My motto is this: keep moving forward. As an editor, my #1 goal is to make your book the best it can be… and my #2 goal is to help you grow as an author. Taking a book from rough draft to final version is a transformative process not only for the story itself, but for the person who created it. It is a journey of tough love, and my editing style recognizes that. While I do aim to address the grammar, structure, and story of your book, I also look deeper, to gauge what you as an author could most benefit from learning. In short, I dole out the constructive criticism your mom’s afraid to give you.
Therefore, keep in mind that my criticism – though always meant to be constructive – is also, on occasion, very frank (it’s in the name!). I love to tell you what I like as well as what I don’t like, but my feedback is generally straightforward and blunt, and it is not for everyone. But if you work with me, you will come out the other end a new and better author; and not only this book, but all your future books, will benefit from that.
Services are prepaid via PayPal. All services are FULLY REFUNDABLE up until the paid work is completed–no questions asked. I do not offer free samples, but I can do a small first-pages partial for you at normal pricing. Most editors of a similar experience level charge nearly double my pricing for their services, so the lack of free samples is the trade-off for ultimately saving hundreds on your service. My apologies for any inconvenience.
Query Critiques: $5 per pass. Turnaround is generally one week.
Synopsis Critiques: $10 per pass. Turnaround is generally one week.
Short Story Editing: $0.009 per word (about $9 per 1000 words). Includes line edits and developmental analysis. Turnaround is generally one week.
Pitch Critiques. I charge $2.50 per pass to critique Twitter pitches. Turnaround is one week.
Query Package: Ready to query? I’ll line edit the query, synopsis, and first 10,000 words (about 25 pages) for $95. This includes a Developmental Analysis.
All of these services can be performed a la carte, should you need only part of your manuscript reviewed or a hybrid of multiple services. Services are prepaid via PayPal. Deposits of 10% may be required to claim a time slot. All payments and deposits are FULLY REFUNDABLE up until the paid work is completed–no questions asked.
Developmental Analysis: You will receive a Developmental Analysis on the work, but no direct comments or changes to the work itself. A Developmental Analysis covers any noticeable issues with the work, from plot structure to character development to “show versus tell,” all the way down to any obvious grammar problems. I leave no stone unturned, and my overviews often come back with over 30 pages of feedback, which includes both explanations of the issues found, and options for fixing them. This service includes a paragraph or less of overall comments on each chapter. An hour’s time of consultation–whether over various emails or a single chat–is included with ALL developmental analyses. This service is recommended for less-polished drafts, for first-time authors, or for writers who have never had a significant critique partner before. If you aren’t sure where you stand, a developmental analysis is always a good choice. This service is $0.004 per word (about $4 per 1000 words).
Deluxe Developmental Analysis (Recommended): You will receive a Developmental Analysis, plus the following additional services: tracked cuts, end-of-chapter comments, and inline developmental comments. This service does not include direct changes to the text (aside from some cuts), but will post a note for developmental problems that can include plot holes, reader responses, and general confusion, allowing for a more focused revision. This is recommended for: polished drafts that have seen beta feedback on the same level as the author; as a budget version of a line edit; or for books that are too long and need a focus on cutting word count. This service is $0.006 per word (about $6 per 1000 words).
Line Edit: This includes direct line edits (in the form of tracked changes and comments). This means different things depending on the state of the manuscript and the writing style of the author, but it can include any of the following: direct rearrangement of text, suggested inputs for transitions and character actions, line-by-line notes and feedback, suggested changes for flow and other writing elements, developmental commentary, unrealistic dialogue, and so on. This service is not for the faint of heart. It is recommended for manuscripts intended for indie or self-publishing, or for the first few chapters of a manuscript considered ready for querying. The cost is $0.009 per word (about $9 per 1000 words). Please note that this service no longer includes a Developmental Analysis, though it will still include developmental commentary within the text. Instead, the service now comes with a brief Habit Analysis of technical writing habits and tips for you to apply to future prose. The reason for this change is that you should not be seeking a line edit on a piece to which you are willing to make sweeping structural changes. (To explain, imagine paying $X for a line edit on pages you will ultimately cut, rendering that $X moot.) However, you can add a Developmental Analysis to this service for $55 if you are so inclined.
