If you’re looking for a book editor, first you need to be super-clear about what kind of editor you need. I wrote a post for Problogger that breaks down the difference between:
- Ghost writing
- Developmental editing
- Structural editing
- Line editing (copy editing)
When it comes to books, I work on non-fiction books only and do the first three items above:
The way I work with clients who need a ghost writer is this:
- I first do a developmental consult (see below for what this entails).
- From there we work up a book outline together.
- The client either does a big written brain dump for each section, or they record a brain dump that gets transcribed (at their cost).
- I then turn those brain dumps into cohesive prose that delivers on the promise the book’s title makes, while also ensuring the book is written in the client’s voice.
- I then work with the author to edit the book and get it ready for publication.
Cost: 50c a word (based on final book word count)
Every writer has different goals when it comes to their books. Some want to set the world on fire. Some simply want to leave a legacy. Some want to generate more speaking work.
Developmental editing involves a consultation where I:
- Identify the writer’s goals for their book.
- Figure out the ‘big idea’ the writer is trying to deliver.
- Determine whether the market for that big idea matches the writer’s goals.
This consultation costs $450.
In addition to the above, you will probably also require assistance teasing out a book title and sub-title. This costs $450-600.
This is my strength. I’m hugely passionate about structure because it doesn’t matter how beautifully you write, if your book jumps around all over the place and doesn’t take the reader on a logical journey, it’s going to struggle to resonate and get traction. Which means your ‘big idea’ will never get the chance to spread.
There are two stages in the book writing process where I can assist with structure:
1. The outline stage
I look at the proposed book outline and determine whether it is logical and structured in a way that will allow for optimal delivery of the ‘big idea’.
Cost: $750 (includes the developmental editing consultation described above)
2. The first draft stage
I will first read through the entire first draft, then:
- Mark up the document with notes about what works and what doesn’t
- Provide notes about structural changes I believe will make the book stronger
- Indicate sections that might require further fleshing out
Cost: 3c per word