Editing Checklists

Download the checklists our book coaches will use to evaluate your work.

Weekly Book Coaching

+ What is the difference between the Advanced and Pro levels?

The Pro level of book coaching allows you to work more closely with your book coach than the Advanced level does. You can choose to submit up to 20 pages a week (double that of the Advanced level), more in-depth feedback from your book coach, or more frequent communication with your book coach during the week. No matter what, a stronger commitment to your book will give you a much more polished draft at the end of the program.

+ When do I submit my work?

You'll have a designated day of the week to submit your work. Your day is based on when you signed up for the program — it's usually the day after you sign up. For example, if you sign up for the program on a Monday, your submission day will likely be Tuesday. (The two caveats are if you sign up very late in the day or if you sign up on Thursday-Saturday, your submission day may be held one day or until the following Monday, respectively. Our email system doesn't like to stay up late, and likes to take the weekends off.) You'll receive feedback from your book coach within 72 hours of you hitting the "send" button.

+ Can I send in more pages than my weekly limit (either 10 or 20 pages, depending on your level)?

You have the option of purchasing up to 10 extra pages a week. You can do this on an as-needed basis. The purchase button appears in your submission-day calendar invitation.

If you don't purchase extra pages, however, you should stick to 10- or 20-page limit. We know that's tricky because you want to send completed chapters and it would be silly to have them all be exactly 10 or 20 pages, but we can get a really good sense for where the chapter's going even if we don't see the whole thing. So if you have a chapter that's longer than the page limit, send your book coach the 10 or 20 pages you really want them to look at. If you have a couple of chapters that are shorter, send them a mix of the two (or more!) that add up to the page limit. Any huge issues probably won't be lurking in the few pages they may not see.

If you want to write at a faster clip consistently, you can sign up for the Pro level of book coaching. If you're already in the coaching program, email accelerate@authoraccelerator.com to upgrade.

If you want to submit fewer than the page limit on any given week, that's just fine. Some weeks are like that — and we applaud forward momentum of any kind! The price remains the same for any amount of pages fewer than the limit.

+ Why only 10 pages?

If a reader isn't immediately grabbed by the story (the real story, the whole story) in the first 10 pages, they're never going to get to page 50. You can't hook your reader by what happens in Chapter 12 or 25 or 37. You have to hook them from the start and at every point throughout. One of the things an editor looks for is that engagement with your audience.

Some insider info: An agent will usually read less than FIVE pages before making a decision. You have to hook them fast!

The weekly book coaching is designed to be an affordable way for writers who feel fairly strong about their book structure to get chapter-by-chapter feedback, either as they are writing an initial draft or working on a revision. We can do a lot of good work going 10 pages at a time. Sometimes that work involves ripping things apart and putting them back together — which can be a frustrating process to be sure. But again, it has proved very useful for writers who have never had the experience of working with a professional editor.

If you're thinking that you would like an editor to read your entire manuscript from start to finish and provide insight on the overall story before you dig in to fixing it, [click here][0] for more information.

+ Can I submit any time on my submission day?

Yes! The day's not over until 11:59 p.m. PT, and neither are we. Just know that the timer on the 72-hour window for receiving your feedback starts when you submit.

+ Can I submit early?

We'll counter this with a question of our own: Don't you want as much time as possible to work on your exercises and polish your pages? Just because you're working on a "rough" draft doesn't mean you should speed through anything, so the short answer is no.

Take advantage of the full seven days, and remember that each of our editors is working with several writers at a time. They have a block of time set aside for you every week, but if you submit on a day that isn't your submission day, they might not be able to respond within that 72-hour window. And we hate to keep you waiting!

If your submission day conflicts with your real life, talk with your editor about choosing a different day of the week that fits both of your schedules. We're usually pretty flexible!

+ What if I miss a weekly deadline?

Never fear – life happens! If you ever think you'll be late submitting your work, just email your editor letting them know they shouldn't expect your submission at the normal time. If you think you just need a few hours to get it done, ask them if they can accommodate you submitting it up to a day late. Any later than that, though, and we enter no man's land where submissions are lost and editors start going crazy. So if that's the case, just hold your work until your next submission day.

Also, realize that accountability is a big part of the value of the program. If you miss a submission deadline, you can expect an email from the editor asking for your pages. With the Accelerator, you have to hit your deadlines (just like working with a publisher).

And always remember that the 72-hour window for receiving feedback starts when you hit the "send" button.

+ How do I submit my work?

Email your exercises or pages to your book coach via email, and CC accelerate@authoraccelerator.com.

All submissions should be in a Microsoft Word document, since our coaches give their feedback using Word's Track Changes tool. Have no clue what that is? [Click here for a tutorial][1].

If you're writing in Scrivener, awesome! But please cut and paste your text into a Word document before submitting your pages.

+ What can I expect to receive back from my book coach?

One of our book coaches will look over the pages you submit each week and offer both developmental (big-picture) editing and detailed suggestions right on the page. Edits could be as broad as restructuring a scene or working on dialogue, or as small as clarifying pronoun usage. Your feedback will always be a mixture of both.

Now keep in mind that your book coach won't be making line-by-line comments on your work. That would be overwhelming for both of you, and is more in line with what a one-on-one, private book coach might do. We try each week to pick out the most important elements to focus on, since this isn't an intensive line-editing or proofreading service.

+ How do I respond to my book coach's feedback?

