Frequently Asked Questions
What does an editor do? How much does an editor change a book?
The way I see it, an editor has two main jobs. I’ll hold a mirror up to your story so you can see it with fresh eyes; then I’ll give you the creative feedback you need to get the story closer to your vision.
In practical terms, this means control of your book ultimately stays with you. Before I start work on any project, I make sure the author and I both understand what to expect for their specific edit. This is why I always do a free consultation and/or sample; it gives us the chance to work out details about the scope of the edit and how you prefer to get feedback.
(For more on how to tell if an editor is the right fit for you, take a look at my blog post on sample edits.)
Your book may change quite a bit over the course of an edit, depending on the project. But those changes will always be in your hands, and my goal will always be to strengthen your voice and your story – not to rewrite them in my own words.
What is developmental editing vs. copyediting?
There are a lot of different terms and definitions used in the publishing world. But the basic distinction between developmental editing and copyediting comes down to this: Developmental editing helps you revise the structure and content of your work, while copyediting helps you polish sentence-level language.
When you contact me, I’ll talk with you about your goals for the book, and I’ll take a look at your current draft. Then we’ll decide together what type of edit best fits your needs. So feel free to leave the jargon to me! If you are curious about the nitty gritty, though, check out my post on the full editing process.
What exactly is speculative fiction? Can I work with you if I call my stories something else?
“Speculative fiction” is another literary term that gets used in a few different ways. In general, it’s an umbrella for stories that couldn’t take place in the world as we currently know it. This includes fantasy, science fiction, alternate history, and similar genres.
But there’s also a second connotation to the speculative fiction label. These stories ask fundamental questions about human nature, our collective past, or our potential futures – they ask readers to imagine “what if,” and they invite us to apply our discoveries to the real world.
Those of us who love genre fiction are often hooked on the way these books can combine immersive storylines with deep-hitting themes. If this is the kind of fiction you read and write, then I’d be happy to help you get your book ready for readers, no matter what you call it!
Does my manuscript have to be the whole finished book?
To work with me, you do need to have a completed draft of your full book. I also recommend that writers get feedback from critique partners and/or beta readers before paying for a professional edit. This will help make sure you’re getting the most for your money. (I talk about this a bit in my post on pro critiques vs. beta reads.)
If you’re looking for professional support and feedback during your initial drafting process, you’re likely in the market for a book coach. This post from Book Riot is a good resource for basic info about book coaching.
If you have a finished first draft and you’ve gotten free feedback, but you’re still having trouble nailing down your revision priorities, I offer manuscript critiques at a lower price point than my full edits. This kind of critique will give you direction to get your project moving again. (I also offer a discount for folks who come back for a full edit after getting a critique.) When you contact me, just mention that you’re working on an early draft.
To start the process of getting your free editing sample (or just to ask questions), fill out the form below. Please give me some details about your writing project so I can better address your needs. Thank you!