Reply To: Reasonable Price for Developmental Editor

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Manuscripts are almost always tailored, it’s just that the tailoring is done AFTER instead of BEFORE, i.e. rewrites.

If your manuscript gets accepted by an agent, the agent may have edits that he/she wants you to make. So you have to do another rewrite.

If your agent manages to sell your manuscript to a publisher, the publisher may have edits that they want you to make. So again you have to do a rewrite.

Here is an article that is currently on the top of the Writer’s Digest homepage:

“The Novel in the Drawer”
By: Guest Column | July 20, 2018
By Gayle Abrams

I didn’t post the link but it might still be on the Writer’s Digest homepage, and if not, then it can be searched for using the Writer’s Digest search box on the homepage.

Gayle Abrams, is an experienced Emmy-nominated TV writer.

In the article she says that she wrote her first novel and had her friend, Gina, read the novel. Then she said “And after she had given me her notes, I had rewritten the book from start to finish”.

Then it seems (the wording is a little unclear) she had two more friends read the novel and have rewritten it each time.

Then she hired a developmental editor.

She wrote “Then I had hired a developmental editor and written a fourth draft.”

So again another rewrite for the developmental editor. She tailored her manuscript each time for her friends and for the developmental editor, but it was after they had read it, not before.

She had more people read her manuscript, but I don’t think she rewrote it afterwards those times, because she was getting positive feed back. She even had her favorite English professor from college read it and he praised her work.

And then an agent had read her manuscript and was giving her feedback, but then basically told her to put the novel in the drawer (because first novels aren’t good and many writers put their first novel in a drawer and forget about it and work on a new manuscript).

But while the agent was giving her feedback, she was taking notes (for possibly another rewrite).

The agent recommended that she hire a freelance editor, and she admitted that she had already done that.

So the agent said “Well in my opinion you’d need to do a pretty serious edit to get it into submission shape. We have a list of people…”

So she asked the agent to send her the names, and said she guessed that she would have to another rewrite.

There is more to the article, I left out some details and I left out the main reason for the article which is different from the subject of tailoring that I’m talking about. And I left out her final decision concerning her manuscript. I encourage everyone to read the article.

On her website, Gayle Abrams says that she has worked for Bantam Books, so she is probably knowledgeable about what kind of developmental editors she should hire.

And even though she hired a developmental editor, the agent suggested she hire one of the agent’s editors from HER list.