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Introducing Sally Bradley, Editorial Services for the Traditional and the Indie Author

Posted by on January 17, 2014

I don’t know about you all, but most of the year-in-review blogs I’ve read from publishing professionals have mentioned not only the impact of indie publishing on the industry, but also the fact that this segment of authorship is growing. For years I’ve been reluctant to go this route myself, and I’m glad, as Heather Day Gilbert mentioned a few weeks ago on IC, I didn’t. I wasn’t ready and the resources to improve my writing were not as available back then as they are today.

Well, the times they are a-changing. That’s why we, here at, want to help both readers and writers find what they need in this changing world. So we’ve decided to provide readers more opportunity to peruse a greater breadth of reading material by interviewing more indie authors, as well as provide resources for indie authors to polish their work and make it the best it can be.

clip_image002Today, I am interviewing Sally Bradley about her editing services. This can help the author prepare his/her work for acceptance into the traditional markets, or to polish it for indie publication. She has also graciously offered a free substantive edit on the first fifteen pages of a book, plus a one-page synopsis, to a randomly selected commenter this week. This could help an author polish that 2014 Genesis entry ;o). The winner would need to redeem the service before March 1, 2014.

Thank you, Sally, for stopping by To begin, can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a book lover. I admit it—my life revolves around books. Currently I’m reading four books at the same time and having no problem keeping the characters or plots straight. What can I say? I think God made me this way.

Is there life outside of books? Of course. I’m married to a pastor who’s also a part-time cop, and we have three kids who keep us busy but make life a lot of fun.

Wow, a pastor/cop? That sounds like the set-up for an inspirational romantic suspense right there. Hmmmm. <Connie scribbles in her notes>

We’re all big sports fans, and we’ve brainwashed our kids to be die-hard Chicago Bears, White Sox, Blackhawks, and Bulls fans. Clearly, we’re great parents!


Tell us about your services.

My goal in any edit is to help my client make the book the best it can be and to also grow their skills as a writer so that their next book is even better. I have a teaching style, and if a technique or idea isn’t understood, I do my best to use the story itself to show how that technique could work or how the writer could use it. I try to give a lot of feedback—not to overwhelm the reader, but to make it clear where there are issues and to explain those issues. You’re not going to hear from me that characterization is weak so work on it. I’ll point out in the manuscript itself that the hero right here sounds more like a woman than a man or that here, here, and here is where we need more internal monologue from the heroine in order to understand what she does.

That sounds awesome.

As for types of services, I offer substantive or content editing which covers plot, characterization, setting, hook, dialog, etc., and line editing which focuses on word choice, grammar and punctuation, story details, and tight writing.

How did you get started doing this?

I was putting my bio together for a novel proposal, and it hit me how much real-world experience I had—writing sales copy, editing, and copy editing at two publishing houses. Sometimes we know ourselves too well to see our strengths and weaknesses, and that was the case. My critique group encouraged me to start an editing business, and I did. That was seven years ago. Since then I’ve worked with clients who’ve gone on to sell to traditional publishers and clients who’ve been semi-finalists, finalists, and winners in ACFW’s Genesis.

Wow, you must know your stuff.

What are your strengths?

Characterization and deep POV are my strengths. I also just think in stories, which I believe is a strength and is the reason I work almost entirely with fiction. My biggest strength may be that each client gets their money’s worth. Years ago I worked with an editor who gave a short summary letter on what to work on and little feedback in the manuscript. It wasn’t as helpful as it could or should have been. So my clients get their money’s worth. I have a page on my website with client referrals that support this.

What do you like most about your work?

I love seeing a client’s work improving. That’s so encouraging. I’ve worked with writers on query letters that were getting form rejections and heard later that they signed with their dream agent. I’ve shown a client that a certain technique was the story’s main weakness and what they needed to work on, and the client came back a few months later with a new version where the technique was so much stronger. That’s exhilarating. And when the book is Christian fiction and offers truth and hope to the reader, that’s even better, because I know the writer’s message matters.

Oh, yes!

How long does it usually take you to complete a job?

It depends on the size of the project and the need of the client. A full manuscript can take about three weeks. A partial manuscript might take a week. If a client needs a faster turnaround, I can usually make it happen.

You are a writer yourself. What kinds of stories do you write?

I write Christian fiction that focuses on God fixing the unfixable messes we make. I like drama and deep characterization with real-life scenarios because so many people today have messy lives and no hope. We forget that God, if we submit and follow his way, can fix anything.

Yes! He! Can!

I know my readers are now clamoring to find out more. How can my readers contact you?

My website is There’s a contact tab for those who are interested in my services.

Don’t forget to comment below to enter to win a substantive edit of your first fifteen pages plus synopsis. I will choose a winner after midnight next Thursday January 23, 2014.