Doubt Package: Not sure what service you want? I recommend a 20,000-word submission, with the following: your first 5,000 words line edited, followed by the next 5,000 words as a Deluxe, and the remaining 10,000 words returned with the Developmental Analysis (Basic) only. (The Developmental Analysis will cover the entire submission, including the line edit portion.) Upon receipt, you can decide which service you might like to progress with, if at all. The full cost is $115 for this package, plus an optional and refundable $25 to reserve a time slot for the full manuscript afterward. Because all my prices are a la carte, you can replace any amount of words with any of the above services, given a price adjustment. Just ask.
“Ultimate Package”: My prices are a la carte and dependent on word count. However, my suggested all-in-one option is to purchase the following: for the first draft you send me, I’d recommend a Line Edit on your first 4000 words and a Developmental Analysis on the rest of the book. Then, on draft two, I would recommend a Line Edit on your first 10,000 words, and a Deluxe Analysis on the remainder.
Free Upgrades: If I am reading your book and am unable to provide useful feedback at a given service level, I will often upgrade my critique to the next level at no cost. Ultimately, I work to make the same amount per hour on all manuscripts. So if you hire me for a Basic Analysis, but your work is too perfect to need only an overview, I may upgrade to a Deluxe or even to a partial line edit at no cost. While I do provide this on occasion, please note that it is rare.
Services are prepaid via PayPal. All services are FULLY REFUNDABLE up until the paid work is completed–no questions asked.
Query Package: Ready to query? I’ll line edit the query, synopsis, and first 10,000 words (about 25 pages) for $99. This includes a habit analysis and/or some developmental commentary. This package comes with a $6 discount based on a la carte pricing.
Ghostwriting/Ghostrevision: I charge $30 per hour. Hour count will vary on each project, but will hover around $1 per 1000 words for ghostrevision, or $2 per 1000 words for ghostwriting. I work only in erotica or in science fiction and fantasy (MG, YA, and Adult). Please contact me for more information.
Consultations: I charge $20 per hour for consultations after working on a project, and $30 per hour if I’m unfamiliar with the project. This includes outline consultations, query planning, and so on. However, all my services come with free discussion over email after receipt of your materials. (All my services come with up to one hour of time, which can be scheduled in a chat if you prefer that over email. You can always ask for clarification on something without it being added to your time. If contact continues beyond the one-hour point, I charge $20 per scheduled hour. I rarely have to charge for this with my novel services, so you’ll be fine as long as you’re not the extremely talkative type.) Please note that I do not currently offer discussion by phone for various reasons.
Query, synopsis, short story, and pitch critiques will usually have a single week turnaround. For all other services, turnaround time varies depending on project size and my workload, but I am currently working to consistently provide one month turnaround or less. I do offer rush fees dependent on my current schedule. If you have a specific time in mind, please mention it when you contact me to discuss your project! (And on the question of reliability, since opening my business I have missed three deadlines. Two were free to the client and only a few days late, and the third had my client’s approval; it happened because of an illness.)
Ready to Start?
Please reach out via email at micaskole |at| gmail |dot| com to discuss your project or ask questions. I accept pre-payment only via PayPal, but I can try to work around other methods.
These are listed in order of occurrence, give or take.
♥ Congratulations to @DMombauer! ♥
After a short story line edit, his story was published in an anthology!
♥ Congratulations to @Willie_Handler! ♥
After a full-MS line edit, his book got a contract with Kyanite Publishing!
♥ Congratulations to @hofsetzdotcom! ♥
After a full-MS line edit, his book got a contract with The Wild Rose Press!
♥ Congratulations to @KayAyDowling! ♥
After a first 50-page edit, her book got an offer of representation from an agent!
♥ Congratulations to Stephen B. King | @StephenBKing1! ♥
After a full-MS line edit, he signed a TRILOGY deal with The Wild Rose Press… with competing offers!
After a first chapter revision, his book THIRTY-THREE DAYS signed with The Wild Rose Press! It’s now nominated for the 2019 RONE award!
♥ Congratulations to @janicefosse! ♥
After a full novel edit, her book got an offer of representation from an agent!
♥ Congratulations to @DaveWickenden! ♥
After a full novel edit, his book HOMEGROWN got signed and published with Crave Press! Out now!
