Editing First – What to Do Before Approaching an Agent


In today’s increasingly competitive market, it’s essential to have your manuscript as polished as possible before submitting it to an agent. Agents can receive hundreds of submissions a month, and might only take on one or two new clients a year.

Therefore, as a writer, it’s in your best interest to have a polished manuscript to get noticed. No matter how great the concept might be, manuscripts riddled with punctuation and spelling errors will, more often than not, receive an automatic rejection.

To get through their many submissions, agents often read through the manuscripts at an extremely fast pace.  Thus, a positive first impression is necessary to grab an agent’s attention.

A professional and spotless manuscript will make a much better first impression than a document filled with grammar errors and typos. Therefore, it’s best to send in your thoroughly edited work.

Before Approaching an Agent: Helpful Tips

Before sending your book to be edited in preparation for sending it to an agent, make sure you’ve done some basic proofreading yourself.

  • Have you used the basic spelling and grammar check tools?
  • Does your writing read smoothly and clearly?
  • Can the reader understand the concepts you’re trying to convey?

When editing your work, always keep your reader in mind. Ask yourself what your reader already knows. What you would like your reader to know? And what might your reader be thinking at a particular point in your writing?

Moreover, who is your target audience? It’s a good idea to tailor your writing to meet the needs of your target audience.

There are also many online resources that could help you with some basic grammar rules, as well as with citation formatting. The Purdue website is usually an excellent resource: owl.english.purdue.edu

Last, professional editorial help is always a good idea, especially for honest feedback and constructive criticism. Your friends and family may offer much-needed support and encouragement. However, it’s better to turn to a professional editor for an honest critique.

Furthermore, hiring a professional editor, such as one of the editors on the FirstEditing team, usually costs no more than a few pennies per word. Editors at FirstEditing are more than happy to not only edit your work, but to also provide you with honest advice.

Therefore, it’s best to have a professional pair of eyes read your book before submitting it to an agent.

Frequently Asked Questions

First Editing is equipped to edit ANY type of document you can write! Over the past 10 years, we’ve perfected tens of thousands of manuscripts, books, ebooks, theses, dissertations, essays, letters, websites, articles, scripts, business proposals, poetry, and more! Let us transform your draft into a perfectly edited masterpiece! Click HERE for a FREE sample edit and price quote…
Projects less than 50 pages are completed in just 2-3 business days. Longer documents (manuscripts, dissertations, etc.) require 7-10 business days depending on their length. If you order multiple documents totaling 50+ pages, they can all still be completed in the standard 3 day timeframe since each document may be assigned to a different editing team simultaneously. Additionally, 1-2 day rush services are also available. See our order form for more details.
Professional editors of successfully published books, journals, articles, and more are working around the clock to ensure your editing is letter-perfect and delivered according to your deadline. Each editor has a minimum of TEN years worth of professional writing & editing experience. Show us some of YOUR writing and we’ll send YOU a FREE editing sample!
First Editing is one of the very few online editing services that GUARANTEES client satisfaction! If there is ANYTHING about our work with which you are not 100% satisfied, we will correct it at no additional charge. First Editing is also the ONLY service of its kind to GUARANTEE on-time completion. We NEVER miss a deadline…EVER!! Read more about our Editing Satisfaction Guarantee.
Our basic rates vary from just 1 U.S. cent per word to just over 3 U.S. cents per word. Most basic copy editing that does not require rush delivery costs between $0.0097 and $0.013 USD per word (approximately one cent per word). Larger orders often cost even less. Factors influencing your total price are document type, length of manuscript, turnaround time required, & level of editing required. For a free, no-obligation price quote, CLICK HERE.

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