I’ll help you make it more active, interesting, and immediate. This pass will focus on letting your voice shine.
*3rd pass: Polishing. Focusing on word choice, punctuation, and final details, we’ll polish your query from the opening sentence to your bio and have you ready to submit!
4) Story Edit Letter or Reader’s Report: $175.00
As a professional actor, I have spent years of my life studying the art of storytelling. Like all writers, I’m an avid reader, but unlike all writers, I’m an analytical one. Although YA is my specialty, I am able to read and enjoy almost all genres, from chapter books and MG to NA and women’s fiction. This package includes:
*A promise to read your book in one or two sittings to best understand your story’s flow and rhythm as well as the over-arching plot and sub-plots, and provide a fast turnaround.
*A two-to-three-page letter detailing my opinions on your plot, characters, setting, world-building, story arcs, etc. I’ll include positive as well as constructive observations and some big-picture editing suggestions.
*A few real-time plot-related comments in the sidebar of the Word document. This way you can note when a reader could be confused about something or when the proverbial light bulb comes on.
5) Line Edit for full MS or first 50 pages: $.006/word (approx. $1.50/page)
This little beauty is what makes my Critique Partners love/hate me. After formatting your manuscript for submission with a proper font, spacing, paragraphs, headers, indents, chapter titles, etc. I’ll comb through it line-by-line. From noting awkward sentences to fixing punctuation, every part of your manuscript will be put under the microscope. This package includes:
*Professionally formatting your document to ready it for submission.
*Real-time reactions- both constructive and encouraging- as comments in the sidebar of the Word document.
*Highlighting of awkward sentences, word overuse, and story or plot confusion.
*Punctuation, spelling, grammar, and typo fixes (with Track Changes in the Word document).
Contact me if you want to discuss a Twitter pitch package, log lines, or set up a Skype session for practice with in-person pitching. In addition, discounts may be available for bundling services.
Email me (lauralee.edits[at]gmail.com) to introduce yourself and your project! All payments are handled through Paypal. If you’d like a query critique, however, please don’t give me any pitch or details beyond genre and word count. I’d like to cold-read the query, just like an agent or editor will.
Thank you so much!