What is it?

You have a great idea for a book—but you don’t know how to get started.

You’ve started on a manuscript—and you’re stuck.

You’ve written a book before and had a tough go of it—and this time, you want someone to be your coach, readers’ advocate, instructional design assistant, sanity-checker, or any combination of these roles.

The developmental editing process is a partnership, and it works best if we work together from the beginning to:

  • Discover and understand the audience(s): Who are we talking to? What are they like?
  • Develop the content outline: What do we want them to know?
  • Apply instructional design and story development strategies: How are we going to tell them?
  • Review and fine-tune your content: Did we include too much information or provide unnecessary details? Did we forget something? Are we speaking in the correct voice for the audience?
  • And ultimately ask and answer all those pesky yet crucial “Why should the reader care?” questions.

As you create your manuscript, I’ll read and provide feedback on each chapter to keep you on point and in the groove. And I will always tell you when I see awesomeness!

But What If I Already Have Everything Written?

That’s great! I will go chapter by chapter through your manuscript and provide suggestions for improvement while reviewing your content as both a beta reader and a developmental editor.

I will be a strong advocate, a deep thinker, and sometimes a tough critic because I want you to create your best work—something that helps the world become kinder, gentler, more just, and more sustainable.

Asking hard questions, challenging assumptions, and providing constructive criticism is the responsibility of any developmental editor. Copy editing, proofreading, and general grammatical nitpicking are not usually part of the developmental editing process. That stuff typically happens afterward.

For technical books, especially those that include software code examples and exercises, the developmental editing process may also include scheduling and organizing peer and expert reviews and helping the author assess any revisions that are needed, based on feedback from those reviewers. Coordinating those reviews will be billed at an hourly rate to be determined.

For more information, contact me at sean (at) seandennis (dot) com.

Photo taken in Darien, Georgia USA.