Frequently Asked Questions

Have questions? Well, of course you do. Here are some commonly asked ones. If your question is still unanswered, please send an email to

Do you work with self-publishing writers?

Yes! We’re big proponents of self-publishing and we’ve worked with many self-published authors who hold themselves to a high standard.

If you intend to self-publish, let us know in advance. For self-publishing authors, editors won’t address the commercial viability of your work. You don’t need to shape your manuscript for eventual representation.

Instead, you and your editor can frame the edit in a more liberal way. You have the freedom to realize your vision without any consideration of what agents and publishers are looking for.

A professionally edited self-published book is bound to make an impression. For more advice on self-publishing, check out our Hugh Howey and Polly Courtney interviews. Both authors have terrific advice for self-publishing authors.

What are your average quotes?

Quotes depend on two factors:

– The type of edit you need
– The length of your manuscript.

When you sign up, we learn about your manuscript and provide you with a proposal. Find your quote here.

All of our editors have worked in the traditional publishing industry for at least four years and have a high profile booklist.

Working with a top-tier editor is one of the best investments you can make as a writer.

Will you refer me to a literary agent?

Referrals to agents are entirely discretionary. If your editor feels strongly about the final draft of your manuscript, he or she may make the decision to refer you to agents. In this case, NYBE may also make a referral to some agents in our network.

Please do not assume this is part of our editing service. Our focus is entirely on helping you make your book as strong as possible. Your editor has acquired countless manuscripts—she knows what agents are looking for, how saleable books read, and how to get you closer to that stage.

Do you work with every author or is there a selection process?

We only work with authors who are ready to engage an editor. In the earliest stages of a writer’s development, they don’t derive as much value from working with a professional editor.

Instead, these authors can benefit from general advice that’s found in books on writing, combined with the practice of continuing to write and read extensively. Whenever possible, we recommend a list of books to these authors in their genre to help them progress on their own.

Only authors who have spent a lot of time honing their craft are in a position to get the most value from the highly specific advice of a professional.

Will you help me publish my book?

We don’t publish books. We’ve chosen to focus on editing because we believe it’s better to specialize in one service and do it extremely well than tackle many services.

Once you have the final manuscript, we’ll be happy to offer as much advice as we can on publishing or self-publishing, but our services don’t extend to that area.

Will you fix my grammar?

Editing always begins with a developmental editor whose title at a publishing house is Associate Editor, Editor, or Senior Editor. They help you with changes such as improving plot development, character development, refocusing the underlying premise of your work, and strengthening your narrative voice.

An editor’s goal is to make your story more engaging. Editors may correct spelling and grammar here and there, but that’s not their role. It’s the job of a copyeditor to fix your grammar, and he steps in at the final stages of the editing process.

If your goal is to publish traditionally, you probably won’t need a copyedit. Our Developmental Edit will prepare your manuscript for agent queries. Once you have a publisher, the publisher is responsible for doing a copyedit.

On the other hand, if you’re self-publishing, and you want to hold yourself to the same standards as publishers, you need a copyedit.

Unlike an edit, a copyedit does not alter the content. A copyeditor focuses solely on spelling, punctuation, grammar, terminology, jargon, semantics, inappropriate figures of speech, consistency in spelling, hyphenation, numerals, fonts, and capitalization, as well as the continuity of plot, setting, and character traits.

At any publishing house, as well as at NY Book Editors, only copyeditors perform copyedits. It’s an entirely different role than an editor’s, and involves its own training and experience. We engage experienced copyeditors to help you with the grammar. It is a separate service from an edit, and we only offer it to manuscripts that are ready.

Learn more about our copyediting service.

Could I contact one of your previous authors for a reference?

Of course! Please ask us to put you in touch with one of our authors by emailing

How much contact will I have with my editor?

It’s essential that you have a good rapport with your editor. You may choose to schedule a consultation call with your editor as soon as you approve of their profile.

If you schedule an edit, you may also choose follow-up options which reserve time in the editor’s schedule for phone calls, in-person meetings, and/or email correspondence.

In-person meetings must take place in the editor’s city. Most of our editors are based in New York, but some editors are located in other cities. Let us know if you’d prefer to work with someone who’s still in New York.

Can I get a copyedit?

We have meticulous, highly experienced copyeditors on our team for any author who’s ready for a copyedit. However, we’ve found that when the edit isn’t done through NYBE, it can lead to issues on the copyediting side.

There are many freelance editors online, but they’re not all qualified to edit a manuscript. If you’ve worked with an editor who’s not part of the NYBE team, please let us know which publishing houses your editor has worked for and what his or her titles were.

We apologize for this verification process, but we must ensure our copyeditors work on manuscripts that are ready for a copyedit. Otherwise, the result wouldn’t live up to our standards or yours.

This verification process is the only way we can deliver a professional, polished manuscript to you.

You may send your editor’s credentials to, letting us know you’re interested in a copyedit. Please attach the final draft of your manuscript for review.

What is the timeframe for an edit?

Actual timeframes depend on your editor’s schedule, but here’s a sense of our average timeframes:

Manuscript Critique: 5-7 weeks
Comprehensive Edit: 6-12 weeks
Copyedit: 3-5 weeks

If you have a deadline, please let us know when you sign in to your author profile.

What’s the difference between a Manuscript Critique and a Comprehensive Edit?

When your manuscript is at an earlier stage of its development and has structural issues, your editor will recommend a Critique. A Critique consists of an Editorial Memo and, in some cases, margin comments. A Critique does not include a line edit.

When your manuscript has structural issues, a Critique will lead you to revise sections, make cuts, restructure material. At that stage, it doesn’t make sense to get a line edit because some portion of the text will change.

A Comprehensive Edit is a more intensive edit that’s only used when a manuscript is structurally sound. A Comprehensive Edit always includes margin comments, an Editorial Memo, and a line edit.

Read a more detailed explanation of our services.

Can I meet with the editor in person?

Absolutely! Every proposal has a follow-up option that includes in-person meetings in the editor’s city.

Keep in mind that in-person meetings only take place after an edit. At that point, your editor has read your entire manuscript, organized his thoughts, and delivered them to you. You’re both ready to have a long, in-depth, productive conversation.

Before an edit, we schedule phone calls instead, which allow you to get a sense of the editor’s thoughts and determine if you have a good rapport. These consultation calls aren’t as extensive because the editor hasn’t read your entire work yet.

Where is NYBE located?

Our office is at 53rd St. and 11th Ave. in New York, which means NYBE Assistants are on Eastern Standard Time. Our editors work remotely from their own home offices all around the U.S. All of our editors previously worked for publishers in New York, but some of them moved when they became freelancers.

If you prefer to work with an editor who’s still based in New York, please let us know when you sign up.

If you’re an overseas author, don’t give your location a second thought. We work with authors all over the world through email correspondence and phone calls. All you need is the internet!

What’s your editing process?

Glad you asked! Please read a detailed review of our process here. If you have any questions afterwards, send us an email at

What's your privacy policy?

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