As indicated in a previous post, the developmental work I do begins and ends in conversation.
Prospective authors schedule a 30-minute intake call on my calendar, and we talk about your project, timeline, and goals. During our call, I’m hoping to establish a connection, but I’m also hoping to determine fit.
If my skill set doesn’t fit an author’s needs—if you seek a straightforward proofread or require a too-tight timeline, for example—I will typically encourage a visit to the Editorial Freelancers Association job board (and I will wish you luck wading through the reams of responses you’ll definitely receive).
Other times, however, the fit feels right, and our conversation becomes a lot more interesting.
In some ways, a developmental edit is just an intense, ongoing conversation consisting of three intertwined dialogues: between the author and me, between the author and their manuscript, and between their manuscript and me.
The conversation begins with an author articulating their extratextual focus, providing answers or even ruminations to questions such as the following: What is your book’s message? Who wants or needs to hear it? Why does this audience want or need to hear it, and what will they gain from it? What do you want out of the book publication process (in terms of number of books sold, but also in terms of legacy)? How do you want to be introduced to others five years from now?
Once I understand your answers, we turn to your manuscript and extend the conversation.