Manuscript Isn’t Selling?

The thing I hear most often at writing conferences is : I’ve edited and edited. Worked and worked. And I still can’t get an agent interested in my Manuscript.

What’s different about coming here for query and story help? Everything I do will be angled toward marketability, not just creating a solid query or story.

I paired up with MAKEREADY DESIGNS/QUIRKS & COMMAS to offer the following:

  1. A free read of chapter one (no more than 4k) – at this point, we can both decide if I’m a good fit for your story. I’ll happily pass on 2-5 paragraphs of notes without charge. If I don’t think I can help you with the MS, I’ll let you know. If I feel that there are changes to be made before I can help you, I’ll let you know.
  2. If you’d like me to help you know why your MS isn’t selling, and what you could do to make your story more marketable, I’ll read your manuscript and write up an edit letter – similar to what you’d get from an acquisitions editor when your novel sells. This is generally 2-5 pages long, depending on the issues found.
  3. After you’ve read over my notes, if you have other questions, I’d be happy to work those out with you. If you’d like help finding comp titles, I’m happy to help with that once we’re finished.
  4. If you need query letter help, cost varies from 30.00 (one edit pass) to 90.00 (if you want me to write the whole thing).


My recommendation for those of you about to enter the query trenches: Pay for the 30 query help, and get your free first chapter notes – those two things go hand in hand.


FREE first chapter (up to 4K words) and $50.00 per 10,000 words after.


Here’s what I bring to the table:

  1. My obsessive watching of Publisher’s Marketplace, outlining recent sales.
  2. Over a year of interning with a large reputable literary agency.
  3. Time spent with content, line, and copy editors from five different publishing houses.
  4. Seven years working as a published author.
  5. Years of working as mentors for numerous writing conferences, including drafting, editing, and query workshops.
  6. A willingness to discuss my notes with the author when I’m finished with their manuscript and have passed along my notes.
  7. I’ll have your query critique back to you within 5 working days or your query edit is free.


To schedule a read, please email me at jolenebperry (at) gmail (dot) com – with either QUERY or FIRST CHAPTER in the subject line. I’ve pasted a version of the email I’ll send you back below.

Happy Writing!
~ Jo


Here’s now the editing services at BEEN WRITING? work:

You send me an email and say you’re interested, and then I give you the details below, as well as my timeline, which will vary depending on what kind of edit you’re looking for.


I promise to have your query critique back in your inbox within 5 days of receiving payment or your query critique is free. If you’ve opted for more than one pass, your first pass will be returned within 5 business days.


By sending your query over, you agree to the following:


30.00 for a single pass of your query letter. If you have one email with a few questions after you receive your critique, that’s just fine.


50.00 for 2-3 passes over your query letter. If you do the 30.00 query crit, you’re welcome to add 20.00. That gets you 2-3 passes, which is also 2-3 rounds of questions.


90.00 – I’ll write the query for you. To do this I need the following: Some kind of synopsis, even bullet points are fine. About fifteen pages of manuscript, so I can get a sense of tone/voice. I’ll send you a sloppy version so you can correct any elements of your story I don’t have quite right, and then I’ll finish it up and send the final query back to you.

45.00 is due when you send in your query. The remaining 45.00 is due before I send your final draft.

I read queries not only for query content, but also for what’s currently happening in the market.



The first thing I’ll do is give you my timeline – how long it’ll take me to read your first chapter.

Once I’m done, I’ll send you a few notes both on marketablity, ideas for improvement, and then tell you if I think your novel is something I can help with. From there, you decide if you’d like to pay for the rest of the critique at 50.00 per 10,000 words – first chapter excluded from word count cost. 

We’ll once again discuss timeline. I need half payment before I start reading, and the other half before I send on my notes.

Helping fellow writers with their projects is one of my very favorite things. Thank you so much for being a part of that.

Happy Writing!

~ Jo