Lucidity Editing is a one-woman developmental editing business focusing on nonfiction book manuscripts. As an author, you may be looking to hire a freelance editor like me because you’re taking on the role of author-publisher-entrepreneur as defined in Guy Kawasaki’s groundbreaking APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book. Perhaps you intend to shop your manuscript to traditional publishers, but have found that they expect you to handle most of the editing yourself.

That said, you need to know that developmental editing is the first of two major editing phases. It often includes:

  • identifying the book’s audience, or target market
  • defining the scope of the manuscript based on the audience and its needs
  • suggesting formats to communicate the message, such as chapters and subheads
  • rewriting or restructuring text to fit this format
  • rearranging paragraphs and sentences to improve flow
  • eliminating extra words and redundancies
  • identifying gaps in content, so that the writer may fill them
  • deleting content that goes beyond the scope of the project
  • refining text in accordance with The Chicago Manual of Style

Copyediting, which I do not do, comes after the developmental stage. It includes spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, organization, and fact-checking. Usually, traditional publishers provide this service. If you are an author-publisher-entrepreneur seeking a copyeditor, I recommend Richard Lehnert.

Need help identifying your audience or defining the scope of your project? I recommend Publishing Options Coach Maggie Lichtenberg.

Need a roadmap for navigating the indie-publishing landscape? At $9.99, APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book by Guy Kawasaki, is a bargain.