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developmental Editing

Congratulations on beginning your writing journey; I'm glad you're here. Developmental editing happens after some beta reads. You have a general idea of what your story is, but need help tweaking the organization, pace, and flow. My developmental editing services examine your manuscript from a bird's eye view. Please see below for which one best suits your needs.

manuscript assessment

$0.0125 per word (USD)

A manuscript assessment is an excellent choice for authors who want a professional overview about what's working in a story and what's not, from a big-picture perspective. It covers both developmental and style-related issues but is not as comprehensive as a full developmental edit. It's a great option if you've already gone through a few rounds of revisions. For more info on why to choose a manuscript assessment and how it differs from beta reading, see my service comparison chart. For a list of genres that I edit—and those that I don't—please see my About Me page.

Opening yourself up to feedback is a brave and necessary step in the publishing process. My role is not to criticize or knock your confidence, but to offer constructive feedback. Most times, as an author, you're too close to your story to be able to pinpoint the strengths and weaknesses. I take a sensitive approach to help ensure your story is told in a logical, fluid way. I believe a novel critique helps an author grow as a writer, and is a great first step in the editorial process, before diving into developmental or copyediting work.

If you decide to invest in a developmental edit after the assessment, I’ll credit 50% of the assessment’s invoice to your developmental edit quote.

This service includes:​

  • One read-through of your manuscript

  • A manuscript evaluation overviewing my thoughts and suggestions returned to you in the form of an editorial letter (length varies depending on genre and word count)

  • Provides an overview of the major issues in your book that could steer away readers (avoid the dreaded "DNF" review!) or hurt your odds of publishing traditionally. For novels, an assessment typically focuses on things such as plot holes and inconsistenciescharacter developmentpoint of view, dialogue, and age-appropriateness (for YA or NA). Nonfiction assessments usually look at organization, credibility, clarity and logic, and yes—even dialogue and characterization

  • Unlike the developmental edit, this does not include a chapter-by-chapter breakdown​, nor does it include extensive in-text markups (but may include minimal comment bubbles or highlighting in the original Word document to illustrate examples)

  • Any additional work after the critique letter has been returned, including follow-up communication, will be billed separately at my hourly rate of $40

Full developmental edit

Rates start at:

 

0.03 per word (USD)

A full developmental edit comes before line editing or copyediting. Developmental editing develops your manuscript into a finished book. Similar to a manuscript assessment in that it offers you suggestions for restructuring and rewrites, the developmental edit dives even deeper, chapter-by-chapter, showing your areas of strengths and weaknesses. I may suggest major revisions to your story, or even line edit a few sentences to give you an idea of comprehensive changes you'll need to make to strengthen your manuscript; however, I will not rewrite or revise the entire manuscript because it's important that your story retains your voice.

Developmental editing is not for the faint of heart as it's very invasive and leads to many revisions. However, it's a key step for those authors who want a publisher-level edit; who want to be challenged in the way an in-house publishing editor challenges. I take a sensitive approach to help ensure your story is told in a logical, fluid way. I believe developmental editing helps an author grow as a writer, and it functions as a great last step in the editorial process to ensure solid storytelling before diving into line editing or copyediting work.

This service includes:​

  • Two rounds of developmental editing

  • A manuscript evaluation overviewing my thoughts and suggestions of each chapter, returned to you in the form of a lengthy editorial letter; Client has 30 days to review my edits and get back to me with their revisions.

  • Markups in the text using Track Changes and comments to touch on specific examples addressed in the letter 

  • Provides feedback on each chapter regarding characterization (even nonfiction characters need developing!), writing style, organizational issues and inconsistencies, pacing, dialogue, showing vs. telling, areas of confusion, dramatic tension and conflict, and anything else that could hurt your odds of publishing

  • "Homework assignments" for you to complete to make your book stronger

  • Includes two hours of follow-up communication after the first draft is sent to answer any outstanding questions before you get to rewriting (half hour of the two hours can be accommodated in a phone call, the rest in email). One hour of follow-up communication to answer final in-text queries or emailed questions regarding the second draft.

  • Any additional work after the critique letter has been returned, including follow-up communication, will be billed separately at my hourly rate of $40

how do you determine your rates?

In addition to word count, I calculate my quotes based on genre and complexity. True crime and historical fiction, for example, are typically charged at a higher rate due to the high level of fact-checking involved. Additional elements such as captions and citations are charged an additional per-hour rate.

 

My rates are in accordance with the Editorial Freelancers Association. To receive an accurate quote, please use my contact form to submit the details of your project and I will get back to you shortly. 

still have questions?

 Check out my  FAQ page for a list of frequently asked questions, my service comparison  chart, and a glimpse into my  editorial process.

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Publishing Add-ons

My goal is to make the publishing process as easy as possible; that's why I pride myself on being a one-stop-shop for all of your writing and editing needs before moving onto design.

*only available to clients who purchase an editing service

Blurb Edit | for self-publishers

$30

What is it?

Your book blurb is the one- or two-paragraph description you'll find on the back of the book or in the catalog description of the book, such as on Amazon. A book blurb helps a reader determine if your book is something they want to read, or at least invites them to read the first page. You can use your query letter as the basis of your blub, but of course, you don't want to spoil the ending. A good blurb should alert the reader that your novel falls in line with the novel's genre conventions.

I'll copyedit and proofread your existing copy. I do not provide feedback on the manuscript itself with these services. 

Blurb Write-up* | for self-publishers

$60

I'll create original copy. I do not provide feedback on the manuscript itself with these services. 

Query Letter Edit | for traditional publishers

$50

What is it?

The query letter is what the author sends to an agent or editor to get him or her interested in reading their novel manuscript and eventually representing it or publishing it. This is usually a one-page business letter, around 300 words or so (almost always sent by email these days). If the editor likes your query, they'll ask to see your partial or full manuscript and usually your synopsis. A query letter must demonstrate your understanding of genre conventions in the query and the synopsis.

I'll copyedit and proofread your existing copy. I do not provide feedback on the manuscript itself with these services. 

Query Letter Write-up | for traditional publishers

$90

I'll create original copy. I do not provide feedback on the manuscript itself with these services. 

Synopsis Edit | for traditional publishers

$50 per page 

What is it?

A synopsis, ideally between two to ten pages, is an overview of what happens in a novel, from beginning to end; it highlights the story's central conflict, the narrative arc, the character development, and yes, even the ending. The synopsis is used to make publishing decisions—it lets the editor know if you understand genre conventions and whether you can write a compelling story.

 

I'll copyedit and proofread your existing copy. I do not provide feedback on the manuscript itself with these services. 

Synopsis Write-up* | for traditional publishers

$120 per page 

I'll create original copy. I do not provide feedback on the manuscript itself with these services. 

WHAT MY CLIENTS SAY

"CopyKat Editing goes above and beyond to make sure that deadlines are met and that the articles we produce are the best they can be. Kitty's great communication skills, helpful suggestions, and timely copyediting allows me to focus on the creative side while she focuses on the small details; she takes the stress out of editing on busy days and allows me to focus on writing as the news breaks. She's a joy to work with!"

—  Matt, Sports Illustrated

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