Do you accept all submissions? No, I only accept projects I feel I can help improve.

What type of editing do you do? I offer Substantive/Structural/Line Editing for fiction and non-fiction projects.

Do you offer copyediting or proof reading services? I do not offer either of these services. Copyediting and proof reading are a different skill set. If you need a copyeditor/proof reader you will be best served by hiring someone who specializes in these skills.

What is the difference between a developmental/substantive editing and copyediting?

Substantive/Structural/Line Editing involves clarifying and/or reorganizing a manuscript for content and structure. In the case of novels, the focus is on plot, forward motion, character development, and credibility. The intention of this type of editing is to polish and to perfect—to make a project as saleable as possible.

Copy Editing focuses on spelling, grammar, punctuation, and consistency of facts—in general copyediting insures that a finished work is as error-free as possible.

Can you give my work a critique? As of this time I am not offering written critiques. However, I do offer a limited number of phone consultations. If you would like for me to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of your project (based on your description of it) and offer revision/restructuring suggestions, then a phone consultation may be a good option for you.

What are your submission procedures? First contact should be made by e-mail: allisonmccabe@gmail.com

What information should I provide you in my initial email query? Include a brief description of your work (no more than a paragraph) and tell me what you want to achieve in the editorial process.If you have been referred to me let me know who made the referral—put this in your subject line. If you have a contractual deadline looming in the future let me know what it is.

How long does it take to receive a response? You should receive a return email from me within two business days setting up a time that we can speak by phone.

Do you charge to read my initial submission? No.

Do you offer a sample edit? If I am intrigued by your writing I may do a sample edit to determine if we are a good fit to work together. A sample edit will demonstrate the level of editing I think is needed and will give us each an idea of how much time your project will require.

What is your turnaround time? This varies project by project. If I have worked with you before I can make a good estimate. If am working with you for the first time we also have to rely on your own estimates—how long does revising/creating new material take you? If you have a contractual deadline I will make certain we have enough “padding” in our schedule so that we make that deadline.

Do you use a contract? Yes. Here is a sample of my contract.

How do I get on your calendar? If we have agreed that we are a good fit to work together then I will send you a contract. Your next step is to sign and return that contract, along with your on-signing payment. Once your payment clears you are on my calendar.

How much will it cost? The rate for your project depends on the level of editing required and my estimation of the turnaround time. I charge either a flat fee or a per page rate.

My novel is not complete: do you work chapter by chapter? In certain cases I can. If you are a first time novelist, it is best to work on a complete manuscript.

What are my payment options? I accept personal checks and money orders. All project payments are split into an on-signing amount (due on signing the contract) and a remaining balance due upon completion of the project.

Do you work with pencil and paper? I do not—my handwriting can be incomprehensible. I use Word’s tracking feature, as it shows all edits; I put direct queries to you in [brackets.] This allows you to see my edits in context, accept those you agree with, challenge those you don’t, and direct queries back to me. At the end of our collaboration you will have a “clean” file (no tracking and all edits accepted/rejected) that you can submit to your publisher or to agents.

I don’t have an agent—do I need one and can you refer me to one? Having an agent is, in my experience, invaluable. Agents have relationships with editors at publishing houses and they are the ‘matchmakers’ that can put your work into the right hands. I do not offer referrals—however, my best suggestion for finding the right agent is to join Publishers Lunch. This site shows active, up-to-the-minute sales by legitimate agents. You can see who is selling books that are targeted to a market similar to yours. If you have a short list of agents you plan to approach and are interested to know if I have worked with them I am happy to have that conversation.

I notice you have a “212” number but a San Francisco address. What gives? I split my time between New York and San Francisco. Before phoning you I’ll email first so we can identify what time zones we are each in.

Does working with you guarantee that I’ll find an agent/get published? No. And if anyone tells you they can guarantee such a thing run!