Writing and editing are processes to which we apply distinct action steps and timelines. The advantages of hiring a professional to help you with this process are:
- faster progress;
- timely completion; and
- a higher quality product: a better book, a livelier video series, more compelling marketing materials.
Readers and consumers don’t have to put up with sub-standard material. Competition is fierce, and words matter. So do punctuation, grammar, spelling, factual accuracy and an approachable style. Success at the cash register starts with a high quality product, and nothing good is published without objective, professional editing. Self-editing is not enough, nor is self-promotion! San Miguel Editorial Services will make the critical difference.
Remember, your first book or DVD or presentation establishes your reputation forever. Ask any best-selling author—it’s not luck! It’s talent, tight editing and savvy marketing. For authors and organizations who have built a reputation for quality, the challenge is to maintain that reputation in the face of fresh competitors. That’s why we’re glad you’re considering hiring us. We want to help you make the most of a good thing!
Services available for authors and experts:
- Overview and analysis. This service evaluates your manuscript (or script) to determine how close you are to publication, or to producing your audio or video series. You will receive a full report as to what we think you’ve got, what’s missing, and how to fix it. If you plan to self-publish, no one else will do this for you as economically as we do. Every first-time author needs to have this objective analysis of strengths and weaknesses, along with recommendations for completing the project on your own or with help from us. We’ve seen too many well-intentioned authors fail to sell their book, and experts fail to sell their DVD, simply because their egos got in the way. “It’s good enough,” they say—but potential customers don’t think so. If you are reading this right now, you know it’s not quite time to go to press.
- Content editing. This service recommends changes that will make your story or message more compelling and that make your words resonate more powerfully with your audience. We look at the structural elements of your book and give you guidelines for making meaningful changes. Our job is to work within your style, not to change who you are or how you write. Your editor’s name goes in the credits when you publish your book, so our reputation is also at stake. We’ll make sure the book reads well.
- Line editing. To put it mildly, we are perfectionists. We comb your manuscript for errors in grammar, spelling, capitalization, punctuation and line spacing or dropped lines. If your manuscript is typeset and ready to print, we make sure the page numbers correspond with the correct chapters, and that chapter titles are consistently rendered between the pages and the table of contents. While the line editor’s name doesn’t usually appear in the credits of a published book, we want to earn your thanks in the acknowledgments, and we work hard to catch absolutely everything.
- Co-writing (ghost writing). This is for authors who really aren’t writers, but who have a good idea and a story to tell. Unfortunately, your readers won’t give you a break—they will expect your prose to flow as well as any best-selling author’s. We’ve been writing every day for 30 years, and we can help to craft your message through interviews and by working with your notes and drafts. This process can be intense but it’s worth the hard work. Our clients tell us, sometimes through tears, “I didn’t know I could write like this!”
- Book jacket blurbs and quotations. Books are products, and the packaging of a book can be greatly enhanced by a compelling content summary (blurb) and by third-party endorsements. Your cover blurb tells the reader how they’ll benefit from reading your book or from watching your DVDs. It speaks directly to the reader, who responds, “Ah, yes, this is exactly what I need to read now.” Quotations from authoritative sources also help the reader to select your book. As lifelong writers, editors and consultants, we can help you find the right people to say great things about your book, and write endorsements for their approval using key words that help trigger sales.
- Marketing and promotion. Generating book sales can take time, but we know some shortcuts, including websites where reviews MUST appear, tools to boost your book’s visibility on Facebook and other social media sites, and a few select advertising vehicles that pay you back better than most. In addition, we can write and place reviews and blog postings to generate interest from your target audience, and help you to set up book signing events and even Internet events that cause excitement. As PR consultants, we can help you place excerpts online and in print ahead of publication date, so your book is more highly anticipated. And if you don’t yet have a website or an author blog (essential tools in today’s publishing climate), we can help you start one and drive traffic to the site.
