Here is my workflow for academic developmental editing. My main fields are social anthropology and history.
I will ask you to complete a short questionnaire asking for more information about your book or article. This will include the reasons for writing, the importance of the book, your intended audience etc. If you have a book proposal, please send this to me as well, as context is key!
You will send me the manuscript and I will then confirm the price.
This consists of an hour-long phone or Zoom conversation about your book project. This will help me fill in any gaps or questions I may have in relation to the questionnaire. This is optional – if you prefer to communicate via email, that’s fine.
Step three: the developmental edit
I will first read your manuscript like a regular reader, making notes when I finish based on intuition. Next, I will read it closely, making notes on the different thesis statements, premises, hooks, arguments, and ideas in each chapter. If I didn’t identify any extremely big issues to resolve on the first reading, at this point I will include a content summary too, where I summarise each paragraph in a sentence. The emphasis is on structure, cohesion, and big picture issues (e.g. shifts in voice or style, contradictory thesis statements etc.). Based on what the text needs, I will use tools from Scott Norton’s book on developmental editing, which I highly recommend you purchase.
The final product will be an editorial report that outlines all my suggestions on how to improve the manuscript, and it will include a content summary, which is a map of the themes and theses that appear in each chapter. The report will focus on developmental issues rather than language issues at sentence level. This report will be detailed enough for you to work on the rewrite yourself. This step usually takes between 20 and 35 hours depending on the length of the manuscript.
This step is optional. You will then decide whether to do the rewrite yourself, or whether to work more closely with me on reorganising and rewriting sections. Alternatively, you may wish to do the rewrite yourself and then send me the text for line-editing/copyediting before submitting to the publisher.