How you respond to your feedback depends — of course — on what your book coach is suggesting. While your book coach should let you know what they expect to see the following week, never hesitate to ask if their expectations are unclear.
Here are a few scenarios you might come across each week:

  1. Your book coach points out several big structural and developmental issues with your pages that need to be solidified before you move forward because they will affect plot developments, character motivations, or issues in the logic of your argument later on.
    WHAT TO DO: Spend the following week revising and solidifying these points. It could take longer than one week, but that's OK! Taking the time to nail down the foundation now will avoid major problems (e.g., plot holes, weak characters, weak arguments, etc.) in the future. Resubmit the revised pages at the end of the week.
  2. Your book coach points out 2-3 developmental issues, but the remainder of their feedback consists of minor, easy-to-fix edits.
    WHAT TO DO: You have some flexibility if the issues your book coach points out won't necessarily impact later parts of your story.
    • You can spend time revising the sections that contain developmental issues and resubmit the full 10 pages, if you'd like to get the section nailed down before moving forward.
    • You can spend time revising the sections that contain developmental issues and submit just the pages that contain those changes. If those pages don't add up to 10, you can submit additional pages with new material, but not past the 10-page limit.
    • If you're itching to keep going, you can save the recommended edits for later and work on and submit new material for the following week. You can then resubmit the revised chapter when you're ready to go back to it.
  3. Your book coach feels your pages are in good shape and suggests mostly minor, easy-to-fix edits.
    WHAT TO DO: Pat yourself on the back! Then spend the following week on the next section you'd like to work on and submit a new set of pages.

+ May I ask questions about my feedback?

You'll have the chance to ask quick clarifying questions via email about any comment or strategy your book coach suggests, so that you can keep moving forward. Note that you'll usually hear from us only during normal business hours, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., though that window may vary since you and your book coach may not be in the same time zone.

+ Can I change my membership level of coaching?

You can switch between the Advanced and Pro levels at any time. Just contact Whitney, our operations assistant, at whitney@authoraccelerator.com .

+ Can I pause my membership?

Think of the Author Accelerator as a gym membership for your book. If you pay for a membership each month, aren't you more likely to go to the gym to get the most of out it? Of course! Our fixed monthly payments are designed to keep you writing, making your book stronger and getting the most out of your membership with us.

To keep with the gym metaphor: While you can pause your coaching program, you can only do so for a month at a time. We don't want you falling into a trap of taking short breaks — that sounds more like procrastination. And we're all about accountability!

Of course, we know life is crazy and unpredictable, and we understand if something comes up that needs to be a priority over your writing. You can pause your program for a minimum of one month and come back whenever you're ready, at exactly where you left off in your rough draft. And we won't take your money during the break.

+ What happens after I finish my rough draft?

Option 1: You can choose to revise your draft in the same way you wrote it with us – with weekly editorial feedback. You can choose to stay with the same book coach, or work with someone new for a fresh perspective on your book. If you decide you'd rather not continue with accountability and feedback and want to go your own way to revise, that's fine too, of course. We would understand, and the pain would subside eventually.

Option 2: We offer a full-manuscript edit or evaluation, where one of our book coaches reviews your rough draft front to back and makes structural and developmental suggestions and edits. This can be done before or after you go through the revision process (or both!) For more information, [click here][2].

Option 3: Our Pitch Track program helps you prepare your manuscript for showing off to literary agents. You will research agents, create a book proposal, and draft queries, as well as prepare a pitch designed for writing conferences. For more information, talk to your book coach or email accelerate@authoraccelerator.com .

Manuscript Evaluations

+ How many pages can I have reviewed?

Our evaluations are priced by tier:

  • Up to 100 pages – $299
  • Up to 200 pages – $349
  • Up to 300 pages – $399

+ What kind of feedback will I receive?

Your book coach will use our Author Accelerator 10-point checklist to evaluate your manuscript and offer suggestions. They'll look for things like narrative drive, tone and voice, dialogue, mechanics, and the "why" behind your characters' motivations or the point of your book. You will receive a two-page summary of their biggest findings and suggestions for how to move forward and strenghten your manuscript.

+ How long will it take to get feedback?

It depends on the number of pages you've submitted:

  • Up to 100 pages – 2 weeks
  • Up to 200 pages – 2-3 weeks
  • Up to 300 pages – 3-4 weeks

+ Can I ask questions about my feedback?

Unfortunately, a manuscript evaluation doesn't include time to talk with your book coach about their feedback – that's by design so that we can keep the cost low. If you're interested in more back and forth with your coach, check out our manuscript edits or weekly book coaching. The edit includes a phone call with your book coach after you receive their feedback, and the coaching allows for ongoing email communication with your book coach.

Manuscript Edit

+ How many pages can I have reviewed and what is the price?

As many as you like! The price is $5 per page.

+ What kind of feedback will I receive?

Your book coach will use our Author Accelerator 10-point checklist to evaluate your manuscript and offer suggestions. They'll look for things like narrative drive, tone and voice, dialogue, mechanics, and the "why" behind your characters' motivations or the point of your book. You will receive in-line comments on specific sections of your book, as well as a comprehensive summary of its strengths and weaknesses. Your coach will also include suggestions for how to move forward and strengthen your manuscript. You'll have the chance to talk with your coach by phone after you receive their feedback to ask them any questions.

+ Can I see an example of the type of feedback I will receive?

Of course! Click here to see an example.

+ How long will it take to get feedback?

It depends on the number of pages you've submitted, but we aim to return all feedback in 5-6 weeks.

+ Can I ask questions about my feedback?

Yes! You can ask your book coach any questions you have about their feedback after you review it. The manuscript edit comes with one follow-up email exchange (one email from you with your questions, and one response from your coach with their answers) OR a phone call (approximately 1 hour). You can let us know which method you'd like to use. If you'd like ongoing email communication with your book coach, we recommend our weekly book coaching program.