Developmental Editing

A manuscript assessment is an objective, professional analysis of your book. 

This kind of assessment is also called Developmental or Substantive Editing. I often discover content issues that astound authors. They are thankful I found them before the book reached the copy-editing stage. 

Don’t trust your manuscript to inexperienced beta readers. Get insight about your work from a trusted professional.

Developmental editing is an established form of editing. It is one-on-one insight about the literary characteristics of a particular manuscript that you want before you write your final draft.

Get the independent feedback you want and need. This positive, helpful process enables you to get perspective on your manuscript. Developmental editing is engaging a professional to assess your book before you do a final revision of the manuscript and invest in copy editing.

A Simple Truth
You can’t depend on the opinion of your mom, friend, or the beta reader you found on Facebook to give you objective input about your book. They all bring baggage that keeps them from offering you a clear, concise view of your writing.

They may love you, but most lack the technical knowledge to know if a book is well-structured and if there is a market for it. You need an independent expert to evaluate your book before you advance to the next stage of book development, which is copy editing.

What You Receive

  • A comprehensive analysis of your book structure and content (fiction or nonfiction).
  • An analysis of the clarity of your writing. Clarity of communication is a secret to book success.
  • A helpful evaluation of your writing style from an objective point of view.
  • A positive critique of specific elements you can change to make your book more reader-friendly.
  • A professional opinion about your book’s potential for commercial success including some preliminary market research.
  • I catch hidden issues, problems, and blunders before you pay for copy editing.
  • No canned material or generic commentary. You get a personalized, objective appraisal of your book.

Professional feedback about your first draft will help you perfect your book. See my philosophy about working with authors here. The goal is to help you create a book you will be proud to publish.

  • I read the first draft of your manuscript carefully and prepare a 5-15 page report based on the issues I see. The length of my report depends on the word count of your book and the number of issues I discover.
  • In addition, we’ll have an up to 30-minute telephone conversation (USA only) to discuss the report, answer questions, or strategize about possible revisions for your second draft. Outside of the USA? We can use Skype/Zoom or email. See my credentials here.

Developmental Editing Fee

My fee for Developmental Editing is $495 for up to 40,000 words. Add $11 per thousand words beyond that. Word count is based on Microsoft Word statistics. Fees are not refundable for any reason since I set aside the time (opportunity cost), and invest the time and expertise to read your book so I can thoughtfully create your report.

  • Delivery time is based on my workload when I receive your book, but it is often 7-10 working days (M-F). I will meet the deadline we set together.
  • A completed first draft is strongly preferred. You may send a work-in-progress if it is well along, but your fee pays for a one-time evaluation, not an ongoing evaluation of your work-in-progress. Please see my mentoring program if you seek ongoing help with a work-in-progress. Copy (line) editing is not included.

Contact me and tell me briefly about your needs. I’ll respond promptly.