♥ Congratulations to @KarenYBynum! ♥
After a query critique, she got accepted into Sun Vs. Snow 2018 and got 5 full requests and 2 partials!
♥ Congratulations to @AmyKitcher! ♥
After a first chapter edit, her book got a full manuscript request from an agent!
♥ Congratulations to @christopheresl2! ♥
After a query pass, his book got a full manuscript request from an agent!
I wanted to tell you my heart is full and your support and SPOT ON critique was honestly the best constructive feedback I’ve ever, ever, ever had. You pointed out glitches in my writing style that I’ve had my whole life in all my work that I never realized and I actually feel like a better writer for seeing those pitfalls now. Thank you, so much, from the bottom of my heart.
[My publisher] commented that [the book Mica line edited] was the cleanest manuscript they’ve ever received.
Professional, reliable, and incredibly low-priced: Mica’s editing cannot be overestimated. With clear communication and an impeccable sense for language, she helped me to push my stories over the edge and turn them from readable into great! If you want your stories to really live up to their maximum potential, go to her!
I have had 3 other editors work on this before [Mica], but none of them did for my manuscript what [she] did. I am very, very grateful.
[Mica] gave detailed feedback, very clear, concise, and carefully structured, which covered everything from the flow of the plot down to repeated grammatical mistakes. She balanced praise with criticism fairly but didn’t hold back when identifying issues with the story. I really value her honest and incisive opinion.
Shout out to @micascotti for doing a Developmental Beta Read for me, and helping me get “unstuck”!
I want you to hit me as hard as you can. That’s what you’re saying when you engage an editor, and Mica doesn’t flinch. The notes I got were direct and unhampered by platitudes, but far from cutting me off at the knees… she supported her notes with suggestions and truly CONSTRUCTIVE criticism…
…What [Mica] gave me left me with a clear understanding of what I needed to do to make my writing better and make it more appealing to agents and publishers. You want your work to be the best that it can be, and so does Mica. I can say without hesitation that I have found my editor, and it’s Mica Kole.
Ms. Kole’s analysis of my work was spot on. She pointed out some things that hadn’t even occurred to me after several rounds of edits! Her keen eye undoubtedly helped me to improve my work.
The critiques Mica provides contain valuable insights both detailed and thorough… Mica brings tireless effort and passion to everything she touches. The quality and maturity of my work skyrocketed because of her caring guidance and patience, for which she has my gratitude.
Too many editors feel uncomfortable giving honest and much-needed critique. Mica cuts through that facade of unfamiliarity, breaking your work down meticulously while taking great care to remember how to put the pieces back together…
… With her guidance, you’ll chop out the inane and the unnecessary from your narrative, streamlining it in ways that you didn’t think possible. At its heart, her approach forces you to confront and remember why you originally started writing in the first place: to tell great stories.
Mica is the third editor I’ve tried and clearly the best. I would recommend her without reservation.
She took a flat manuscript and breathed life into it.
Don’t be fooled by the low price. She does not provide low quality. I received an edited copy of my manuscript with detailed comments embedded in the document. In addition, she sent me a lengthy analysis covering plot structure, scene structure and prose analysis. It took me weeks to work through everything. And that’s not all. I sent her many emails with questions and she responded to them all.
She claims to be blunt with her critiquing. It’s true. She may not be for everyone. But she is professional, constructive and respectful. She will make you a better writer and give you a shot at getting your work published.
Mica’s insights electrified my writing. She picked up on so many things I didn’t realize I was doing, and gave helpful suggestions to improve not only some dodgy plot points I’d tried to coast by with, but also pointed out lazy writing habits so ingrained in my subconscious I’d stopped noticing them as bad after multiple rewrites.
She is kind without the sugary coating, so when she says something is good you know she really means it! Her criticism is always helpful, even when it’s hard to swallow, and following her suggestions has made my writing so much livelier and engaging that it was worth setting aside my ego and allowing myself to grow.
You won’t get a halfhearted beta read with Mica. She digs in deep and gives her full attention to your work, with the kind of attention to detail you would expect from a big-ticket editor. Whatever she’s charging, she should double it.
- Publications and accolades
- Writers of the Future Winner (See my acceptance speech here.)
- Includes attendance at the exclusive workshop, where I learned directly from such greats as Orson Scott Card.
- Includes publication in Volume 35, which was a bestseller in four Amazon categories.
