Q.  Do you do all of the editing yourself?

A.  Yes, however when I line-edit material I have my copyeditor, who has more than 40 years experience in the field, go over the revised text.

Q.  Why do you also use a copyeditor?  Can’t you do this yourself?

A.  When I line-edit a draft, whether it is a query letter or a complete manuscript, I get too close to the narrative, no different from the author.  Hence, when revising my revisions, I will often see what is in my mind and not what is on the page.  It is important to understand that I do not charge an additional fee for copyediting what I line-edit, as this is a component of the service.  However, if I am hired solely to copyedit material, I do this myself, as my need for another set of professional eyes pertains to material I write, not what I read.

Q.  If you write a query for me and it doesn’t produce results, what is your policy?

A.  I will revise the query one time at no additional charge, as I recognize that approaching agents is a highly subjective environment and sometimes a letter can miss its mark.

Q.  If I pay you more can you get me an agent?

A.  If only this would work.  Unfortunately, there is never a guarantee, no matter how much a writer might spend, that any agent will accept a project.  Likewise, no agent can warrant that a major royalty publisher will sign a title.

Q.  I’ve followed your Newsletter for a long time, and I noticed you’ve softened your stance on self-publishing?

A.  Yes, I have.  My primary reason is because there are now a great many inexpensive alternatives to what I previously considered ridiculously expensive options that generally provided zero real upside.  Today, for a few hundred dollars a writer can create an e-book, and exotic copiers now enable an author to create a library-grade paperback for $7 in 100-copy runs.

Q.  I noticed that some of your clients have had considerable self-publishing success.  What are they doing differently from many other writers?

A.  I’d like to say that a polished draft helped, but the true catalyst for their sales in every instance I’m aware of was the result of a concerted, private marketing effort on each person’s part.  In today’s ultra-crowded marketplace, no book, regardless of how well it’s edited, will sell itself.