Sally Bradley has worked for two publishers, writing sales and marketing materials, sorting through the slush pile, and proofreading and editing fiction. She has a BA in English and a love for perfecting novels, whether it’s her work or the work of others.
A judge in fiction-writing contests, Sally is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers, The Christian PEN, and the Christian Editor Network. Among past clients are five Genesis finalists, one Genesis winner, and a handful of published novelists. She’s also a three-time Genesis finalist and has won two other writing contests for her work.

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Self-Publishing How-To My Way

21 Responses to Introducing Sally Bradley, Editorial Services for the Traditional and the Indie Author

  1. Connie Almony

    Thank you all for commenting on this post. We have chosen a winner: Jon Hopkins. He will receive free editing of the first 15 pages and a synopsis of his manuscript.

    God Bless!!!

  2. Catherine Hudson

    Well I might be too late to enter but I’m glad I popped by anyway! I’ll be heading over now to check out your services Sally. It was great to see the strength of your faith in God.

  3. Lacie Nezbeth

    Wow! What a great opportunity to have some gifted, editor-eyes on a story. I would love to have Sally tear apart my first 15 pages! Lord knows they need it! 🙂

  4. Connie Almony

    Sally, it’s been so good to have you on IC this week. As Nathan said, the more eyes on our work the better. It’s good to have an experienced team to develop our work and make it the best it can be. A good editor is hard to find.

    I’ll be announcing a winner in the comments tomorrow!

  5. Nathan D Maki

    I noticed this blog post and contest tweeted by @ConnieAlmony. Thanks! I’m just wrapping up a Christian historical fiction novel, third in The War Within series. Working title, The Praetorian. I have a very insightful lady who reviews and gives great feedback, but the more eyes the better, so I’d love to enter the contest. My publisher also does an edit, but it doesn’t sound nearly as substantive as what you’d be able to do. I’ll definitely have to bookmark your page for future reference!

    All the best!

  6. Jon Hopkins, Tom Hopkins

    Sally and Connie, what a great interview! And GREAT timing…We are in the market for someone to edit. Put us in the fish bowl for our completed 100,000 word novel!

  7. Elaine Stock

    Connie, thanks for making this possible critque availale to your viewers and Sally, thanks for the offer. I’m thinking about entering the Genesis this year after missing out on it last year so this would be very valuable. estock(at)fairpoint(dot)net

  8. Misty Beller

    Sally, Its great to hear about you and your services! I would love to have my name in the hat for the drawing. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Rachel Withers

    I would love to win an edit. I’m working on a romance about running and fitness.
    I’m actually at 9100 words or 15 pages. New author and need feedback.

  10. Susan

    Wow. What a great opportunity! I’m currently working on my third manuscript in my series and would love to have book number one looked over as I’m tightening and tweaking it now and hoping to get it out sometime in the near future. It is indie Christian fiction too!

  11. Britney Lewis

    Also, I would live to enter the drawing.

  12. Sally Bradley

    Carol, a substantive edit for 90K would run around $825.

  13. Jan Warren

    Sally, heard about the free 15 page edit you’re drawing for and would love to have you put my name in the “contest hopper.” What a wonderful way to help fellow authors. Such a blessing. Thanks, Jan

  14. Carol Moncado

    Good for you Sally! I noticed on your site the other day that you only have prices up to 25K. What about something closer to a full 90K MS?

    Thanks 🙂

  15. Kathleen L. Maher

    What a terrific offer. I heard about this blog post on the Christian Indie network, and wanted to put my name in the hat. Thanks for the chance to get an edit.

  16. Sally Bradley

    Cheri, I really do edit almost one-hundred percent fiction. I don’t know that I’d be the right editor for non-fiction. If you’re actively looking for a freelance editor, try the Christian PEN (Proofreaders and Editors Network) or Christian Editor Network. All editors on CEN are vetted before being given editing leads.

  17. Sally Bradley

    Heather, oh pshaw! 🙂 Thanks for tweeting this.

    Piper, I’ve heard you’re an amazing writer. We have a mutual friend that was telling me about your stuff. Sounds interesting!

    Connie, thanks so much for hosting me today.

  18. Cheri Swalwell

    I would love a chance to win. I write nonfiction so if that still qualifies, please count me in.

    in Him,

    Cheri 🙂

  19. Britney Lewis

    Holy taco! I am so glad I was on Twitter this afternoon, otherwise I wouldn’t have seen the tweet from Heather!
    Woo! Go Heather!
    But this blog post is awesome. It’s amazing to hear that there are Christian editorsin the world who have been gifted with the talent to help others create perfection.
    Sally, I think that it’s great that you are offering free services, and from the sound of it, whoever wins will be in great hands!

  20. Heather Day Gilbert

    How wonderful you’re offering this, Sally! And reading your credentials, I feel triply honored that you liked my book! I had no idea how intimidating your creds were! Will tweet this for sure!

  21. Piper

    I am shopping for editors and I’m glad to see Sally’s honest responses here. I feel better equipped to make an informed decision. Thank you for this post!