How and what to fact check in developmental editing

Fact-Checking in the Editorial Process Fact-checking is verifying that the information included in a ms is accurate: World War I took place in the early twentieth century, production of Hummers stopped in 2010. An author (even a novelist) who gets facts wrong irritates and alienates readers, so one of our roles as dev editor is… Read more How and what to fact check in developmental editing

How (and why) to keep developmental editing and copyediting separate

The Importance of Separate Developmental Editing and Copyediting Rounds As I mentioned in my previous blog post, indie authors often want editors to combine DE and CE in one round of editing. I mentioned that one problem with doing this is the likelihood of overwhelming the author. Another problem is the complexity. There’s no point… Read more How (and why) to keep developmental editing and copyediting separate

What to do when a manuscript isn’t ready for development

Several times in the past few weeks, colleagues have asked what to do when a manuscript isn’t in shape for a developmental edit. Maybe there are obvious issues that the author should correct before hiring an editor—a lighthearted romance that weighs in at 200,000 words, an unfinished draft, a first draft. Working with the Unready… Read more What to do when a manuscript isn’t ready for development

Common abbreviations used in editing

I’m often asked the meaning of abbreviations used when we’re talking about editing books. These are some of the more common: Abbreviations Used in Editing AE = acquisitions editor (usually your contact person when working for publishers) CE = copy editor/copyediting DE = developmental editor/developmental editing, sometimes referred to as “dev” ms = manuscript mss… Read more Common abbreviations used in editing

Using a Query Letter to Identify Developmental Problems in a Manuscript

One of the first things that acquisitions editors and literary agents learn in their jobs is to use the query letter to evaluate a manuscript. AEs and lit agents are looking for cues that a project is or isn’t right for them. In my career, I’ve worked as both an AE and a lit agent.… Read more Using a Query Letter to Identify Developmental Problems in a Manuscript