Developmental Editing

“How can I make my book better?” You might ask that question after you’ve completed a draft, or even while you’re still writing. Perhaps you sense that the quality isn’t quite what you had hoped for, but you can’t put your finger on what to do about it. Or you may have a good handle on what aspects need improvement, but you aren’t sure how to fix them. Developmental editing can help you overcome those hurdles.

What I’ll do

  • I’ll read through your entire nonfiction manuscript twice (the first time for an overall sense of the content, the second time for deeper analysis).
  • If needed, I’ll confer with you by email or phone to be sure I understand your vision of the book’s audience and purpose.
  • During my second reading, I’ll analyze “big picture” aspects. For instance, is the writing style clear and appropriate for the audience? Does the overall organization make sense and flow well? Are specific themes woven throughout the book? Is the content sufficiently developed, or does anything seem to be missing? 
  • I’ll also write notes in the manuscript to point out specific examples (using Microsoft Word’s comments feature, unless you request a different method).
  • Finally, I’ll write a detailed memo that shares my observations, identifies strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript, and offers suggestions for improvement.

What you’ll receive

  • Memo with analysis and recommendations
  • Comments inserted in manuscript

Where to go from there

After reading the memo and comments, you can decide how (or whether) to revise your manuscript. As you revise it, you’ll have the benefit of an objective, professional analysis and specific suggestions for improving your nonfiction book.

Once you’ve revised the manuscript, it will be ready for the next stage of editing. You may want to consider substantive line editing as the next step, but it's up to you—there's no obligation for further services.

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