- Reviews. Savvy readers know that self-proclaimed “experts” are a dime a dozen. So they look to reviews to find out whether your book is worth buying. The vast majority of people won’t take a chance on a new author or an unproven theory; they’d rather let others take the risk. Yet the book-buying public is starting to recognize disingenuous endorsements, and authors must beware of unscrupulous “reviewers” who charge fees to write rave reviews without even reading your book. We write reviews that are straightforward and honest, and that highlight the true gems in your book—the reasons why readers should buy it. We can place them in print or online, or leave that to you. Unless you are a household name, you’ll want to do potential buyers a favor and make sure they can find good reviews.
Services available for organizations:
- Speechwriting. Whether it’s the 15-second “elevator speech” you use to introduce yourself, or a 60-minute address to your employees, industry peers, or alma mater, we help you to write it, rehearse it, and deliver it well. In our experience, only two percent of executives can write fantastic speeches—the rest benefit from professional writing and, oftentimes, presentation coaching. You don’t have to write out every word to come up with an effective speech, but you do have to organize your thoughts and pay attention to the circumstances in which you’ll deliver your messages, from understanding your audience to getting familiar with the venue to knowing the local news of the day. We’ll help you get it all together and perform at your best within the time frame that you have.
- Blogging. Every communications manager knows how important blogging is to customer engagement, but what CEO has time to sit down every day and plunk out words of wisdom to the world? We build blogs from scratch or act as support staff for your internal team to make sure the latest news is reported in the right language and tone, consistently with your PR plan.
- Executive bios. How long has it been since you’ve updated the bio on file with your marketing department, your communications team, and the media? Have your external objectives changed—for example, are you looking to serve on a board of directors, or leave your post to start an NGO? Make sure your bio reflects who you are, what you’ve accomplished, and what you’re well positioned to accomplish in the coming years. Let’s update that photo, too, shall we?
- Organizational history books. Why write a book about your company, nonprofit organization, trade association or university? Because the history of your organization can be a rich resource for future generations; because maybe there were crises that changed your course, that others can learn from; because current and former employees, shareholders, customers and constituents are interested; and because your organization’s contribution to the local, regional, or world economy, community, environment, and aesthetic deserves to be documented. A history book is a natural legacy for any organization celebrating a big anniversary, or a significant milestone in realizing its mission. It should read like a personal memoir, depicting triumphs and challenges in a voice consistent with the culture of the organization. The research must be thorough, the interviews well organized and the writing superb as a credit to the organization and to everyone involved. Rarely do staff and retirees have the objectivity and resources to write an organizational history book or DVD with broad appeal. Let us help you to create an important legacy.
- Marketing materials. Whether you require print materials, website copy, telephone messaging or tee shirts, you can trust San Miguel Editorial Services to write the right stuff. We take the time to understand your key audiences and the culture and voice of your organization without charging you for our learning curve. What you get is tightly written material that speaks to your audience and generates results.
- Critical issue correspondence. When you’re forced to admit a mistake, issue a product recall, ask for urgently needed funds, or warn customers of a security breach, there’s a right way and a wrong way to deliver the message. Anything you say or do can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion. We help to minimize the damage and to maximize your opportunity for gaining trust forever from your customers, employees, constituents and regulatory agencies.
- Catalogs, handbooks and manuals. Large, complex publishing projects require attention to detail as well as creativity and clarity. We manage the writing, editing, and print preparation steps involved in preparing product catalogs, course catalogs, employee handbooks, club member handbooks, how-to manuals, franchisee manuals, academic workbooks, and even silent auction catalogs. We’ve been responsible for an amazing variety of complex publications, including multilingual bus driver instruction manuals for a major public school system; wholesale product catalogs for manufacturers in several industries; media relations kits for regional offices of a New York-based nonprofit; crisis communications handbooks for an international transportation company; franchisee manuals for restaurants and service organizations; course catalogs for community education systems, and more.