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June 7, 2012

Editorial and Critique Services: Debra Doyle, Ph.D.
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 01:43 PM * 9 comments

I figure that, since my beloved bride has hung out her shingle (and placed her sheepskin on the wall), that it’s appropriate to post it here: Editorial and Critique Services: Debra Doyle, Ph.D.

Hello. My name is Debra Doyle. I have an earned Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania (1981).

For business, I write. About the only thing I’ve ever done for money besides writing—if we don’t count a stint working in the dishroom of the cafeteria while I was in college, which, really, let’s not—has been teaching: Freshman composition (under the various trendy names it’s gone by over the past two or three decades), which wasn’t really that much fun; and fiction (yearly at the Viable Paradise workshop since 1997), which was and is considerably more enjoyable.

Along the way, I’ve become a published author. I’ve written or co-written around thirty novels and around thirty short stories. I’ve written, and been paid for, non-fiction essays. I’ve edited myself and my co-author, I’ve been edited by the best, and I’ve edited other peoples’ works. I’m good at it.

Now-a-days, lots of folks are self-publishing. I’m doing it myself. If you’re planning to self-publish, and if you haven’t yet heard the advice that since you’re now a publisher you need to hire an editor, well, you will.

Other folks want to learn to write. A one-on-one session with an experienced teacher can teach you to fish. If you know what I mean.

Therefore: I am putting my writing and teaching expertise up for sale.

What I will do: Critique and line-edit your novel. A critique generally runs 3-5 pages, and covers structural and developmental issues. If I think that your novel has reached or can reach a level which makes it suitable for submission, I’ll tell you so. If I don’t, I’ll be honest about it and tell you that, as well.

What I won’t do (because no one can): Guarantee that your novel will be commercially published. Guarantee that your novel will be elevated by my services to publishable quality—I’ll only undertake to make it a better novel than it was before, and to provide you with what I hope will be a learning experience in the process. Think of the whole thing as a private tutorial, if that makes more sense.

Fields I’ll work in: Fantasy; science fiction (I only undertake to vet the fiction part; you’re on your own with the science half); historical fiction, alternate-historical fiction, and historical fantasy; mystery; dark fantasy and paranormal. I have experience with both YA and adult fiction.

Fields I don’t work in: Contemporary mainstream; literary mainstream; experimental fiction; nonfiction. If that’s the kind of manuscript you have, I’m not the editor/teacher you’re looking for.

What I will charge: for a typical (e.g., 80,000-100,000 word) novel, $1000, paid in advance via check or PayPal. Rates for shorter works and for doorstops are negotiable.

If you’d like to get in touch with a satisfied customer, just ask.

Contact me at if you’re interested.

To give you an idea of who she is and where she’s coming from: In addition to being my beloved bride and long-time co-author, Doyle wrote the essays The E-Pub Revolution as Gold Rush , Doyle’s SF Genre Rant, and The Girl Cooties Theory of Literature


Comments on Editorial and Critique Services: Debra Doyle, Ph.D.:
#1 ::: Christopher Wright ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2012, 04:13 PM:

This is a good measuring stick. I'll know I'm on the verge of being on the verge of pre-success when I can budget for that!

#2 ::: Ericka ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2012, 05:04 PM:

Terrific and best wishes!

#3 ::: Evan Goer ::: (view all by) ::: June 07, 2012, 10:53 PM:

A critique *and* line edit? From *the* Debra Doyle? I think she is undercharging. :)

#4 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2012, 10:10 AM:

Doyle has started a blog for this at

#5 ::: Milton ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2012, 12:12 PM:

I remember a few years ago when Jim Macdonald was offering this same deal himself. At the time I wasn't able to take advantage of it, but I'm delighted to get another chance.


#6 ::: Jeremy Leader ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2012, 02:04 PM:

Not to try to edit the esteemed Dr. Doyle, but is that an offer to both critique and line-edit a novel for $1000, or is it an offer to either critique and/or line-edit a novel, with more details and a price of $1000 for the critique, and the line-edit price left unspecified? I initially assumed the latter, but Evan Goer at #3 above made me realize that it's not explicit.

#7 ::: Jim Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: June 08, 2012, 02:34 PM:

Ah, fame!

Stacia Kane (a lovely author; buy all her books) mentions Doyle's Deal.

#8 ::: Debra Doyle ::: (view all by) ::: June 09, 2012, 02:02 PM:

Jeremy Leader@6: It's a flat fee for the critique/line-edit combo.

#9 ::: P J Evans sees more spam ::: (view all by) ::: October 20, 2014, 01:31 PM:

They just keep coming, don't they?

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