Professional Memoir Editing Will Transform your Manuscript.
Next year at this time, you can have your memoir published and in hand—ready to send out to the world or simply to family and friends.
Our editors have helped more writers than we can count to tighten and polish their stories, and we can give you the boost that will get your memoir from hopeful idea to polished book.
Our editors will make a difference for you if…
…you want to understand what is holding your memoir back from going deeper, from being more insightful.
You’ve been writing as best you can—for perhaps far too long—and you just don’t know what to do to create a manuscript with more punch. You’ve done all you can, and now it’s time to let a memoir editor help you. Or…
…you are a novice writer and you suspect (perhaps even know) that there are better writing practices than what you are now engaged in—only you don’t know what they are or how to access them.
A memoir editor will accelerate your learning the best writing practices and help you finish a better manuscript in a shorter time. While we firmly believe that writing a memoir needs to be a process before it can be a goal, even process-oriented writing need not take forever. Or…
…you are ready to assess your manuscript’s quality.
You think your manuscript is ready to be published as a book, but is it really? Will it do you “proud?” An editor can provide insights that point you to tighten your prose, deepen your insights and improve the story arc. Or…
…you are caught in cycles of tweakings and little changes that don’t fix your manuscript needs. Sometimes, your manuscript calls for re-visioning and re-thinking rather than a change of this word for that one—”house” for “home” for “house” again.
Denis Ledoux brought my writing “to life” through his editing skills, patience and insight. I had never authored a book before, and I so appreciated the help. Thank you, Memoir Network and your dedicated staff, for being there to support my books all the way to publication.” —Dennis Blue, Running the Good Race & Through the Eyes of a Fisherman
Do what the big New York publishing houses do: NEVER publish a manuscript without engaging an editor.
When you read the memoir (or biography) of a famous writer, you can learn much about what you, too, need to do.
- Ernest Hemingway worked extensively with Max Scribner who would return voluminous notes on what he felt Hemingway’s manuscript needed. Hemingway listened to his editor.
- Jack Kerouac had Robert Giroux as editor. Giroux [of Farrar, Straus and Giroux] extensively edited Kerouac’s manuscripts. On occasion, he made textual changes himself and submitted them to Kerouac for approval. Kerouac benefited from following his editor’s lead—and so would you with the lead of your editor.
- Virginia Woolf always turned her manuscript over to her writer husband, Leonard [whose career as a literary editor was well established]. He provided her with guidance before she sent her books out into the world.
Why even writers of the highest caliber need editors
As the Hemingways, the Kerouacs, and the Woolfs of the world knew, over the months and years it takes to complete a manuscript, writers—like you perhaps—become prey to:
- becoming attached to their prose. Often, we are enamored of particular scenes and go from tolerating their extraneous quality to feeling comfortable with the fact that they do not contribute to your memoir. We tell ourselves they are so well written and such good memories! In our self-editing, we become indulgent and leave the “little darlings” in. Many writing workshops justly talk about “killing your little darlings”—that is, editing them out. When you work with The Memoir Network, rest assured your editor will kindly put your “little darlings” to their deserved rest! 🙂
- being blind to their faults. After all, most of us do not see our faults, and if we do, they do not seem so serious. Writing faults your editor might find include misuse of tense or a lack of transitions (we believe we are being subtle!) or beginning the memoir at a wrong point. Your editor will point these out and will suggest alternatives. (Working with an editor is like going to a chiropractor and getting a therapeutic manipulation.)
- growing ever more comfortable with words, phrases and concepts that are really not best choices. This is the easy part of editing for a professional, but it can also be, if you do not corrected them, a reason your readers will put your story down and do not recommend it to their friends.
- confusing wanting to write about something with writing about it. This leaves blocks in your story to which you are no longer sensitive. You are telling the whole story in your mind—but the whole of your story is not down on paper. Your editor will pick up on this and guide you to write everything in. After all, the written story is the only access your reader has to your story. If it’s not written into the story, it’s not in the story!
Is your sister-in-law who teaches English at the high school and is “real good” with words a good choice to edit your memoir manuscript in her spare time?
Memoir Network editors commit totally to your manuscript. There is no spare-time attention with us! We ask you for your timeline and we do everything in our power to meet it. In addition, we have all written and/or edited many books. Writing and editing are commitments we’re good at. So… you can confidently expect us to edit fast and with insight. Can the same be said for a relative who will “get to your memoir when I have the time?”
Just as a New York publisher will always hire professional editors to help bring a manuscript to its full potential, you, too, need to structure—and to schedule—the editing function into your memoir-writing project.
I want to express my deep appreciation for your thorough and comprehensive editorial comments and for your insight on needed corrections for my manuscript.—Shelbert Smith, Editing Client
Get a specialist on your memoir-writing team.
Our editors provide essential help to bring professional skills and sensitivity both to the writing and to the rewriting process. An editor who specializes in memoir will make your manuscript stop mumbling and start singing!
Meet our experienced memoir editors: Click here.
I had never received memoir editing the way you folks at The Memoir Network do it. When my editor, Chris, pointed out how my character’s dialog in the middle of the book contradicted what I had her say at the beginning, I knew I had a serious developmental reader who was going to help me shape my story.
You folks take editing as seriously as I take telling my story. It’s been a good fit.—Sandra Swain
Whether you are a first-time, a one-time, or a many-time writer, memoir editing can help you to upgrade your book to be the best it can be.
Our promise to you!
Our editors will be the catalyst that will get your manuscript ready for publication by next year—in the way it deserves to be and in record time.
You will have your book in hand—a book that is interesting and well written—by next year.
Our work is done at $80 (with an associate editor) or $95 (with our founding editor). If this is within your budget, give us a ring at 207-353-5454, M-F, 9-5 ET or email us to set up an appointment to answer your questions and discuss your project. Suggest three dates and times that work for you and we will confirm one.
Take the next step & call us today!
Beyond your budget?
In addition, check out our overview of services and programs page. You are sure to find something that will help you to get your memoir unstuck and get it written—by next year at this time.
Are you ready to bring your manuscript to its next level?
We offer an introductory package—try us for a three-hour commitment at $240 (with an associate editor) or $285 (with Denis Ledoux). That’s it: three hours!
If we’re a fit, you come on board and we collaborate to polish and deepen your manuscript.
If we’re not a fit, we wish each other good luck and go our separate ways.