Our Story

Among the many changes in publishing over the last 35 years, few are of more consequence than the decline of in-house editing at major publishing houses. Whether you’re a first-time writer struggling to break into print or a published author whose last book did anything but make your publisher rich, the reality is the same: a manuscript that needs editing is much more likely to be rejected than published.

While the independent publishing revolution gives authors a viable alternative to the “permissions model” of traditional publishing, the need for quality editing holds true. Most paths to self-publication demand little if anything in the way of quality control, and books that reach the market without reaching high standards of concept, execution, and editing are virtually never successful. And that’s why we’re here—to give promising manuscripts the best chance of success via either publishing path.

Though the editor-for-hire market has only recently started to reflect it, the shift away from in-house editing and the ebb of opportunities for new authors (first novelists especially) began quite some time ago. Renni Browne, our founder, witnessed this shift from the trenches. By the late 1970s, she was a senior editor at William Morrow who was able to spend very little time actually working with authors on their manuscripts—a prevailing trend in the industry. She left mainstream publishing in 1978 and in 1980 started the first company devoted exclusively to book editing. She named it The Editorial Department because it provided the same services that editorial departments at publishing houses had once routinely offered.

The success of this company, now 35 years old, is in itself a testament to the great need for highly skilled independent editors. Today we’re as committed to providing world-class editorial support as ever. But as the demands on professional writers have changed and expanded over the years, so have the qualifications of our staff and the scope of programs and services we provide to assist our clients. In addition to a team of gifted editors, we now have literary agents, marketing and publicity specialists, publishing consultants, and screenplay-adaptation consultants to provide expert guidance and hands-on support in helping you reach your goals.

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