- Second Place: Sapiens Plurum Short Fiction Contest 2018
- Second Place: True North Short Story Contest 2018
- Publication in the Resurrection Trust anthology by Retreat West Press
- Writers of the Future Winner (See my acceptance speech here.)
- Internship with Speilburg Literary Agency
- Query slush reader
- Blogger for the agency
- Manuscript reporting
- Bachelor’s degree (with honors) in the English Language from Michigan State University
- Concentration in Creative Writing
- Judge for SweekStars in their short story division 2018-2019
- Owner of the @writevent Twitter account (24k+ curated author/reader followers)
- Minor publications and accolades
- Winner: Reedsy Short Story Contest
- x2 First Place: Life of Writers Short Story Contest
- Second Place: Life of Writers Short Story Contest
- Honorable Mention: Speculative Literature Foundation’s 2017 Working Class Writer’s Grant
- Top 25: Ecostory Green Stories Contest 2018
- Shortlisted: James White Award 2019 (Longlisted in 2018)
- Invited to present at the Utah League of Writers Conference
- Seven full personal manuscript requests from agents
- Finalist in Pitch Madness 2017
- Procedural writing for Underground Printing
- Best Writing Website awards from:
- The Write Life
How It Works
Editing services are charged ahead of time on a per-word-count basis (or per-pass, for queries/synopses). You choose how many words or query passes you would like, you pay for that amount, and I edit up to that amount within the time frame I quote you (and I like to think I’m quick). These words can be anywhere in the book, provided they are (mostly) consecutive.
To claim a time slot in my queue, I need a 10% refundable down payment (rounded up to the next $5 mark with a minimum of $10) to reserve your space. Your full payment and your document will need to get to me within two weeks of your due-back date to ensure that date. I will always refund for unfinished work, including down payments, no questions asked. Simply let me know.
How I Measure Up (Price-Wise)
Nowadays, you could end up paying well over $2,000 for a full-book edit. That’s not the case with me. So what’s the catch?
For one, I believe that having a limited budget shouldn’t mean you can’t become a better writer. It’s the whole reason I started my Free Online Writing Events Calendar, and that philosophy carries over into my editing. Though I am hoping to one day work my way up to charging guideline rates (thus gaining me acceptance into #RevPit and other events, as a mentor), I’m hoping to always have a budget option for those willing to invest what they can to improve. I grew up eating ramen; I know how it is.
However, given my skill set and accolades, the price is right.
I’m happy to critique queries, novels, and stories in most genres or age categories, but I have the most experience with speculative fiction (fantasy, science fiction, etc.) in the YA and Adult genres. I am open to erotica, LGBT+, 420, and most other touchy subjects, as long as they are not an attack on someone else. I am not qualified to edit straight nonfiction (creative nonfiction, such as memoir, is fine), Westerns, screenplays, or picture books. This limitation includes queries.
How I Edit
Queries. I saw hundreds of queries during my agency internship, and I know what makes them stink. I can take your rough or uncertain query and pit it against publishing norms. I edit queries for clarity, interest, brevity, and construction. And I’ve been accredited for good query work by @TheBookDoctors, so I know what I’m doing.
Pages. I do it as it comes: plot, voice, spelling, grammar, setting, the works (with an especially careful focus on the first pages of a book). However, if your pages have glaring problems, I may hone in on those and be a bit more loose with the rest. After all, the bigger the change, the less likely that all of your text will remain (whenever you end up deleting a line, any comments on it are negated). I hope to strike a balance: to give you enough to crank out a stellar revision, but not so much as to be overwhelming or ultimately useless.
Developmental. When you purchase a developmental service from me, it includes the ability to write me “after the edit” and bounce ideas off me. I become your CP. Whatever isn’t working, I’m there to conversationally consider ways to work out your issues. It comes with the territory, and is totally indefinite – although the longer you ask me questions, the longer responses might take. Just FYI. I’m not a god.
Synopses. I look for adherence to norms, word count, cutting opportunities, clarity, agency, and emotional arc. In general I want to help you formulate a clear, interesting, and character-driven summary of your work that fits within an acceptable word count. See this post by Susan Dennard for my favorite take on writing synopses.
Ready to Start?
Please reach out at micaskole |at| gmail |dot| com to discuss your project!