Book editing for writers


Royal typewriter graphicItís been said many times that having your manuscript or novel professionally edited makes it just that little bit less un-publishable.

Thereís truth in that statement.

Up to a point.

Not every manuscript is, after all, worth editing. Fact is, some are so poor they ought to be in a workhouse, not a publishing house. Itís no sin, mind. No shame. Itís just that good writing takes time to develop and generally wonít be rushed.

You live, you learn.

So it goes.

Other manuscripts, meanwhile, are good, but not quite good enough. Theyíve got style and substance and are generally sound. But they need that extra edge.

Or polish.

Which is where guys like myself come in.

So welcome to my editing desk.


Editing services


Iím an editor primarily, a ghostwriter secondly, and a novelist too. I fix failing fiction and ailing articles and help bail out sinking books. I donít promise anything except my best, and I offer no guarantees, written or implied, except the promise of a tough road to success.

Or failure.

But if youíre lost for words, stuck for style, or just need a fresh pair of eyes to perk up your prose, youíve come to the right place.

Practically all broken manuscripts can be repaired. All shaky novels can be salvaged, at a price. But if I feel that yours is beyond economically viable help, I'll tell you and will advise on how and where to begin again.

I'm confident enough that my editing services and skills are second to none. But I make no offers to "work within your budget"ówhich is usually a euphemism for a cut price and therefore inadequate service.

As with most things in life, you get what you pay for, and the last thing you want to do before submitting your hard-wrought manuscript is to saddle it with a cheap edit.

So shop around and see what else is on offer. There are some good editors out there, and one or two ... well, less than good.

It's a buyer's market.

Buy carefully.


Writer's workshop


Aspiring writers looking for help and advice might care to check out the links on these workshop pages. There are lots of free tips here on how to find a literary agent; how to handle rejection; how to submit a query letter, how to plot a novelóplus monographs on many other subjects pertinent to the tricky business of quality creative writing.

There are also some inspiring words on how to maintain your enthusiasm and how to stay focussed. So check out my Inspiration for writers page, and see what I have to say on the contentious subject of Writer's block.

But if and when you need one-to-one advice and guidance, you might want to consider my Writer's Workshop. It's a telephone service in which we can talk directly about your work and your problems. So far, the feedback on this service is positive, and I've had only satisfied customers.


Literary agent rejection


Iíve made a million mistakes in my time, literary and otherwise. That's how we learn, of course. Through our errors. But as long as the mistakes aren't fatal, we can usually build upon them. And sometimes we can build upon the errors of others. That's fundamentally what I'm offering.


And fixes.

Everything I do is handled right here by myself. I donít sub-out work. I donít buy editing services. What you see is what you get; one editor with 25-plus years at the sharp end. I think my services are second to none and reasonably priced. So can I help you with your project?

Having spoken to dozens of literary agents, and having interviewed many of them at length, it's become clearer and clearer about what makes them tick and what makes them reject manuscripts. There's a definite art and skill in writing compelling literary agent query letters query letters. There are tricks and ploys and subtle literary mechanisms. There are writing techniques.

If you can crack the code for yourself, then good luck to you. But if you need support, you're in the right place at the right time.

So whenever you're ready, email for a quote. There's always scope for improvement, and it really can make the difference between acceptance and rejection. Remember that today's literary agents and publishers are flooded with hopeful material and will accept only the absolute best.

If you credit it, edit it.

And in the meantime, keep writing.

Never give up.


Mike O'Neill





Hey! What's the flashing
pause button for?


It marks a pay wall. That's the simple answer. It means that you can read all the material on this page outside of the pay wall, gratis. But then you have to pay.


Why? Because writing is my business, and like everyone else I need to capitalise on my skills and abilities. There are 25,000 words of great advice behind the pay wall, and on the free side of it there are thousands more.




I like to think that my help and guidance is excellent, and I haven't any doubt that as a writer you'll benefit greatly from it. So I'm looking for a modest £1.99 for access to my professional knowledge. That's about the price of a cup of coffee. Decent coffee, that is.


If you don't want to pay, then enjoy the rest of my site (including access to my YouTube videos) and look elsewhere for your free information. However, I'm confident that in my 25,000 words I've dealt with points and issues that other websites ignore. And even if, in places, I'm rehashing existing advice, I believe my reiteration will nevertheless help cement the knowledge in your mind and will help you become a significantly better writer.




You'll find a PayPal button below the pause button (on the relevant pages). Hit that button and you'll go straight to PayPal. You don't need an account; just a credit or debit card. I don't collect your data. I'm out of that particular loop.


When you buy, I'll receive notification. As soon as I do, I'll send you a PDF file with my 25,000 words. Usually, that happens within minutes. Sometimes it takes up to an hour. And very occasionally it takes 24 hours. Either way, you'll get your words.


£1.99 is what it costs to find out if I'm telling it like it is. If you want to be a great writer, you have to invest in yourself.







