What does an editor do, anyway?
Editing is essentially a process of giving advice. Developmental editors like me have a deep understanding of the craft of storytelling and the current publishing landscape. The advice I give on any project is multilayered, and might include feedback on concept, voice, characterization, pacing, what is at stake in the plot, how the conflict escalates, emotional resonance for the intended audience, world building (for fantasy or sci-fi), illustration potential (for picture books), how the project compares to existing published titles, or whatever other issues strike me. My goal is to help authors make their books as compelling and irresistible as possible.
What are your rates?
My clients and I agree on a flat fee before we begin working together on a project. I conduct a free evaluation of a few pages of writing to determine voice, genre, density of prose, and other factors that impact how quickly I can work. Manuscript evaluations of middle grade novels typically start at $2,100.
What is the turnaround time for a manuscript evaluation or editorial letter?
We will agree on a schedule before we begin. I usually allow 4 to 6 weeks to read and respond to a novel, but rush turnaround may be available depending on my schedule.
Will you guarantee publication, or any other measure of external success, after working together?
No, I do not offer or promise the publication of any manuscript. I bring the same sensibility to my freelance projects that I did when I acquired books for HarperCollins, Disney-Hyperion, and Scholastic, but I cannot guarantee that my editorial work will lead to a publishing deal.
Will you refer me to a literary agent or publisher?
No, I do not regularly refer clients to agents or publishers. On rare occasions, if a project strikes me as especially well suited to a particular agent or in-house editor, I might make a suggestion, but I cannot make referrals upon request.
What genres do you edit?
I work best when I have my hands in a range of genres and formats. I am drawn to fantasy and sci-fi, especially when fantastical inventions are grounded in authentic characters; contemporary love stories and friendship stories; genuinely funny books of all kinds; books that blend genres in unexpected ways; and stories that are infused with everyday magic and wonder.
What about that typo on page 20?
I am a developmental editor. My line-by-line notes might include suggestions related to clarity, consistency, and syntax. I’ve even been known to catch the occasional dangling modifier. That said, if you are not interested in big-picture suggestions, and instead want help correcting spelling, grammar, and punctuation, you should consider working with a copyeditor. Every book should be copyedited before publication.