Developmental editing is a process by which an editor gives feedback on a text regarding argument, structure, evidence, voice, and sometimes other related issues such as audience choice and consistency. If you are a political scientist or in a closely related field, my comments may touch on issues of substance, particularly as they affect issues of research design or relevant literature(s). I have revised my policies for both early-stage unwritten manuscripts and post-drafting developmental editing. Graduates of my Book Development Workshop are eligible for one-on-one in-progress developmental sessions identified below. In addition, effective Winter 2022, Faculty Academic Coaching slots cannot be used for book writing support. Please consider the Book Developmental Workshop if you need assistance in the early-stage preparation of your manuscript. If you are interested in developmental editing services or other editing services as outlined below, please contact me at Leanne@LeanneCPowner.com as soon as possible. Slots fill quickly. Prices are subject to change based project specifications; current pricing structures are on the Rates page.
Small-Group Book Development
This program is offered at least once a year, typically in the summers and often in fall, and is targeted toward authors in the early stages of argument and evidence refinement. This includes dissertation revision as well as new book preparation. 60 minutes weekly. Curriculum differentiates books from dissertations, explains the publishing process, provides a framework for writing your theory chapter or framework, develops your core thesis, provides an orientation to the book proposal, and allows for a workhshopping opportunity at the end of the term. Open enrollment each term in the month before the term starts (April for May start, Aug for Sept start, Dec for Jan start). See for the current registration form. Maximum 6 participants per section. Fall 2023: Scheduling will be at mutual convenience of participants. This program can be offered for a privately organized small group on a mutually convenient schedule that does not necessarily coincide with my terms. Please email to discuss options.
Developmental Editing Services
I provide two forms of developmental editing: classic or standard developmental editing (SDE) and in-progress developmental editing (IDE). The process is different for each, but in both cases the emphases of editing are the same: voice, audience, structure, and evidence. I no longer provide the service I previously called "substantive editing"; this is partially rolled into the evidence component of the developmental packages.
Standard Developmental Editing
In standard developmental editing (SDE), the author provides the DE with a complete or nearly-complete manuscript. "Nearly complete" here means that all the substantive components are present; no chapters or sections are missing from the intended manuscript. Some citations may be missing or misformatted, the bibliography not compiled, etc., but the body of content is there. I then read the manuscript with attention to the four key themes above (voice, audience, structure, and evidence), and produce an editorial letter for the author. These are typically 3-5 pages single-spaced. Chapters are not heavily marked up, with perhaps a dozen specific comments per chapter. I typically provide a small amount of line editing, usually in the introduction to chapters, to help increase the strength of the intro, smooth out any cross-chapter voice issues, and to identify and demonstrate fixes for recurrent writing issues. Because SDE takes about 20-30 hours for a typical-length book, I can only take one book a month, and the process takes me 3-4 weeks. Please reach out early if you want my services as I book up relatively quickly. SDE is not available in April, November, or December.
Enhanced Developmental Editing
Enhanced Developmental Editing is all of the above plus a second briefer review and feedback memo when revisions are completed, along with up to three total meetings to discuss revisions. In-text comments become more numerous.
Supported Developmental Editing
This package consists of the enhanced package plus two four-month terms of weekly coaching to support the revision process. This may include on-screen collaborative reviews of brief passages or outlines.
In-Progress Developmental Editing
In-Progress Developmental Editing (IDE) involves the author and DE working together through the process of crafting the manuscript. You may have a chapter or two done, but you're looking for support and guidance to maximize the value of your manuscript. Where SDE is a one-time engagement, IDE is an ongoing relationship through the majority of the drafting phase. Because of this, I'm looking for manuscripts and authors where I feel I have something of value to contribute. IDE involves three or more terms of Supported Writing, either 30- or 60-minute weekly sessions with me where we can look at chunks of text and discuss structure, evidence, etc. as needed. The 60-minute sessions come with a complete review of one chapter per term; 30-minute sessions may elect to add a chapter review for an additional fee, or wait until the end of the manuscript and pay a discounted rate for a review of the full manuscript.
Because we are looking at a potential long-term relationship, I am careful about who I choose to work with. We need to have a shared vision for the book, often one shaped by what I can bring to the table to enhance beyond what you've envisioned. The process for engaging me for IDE thus involves a proposal review and discussion to arrive at a common vision before committing to work together.
- The author sends Leanne a mini-proposal. At a minimum, I need a book summary (1-2 paragraphs of the main argument) and chapter summaries (a short paragraph each) about how those chapters fill out and support the main argument, along with a brief statement about why you are seeking developmental editing assistance (short paragraph: what's going on that you need or want help?).
- If I think the book and author are a promising candidate for my services, I will schedule a Zoom conference with the author. This conference has a $100 (Faculty A) or $150 (Faculty B) fee, both to cover the time I invested in reviewing the proposal and in the fact that you will get actionable suggestions from me whether you choose to continue working with me or not. The fee must be paid (or the invoice in process with your university) prior to the conference occurring. NOTE: Not all manuscripts or authors are good candidates for me to work closely on or with. If your approach to your subject matter is outside my scope of expertise, your specific needs or interests are not aligned with my skills as a DE, or other similar reasons, I may decline the proposal without a fee or conference, with a potential referral to another DE who may be better suited.
- At the conference, we will discuss your vision for the book and what I see as actionable elements that can be strengthened. Together, we will attempt to craft a shared vision statement for what the revised book would look like. If we reach agreement, the author can register for my Supported Writing sessions (scheduled at mutual convenience) starting at the beginning of the next coaching term (Jan, May, Sept), or, if space permits, at midterm (Mar, Jul, Nov). If we are unable to reach agreement, or the author decides not to work with me, our relationship ends.
- The author must commit to a minimum of three terms of Supported Writing (one calendar year). If you need or intend to finish your manuscript before that, then we are not a good fit. The purpose of a DE is not to help you figure out how to get through your book manuscript in the shortest time possible. If you are primarily seeking guidance on efficient writing strategies and/or accountability, consider registering for my Academic Coaching or Accountability offerings instead.
- When the book is complete, an IDE author is eligible for a deeply discounted review of the entire manuscript to ensure felicity of style, tone, etc.
Questions? Ready to submit your proposal? Just email me.
Other Editing Services
To protect my mental health and avoid burnout, the services below are limited to article- or chapter-length projects. I do not provide substantive editing on dissertations or theses as an ethical issue; those documents should reflect the abilities of their authors and nothing more. I am no longer available to copyedit or proofread items; instead, I can recommend a competent proofreader. (Ethically, light proofreading of dissertations is acceptable and the person I recommend can handle this for social sciences or humanities.)
This is a combination of copyediting and reviewing. I put on my highly-trained-political-scientist hat and go through your paper with a fine-toothed comb, looking at everything from sentence structure to test statistics or other evidence presentation. The overall feedback is not as extensive as the developmental edit - I won't normally suggest making structural changes, for example - but you'll get a lot more in-line editing and in-text comments. Requires at least 2 weeks turnaround time, depending on the advance notice I have to clear space for the project. Less than 4 weeks turnaround time - $2/page additional rush charge applies to published Rates.
If you are interested in editing for other purposes - copyediting of an edited volume or other tasks - please contact me well in advance at Leanne@LeanneCPowner.com to discuss your needs and get a quote. Generally, I need at least a month of lead time on medium projects and longer for large projects to clear the queue and make room for you.