There are many stages to getting a book to a publishable level, and there are a number of different edits your manuscript needs to go through. You’ll get the best results if we build a good, working relationship in which we can communicate clearly and honestly with one another - and I always strive to do that with all my clients.
I won’t lie, I won’t sugar-coat things, I will tell you the truth, but I promise that whatever feedback I give will always be constructive. If I need to say a negative, I’ll back it up with a positive, and I’ll always offer positive ways of overcoming those negatives. I’ll explain every edit I make as simply and succinctly as I can.
When you hire me as your editor, you get the whole thing. Yes, there are different kinds of edits, but I’ll do them all – each in different passes of your manuscript. So what does it include?
Developmental editing is all about checking for the big things and making sure your foundations are in place and are strong enough to hold up your book. It involves looking at plot, pacing, structure, characterisation, and setting. All books need to go through at least one round of this type of editing, and it can (but doesn’t always) involve major overhauls of your novel. The structure might change, characters might merge or be deleted completely, the setting might jump from one city to another - and these are problems that you, as a creator, simply can’t see in your baby.
Those examples are major changes that your book might not need and besides, it’s your book so you get the final say; ultimately, I’m only here to give advice. Just remember: knowing where there may be plot holes or which characters work and which are nothing but caricatures can really turn you from a novice novelist to an A+ pro.
Copy editing involves taking your manuscript sentence by sentence and really giving it a good scrub. I’ll look at sentence structure, word usage, readability, flow, grammar, punctuation, and accuracy, as well as rooting out errors and typos. I’ll look at it forwards, backwards, and inside-out.
This is the absolute last stage of editing. It is, as the name suggests, a reading of the ‘proof’ or mock-up of your book. It’s done when the book has been put together, the typography is set, and the cover is chosen. It’s a last, last check for errors, typos, and misprints. I’m not expecting you to have a print-ready copy of your manuscript, though I probably will print it myself. Why? In some ways, proofreading is the most difficult form of editing because it requires a huge attention to detail and focus, yet it will involve the least number of changes - if any at all - because they should have been picked up in a previous round of edits (although we all know that typos breed when we aren’t looking, so there’s bound to be one or two).
We’ll discuss your needs in whatever way works best for you - video chat, voice call, emails, or messages. Then I’ll edit a 2,000-word sample for free before we even start. Why? I need to know what stage you’re at, and you need to know whether I’m the right editor for you. If we both want to move forward, I’ll start working on your developmental edit right away. It’ll take eight to ten weeks to get your manuscript from that stage to a polished product and in that time, we’ll stay in close contact using whatever means of conversation you prefer. You’ll also get lifetime access to the member’s area, where you can find all sorts of worksheets, templates, and cheat sheets to help you as a writer.
If you’re looking for some feedback on your writing, your structure, the clarity of your voice, and your characters, then I can do that for you. I will read your manuscript and write a two-page (minimum) report, detailing what’s good and what needs work. I will also provide in-line comments along the manuscript if you provide me with an editable file (ideally MS Word). This is useful if:
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