. John Tallmadge | Exploring Nature, Culture, and the Human Journey
Books are our grandparents –Gary Snyder

Developmental Editing

If you already have a draft of your manuscript, with or without reports from outside readers, then developmental editing can help. Unlike an acquiring editor, who solicits and contracts books, or a copy editor, who handles fine mechanical details, a developmental editor works with you on all aspects of your project, from design and content to plot, organization, and style. In the past, both university and trade presses provided in-house editing, but now the former rely on outside readers while the latter prioritize best-selling authors. This leaves most writers to find editorial help on their own.

A developmental editor works like a professional audience and personal trainer combined. In the first phase of the process, we review and discuss the initial draft of your manuscript, identify major areas for development, analyze and integrate outside readers' reports, if any, and formulate a revision plan. In the second phase, we implement and refine the revision strategies and review drafts of individual chapters. In the third phase, we deal with the book as a whole, achieving a final, polished draft and a plan for submission to an agent or publisher.

You may benefit from this service if you are:

  • An established author with a troublesome manuscript or project, seeking to get started or overcome a block
  • A scholar with a manuscript under consideration and challenging readers’ reports
  • A junior professor on the tenure track with an unpublished but promising dissertation
  • A writer who feels a book inside but has no idea how to bring it to birth

Developmental editing is offered at an hourly rate of $85. It includes manuscript review, written reports, and phone consultations covering the design, organization, and style of your project as well as all aspects of dealing with the press.  A retainer of $425 and an initial commitment of 20 hours are required to engage this service.





John Muir in his “Scribble Den”