In today’s competitive publishing market, more and more writers are hiring developmental editors to help them polish their manuscripts before publication. Whether you’re planning to self-publish or work with a traditional publisher, editing will shape your manuscript into an engaging book that connects with your audience and delivers a clear, compelling message.

Polishing a manuscript

Developmental editors look at the big picture of the book and evaluate how the manuscript works as a whole. Professional editing polishes your writing by making it the best it can be—a clear, readable book that delivers your message in an effective way. You’ll receive specific suggestions for new or expanded content, options for clarifying the organization and structure of your book, and revisions that will strengthen your writing and your story.

Manuscript evaluation generally includes:

Book Concept: Is the concept clear and focused? Does it need refining?

Organization and Structure: Are the chapters well organized, with smooth transitions? Does the overall flow of the book make sense and achieve the author’s goal?

Tone, style, and format: How does the writing sound? Is the book coherent? Is the message articulated well through the writing style and does the format present the ideas well?

Clarity of Content: Are the themes and ideas presented clearly and with engaging examples, anecdotes, and material? Are the ideas well developed and do the chapters and the entire book engage the audience?

Writing style: Is the writing compelling and does it show excellent use of literary elements such as description, dialogue, and character development?

Answering all these questions and providing specific ways to improve will help your manuscript shine. To see more about the developmental editing process I use, visit my website here.


What experiences have you had with editing your manuscript?