By Eyre Price
The peculiarities of publishing have put me in an unexpected position. My latest title has been sold, but is stuck in a queue that will delay that book from hitting shelves for a while. At the same time, I’ve finished another novel that is currently being shopped around. So rather than add more manuscripts to this congestion, I’d like to use this opportunity to do something I’ve wanted to do for a long time: developmental editing – but with a completely different approach.
In my experience, there are three things wrong with traditional developmental editing.
The pressure to have a completed manuscript
The first is that developmental editors typically want to see a completed manuscript, but this has always struck me as counter-intuitive. It’s like having a builder complete his house and then inspecting the foundation afterward. Working from a final draft often makes rewrites more difficult and occasionally requires tearing everything down and starting from scratch. That’s an unnecessary waste of time, effort, and opportunity.
I believe that working with a developmental editor from the very beginning allows the writer to maximize the benefits of that process. So, while I’m more than willing to tackle a complete manuscript, I’m equally eager to work on a (very?) rough draft. A couple of chapters. Even an outline or an idea.
The second drawback is the price. A full editing of a manuscript can start around $1,000.00 and go north from there. For a beginning writer--and some of us more established ones, too--that cost factor is prohibitive.
So what I’m offering is a service charged on an hourly rate. Pay for the time you need, and nothing more. My sincere hope is that this will make developmental editing affordable to absolutely everyone who is interested in working with an editor but has reservations about making a significant financial investment.
Communication loop is left open
The third issue is that at the end of the editing process, a client is typically provided with nothing more than a couple pages of written notes. There may be a follow-up phone call, but generally the writer is left to interpret and implement those changes on their own. To me, this lack of continued interaction frustrates the purpose, which I think often necessitates a series of conversations. So, while I’ll certainly offer written notes, I’m also planning to make myself available for on-going discussions. Phone. Skype. FaceTime. GooglePlus. Whatever works. Night owl or morning person, I’ll accommodate your schedule.
So, that’s it. Simple enough. No matter where you are in the process, from finished manuscript to just the germ of an idea, I’m available to help you develop your work on the terms that work best for you.
If you’re curious about me, I’m an agented writer and the award-winning author of the Amazon Best Selling Crossroads Thrillers series. I’ve been featured in Writer's Digest, was on the editorial staff of ITW’s The Big Thrill, and my short fiction has appeared in a number of anthologies. I’m a Fulbright Grant recipient and State Department selection as a U.S. representative to the 19th Salon International Du Livre D’Alger. I‘ve taught creative writing, presented panels at literary conferences, and appeared on numerous podcasts.
If you think that I might be able to help you with your work in progress, whether that’s just getting started or readying it for submissions or publication, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be more than happy to share the details of my plan and answer all of your questions.