Substantive & Developmental Editors like me come way before the nitty-gritty of grammar and spelling corrections that copy editors do. In my experience, as a writer and editor of many years, THE most important priority for writers should be the quality of the manuscript itself. Formatting, spelling/grammar - all of those things should take place LAST, when you are already as sure as you can be that the manuscript is excellent.
You can have great cover art, you can have a clever marketing plan, you can have a wonderful platform - but ultimately readers will decide whether they enjoy your story, whether it is narrative nonfiction or fiction. It is very democratic, at the end of the day. That's how you get good reviews, that's how you get good word-of-mouth, that's how you interest book clubs and get people to have conversations about your book. If the manuscript isn't working - nothing else matters. That's why I am here.
The choice between Substantive versus Developmental editing comes down to the status of your manuscript and the scope of work involved for the editor. To learn more about the check-list we Story Editors (as I call us!) look for, follow this link.
You have written a draft (or ten!) of your manuscript and still have nagging doubts. Your friends think it's great, but what will a broader readership think? Is it really time for a copy edit, or does the book still need work?
What if your manuscript is not on par with other material out there?
I will read and evaluate your manuscript thoroughly, providing both inline and larger notes on your premise, theme, narrative, structure, character, and dialogue. Plus, I'll rate the overall entertainment factor and your storytelling skills, spotting weaknesses and showing you how to amplify your strengths and unique voice.
You are very keen to get this book out into the world, whether traditionally or independently. Leaving no stone unturned, you would like a skilled editor to go over every sentence, paragraph, and chapter to be sure that your manuscript is a page-turner, packed with sensory details, writerly artistry, great scene work, memorable characters, and a driving narrative.
No shortcuts for you; you've worked too hard on this manuscript.
I will work with you closely and provide two passes of substantive editing and overall notes as we go.
Developmental Editing & Coaching
You got a good running start on your manuscript and then got lost in the woods. You're overwhelmed but determined not just to finish this manuscript but to be a better writer, full stop.
You could benefit from some accountability and deadlines. You want to enjoy this journey and actually finish this manuscript.
I will provide you with constant feedback, substantive editing, frequent email, and Zoom sessions to brainstorm together and discuss your work. I will get you and your manuscript over the finish line AND raise your writing level significantly in the process.