ECM Creative Ltd, the company that owns the rights to BLACKWING, RAVENCRY and CROWFALL, is now offering manuscript structural editing services to fantasy writers.
Details on how to get in touch are given at the bottom of the page. Please read the contents of the page carefully before requesting a manuscript critique.
What types of editing are available?
- Package 1: Cover letter and synopsis review
- Package 2: Cover letter, synopsis and first 30 pages critique
- Package 3: Full manuscript structural edit
Examples are provided at the bottom of the page.
All manuscripts must be in English.
Cover Letter, Synopsis & First 30 pages
Agents typically ask for these three things. These packages are intended to bring your letter, synopsis and the all important first fifty pages to the requisite standard.
Having spoken to agents at Rogers, Coleridge & White and Sheil Land & Associates, along with Gollancz editor Gillian Redfearn, they have all advised that the first 30 pages are what count for them. If they love the first 30 pages then they’ll be calling for the rest of the manuscript. Therefore I feel your money is best spent the time getting those pages in absolutely the best condition possible.
The manuscript should be 1.5 or double line spaced, and either 30 pages or no more than 12,000 words in total, whichever is fewer.
If you are interested in these packages, please indicate whether you are pitching to UK or US agents. If you are pitching to a specific agent only then please indicate who.
What is a Structural Edit?
A structural edit deals with characters, plot, pacing, narrative voice and other storytelling elements. ECM Creative Ltd does not conduct full line edits (changing individual lines, sentence structure etc.) except on the first fifty pages in package 1 and 2, and does not offer a copy edit service (finding missing punctuation, correcting incorrectly spelled words etc.) although the editor may make alterations on the manuscript anyway. A structural edit deals with the story elements only. If you are looking for someone to check spelling, grammar and so on then this is not the service for you.
For a structural edit you will receive several thousand words of notes from a traditionally published author, who will be advising on aspects such as characterisation, pace, key themes, atmosphere and so on.
This is a service intended for those who are keen to traditionally publish or self publish, and are looking for professional quality developmental feedback on story issues.
Work that will be accepted for Package 1 and 2:
- Adult or YA speculative fiction of any kind
Manuscripts that will be accepted for Package 3:
- Secondary world fantasy
- Post apocalyptic with fantasy elements
A submitted manuscript must fit into one of the above genres. YA or adult fiction only, no middle grade or children’s books can be accepted.
FAQ: Why won’t you read urban fantasy/sci-fi/horror/anything else?
The skillset of the editorial team positions ECM Creative Ltd to offer a professional, first rate service within the genres listed above.
Manuscripts will not be read if they feature:
- Graphic sexual violence
- Material of an obscene nature
- Graphic scenes of excessive and prolonged torture or cruelty
In the event that a submitted manuscript features any of the above, or anything that would cause it to be deemed ‘an obscene publication’ the editorial team will cease reading the material and return the manuscript, annotated to the point at which the obscene material appears. In the event that this occurs, no refund will be given.
Heads getting cut apart with an axe in a battle is totally fine. Torture porn is not. Mild references are fine. Three chapters of someone getting slowly put through a mincing machine are not. The editorial team has a fairly strong stomach, and will endeavour to read everything that is sent, but use your judgement.
FAQ: Will your feedback be supportive?
It will be practical. It will be useful. It will be aimed at making your book as publishable and readable as possible. It will always be phrased kindly, but if the editorial team thinks telling you to cut the first 15,000 words is the best thing for your book then they will. If they have to tell you that the plot makes no sense, they will.
|Manuscript Length||Price (inclusive of V.A.T.)|
|Cover letter and synopsis only||£75|
|Cover letter, synopsis and first thirty pages||£150|
|Manuscript up to 60,000 words (full manuscript)||£400|
|Manuscripts longer than 60,000 words||£410 base rate + £5 for every 1,000 words thereafter|
Returning clients will be offered a 10% reduction in fees for the same manuscript, submitted within 1 calendar year.
For non-UK customers, please check with your bank regarding international payment charges.
FAQ: I don’t have much money, are prices negotiable?
They are not.
This will be discussed on a case by case basis, depending on the work load and time limitations on the editorial team. Before submitting you will be given an estimate of the time scale.
- For cover letter and synopsis only, this will typically be turned around in 1-3 days.
- For cover letter, synopsis and fifty pages, around one week.
- A typical manuscript turnaround time for a 60,000 to 100,000 word manuscript would typically be 14 days.
Payment must be made in advance of the review, via bank transfer to ECM Creative Ltd. The registered company details can be found here:
FAQ: Can I ask for a sample of editing before I pay?
This is not something that the company is able to offer.
Areas of Focus
If there are particular aspects of a manuscript that you are interested in hearing about, then please let us know and we will do our best to provide as much insight into those aspects as possible, alongside the general review.
That sounds great, how do I begin the process?
Send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org outlining what you are looking for, and you will be contacted as soon as we are able to.