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. I not only address the grammar, structure, and story of your book, but 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. 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!
Please note that prices have changed as of June 4th, 2018. See new pricing below. Don’t worry – it’s still very competitive! Let’s be frank here: you care about the price before anything else. My prices are below and they are mostly a la carte, so you can mix and match as needed:
Query Critiques: $5 per pass. Turnaround is generally one week.
Synopsis Critiques: $6 per pass up to 600 words (add $1 per 100 words after that). Turnaround is generally one week.
Line Editing with Developmental Overview: $12 per 2000 words (minimum 2,000 words). Includes inline comments/tracked changes, occasional copyediting (grammar, spelling, etc), and includes developmental overview (there is no longer a fee to add this). Recommended for excerpts/short stories, first chapters, and for polished manuscripts.
Developmental Beta Reads: $5 per 2000 words (minimum 10,000 words). Includes a developmental analysis but no inline comments or tracked changes. You may add an additional $1 per 2000 words for the Stream Comments Package (which will give general comments on each chapter as I read through) or the Cut Read Package (which will add tracked cuts to the document and offer by-chapter suggestions on shortening the manuscript). Recommended for less-polished drafts or for writers who have never had a significant critique partner before.
When-in-Doubt Package: Not sure what service you want? I recommend your first 10,000 words be line edited ($60) followed by the next 10,000 words with a beta read ($25). This includes a developmental overview. Upon receipt, you can decide which service you might like to progress with, if at all. The full cost is $85 for this package.
Query Package: Ready to query? I’ll line edit the query, synopsis (any length), and first 10,000 words (about 25 pages) for $70. This includes a developmental analysis.
Copyediting: Includes direct spelling, grammar, punctuation, and other mechanical changes. $0.01 per word. The document will be returned in manuscript format.
Pitch Critiques. I charge $2.50 per pass to critique Twitter pitches. You can order as many as you like for the big day!
After-Edit Workshopping: Free! After you get your edits back, I will happily answer your questions or give my thoughts on changes you are considering via email (within reason). However, please note that I do not currently offer discussion by phone for various reasons.
Ghostwriting/Ghostrevision: Please contact. Any genre is fine, erotica included.
Other: Please contact me with any further inquiries. I’m flexible 🙂
Please note: A developmental analysis is a summary of all comments and comes with all line editing and beta read packages. However, be aware that I may not be able to create one of these without at least 10,000 words to work with. Either way you will receive an overview, it just may not be as large in smaller partials.
Query, synopsis, 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 offer competitive speeds. If you have a specific time in mind, please mention it when you contact me to discuss your project! I do offer a rush fee of 5% per expedited week, but whether or not I can do it depends on my current schedule. (And on the question of reliability, since opening my business I have only missed a deadline once. It was a query and I missed by two days… and the client got it for free! In short, you can rely on me to get back to you when I say I will.)
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. Please be aware that I round up for word count pricing.
♥ 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, another of his books got a publisher too!
♥ 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 Publishing! 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 revision, 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 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.
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.
Why So Inexpensive?
Nowadays, you could end up paying well over $2,000 for a full-book edit, whereas an 80,000-word novel on my system would cost $480 (or $200 for a basic beta read). 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 carried over into my editing. Furthermore, I’m still a fairly new editor as of March 2017, so my pricing reflects that. However, I’ve already seen client success, and have raised my prices twice since opening. One day I might be charging more, so get the prices while they’re hot!
- Published author (won second place in the True North Short Story Contest)
- 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
- First place in the Life of Writers short story contest
- Honorable Mention for the Speculative Literature Foundation’s 2017 Working Class Writer’s Grant
- Top 25 in the Ecostory Green Stories Contest
- Judge for SweekStars in their short story division
- Invited to present at the Utah League of Writers Conference
- Seven full personal manuscript requests from solid agents, plus partials
- Owner of the @writevent Twitter account (19k+ curated author/reader followers)
- Made top 70 of 1300 entries in Pitch Madness 2017
- Procedural writing for Underground Printing
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 have seen hundreds of queries, 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 edit 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!