Substantive (or Content) Editing:
I evaluate your writing from a reader’s viewpoint. Does your writing capture my attention immediately? Do I care about the characters? Is the plot fresh and captivating or unimaginative? Is it so sparse or disjointed that I can’t follow what’s happening? Do I get bored anywhere? Are the descriptions too lengthy? Are there any inconsistencies? Do I feel like I’m on the “inside” with the characters, fully relating to them and experiencing what they’re going through? Do I feel like I’m outside of the scenes, unable to relate to what is happening? Is distracting jargon used? Are there overused clichés? Does anything make me stop reading and put the book down?
Substantive writing is crucial in keeping your readers engaged to the very end. It is achieved by complex analysis of the writing’s impact on the reader. My job is to make sure your writing is clear, concise, and appealing to the reader from start to finish.
Copy editing starts with basic proofreading: correcting fundamental errors such as spelling, typos, punctuation, and incorrect or outdated information. But copy editing goes even further to correct errors related to grammar, syntax, word choices, sentence structure, redundancies, point of view, flow, format, consistent voice and style.
This is the summary of your entire book. Before an agent reads your entire manuscript, he or she first will evaluate whether your book premise is solid (based on the synopsis you provide). For nonfiction books, your synopsis will include a one paragraph summary of the specifics covered in every chapter of the book. For fiction books, your synopsis will be a two-to-three page narrative summary of your entire novel. Don’t break your fiction synopsis down by chapter, just write it as a condensed version of your novel.
A book proposal is a compilation of everything about the manuscript you are trying to sell to a publisher. It is comprised of many specific segments which vary by proposal. The parts of a proposal (both fiction and nonfiction) that I will edit are as follows, if you include them: Query Letter, Overview, Synopsis, Author’s Bio, Sample Chapters, and Endorsements. The other elements (i.e. Marketing Plan, Comparative Analysis, Affiliations, etc.) I do not edit. Proposals are usually at least twenty pages long and can be up to fifty pages.
A manuscript evaluation/critique is a thorough, in-depth assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of your writing. You will receive constructive advice, direction, and examples to improve plot structure, scene development, characterization, viewpoint, physical setting, narrative style, and other important writing elements. A critique will help you tighten up your writing to be well crafted and professional in every way.