The First Date

Manuscript Assessment + Sample Edits

It’s time to invest in an editor.

Scary, right? You’ve spent months or even years bringing your book to life. These are your words, your ideas—your baby. It’s perfectly natural to be anxious when you think about handing your work over to a critic—even a friendly, constructive one.

Finding an editor can feel a bit like online dating.

How can you tell from a website if this is someone you can trust, who gets you and your vision for the project, whose sole purpose is to help you make your work the best it can be? Sure, I look great on paper—all the skills and passion you’re looking for. But what about chemistry? Communication? What is it like to work together, especially on something you’re so personally invested in?

I understand those concerns—I have them too!

Mine is a creative and collaborative process; it’s my job to help you put out your best possible work. And I will be investing my time, creative energy, and expertise in you and your project, so a good fit is just as critical for me as it is for you. I am looking for projects that fire me up and authors who also see our relationship as a partnership in service to your book and your readers.

It can be difficult to convey all of this in an email or query, so I asked myself: How can we spend a little time together?

That’s how I came up with The First Date: a low-pressure trial run for both of us. We get to know each other’s work and communication styles, you get to see exactly how I would handle your manuscript, and we can both make sure our approaches mesh.

The First Date delivers a shitload of valuable feedback.

Whether you ultimately proceed with editing services from Red Pen for Rent, decide to go a different direction, or discover that you have more work to do on your manuscript first, it’s well worth the investment.

Alissa McGowan

Editrix + Alchemist

Here’s what you’ll get:

  • Cold read of your full manuscript to discover whether fresh readers get out of the work what you, the author, intended
  • A sample edit of approximately 2,500 words (10 pages)
  • Brief (1–2 pages) editorial evaluation and explanation of the service recommendation illustrated in the sample edit
  • Quote for services
  • Follow-up virtual coffee date with Alissa (30 minutes) to discuss your overall vision for your book and any questions or concerns you may have about the sample edit or the editing process in general (optional)

The investment? Just $499!

Please note: This is the first step for all new clients. When you hire Red Pen for Rent as your editing partner, I will deduct the fee you paid for The First Date from your final project total.

Well, what do you think? Shall we dance?

Fill out the form below, and I will get back to you shortly.