Dreaming of getting published?
Let me help you make it happen!

If you’re exploring the business end of publishing – the mysterious realm of literary agents and book publishers – it can feel impenetrable and daunting. 

Is my book ready for the world?

Will anyone be interested in my idea?

Who will care about my story?

I’ve turned a lifelong obsession with books and writing into a business helping other writers get literary agents and publishing deals in the USA and Australia. Such as:

  • dog behaviourist Guy Hull, who came to me with an idea for a book that I helped him turn into the bestselling The Dogs That Made Australia (HarperCollins)
  • novelist Fiona Higgins, whose breakout book The Mothers’ Group (Allen & Unwin) was a bestseller and who is about to publish her fourth novel, An Unusual Boy with London-based Boldwood Books
  • psychologists Professor Gillian Straker and Dr Jacqui Winship, who with my help transformed their academic-sounding manuscript into a commercially appealing book — resulting in The Talking Cure (Macmillan)
  • journalist Tim Elliott, who I helped turn an explosive feature article in The Sydney Morning Herald into a manuscript that was hotly contested by several publishers at auction and published as Farewell to the Father (Macmillan).

What sets me apart from most editors you’ll find online is that I’ve been a commercially published author (twice), and a literary agent, as well as an in-house editor of fiction and nonfiction. I know how hard it is to write a book — and how hard it is to sell one to a publishing house. I know the level you need to reach, and the questions and concerns that publishing professionals will have about your project.

My portfolio and testimonials speak to the ways I help aspiring authors and subject experts achieve their publishing dreams. I can help you too.

You don’t need superficial copyediting that spots a few typos and word repetition.

You need constructive and honest advice that will get you where you want to go. And that’s where I can help.

VIRGINIA LLOYD
Hello and welcome. I help writers and experts develop their work to a publishable standard, find an agent, and get published. As the traditionally published author of two books, as a structural editor, former in-house editor and literary agent, I provide fiction and nonfiction writers with the sorts of commercial and constructive feedback you will never get from a writing class or workshop. Read more about me HERE

Why do my clients get agents and publishing contracts?

As a published author I know how hard it is to write a book and get it published, and I understand the joys and agonies of rewriting.

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As a former literary agent I know exactly how selective agents can afford to be and the reservations they’ll have about an author query email

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As an experienced structural editor I can see ways to improve most manuscripts that the author, who is typically too close to their material, cannot.

My clients value my strong editorial background because I know what constitutes a manuscript of publishable quality.

As a published author I know how hard it is to write a book and get it published, and I understand the joys and agonies of rewriting.

t

As a former literary agent I know exactly how selective agents can afford to be and the reservations they’ll have about an author query email

U

As an experienced structural editor I can see ways to improve most manuscripts that the author, who is typically too close to their material, cannot.

My clients value my strong editorial background because I know what constitutes a manuscript of publishable quality.

In my clients’ words:

Maryanne Moodie, On the Loom: A Modern Weaver’s Guide (Abrams) and Weave the Rainbow (forthcoming)

“Virginia was instrumental in my negotiations with my American publisher on my first and second book deals. After receiving an initial offer, Virginia helped me understand the process….”

Joe Novella

“Awesome feedback. Your suggestions really hit the mark on some of the challenges I have writing this story. Loved your feedback on the narrator, and you’re spot on about the voice…”

Guy Hull, The Dogs that Made Australia (HarperCollins, 2018)

“Virginia has been an absolute joy to work with and she has delivered on her every promise. ”

Katrina Lawrence, Paris Dreaming (HarperCollins, 2017)

“Thank you for all of your wise and considered and kind advice.”

Ingrid Du

“Working with Virginia has been an invaluable experience. Not only is she professional and efficient, but she has a way of immediately identifying what doesn’t work on the page and coming up with wonderful suggestions to make it work. She also excels at being able to pinpoint plot holes and loose ends and ways writing style could be improved. My manuscript wouldn’t be what it is today without her input, and I am so grateful to her for that. If you want to work with someone who will tell you what you want to hear, Virginia isn’t for you. But if you want to work with someone who tells you what you need to hear, then working with Virginia will be the best decision you’ll ever make.”

Sally Rynveld, co-author of A Good Life: the story of Guy Winship and Good Return (Ginanderra Press, 2018)

“Virginia’s searching questions and frank feedback were just what I needed to tighten the book’s focus and cut out irrelevant material.”