If you've got anything worthwhile from Mr Edit and want to
put something back, click the button below and make
a donation. You can also use this button for general payment for my services.


Keep writing and never give up.

No PayPal account is necessary






Mr Edit YouTube videos


Meanwhile, here are some of my You Tube videos that might be of interest to you. Hope you enjoy them.

You Tube video for writers and authors


Mr Edit. Let's talk about dialogue




You Tube literary agent video help


Mr Edit. Pitching fiction to a literary agent.




You Tube video - how to write fiction


Mr Edit. 5 Minute Fiction Fix.




You Tube video for authors and novelists


Mr Edit. Let's talk about tautology.



Links for writers


Preditors & Editors. Here's where you can check out the credentials of literary agents and publishers. A must for any writer.


Creative Helps. Helpful resource for the creative community. Articles, links and tips.


Nick Daws' Writing Blog. Lots of useful posts on all aspects of writing, both for print and online, plus a guest post for anyone who wants to make a contribution. Check it out.



Other links we like


Sump Magazine. Great motorcycling magazine.

Classic Bike Bargains. Cool T-shirts for sale






Mr Edit online adverts


● Professional editing service

● Literary agent query letters

● Literary criticism: top tips

● Finding a literary agent

● Online literary criticism: a warning





Back to the top





Creative writing





David Hall: "Great site. Have picked up a lot of helpful information. Thanks. And thanks again."


Karen S: "You're the first person who's really explained the active-passive voice."


T.P. Preston: "I am in your debt. My writing skills have improved no end. Thanks!"


Peter Watts: "Lots to think about here. Very helpful w/shop for aspiring writers."


Marik Gireux: "Thank you for the edit you did on my novel. Am still getting rejections, but agents are certainly asking to see more of my work. There's no quick route to success."


Tanya Cole: "You're the man! Love and kisses."


Aneta French: "My dialogue was weak until I took your advice. I still haven't quite got the voices I want, but your help is much appreciated."


I.M. Flecther: "Great site, Mr Edit. Have learned a lot."


Jim Baley: "Helpful. Informative. And well presented. Lucky I stumbled upon your website. Will be back many times, for sure."


Hopeful Sam: "You were right. The novel was too long. I've cut almost 40,000 words, and it's better for it. Now I have to [groan] re-edit it. But no pain, no gain, etc. Thanks for your advice and help."


Timothy Berry: "I am truly impressed with the scope of your advice. Well worth the £20 fee I paid."


Betty Ling: "I can't believe how bad my agent query letters were. Still, you've perfectly explained what I was doing wrong. I've now got two agent asking for the full MSS. Fingers crossed."


Quentin Groos: "Thank you very much. You might have saved my novel."


Trisha Arkell: "Oh dear, I can see that I need to go back to basics. I wish I'd found your website 72,574 words ago."


Mr Trottman: "Thanks."


Ria: "They say it's never too late to learn. I just wished I'd learned long ago what you've taught me. Thank you!"


Siobahn Cavendish: "Yours is an entertaining website and beautifully written. By far, it's the best one I've found."


Eleanor Knell: "I used to be afraid of rejection letters, and still am. But you've taught me how to cope with them and have given lots of hope and encouragement. Best regards to you, and thank you."


Greg Wickens: "Started rewriting my novel as you suggested. So far so good. Am enjoying it again. Thanks for a great site."


Marcia Blanchard: "I was going to give up until I found your website. What an amazing amount of advice."


Peta Horovice: "Your manuscript critique service was just what I needed. But ouch! You warned it would be brutal, and I needed that."


Saul Morrison: "I'm humbled. I never realised that there were so many holes in my writing. Here's hoping that I learn to plug them all."


Keith Boucher: "I found your videos on YouTube and have watched them about ten times each. Truly great advice and encouragement."


Ricki Hodgkin: "Plotting my novels was always my weakness, and still is. But I've learned some valuable lessons, Mike. I'll be sending you the finished [latest] novel for a full edit."


Mrs May Ogden: "You've got a wonderful knack of making complicated things easy to understand, and very amusing. Am very pleased."


Gina Padgett: "Your website is very handy and informative. Thank you for highlighting the literary errors of my ways."


A.V.P: "Thank you. It's all useful stuff. I keep dipping into your site and learning new tricks."


Sasha Osborn: "Fantastic learning experience. My query letters are so much better. Cheers!"


Jamilla: "I work as a professional writer, but fiction is a new departure. You've explained a lot. I'm happy to recommend you to my friends."


Daniel Orcutt: "Best writing advice website I've EVER seen. Top man."


Mark Prinz: "For a guy who doesn't claim to be a proof reader, you did a wonderful edit on my articles. I sold both to the first [magazine] editor I sent them too. They don't pay much. But it's a promising start. Thank you."


Naffy Begum: "You did a great job on my brochures We'll be doing business again."


Darley Anderson: "Yes, you've got a nice and helpful website."






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