Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to get my feedback?2020-06-20T22:50:32+00:00

This varies based on manuscript length, the editor you’re working with, and the service you’re engaging. Most manuscripts ranging between 55,000 and 110,00 words require between 3-6 weeks for evaluative feedback or editing. More information is available on our  Payment Policies & Turnaround Times page.

Rush service is available for an additional fee in some cases.

What is the total cost likely to run for having a manuscript edited to completion?2024-01-06T17:51:31+00:00

We can say what individual services cost, but it’s impossible to generalize sight unseen about what combination of services will be needed for your particular manuscript or screenplay.

Some projects may be only a draft away from completion; others may have even more potential but need considerably more work. One function of our Manuscript Critique services is to assess the cost, extent, and nature of the work that will serve your manuscript best. Once we’ve read your manuscript and discussed it with you, we’ll have a much better sense of the appropriate editorial and revision course, how long it will take, and what it will cost.

That said we are committed to full transparency in pricing and making sure you know exactly what to expect from any editorial step you might engage.  For more information, please visit our Prices and Services homepage or contact Ross Browne in the Tucson office.

I’d like to submit a manuscript. What are your submission and formatting guidelines?2023-06-30T19:38:50+00:00


  • Double line-spacing
  • 12-point font size
  • Courier, Times New Roman, or Arial font
  • First line of each paragraph indented, with no linespaces between paragraphs
  • Default margin settings, or a minimum of 1.25″
  • Page numbers included, particularly for book-length works
  • .doc, .docx, .rtf  file format. (PDF is fine too, as a last resort.)
  • Submitted as a single document rather than multiple chapters or chunks

Getting your file to us

Upload via our website is preferred. via our online author questionnaire.  Question welcome to Ross Browne at the Tucson Office.

What kind of writer is The Editorial Department best positioned to help?2020-06-22T21:24:03+00:00

While many of our editing and consultation services were originally developed with the experienced writer and the effort to publish traditionally in mind, we also welcome the opportunity to work with authors who are new to their craft, who want to self publish to a very high standard of quality, or who need help bringing a book idea to fruition. If you’d like to tell us a little more about your situation and have us recommend an approach, we invite you to take our new client questionnaire. Otherwise, you can read on to learn more about some of the situations and circumstances we’re best suited to help with.

For writers of all genres wanting to make sure their manuscript is ready for primetime

One of the most common mistakes many authors make is sending out queries and submissions before a manuscript is actually ready for the discriminating eye of agents and publishers. We can read your manuscript and provide candid, insightful feedback on how well or poorly your manuscript or submissions packet is likely to be received and what can be done to improve the odds of a warm reception. Please see our traditional publishing support page for more information. We have been in business for 39 years and have been recommended by Preditors & Editors, a literary watchdog group, so you can rest assured that we’re legitimate and sincere.

For fiction authors new to the editorial process

We can read your draft and give you candid, constructive criticism and direction as to what’s working and what’s not. (For more information, please visit our manuscript critique page.)  We can coach you in any areas of craft you need to develop and teach you how to find and refine your own voice. We can teach you how to edit yourself so that your job and ours are both easier. We can give you an honest assessment of how close or far you are from having a marketable, publishable book and tell you what steps you need to take to get it there. In short, we can help you make your first manuscript the best it can be and in the process teach you about yourself as an author and about the craft of writing. Then, if we think your book has a good chance of getting published we can help you find a literary agent.

For experts in a particular field with a book idea but no writing background

We can help you create an outline, define exactly what you want to say and how to structure it, and draft a stellar book proposal. We can teach you how to market the book and yourself to agents and publishers. We can coach you to help you find your writing voice, because even in nonfiction voice counts a great deal. Or, if you prefer, we can collaborate on or ghostwrite the text of your story and let you provide the facts.

For published authors looking to take their writing career to the next level

We can help you continue a series, develop new arcs for your characters, maintain the voice and pace that made your published book successful–in other words, we can help you stay out of the dreaded “sophomore slump.” We can also help you find a literary agent if you’re not already under contract via our traditional publishing support services.

For writers in mid-manuscript who’re struggling with what direction to take a story

We can help you develop a developmental outline that creates a full, fleshed-out plot and a strong arc for each of your characters, figure out where you’re getting stuck, and help you get past it.

For book authors looking to adapt their work into screenplay format

We have two professional screenwriters on staff with adaptation experience.  More information about adaptation work and how we can help is available here.

For screenwriters

TED offers a variety of services ranging from short critiques and script evaluations to full-blown development and novelizations. Visit our Screenplays & Screenplay Adaptations page for full details.

These are just a few of the situations we’re prepared to help with. If you have questions about other services or want to discuss your needs further, just contact Ross Browne in the Tucson office and we’ll be happy to explore options with you.

How do you assign editors and can I pick my own?2020-06-21T15:52:48+00:00

We take the process of manuscript assignment seriously at TED.  We have a diverse staff of editors with a wide range of tastes, specialties, and areas of expertise. While there’s no surefire way to know we have a good author/editor match until we get into the process, there are several considerations that influence the assignment process, including:

  • your book’s genre, category, and /or subject matter
  • setting
  • target audience and age group
  • writing style and voice
  • whether the work leans more literary, commercial, or experimental
  • whether your goal is to publish traditionally or independently
  • your timeline and turnaround-time needs
  • nature of work needed

The more information we have up front, the better the match we can make between editor and author, so feel free to tell us whatever you feel we need to know to best serve you. We highly recommend new clients visit our online author questionnaire to help us assign your manuscript properly.

All assigning is handled personally by Ross Browne with careful attention to the above considerations. Requests for specific editors are always welcome and honored wherever possible.

Questions about the assigning process? Please contact Ross at the Tucson Office.

What topics are covered by a manuscript critique?2020-06-21T15:53:01+00:00

Overall literary and commercial potential with attention to any relevant points of craft. For fiction this includes plotting, structure, pacing, characterization, dialogue, writing style, mechanics, grammar, and punctuation. For nonfiction key considerations include content, organization, structure, clarity, flow, suitability for intended readership, writing style, mechanics, grammar, and punctuation.

What happens if my manuscript isn’t any good?2020-06-21T15:55:07+00:00

Our policy for nearly 40 years now has been to stand by a firm commitment to candor and always tell our authors the truth, even if that means discouraging more work with The Editorial Department. While it’s our job to consider your manuscript through the lens of its potential, we will always let you know (in as constructive a way as possible) when a manuscript seems hopeless or if your publishing goals are unrealistic.

For more information about how we handle critiques for manuscripts in very poor condition, please check out Candor, Tough Love, and the Delicate Art of the Bounce. 

What is is the difference between developmental editing and line or copy editing?2020-06-21T15:57:35+00:00

Developmental editing is typically focused on the content, premise, structure, and story of a manuscript rather than its wording. There is a good deal of editorial feedback given, but it is usually more conceptual in nature and focused on helping you first identify the best goals and priorities to maximize a work’s potential and then to support the revision effort at the highest level possible.

Line and copy editing is focused almost exclusively on your prose style, narrative voice, and then finer details of grammar, spelling, punctuation, formatting, and in many cases conformity to a specific style guide such as The Chicago Manual of Style.

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