This page outlines the most common types of work I do for academic clients. Please use my contact form to let me know how I can assist you. If we’re a good fit for each other, I’ll give you a cost and timeline estimate, and we’ll go from there. If I’m not the right editorial fit, I’m always happy to provide referrals to other trusted editors.
Please note that for the rest of 2019 I am only taking on new clients for Quick Proposal Evals, Book Proposal Brainstorm Sessions, and my Book Proposal Accelerator (see below). I will begin scheduling all other services for 2020 beginning in October. To be notified of priority scheduling opportunities, sign up for the Manuscript Works newsletter.
MANUSCRIPT ASSESSMENT + REVISION PLAN
For books and dissertation-to-book conversions
This service includes a full read of your entire book manuscript and a detailed editorial letter covering all the issues of argument, evidence, narrative, structure, and style that stand between you and a completely effective manuscript. My feedback is both broad (issues affecting the entire manuscript) and fine (issues affecting individual chapters or sections within chapters). In some cases I may furnish additional, more micro-level comments directly on your text at the paragraph and sentence level. Unlike a peer reviewer, I don't just identify the problems; I provide practical suggestions for revision that will help you better connect with potential readers, editors, and reviewers. These might include drafting new statements of your book's thesis or arguments at the chapter level; suggesting new tables of contents and chapter structures; identifying areas that should be cut or condensed; brainstorming additional content that would better make a point; and more. Often, I pull out the argument in a piece that the author hasn't yet been able to fully articulate. My feedback is aimed at helping your contribution to scholarship shine through to your audience, which is especially helpful for first-time authors who are still in "dissertation mode," but equally valuable for veteran authors who have spent years immersed in their research materials.
The manuscript assessment is appropriate for authors who have a complete draft of their book manuscript (or a dissertation they intend to revise into a book manuscript). Authors may be at any stage in the contract and review process: I work with clients who are still narrowing their lists of prospective presses, clients who have advance contracts but are preparing for their manuscripts to undergo full peer review, and clients who have been through peer review and want to perfect their final drafts before publication. See my post, “When to Bring in a Developmental Editor on Your Academic Book Project,” if you aren’t yet sure when you might like to work together. I tailor my recommendations to each client's situation and publication timeline. My clients come away from the developmental assessment feeling more confident in their work and energized to share it with the world.
The assessment is billed based on the length of your document, and includes two video or phone consultations with me: one before I read your materials and one after you receive my editorial letter.
A manuscript assessment plus revision plan typically takes me 3–4 weeks to complete. Plan to book 6 months to a year in advance.
BOOK PROPOSAL EVALUATION
First-time authors (and even experienced ones) can benefit from an extra set of eyes on their proposals before they send them out to prospective presses. While a great topic and a compelling approach to it can take you far with acquiring editors, a polished, persuasive proposal can boost your confidence when it’s time to pitch your book project. More than that, the exercise of writing a book proposal can bring you to a new understanding of your book project as a whole. I help clients clarify and showcase their intellectual contribution, eliminate unnecessary or counterproductive details, identify realistic markets, and present all the required information in a professional manner. Working on your book proposal with me can be a good way to test drive what it's like to work with a developmental editor on your full manuscript.
Book proposal evaluations are billed hourly.
A book proposal evaluation typically takes me 1–2 weeks to complete. Plan to book a few months in advance.
QUICK PROPOSAL EVAL
I offer a truncated (and less expensive) version of my full book proposal evaluation service for authors who have a skeleton proposal draft and want to make sure they’re on the right track and authors who have a full draft they’d like immediate feedback on. I look over your materials and then in a one-on-one session talk you through the proposal’s main strengths and areas for improvement. I also provide you with a checklist you can use as you prepare to submit your work to publishers.
Quick book proposal evals carry a flat fee, no matter what shape your materials are in.
I can schedule a quick eval with little advance notice, so get in touch any time.
BOOK PROPOSAL BRAINSTORM SESSION
No idea where to start when pitching your book project to scholarly presses? Need to plan your proposal submission strategy? Not sure how to come up with target presses or a comps list? Want to talk through your book’s argument or bounce ideas off an objective listener? My book proposal brainstorm sessions are designed to help you tackle what can feel like a mysterious and daunting process, even if you’re on your second book.
In the session you can talk through your proposal draft with me (you can email it to me ahead of time), ask me questions about the publishing process, practice your “elevator pitch” before meeting with acquiring editors, spitball title ideas—I’m here for whatever you need an experienced and empathetic ear for. I also provide you with a checklist you can use as you prepare to submit your work to publishers.
Book proposal brainstorm sessions are charged hourly. Most sessions last one hour.
I can schedule a book proposal brainstorm session with little advance notice, so get in touch any time.
BOOK PROPOSAL ACCELERATOR
The accelerator is a structured online experience for scholars who are working on book proposals for first books (often dissertation revisions), second or third books, or even projects that are newly conceived but not yet written. Brief lessons, worksheets, tasks, tips, and Q&A take the mystery out of every element of an effective scholarly book proposal and prepare authors to navigate the acquisitions process with confidence.
Upcoming sessions will be offered September 9 through November 1, 2019 (8 weeks) and January 3–31, 2020 (4 weeks). To enroll or find out more, check out the Accelerator info page.
short ASSESSMENT + REVISION PLAN
For chapters and articles
I also provide feedback and revision plans for shorter manuscripts, such as sample chapters and journal articles. This service is similar to my manuscript assessment + revision plan service described above but, um, shorter.
This work is billed hourly. Plan to book a few months in advance.
Introduction Chapter Edit
Many book clients want some extra care given to their introduction chapters. These chapters are often posted for free on publisher websites, and they may be the first and only thing readers see in a scholarly monograph. I provide a combination service that involves developmental editing—to make sure the argument, structure, and style are working effectively—and closer line editing to ensure that every paragraph and sentence serves the work and connects with readers. This service is appropriate for authors who are preparing their book manuscripts for final submission or for a first round of editor/peer review. It can occur following a full manuscript assessment + revision plan or on its own.
This work is billed hourly and typically takes me 1–2 weeks to complete. Plan to book a few months in advance.
My manuscript assessments are meant to be detailed and clear enough that clients who prefer to revise independently have all the information they need to charge ahead on their own. But some clients prefer that I implement some of the revisions for them, and that's fine too! This can include restructuring the manuscript or individual chapters, drafting new transitional language, inserting placeholders for new material, trimming superfluous content, and line editing for style and sense. We develop a plan of action together, and then I get your manuscript ready for you to take it the last mile to submission.
I also provide line editing on short documents such as book cover copy, cover letters, responses to reader reports, marketing questionnaires, and other documents you may find yourself generating as part of the publication process.
Hands-on editing is billed hourly. This service is usually reserved for clients who have already worked with me on a manuscript assessment or book proposal evaluation. Lead time for scheduling is variable.
I provide consulting by video, phone, chat, and email on various issues that academic authors face during the publishing process. Collaborative consulting work may include:
Walking you through the academic book publishing process and planning your strategy
Helping you craft a cover letter to an acquiring editor or publishing agent
Interpreting reader reports and letters from editors in response to your work
Making a plan of action for revision based on reader reports
Crafting responses to reader reports to accompany revised submissions
Filling out your Author Questionnaire for submission with your final manuscript, including cover and catalog copy
Consulting is billed hourly and may be combined with any of the above services.