Cassandra, a respected and much-published historian, asked me to be her literary agent for this outstanding work of nonfiction. That involved identifying a shortlist of prospective publishers based on my knowledge of the Australian book industry and my established relationships with relevant decision-makers, contacting them about the manuscript, and negotiating publishers’ interest. An instant hit, Truganini was reprinted several times within months of its first publication by Allen & Unwin in 2020.

A young professional woman finally meets the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with, only to discover that he is terminally ill. After her beloved John’s death from cancer, Virginia was faced with addressing the chronic rising damp problem in the house they had shared and, over her first year as a young widow, her house had to dry from the inside out – and so did Virginia. The Young Widow’s Book of Home Improvement is a wry and touching love story that plays with the parallels between our homes and ourselves.

Structural edits identify areas for development in a range of storytelling elements such as structure, plot, characterisation, pacing, tone, point of view, and so on. Allen & Unwin, Kylie Ladd’s publisher, engaged me to undertake a structural edit of this terrific novel about the abduction of 13 year-old Charlie and how she and her family struggle to reach a new normal after they are reunited.

Maryanne has a large following on Instagram and Etsy for her beautiful modern works of woven art. I was delighted to advise Maryanne on her agreement with a big US publisher.

I coached Kellie from a good idea and partial manuscript through to a final manuscript and publishing contract.

Guy contacted me after stumbling upon my website, to see if I thought his book idea about the socio-economic history of dogs in Australia had any ‘legs’. With his professional background as a dog behaviourist, I knew instantly the book had enormous potential appeal to publishers — so long as Guy could develop a story-driven chapter outline and write a publishable manuscript. We refined his chapter outline together, and I provided editorial feedback on the first few chapters before we approached a shortlist of publishers. The book was published by HarperCollins in Australia, where it was a history bestseller, and is now available in the United States. (Guy’s follow-up book is coming out in 2021.)

Fiona was a nonfiction client when she sent me the draft of a novel she’d written. When I read The Mothers’ Group manuscript, I knew this was an important – not to mention page-turning – book. My job was to help Fiona maximise its appeal to prospective publishers through editorial feedback. The Mothers’ Group went to auction and was a bestseller in Australia and Europe. Virginia’s mentoring was vital to the ultimate publication of my work. Her insights were helpful at every stage of the process – from big-picture thinking on narrative structure and focus, through to line-by-line editorial feedback at final draft. She is an expert editorial ‘curator’ and a godsend for a first-time author. Fiona Higgins

Jenny’s first published novel was not the first novel she wrote. As her agent I provided editorial feedback, introduced her work to relevant publishers, negotiated her publishing contract and advised her through the publishing process.

I have edited Lily’s fiction and nonfiction for 20 years. Lola Bensky, her most recent novel, won France’s prestigious Prix Medicis Etranger for a work in translation.

A story about how learning to play the piano shaped the lives of the author and her grandmother, worlds and generations apart. Girls at the Piano is a musical mystery, a personal exploration of the purpose of years of intensive music study, and a tour through the changing relationship between women and the piano over the course of the instrument’s history. About the book Girls at the Piano is a literary tour through my love-hate relationship to the instrument, as a serious piano student during my childhood and adolescence, and investigates the mystery of my musical grandmother Alice, who gave up a blossoming professional life in music in Scotland to migrate to Australia in 1921. It regards the piano from the perspective of some historical and fictional women who sat

Katrina’s publisher HarperCollins Australia asked me for a structural report to help the author refine and develop the manuscript from final draft through to the version sent for copy editing and, finally, to the printer. I wanted to say a huge thank you for your wonderful edit of my manuscript, and for all of your wise and considered and kind advice. Katrina

Dr Lin approached me to help him get his book proposal in shape. His goal was a US literary agent and publishing deal. He had a promising media platform, a strong message, but the draft chapters he’d written needed work. I helped him reshape his chapter outline to reflect his key message, heavily edited the first few chapters, and ensured he had addressed the necessary elements a US literary agent expects of nonfiction submissions. The result? The proposal attracted a US agent, who landed Dr Lin a deal with Hay House, which published the book on four continents.

It was a pleasure to interview artist David Rankin and shape the first-person essay in this book, as well as edit art historian Dore Ashton’s extensive writings on David’s work over more than 25 years into this beautiful volume.

For HarperCollins I worked with Anna on developing a book-length chapter outline and provided mentoring and editing of individual chapters during the writing.

I helped Tim turn an explosive feature article in the Sydney Morning Herald into a fleshed-out chapter outline for this book, which sold at auction before it was completed.

The first book I agented, a phenomenal work of alternate history that went on to win two Aurealis Awards. It was published in Australia and the USA.

I edited Ashley’s follow-up to her international bestseller The Railwayman’s Wife.