I did my research – had a list of editors, book bloggers, publishers, cover artists, etc. that I wanted to talk to when I was done writing my book. What they don’t tell you is that so many of these people won’t have anything to do with you if you haven’t published already. The two that said they would take me on as a client also told me that they charged people who hadn’t published yet an extra fee that was almost half of what they were charging for the edit. I’m convinced that THIS is why so many authors self-publish books that are less than perfect. Instead of being motivated and excited about taking the next step with the novel I had finished, I was disheartened and ready to quit before I even got started. It was as if the people who are supposed to be helping authors were telling me to just give up. I joined a couple of author groups on Facebook and finally had the nerve to reach out and ask the question that I needed to ask – who out there was willing to help the newbies? Meghan was one of the editors suggested to me, and from the beginning, I knew that she was the one I wanted working on my book. She was very detailed about the work that she puts into each manuscript and has made a very scary situation (I mean, she’s reading my work before even my loved ones have read my book) so simple and easy. She took the time to read my manuscript before we even discussed editing specifics so she could see where I was at and what editing was going to help me the most. The whole process revolves around what me and my book need, and she includes where I want my career to go. Everything is a discussion, and I love that she firmly believes in the author-editor relationship. I am so happy that I didn’t give up, and because of her, my writing is just getting better and better. She doesn’t fix the mistakes you make. She turns those mistakes into teachable moments.
I am a new writer. It’s something I dreamt about as a child, but honestly, something I never had the nerve to try. A few months ago, when I was told by my job that we were not essential workers, I found myself (like so many others) with a lot of time on my hands. One night, when I couldn’t sleep, I just had this need to start writing, and before I knew it, it was after noon the next day and I had handwritten over 100 pages of words. It was almost like being in a trance. I just couldn’t stop. My husband had to force me to go get some sleep, and when I woke up later, he told me that he had read what I had written and really enjoyed the story so far. (My husband is not a reader, so the fact that he read it AND enjoyed it was shocking.) He had questions, and encouraged me to keep writing, eager to find out how the story ended. Over the next couple of evenings, I worked more on my story, the words just flowing out of me. But when I was done, I had no idea what to do with it. I mean, in theory I knew what to do with it, but how did I know if it was even good enough to go through those steps? I did some research online and joined a couple of Facebook groups where authors could get feedback from other authors, but I felt really silly, me not being an author at all, while others had several books published, so I read what they said and kept quiet. One day, someone asked the question that I had been wanting to – who do I go to for help? He had contacted a few editors, but was told that they weren’t taking on unpublished writers at this time. An author who is very vocal in the group told him to contact Meghan, told him that she was amazing. I took the advice myself and am so glad that I did. Before she would discuss editing with me, she said that she wanted to read the manuscript first. Read it. For free. She then discussed her first impressions of the book (she reads manuscripts several times before writing up her notes) and asked me what my goal with the book and my writing career were. During the editing process, she has been so encouraging, so brutally wonderfully fantastically honest about what she read. I can text her at any time and she responds within minutes. She cares, I mean really cares, about the people she edits for. I plan to keep writing and I plan to hire her every time.
My name is Melek and I’m 17 years old. I’ve been making up stories since I was old enough to talk. Being an author is something I’ve been wanting to do for as long as I can remember. Last year, I read an anthology that Meghan had edited several years ago. I don’t know what made me reach out to her, but I did, and we immediately hit it off. Now, I’m not old enough to sign a contract with Meghan, but after talking to her I knew that she was the one, so I had my father (who is very supportive of my chosen path) give her a call. (Yes, give her a call. So many editors that we had looked at didn’t allow us to talk to the editor at all before submitting and paying for an edit, and after the edit, if they did let us talk to the editor, it was only for 30 minutes.) They spoke for quite some time, and when he got off the phone, he told me to go through my manuscript one more time and we would send it off to her. I was so excited, but also very very nervous. It’s one thing to have your parents read your story. They love you, so of course they’re going to love what you have to write. It’s something completely different sending off your work to a stranger and letting them pick it apart. She was so kind with her compliments, and everything that was “wrong” she explained so that I knew where I had “failed.” She gave me suggestions, pointed out weaknesses and strengths in my writing, and was always there to motivate me while I worked on my second draft. Now that I’m ready to publish, she suggested a couple of publishers that she thought might like my work, and I’ve had two acceptances into short story anthologies that will be published in 2021. At only 17! I would have thought I needed to be much older than that. Now I’m working on a book and her help throughout has been so great. She really knows what she’s doing.
