When Do You Need A Developmental Editor?

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Developmental Editing | Content Development

There’s a story here somewhere …
Writing a book takes far more effort and knowledge than just sitting down and letting your thoughts run free and your fingers fly over a keyboard. The professional world of publishing has its own guidelines and requirements. Without meeting the requirements of a particular publishing house and/or acquisitions editor, you may waste your time and postage on fruitless submissions.

Acquisitions editors and publishers buy books that fit into their lines and share similarities with other works they publish; however, they often are attracted to a new twist to existing fiction or new ideas along the familiar lines of nonfiction books. Contrary as it may sound, editors look for similar words with a difference—but not too different from what’s selling for them now.

Our published authors and professional book editors can help you develop or revise your copy to fit publisher and editorial requirements. If your manuscript isn’t written, though you have an idea for a story, you may benefit from ghostwriting or rewriting portions. If your manuscript is complete, but it doesn’t seem to fit the guidelines of the particular publishing house you’ve chosen, or if you have the interest of an agent who suggests fine-tuning of your manuscript before acceptance, or if you’re just not happy with the manuscript you’ve produced, our writers and editors are available to offer you substantive editing, content development, and revision assistance.

This level of editing improves awkward sentences, wordiness, and weak word choices; it focuses on the theme, the characters, and the story line itself. It also may involve recommending rewrites to parts of the story that don’t strengthen the whole. Published authors often learn to revise their own work to a great extent, yet a good editor may still find ways to improve the form and content of their work.

If your manuscript is nonfiction, we will help you with presentation, clarity, headings, documentation, and indexing.

No writer ever finds it easy to have someone else adjust even a word or comma of his or her creation. When it comes to cutting paragraphs and rewriting sentences and sections, most writers wince. All published writers learn that once a manuscript is bought, many changes will be made to suit the editor, and the editor has the right to make such changes, even when the writer doesn’t agree with them.

Learning to accept suggestions from others about your work is part of becoming a professional writer—a published author. If you aren’t yet comfortable with considering suggestions for changes, this particular level of service is not for you.

If you want your fiction or nonfiction book to go before literary agents and acquisition editors with the best chance of being read and considered seriously—and you are open to other opinions about your work—we’ll be glad to help you accomplish that goal.

Remember, we will offer you many suggestions for revision and content development, but the final decision is always yours.

Fiction and Nonfiction Book Editors Listed by Genre

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