Literary Consultancy

Jo Franklin Literary Consultancy

‘I have a story now. Jo Franklin has been brilliant with feedback. I’m so grateful. It’s like when you go to the opticians and suddenly you can see.’ Jan Carr

From thinking you want to be a writer to becoming a professional is a long journey. It’s full of great rewards (not necessarily financial) and usually many disappointments. But if you want to succeed and are willing to work hard – what are you waiting for? I often get asked about how to become a writer.

My first two bits of advice are :

Don’t give up!

Many writers can’t take the long solitary hours, the constant re-writes and the inevitable rejections. Whether you want to secure yourself a deal from a traditional publisher or you want to self-publish, perseverance is essential.

Join a Critique Group or Writer’s Circle

Often writers are unaware of the shortcomings in their own work and are baffled by the constant rejections from agents and publishers. This usually happens when writers don’t share their work with others. I strongly recommend you join a critique group or writer’s circle before you consider paying anyone to give you feedback.

If you feel it’s time for some professional input into your own writing, then read on.

I can’t promise to get you published, but I can promise to help you. Over the years, not only have I honed my own craft, I have also acted as a critic and mentor to many other children’s writers and have received some great feedback about my comments.

‘I knew that if I ever lost my way with my writing, Jo would tell me what I needed to know in a clear and supportive manner. She has been a great colleague, mentor and friend and has tirelessly worked with me to improve my manuscript. I’m not overstating things when I say I’d be lost without her.’ Matt Totsky

Writers I have worked with, respect my honesty. I have a reputation for saying it as it is. But I will always offer you specific advice and make suggestions for how you can improve your own work. It can be hard for writers to hear criticism of their work. All feedback is subjective. My feedback will not be about my personal taste in fiction, it will be about the mechanics of your writing, whatever the subject or genre.

If you are feeling very protective about your manuscript and only want someone to tell you it’s brilliant, whether it is or isn’t, I am not the person for you. Please think carefully about this.

While I suggest you perfect your work to the best of your ability before you ask for my help, please do not wait until your work is so polished that you can’t face making any further changes. You need to be open to feedback for the process to be worthwhile for you.

I’ve listed my services below, but I am willing to discuss your individual requirements so do contact me. I work alone. In some larger literary consultancies, the author does not get to choose their editor. If you pay for my services you will ONLY get me.

NB I specialise in children’s fiction excluding picture books. I do not handle adult fiction of any kind or children’s plays, poetry or television scripts. I work from the UK, so please bear this in mind if you contact me from outside the UK. You may be better served by someone in your own country.

Literary Consultancy Services and Fees

1.                   Partial or Full Manuscript Review – to include a report and close focus edit on either a partial or full manuscript (your choice).

The report will include comments on characterisation, setting, dialogue, writing style, opening, denouement, chapter structure, pacing/tension, suitability for the age group, my thoughts on the suitability for the market, recurring errors etc.

The close focus edit will be comments on the manuscript itself using the MS-Word comment feature and maybe notes at the end of chapters if appropriate.

I will not correct your spelling or punctuation. These are things you need to learn for yourself if you are to become a professional author, but I will highlight repeated errors.

Fees                £95 plus £4.95 per 1000 words (minimum charge £150)

Eg a 30,000 word submission would cost £95 + 30 x £4.95 = £243

2.                   Submission Package Review – This service is for when you are ready to send your book out, but you are not sure whether your package is up to scratch. Or maybe you have had numerous standard form rejections and are suspicious that your submission is the problem rather than the work itself.

The Submission Package Review will include a report on the first 3 chapters (10,000 words maximum), synopsis, blurb, cover letter – including suggestions for improvement or alternative approaches.

NB This does not include comments on the plot itself or a close focus edit on the first 3 chapters but will include more general comments about the opening, hook etc.

Fees                £195

3.                   Mentorship – I am able to offer mentorship to a small number of writers a year. Please contact me to discuss your requirements so we can both be sure I am the right person to help you.

Submission Process

In the first instance, Message Me. Once we have made contact please send me your first chapter embedded in an email (not as an attachment) so I can assess where you are. If I feel you would be better off spending your time and money developing your skills rather than polishing a manuscript, I’ll tell you and we’ll end it there. No charge. I don’t want you to spend money unnecessarily.

If however I think I can help you, I’ll tell you and you can choose what service you require. You send me your work and I work on it and send it back. I aim to turn your work around in 4-6 weeks, but if my other commitments make this impossible, I will let you know. I am happy to have a few follow up email conversations to clarify anything you don’t understand. I do not want you to feel unhappy at the end of the service.

Once we have agreed to work together, all submissions should be sent as a Word attachment and presented in 12pt font, double lined space with good margins. If you are sending a synopsis, blurb and covering letter for the submission package review, these can be sent as individual attachments.

Do not send your manuscript until we have agreed terms and timescales.

How to Pay

I will send you an invoice with a Paypal link which will enable you to make a direct payment. You do not need to have a Paypal account to use this facility. I must receive full payment before I look at your work (except for the first chapter as mentioned above and mentorship when we will agree terms).

If you are paying in a foreign currency via Paypal, additional charges will be payable.


Jo Franklin Literary Consultancy Terms and Conditions

1.       By submitting your work you are agreeing to the Terms and Conditions of Jo Franklin Literary Consultancy.(JFLC)
2.       JFLC operates from the UK, is governed by UK law and subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England.
3.       Your work will be treated in the strictest confidence.
4.       The copyright of your work is automatically yours and will be respected at all times.
5.       All work should be emailed as an attachment and in the format of a Word document.
6.       All advice, tuition and reports will be provided via email.
7.       JFLC reserves the right to decline work and/or return payment and work without giving a reason.
8.       JFLC aims to turn work around as soon as possible. Usually within a 4-6 weeks but I cannot guarantee timescales.
9.       JFLC is unable to commence work until the correct fee has been paid in full.
10.   JFLC aims to provide advice and practical support while working with you. However JFLC cannot guarantee that your work will be taken on by an agent or publisher.
11.   It is your responsibility to keep a backup copy of any document you send to JFLC.
12.   If you are unhappy with the service you have received from JFLC, you must notify us and bring a claim within six months of the date the service was provided.
13.   In the unlikely event of a dispute, JFLC’s liability will be limited to the cost of the initial service.
14.   JFLC reserves the right to alter fees, terms and conditions at any time.