Start with a Critique
A critique does not mean criticism! The idea is to find someone you trust -- with experience in writing, teaching, editing, and publishing -- to read your work for a reasonable fee and provide you with an honest but kind assessment of strengths and weaknesses with practical suggestions for both. You could find a book editor for hire or someone to proofread your writing for you to help ensure that your final product, at the end of the writing process, is of a high standard.
Each need and project differs, so it's important to ask, "What do I hope to get out of a critique?" For example, if you want someone to pat you on the back, a loved one can do that for free!
To improve your writing, a professional critique will help you to see how. Then, you can use that same information as you write, revise, and work on future projects.
There's a $25 minimum for a critique of 5 or 6 double-spaced pages of poems, devotionals, or a children's picture book text, but the fee will not exceed $5 per double-spaced page. For more information, see "Get Editorial Help" in the right-hand column of this page, or Contact Mary.
Study, Read, Practice
To learn more about your chosen genre, study it!
Read classical and contemporary works.
Notice what's effective and what does not work.
Practice what you learn.
Then read your work aloud, noticing any rough spots, and revise as needed.
In addition to those helps, you will find her e-books for poets and writers (and her other books in all genres) on Amazon.
Be sure to check the "Resources" on this website too.
Get Editorial Help
After you've studied and practiced your craft....
After you've done your research....
After you've given thought to your manuscript....
After you've finished your revisions and/or received feedback in a critique and have improved your work as much as you can....
Then you're ready for an edit!
Why wait? An editor cannot edit an unfinished manuscript. An editor cannot write or research or revise for you. However, an editor can check your manuscript for accuracy in grammar and punctuation. An editor can spot mistakes or problems before you self-publish, so you can make your work as flawless, focused, and reader-friendly as possible.
Contact Mary with a brief description of your work, its length, and your publishing plans to get the current fee. The more time needed to edit your work, the higher the cost, but you can expect no more than $5 per double-spaced page.