Frequently Asked Questions

WRITING

What's the typical word count or length of a book?

This totally depends on the type of book you are writing. Write the best manuscript you can and then evaluate your word count. Don't write to conform to a specific limit.

Design and formatting impact page count and we won't be able to tell you what your final page count is until layout is completed. Most of our clients publish within the 125-210 page range.

Can you help me write my book?

We are currently closed to ghostwriting clients but do offer book coaching services. Most clients take advantage of our 1:1 book coaching to help them organize their writing, stay motivated and accountable, and become more confident in the writing process. Book coaching packages vary. Please contact us for more information.


EDITING

What are the different types of editing?

Our team defines our editing process as the following:

Step One: Developmental Editing  

The most intensive form of editing. The document is evaluated as a whole and problems of structure, organization, coherence, and logical consistency are corrected. Sentences may be removed or added. Paragraphs may be rewritten, condensed, or expanded. Blocks of text may be moved from one section to another.

Note: Developmental Editing must be completed before moving into all other stages. Once the other stages begin, we are unable to add new content.

Step Two: Line Editing

A line edit addresses the creative content, writing style, and language use at the sentence and paragraph level. It focuses on the way you use language to communicate your story to the reader. Examples include:

  • Words or sentences that are extraneous or overused.

  • Run-on sentences.

  • Redundancies from repeating the same information in different ways.

  • Dialogue or paragraphs that can be tightened.

  • Changes that can be made to improve the pacing of a passage.

  • Words or phrases that may clarify or enhance your meaning.

Step Three: Copy Editing

The goal of a copy edit is to address flaws on a very technical level, to make sure the writing that appears on the page is in accordance with industry standards.

  • Corrects spelling, grammar, punctuation, and syntax.

  • Ensures consistency in spelling, hyphenation, numerals, fonts, and capitalization.

  • Flags ambiguous or factually incorrect statements (especially important for non-fiction).

  • Tracks macro concerns like internal consistency. Internal consistency means your plot, setting, and character traits don’t have discrepancies.

Final Step: Proofreading

Proofreading is the lightest form of editing. Minor errors are corrected. Minor errors include:

  • Errors of grammar and style (e.g., verb tense, units such as ml, use of numerals and words such as “5” or “five”).

  • Errors of capitalization, punctuation (e.g., the use of commas, semicolons, colons, periods, dashes, apostrophes).


How long does it take to complete final edits on a book?

For full edits on a manuscript, please allow 4-8 weeks depending on length.

Developmental Editing is performed and completed with the client before we move into final edits. We are unable to add new content once this editorial round has completed.

Line Editing, Copy Editing, and Proofreading are completed together. Multiple rounds of proofing will occur if the manuscript is formatted by our designer.


BOOK DESIGN


How long does it take to design and format an entire book?

This depends on the type of book and how fast the client works with our team to move through design rounds. Each round is dependent on the last in terms of timeline. If a round is delayed, it will impact the entire timeline and delivery schedule of our team. We do our best to work with clients and keep all project as close to the projected timeline as possible.

Please allow a minimum of 8 weeks for your book to be designed, formatted, and finalized for publishing.


GENERAL

How many clients do you work with?

Because we value quality over quantity, we are selective in the types of clients we work with. We offer tiered levels of service, with only a handful of clients working with us at any given time.

What are your office hours? Where are you located?

Our office hours are by appointment only.

While the team is remote, we have also have office space in Charleston, SC and New York City. About 95% of our clients work remotely with us—from locations such as Bali, London, and Tel Aviv.

Can I pay to rush a project?

No. We have a strict No-rush Policy. 

We ask that every client respect this policy and allow adequate time for their project to be completed and to allow for a potential flex in timeline. This ensures that our work is not compromised and that the project is completed with a high level of quality and accuracy.

*For clients wishing to complete a book project for a holiday launch (November/December), please understand that design and formatting must begin on finalized manuscripts no later than June 1 of the calendar year. Files are subject to a delay once with the printer. This is a busy time of year and we are not responsible for deadlines missed due to printing delays. Please plan ahead.


Can I pause a project once I begin?

Due to our carefully planned studio calendar and schedules on our team, it is imperative that each project remains active. We will consider pausing only in extreme circumstances and any paused project will be subject to a reactivation fee. Since we work hard to meet contracted deadlines, we expect all clients to do the same. This ensures a high quality of work.

*If a project is on a payment plan and any payment is late, the project will automatically be paused and no further work will be performed until payment is received from client. Files will not be released until all payments are completed.


What forms of payment do you accept? 

We accept credit cards and wire transfers.  For payment plans, we automatically bill on the same date each month to a credit card on file via Stripe.


Can you make my book a New York Times Bestseller?

No.

We don't guarantee results due to the ever-changing market and preferences of literary agents and publishers. We will not work with clients who come to us with this as their main goal. It is extremely hard to make it onto the Bestseller List and requires a high volume of national book sales over a period of time—usually at least 10,000 copies a month. Books that normally make the list are usually backed by a large publisher with a sizeable marketing budget and wide distribution. These are just some of the factors that go into a New York Times Bestseller. 

Focus on writing the best book you can and don't rush the process. We are all about quality first. Any reputable professional the publishing industry will tell you the same thing. If someone guarantees you bestseller status, they are most likely out to scam you. We have had clients secure bestseller rankings on Amazon and multi-book deals because their work was of quality value for their audience.


Why should I work with you?

While there are people out there who claim to be publishing professionals, very few of them have actually worked in the publishing industry. We are seasoned publishing experts who have spent over 40 years combined working with big name publishers and authors in the areas of editorial, design, marketing, and promotion. 

With that being said, we are not cheap. We are experts who put in a considerable amount of time on our projects. Our clientele consists of authors who are financially able to make the investment without causing strain in their schedule or wallet. We expect all clients to bring their best to the table, fully cooperate in the process, and utilize our expertise.

While we realize that the writing process can be very emotional for some people, especially when writing memoir projects, we ask that you do not embark on your book journey if you are concerned that you may become triggered. If we have concerns at any point during our time together, we will stop the project. This is to ensure the mutual well-being of our team and the client.


Are you a publisher?

No, we are not a publishing company and have no desire to be.

We are an author services team that helps clients write, edit, publish and promote books. We assist clients in traditional publishing and self-publishing. Our clients retain 100% copyright to the work they create and we are only paid up front for the services we provide. We do not make any legal, intellectual, or financial claim to their work. Nor do we promise bestseller status or specific results.


How can I tell if I am being scammed by a publishing professional?

There are many people out there claiming to be "publishers" and publishing professionals. Anyone can form an legal entity and call themselves a publisher. Anyone call call themselves a writing coach, editor, or other relevant title. The question is: What exactly is their experience? Have they worked for an established publisher, one that is known in the industry and has a credible track record? If an individual can't clearly answer that question, it's a red flag. And, if they promise to make you a bestseller in xx days for $xx, that's another red flag. 

It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of being a "bestselling author," but what's the cost? Are you being asked to rush your writing time to get a book into print? Are you being asked to pay a high fee AND sign over your rights to the book (even temporarily) in order to publish? SCAM.

Always ask questions. Get terms and conditions in writing. 

For more information, email us at info@alisialeavittmedia.com.