Identifying your next step is tricky. It depends where you’re at in the process and what type of feedback you’re ready for. That’s why most editors have screening questions before we launch into contracts and edits. You can see mine here.
If you’re struggling to finish your writing, you’ll benefit most from writing coaching or a manuscript assessment. If you’ve finished and need help developing a marketing plan, we can jump right into a call.
However, if you’re in that large, murky middle area somewhere between “first draft” and “finished”, you’ll fit in every category. Hooray? That’s not actually a problem; writing goes through many iterations and therefore many rounds of editing. That said, the advice I give to my clients is to start big picture and rabbit hole from there. So, if you haven’t had a manuscript assessment done before, that’s where I’d point you.
We can talk about it, too, if you have questions. Contact me.
A manuscript assessment is an overview of your entire manuscript (or MS for short). I evaluate following:
* Content, organization, impact.
* World-building elements, including character and plot development, setting, believability, and potential legal or social issues.
* Tone, voice, style, effect, and logic.
* Ability to reach target audience.
Editing the big-picture items to increase the effectiveness of the manuscript. Suggests changes to and provides examples for high-level content such as characters, plot, narrative, or setting that benefits the flow and appeal of the work.
- ensures consistency of characters, settings, dialogue, tone, etc. in conjunction with a style sheet.
- nourishes plot devices and suggests changes to structure, characters, themes, etc. to avoid plot holes and narrative red flags.
- educates on comparables and writing resources to empower and inspire the author.
- provides examples of devices, suggested changes, dialogue, etc.
Sentence-level editing that clarifies meaning, strengthens prose, and overall improves the reading experience. Suggests changes to and provides examples for improved sentence structure, flow, consistency, and readability.
- establishes author voice through clear phrasing and appropriate reading level for target audience.
- eliminates redundancies, clichés, dated phrases, and other literary devices which may detract from the work.
- checks continuity in character descriptions, sequences of events, and other world-building elements.
- edits spelling, punctuation, and usage.
Checking over the final version of a manuscript to ensure there are no textual or visual errors. It typically covers things like:
- Side-by-side or comparison view of last edits and final product to ensure all changes have been made.
- Checking for any typographical or mechanical errors (spelling mistakes, formatting discrepancies, etc.) and flagging deviations from style sheet.
- Verifying images and citations.
Every trade requires practice. If you’ve ever wondered how to strengthen your writing short of taking professional classes, getting some writing coaching is a great way to do it. From tailored exercises in your most loathed areas (is it effect or affect? what’s a dangling modifier and how to recognize and avoid it?) to creativity-inducing techniques that get your juices going, a writing coach can help take your work to the next level.
Newp, not the illegal kind. This refers to when editors write fresh material based on content from their author for the author to use. You can essentially think of it as advanced ghost writing. People typically get book doctoring when facing serious writer’s block or when they need to write from an unfamiliar perspective.
Marketing & Promotion
Writing the book is tough enough. Your marketing doesn’t have to be. Whether you’re aiming for a more traditional publishing target or want to take the self-publishing route, there are some key things you can do from the start to improve your odds of success.
Today’s market is virtual, so a big component of marketing and promotion has to happen online. This means getting yourself noticed often and early to gain traction and visibility. Every marketing plan is individual to the project, so think over your strengths and weaknesses, make a list of your goals, and contact me to figure out yours.