Frequently Asked Questions

Isn’t editing my book the publisher’s job?

In the good old days of book publishing, authors formed partnerships with their editors at the publishing houses, working with them to shape a first draft into a finished book. But things have changed. Book publishers employ far fewer editors, and those editors are charged with working on dozens of books per year on a very tight schedule. At the same time, the number of submissions has skyrocketed. As a result, agents and editors have little time to help potential authors through the developmental stages of putting a book together—which means the editing has to happen before you send it out.

Why should I pay an editor? My mom/best friend/dog loves my book!

Getting reads from people whose opinions you respect is a great idea. Whether they are writers themselves, or just avid readers, the feedback you get from another set of eyes can strengthen your book. But a professional editor’s feedback is informed by knowledge of the publishing industry. We know what agents and editors are looking for, and we can help give your book the best chance of living up to that standard. 

I’m planning to self-publish, so I don’t need an editor—right?

Writers planning to self-publish must become the project managers for their own books. A wise project manager knows she can’t--and shouldn’t--try to do everything herself. Instead, she must assemble a team of experts who can help her put together a polished finished product. A reliable, experienced editor should be at the top of the list. 

How do I know exactly what you’re going to do for me?

Before work begins, our clients receive an editorial agreement spelling out all the details of the project, including the schedule, fee, and definitions of the services to be provided. Any questions you have will be resolved at this time, before we start working. 

How does payment work?

We require a 25% deposit at the time you sign and return your editorial agreement; the balance is due upon completion of the work. Word Bird accepts payment via PayPal.

Can you get me an agent?

Researching agents and following the steps of the submission process is up to you. What we can do is help you get your manuscript and query letter in tip-top shape so you have the best possible chance of finding representation.

What are the eggs in the image on the home page?

  1. Flycatcher, olive-sided
  2. Flycatcher, vermilion
  3. Flicker, golden-shafter
  4. Sparrow, Henslow's
  5. Flycatcher, scissor-tailed
  6. Oriole, orchard
  7. Phoebe, Say's
  8. Cowbird
  9. Indigo bird
  10. Dickcissel
  11. Nighthawk, Texan
  12. Swamp sparrow
  13. Veery
  14. Chewink
  15. Thrasher

The image and text are from New International Encyclopedia, Volume 7, 2nd ed., published by Dodd, Mead and Company in 1915.

Have a question that isn’t answered here? Contact us.