I am a new, unpublished writer. I’ve really been struggling with putting the story in my head onto paper. I had followed Meghan’s old book blog (The Gal in the Blue Mask) and had spoken to her several times about books, then one day asked if she would be interested in talking to me about the one that I was writing. Even before I hired her as my editor, she was willing to listen to me talk about my story, my characters… and the difficulty I was having with all of them. We exchanged phone numbers and I talked to her twice, both times for well over an hour. She was interested – I mean really interested. She gave me feedback on my ideas and suggested ways that I could get to know my characters better. (She was right that knowing every aspect of them really helped me to write a meaningful and believable story about them.) I even was able to send over what I had written so far so she could take a look, and then called me when she was done for a third conversation. I hadn’t even paid her. This was all out of the kindness of her own heart. With all the feedback that she gave me, I was able to sit down and really get into my story. In fact, I finished the first draft of my first novel just a couple of weeks later. I sent it to her for a developmental edit and her notes were very thorough. It’s now been a year and I have just finished the second draft of my third book in a (at this time) five part series. I am also in discussions with a top five publishing company who want this series. I can’t talk about how much she has helped me enough. (I would buy a billboard, get a pilot to write it in the sky, put it in lights in the Hollywood hills.) If it wasn’t for her, I would still be stuck. Because of her help and insight, I am beginning a writing career I once thought was only a dream.
I have followed Meghan’s book blog for some time. She hates romance, no matter how many times she gives it a try. Her reviews are always very specific when it comes to things that she likes and doesn’t like, and why, so as a romance author, I wanted her to be my editor. Getting her feedback was so beneficial. It helped me to realize what it was about romance that turns some people off, things I never thought of before. With her, I was able to make my books even better, and make them books that even those people who don’t like romance may like. She is always open for emails from her clients, even if we’re not current clients, and I love being able to share my ideas with her and get her honest and true feedback. She is the best romance editor I’ve ever had, which she hates to hear, since it “forces” her to read more romance. Now, I send all my romance friends to her when they ask for recommendations. She’s fantastic.
I was so impressed with her knowledge and editing skills that I hired her on contract to edit both my website and my blog, including each article before it is posted. She’s done a tremendous job catching the little things I missed, and it’s nice to get an opinion on my posts before I share them with the world. She’s not only made sure that they are error-free, but she’s given me suggestions to make them even better, and I’ve received feedback from my readers about how much they are loving the changes that I have made. To think, I thought I was hiring an editor for a short story I was submitting to an anthology call, and I ended up with a permanent editor who helps me in all aspects of my life.
I have published several books, but I’ve never found an editor that I want to use more than once, even when it comes to a series. It’s so frustrating to not be able to speak to your editor even once without paying for the pleasure to do so, and a lot of times you only get that one call, but Meghan was willing, from the very beginning, to sit on the phone with me to discuss the edit, allowing me to ask questions and discuss ideas and plans with her. We’re now working on our second series together and I can’t imagine working with anyone else.
With a lot of editing companies, you don’t get the chance to speak to the editor. With MeghanH Editing, you speak to no one but her. She was always available to me via email, Facebook Messenger, and text… and she even sat on the phone with me for a couple of hours at a time being my story sounding board. I won’t be using anyone else in the future.
I will admit right here that I argued with her through the first two edits, just knowing she was wrong, irritated that she didn’t get the inside jokes and my homages to obscure things I loved as a child, but I was paying for this, so I took her advice. When it was time to send my novel off to beta readers, I sent my original story to half and my revised copy to the other half. My eyes sure were opened when the beta readers of my original story said some of the same things she did. I learned my lesson, and on the next two books, I sat back and really listened to her thoughts. And I found out that she did get the homages, she just wasn’t sure that everyone else would, and she was right.
Meghan went beyond just my story. She was the only one that pointed out my title gave readers the wrong idea about the story and she was right – even though I didn’t want to see that at first – which encouraged me to rewrite major parts of my YA book and ended up making it a million times better.