When clients contact me to edit their book proposal or manuscript, I will try to dissuade them. I love to edit, but I don't want writers spending money on what I'll provide if it's not what they want or need.
Don’t hire me for a developmental edit on your manuscript or proposal if...
...you want a proofreader.
If you want an editor to catch misspellings or to suggest better word choices, I’m not your editor. I can, though, recommend gifted copy editors and proofreaders.
...you want a cheerleader.
I understand that you want to hear, “It’s perfect. Don’t change a thing!” I get it. I love those words, too. But if you hire me, I will suggest ways to strengthen your manuscript or proposal. If you have no intention of investing more time and energy into it, don’t hire me.
...you want to be finished. Immediately.
You’ve written the cover letter to the agent or publisher and are ready to hit "send." If you plan to jet it off in next 72 hours, no matter what I suggest, don’t hire me.
...you want a nap.
Maybe you’ve had a critique group offering input on this project for three years. (If so, good for you!) Maybe you took time off of work to pour your soul into this work, and you’re just exhausted. The very best thing you can do is to set your work aside for five days or three weeks—before or after I see it—and return to it with fresh eyes, mind and heart. If you are too exhausted to make suggested edits, don’t hire me.
...you want an easy path.
I don’t want you to invest money in a developmental edit if you don’t see the larger path toward publication for your book. If I provide a developmental edit, I want to be sure—for your sake—that you see and understand the larger publication process.
(1) If you’re pursuing a traditional publisher, they’ll want to see that you’re building a platform and reaching and audience. Even if your writing is excellent, they need to see this larger picture to say “yes” to you. (MUCH has been said about this & you can find lots online.)
(2) If you’re considering self-publication, you need to have a plan both to produce a quality book (copy editor, proofreaders, cover designer, book designer, printer, etc.) and also a way to sell that book. (Selling books is hard. You’ve heard this. It’s true.
Do consider hiring me for a developmental edit on your manuscript or proposal if...
...you’d like an experienced editor to offer feedback so that you can improve your writing. If you want to know what’s working well, what can be strengthened, and how to strengthen it to serve readers—and you have more fuel in your tank to make those changes—we can talk.
Cheering you on,