Frequently Asked Questions

All writers, including best-selling authors, need an editor—a professional one—not your sister, friend or one-time English teacher. Professional editors have the training, experience, and skills to evaluate a manuscript in-depth to determine its strengths, and weaknesses. Your editor will explore your manuscript’s problems with you and show you how to correct them, thereby boosting it to a professional level.

When sending your inquiry to you may hear from one, two, or all three BDG editors. We will request information about your manuscript, writing background and needs to help us determine if we make a good fit. You may also find it helpful to review the editors’ bios for insight about areas of specialty. Feel free to email any of the editors directly for more information at any time.

Besides prestige, traditional publishing has a number of advantages, including being available for book reviews. Bookstores carry these titles (though seldom more than two copies), and the publishing house, not the author, pays the production costs plus a (generally small) advance.

Disadvantages include that major houses require agent representation and that can take many months to get—if you manage to get an agent at all. Should you score a publishing house contract, it will be eighteen months or so before your book is a reality. Also, contrary to what many writers assume, traditional publishers now look to authors to shoulder a major part of the marketing load.

Self-publishing has a number of advantages. First, quite simply, is that your book will become a reality. In addition, the process is much faster, as a rule taking approximately four months to complete. There are many paths to self-publishing, including low- or no-cost ones that produce low-quality books, but you might also select another path: one-on-one personalized self-publishing that produces a professionally competitive book. This process includes copy editing, cover and interior design, and quality printing with distribution of both the print and e-book through online distributors (e.g. Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, kobo, et al).

Disadvantages are that bookstores will not carry your book, although customers may order it from a bookstore, and authors bear the cost of self-publishing production. For more information about self-publishing your book, go to Self-Publishing Your Book? Avoid These Traps. As BDG editors we can guide authors through both the traditional publishing search and personalized self-publishing; in addition, we advise on authors’ marketing needs.

Your editor will let you know her preference for a first read. If hard copy is in order, print it using Times Roman 12-point type, double-spaced and with unjustified margins. Print on one side only and number pages consecutively, rather than by chapters. Do not bind the manuscript in any way other than, perhaps, with an elastic band.

Authors are sometimes surprised by the expense of a project, but high-quality editing takes time—indeed, a lot of it. Stinting on time to cut corners would be a disservice to the author and the manuscript. BDG editors determine fees based on the complexity of a project and an estimate of the amount of time editing will take. Your editor will discuss the fees in your preliminary conversation.

BDG editors accept all genres, fiction and non-fiction, other than the following: poetry, most children’s, romance and erotica.