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Libertad Editing Services: Concept Editing

To edit or not to edit, that is the question that vexes most new authors and, if you are going to edit, when do you edit? More to the point, how much does it cost?

Josh Bernoff of ‘Writing Without Bullshit’ fame charges between 10,000 and 30,000 dollars for a conceptual edit. Don’t worry, we don’t and here’s why.

You shouldn’t really need it! 

If you approach the writing process in a structured way you shouldn’t need to pay some shyster 30,000 dollars to humiliate you.

If you follow our guidance on the writing process you will have already fine tuned the book concept to the point of a needle. You would have then used our tools to create the chapter and/or character arcs for your book.

At this point, you can write out your chapter numbers and write a short summary of each chapter. This is not the time to look at grammar, spelling or punctuation.

If you feel that you are too close to your project or you’re uncertain what you should be looking for, now is a good time to enlist the help of some Beta Readers.

Beta Readers:

You may be able to find some people you know who enjoy reading or are passionate about literature. Often an advert in the local classifieds requesting people to read your work will elicit some positive results.

Unfortunately, people being people, the novelty of being a beta reader often wears off very quickly. It is rare for an unpaid beta reader to actually finish reading a manuscript. For that reason, Libertad Communications prefer to pay beta readers for their effort.

Concept Edit – What is it and what to look for:

The process of writing takes an idea – a concept – and gives it a structure (chapters etc). This review, or more traditionally this edit, helps the author ensure that his concept is taking the structure that he wants it to have and that its structure does, indeed, correctly reflect his vision.

Examine the overall structure of the work. What is the tone of the writing and does it match the subject matter. Do the chapters flow as ideas, are you hooked into them and do you feel excited to read the next chapter?

Are the characters mentioned believable? Does the reader want to find out more?

Is the book saying what the author hopes it says?

Are the chapters in the right order and could some of them be cut out?

Our Elite Team of Beta Readers will give you a written report on each chapter, or section, of your work. You can also customise the questions that the Beta Readers have to answer. You can think of Beta Readers as a logic check.

Concept Edit – Video Conference:

We can give you a formal Concept Edit, if you require it, particularly if you are writing non-fiction and technical papers.

If you would like the benefit of our experience, we do offer a video conferencing service where we preview your work prior to the call and then go through it together on a recorded live stream.


In conclusion:

Reading at this level cannot possibly look at (notice) things like spelling, grammar and dialogue – that is not how the mind works.

If you have ever read Lee Child, David Baldacci or J.K. Rowling, it will be obvious to you that readers lose their mind in a story. When we are absorbed in a story we do not notice mistakes, otherwise these authors would all be penniless.

Don’t let the shysters in the publishing industry persuade you to part with your money at this point of the creative process.

Writing is subjective, no matter how good a writer is, most writers would write the same work differently. If Ian McEwen gave me his book ‘Saturday’ for a concept edit I would have ended up rewriting the whole thing.

Ultimately, you are the writer! Have faith in your own skill.

If you still feel like you would like some help or advice, don’t forget that we do offer a free 15 min video chat to discuss your work and how best we might be able to help you. Just go to our website’s ‘Contact’ page and message us. We will usually get back to you within 24 hours.


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