Whether you want strategic mentoring through the writing process, guidance and hands-on (or hands-off) help with building an author platform, a strong fast start in marketing your book, practical wisdom for self-publishing, or learning how to find an agent and draw the interest of a formal publisher, we can help you.
Our goal is to help you think and act, to live and work, like a successful author. Sometimes, all you need is assistance with some practical aspects of the challenges listed above. Sometimes you need author-specific career coaching—or life-coaching!—to shepherd your time, space, emotions, and physical & mental energies.
Either way, the first step is to schedule a free initial consultation with us to describe your struggles and we will craft a customized coaching plan or editorial proposal for you, a wise path that will take you from where you are now to where you want to go.
Once you have that plan to publish wisely, it's up to you whether you hire us to help you achieve it. Sometimes a practical plan is all you need, and we give you that for free!
If one of our colleagues or competitors would do a better job of meeting your needs, we will gladly refer you to them. If we think a certain book or webinar is all you need, we will recommend that. And if your needs rest squarely in our strengths, we will tell you that too!
If you choose to hire us to help you carry out your plan, you sign a Letter of Agreement and pay a 20% deposit-and-retainer (if we've given you an estimated total cost) or you can purchase pre-paid blocks of time at a discount right here on our website. We'll get started right away.
Again, if you decide to pursue our plan on your own, that's fine too! If you ever get stuck, you know who to call.
Focus on your craft. Write well, and publish wisely!
As it happens, we have a couple of writers' groups that could help you do those things...
PRESS Writers Group
Need some accountability to focus your full, fierce attention on that post, poem, article, manuscript, or screenplay you need to write? Join us for a writing sprint (or a study sprint, or a brainstorming sprint, whatever you need it to be) through one of our PRESS writers' groups! Let us help you press toward your goals, gain a new awareness of your personal productivity patterns, and discover productivity hacks that work for you. We will work and PRESS together! Click here for more information, or just sign up and barge right in.
*NOTE: as long as "Safer At Home" restrictions keep us from meeting in person, our online PRESS meetings will be 100% FREE. So far, this means for the month of March, April, May, and now June of 2020, there will be no cost for PRESS, and those who join PRESS during this time will receive a 20% discount off the membership fee when we do begin charging it again!
Normally, membership in PRESS costs $60 per month. Join now, during the Covid-19 "Safer At Home" quarantine, and once quarantine is over, you'll pay only $42 per month for as long as you maintain your membership. To receive free access to the PRESS writers group, you can sign up for the free SLAKE group below.
SLAKE Writers Group
While PRESS focuses on productivity, on pressing words out of your head and onto the page (screen, document, whatever), SLAKE focuses on writing craft (and, to some extent, the business of writing), on quality, not quantity. At a SLAKE meeting we critique each writer's work in turn, and discuss various issues that come up. We also enjoy a bit of tea and snacks together, and might occasionally read aloud an excerpt too (but don't count on it). Unlike its more vigorous cousin PRESS, SLAKE has always been—and will always be— free. It will cost you nothing but your pride, your anonymity, your loneliness, and the time and diligence required to prepare a submission every month. SLAKE usually meets on the last Sunday of the month, for several hours, at the Wordsmith office (or on Zoom, if the office is shuttered). Click here for more information, or just sign up and send us your first submission.
This focuses on a specific piece of writing, and not on the author's habits, platform, or publication strategies. You can simply ask us to do a brief straightforward job for you, or retain a Wordsmith Associate as your editor over a longer term.
We provide every kind of editing:
An overall critique and section-by-section feedback concerning voice, mood, style, structure, story logic, characterization, rhetorical impact, etc. Focuses on the coherence and strength of the whole. You’ll see more comments than corrections.
Focuses on paragraphs, sentences, and word choice, to refine style, grammar, syntax, and genre conventions. You’ll see lots of corrections but plenty of comments too, especially in the form of clarification questions and requests for specific revisions.
Focuses on punctuation, spacing, formatting, and combing out every last error. No margin comments unless absolutely necessary to clarify something.
Traditional publishers, KDP, Smashwords, letterpresses, and custom offset book printers all require different document formats in order to accept your work for publication or printing. We can do this for you too.
How do I know how many hours to pay for?
If you're buying a block of hours as a gift for a student, four hours seems to be a good-sized chunk. Ten hours will last a whole quarter or semester, for most students. General-purpose prepaid hours are not refundable, but they are transferable to others, and they do not expire.
If you're pre-paying for a project, schedule a free initial consultation. We'll give you a time estimate, and if you pre-pay for your quoted hours at our 10% discounted rate, we'll apply the same 10% discount to any remaining hours we need to bill you for when the editing is complete. If your project takes less time than quoted, we'll refund you any amount overpaid.