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Discover
&
Evaluate

what "done" might look like
what it will take to get there

Ten things I learned in my first ten years of editing:​

  1. Editing is only objective to an extent

  2. Voice matters as much or more than rules

  3. Standardize style guides are good; personalized are better

  4. MS Word has so. many. shortcuts

  5. "No" is a good thing, for all parties

  6. You don't have to do everything

  7. If someone is stuck, it's not because they're broken (myself included)

  8. Some books take longer than others

  9. Some authors (and editors, and humans) take longer than others

  10. Books are a process, not a product

What I have learned, over and over again, every year since:

  1. None of that matters if the vision for the book is still fuzzy (either in your head or on the page)

Checking (and re-checking) your intentions for the book at each new stage of the writing process makes it much easier to edit and revise to those objectives—your objectives.

Grab a workbook—PDF, eBook, or print—to get your intention map rolling right away.

Intention Checks:
Get Clear. Get Confident.
Get Moving. Get Done.

intention

$500/stage

  • When you don't have a manuscript yet (or one that you feel good about working from): We'll do two to fours of calls to map out your identity as author, your reader's relationship to the project, and the project itself.

  • When you have a pretty decent manuscript you want to level up: I'll read through it (at any stage) to evaluate it and set recommended next steps based on your intentions for the project, with 1-2 coaching hours to go over those findings.

incubator

$500-$2500/mo 

  • 12 weeks to focus on refining your drafting or revisions plan—every chapter gets a clear focus and the book has a dimensional arc.

  • BONUS: 4 separate craft-specific calls taught live, by me or one of my amazing colleagues, around writing, publishing, and mindset.

  • Example outcomes: the bones of a book proposal, a drafting or revisions map, self-permission.

  • Choose from three levels: low-touch milestone management, 1:1 coaching support, or intensive-level deep dives.

intensive

$2500+ monthly for ~12 mos

  • Intentional commitment to move from discovery to development to the damn finish line, whatever it takes, usually across ~12 months.

  • Customized support that teases the line between development editing and ghostwriting.

  • I want you to know your content so well that it's all you think about (and not the hard work of writing)

  • I want me to know it so well I don't have to think when I edit. 

  • Extremely limited space for this—currently 2 authors at a time. We don't mess around here (sorta).

(Booked)

Discovery Sessions

Manuscript Evaluations

You're just starting out (on this stage of this project, at least). You've got an idea you're just starting to chase, or you’ve got a collection of great ideas or even decent content in hand. You just aren't sure how to make it into a book.

 

Like, a book book.

 

Maybe it’s a draft that feels partway there. Maybe it’s an old blog. Maybe it’s years of documentation in your area of expertise. 

 

In this space, we aren't trying to choose precise words yet. You know it's good material at its core, and you want to publish it somewhere...eventually...if you can make sense of it...but making sense of it is what matters most right now.

The biggest question I get is "How do I prep for that call?" My answer: dream. Imagine your book is a real live thing, in your hands. The rest, we can discover together.

You've been writing for a while, and you think you might be getting somewhere. You might even feel ready for a line edit, and you're at least somewhat sure you know what that entails.

 

The thing you're really sure of? You've taken this project—or, again, this stage of this project—as far as you can without help.

The comic strip Awkward Yeti has a really good depiction of how this moment can feel as the author. It's a cute little gall bladder holding up a handful of pebbles saying, "I maked these." Thanks to years of teachers and red pen editors grading your work, you may feel tentative about handing over your pride and joy for me to tear apart. 

Rest assured, I'm looking beyond the state the manuscript is in and toward the gem you dream it will be. Your pebbles are safe with me.

So. What DOES "Done" Look Like?

When do you actually have a book worth writing?

When is it time to reach out to an editor?

When are you ready to "hand it off" for "next steps"?

The truth is that there are a thousand iterations of your book that could be right, and none of the evaluative tools or rubrics in the world can tell you if you've landed on the right one for you, in this stage of your life, in this moment in time.

And that's both good and bad news. 

Bad news because I can't tell you—now or ever—if your book is publishable just by looking at it. Good news because we can figure it out together.

I know none of that is really helpful, and probably sounds a lot like a ploy to get you on my calendar. It is true, but let me take a stab at a more helpful set of answers:

When do you have a book worth writing? When you try to stop writing it but the ideas keep coming anyway. Caveat: That doesn't mean a pause in ideas tells you the book is trash. Sometimes we need to let something good sit for a while to get better. See also: whiskey.

Double caveat: going into discovery doesn't always mean we discover a book. It's absolutely valid to spend two- to four-hours digging into your aspirations both as an author as not, the profile of the audience you're trying to move, and the summary of the direction you want to move them in...only to find out that another medium is better for that particular combination of factors. This is why I always start with a discovery, and why I ask even before that call "why a book?" Because a much better question than "is my book worth writing?" is "what's the best way to deliver this message?"

When is it time to reach out to an editor? Development editors like me are a good choice any time you feel stuck. I tell my homeschooled kids to call for me if they've been staring at a blank screen for ten minutes. Book-writing allots for a bit slower pace than that, but if you're beating your head against a stack of craft books, it's time to put down the obligations and pick up a time on someone's calendar. 

Line editors step in when the manuscript has what you want to say in the order you want to say it—they edit a bit more deeply to make sure you're saying it in the strongest way possible. 

Copy editors are a go when you're happy with the phrasing and need an eye on errors, consistency, and minor clarity. Proofreading is for a pretty clean manuscript that just needs another set of eyes—sometimes after the layout is designed. 

 

Note: I currently apply half of my eval fees as a deposit on editing if you want to move ahead with me or one of my referrals. When we've got a jump on the work, the edit is efficient enough to make that kind of wiggle room. Plus I love bringing my friends good clients and great work.

When are you ready to "hand it off" for "next steps"? A similar answer goes here, but with the note that this kind of language is common...and way too dramatic, in my opinion. I get wanting to be done with the thing. There's definitely a time for washing your hands of it and letting someone else take the reins. 

 

And also.

 

What feels like exhaustion can sometimes just be exasperation. From overwhelm at what next steps might even look like, from a too-rigid release date and a project that's creeping up in scope, from a topic that's getting a little closer to the chest than you imagined, from comparison getting a little loud and a lot too much like competition...

If you're feeling any of that—or if you genuinely think you've got an end-stage book in hand and just need someone to double check your instinct on it—then it's definitely time to reach out.

I don't believe you can outsource the knowing, but I do think we can name some specific things to help you feel more confident in your decision to revise more or call it done.

And I absolutely believe you don't have to hold any part of that process alone.

How much is an intention check?

 

$1000, payable up front or in halves. $500 due when booking an eval/$500 due at our first call. Discoveries are payable upon booking each ($500) call. 

 

What are you getting?

For a Discovery Map:

The Who(2)/What/How of your book—who are you to this book, who is your reader, what are you delivering, and how—discovered across four deep-dive coaching hours.

For an Eval/Revisions Map:

A complete read-through and global review of how the Who(2)/What/How lands on the page for the manuscript you've already drafted, a check-in call to consider your intentions as well as the content, and a second coaching hour to review next steps.

Why?

Find out exactly where your project stands so you can take next steps with confidence.

intention

$500/stage

  • For Discovery: Four-hour deep dive into your identity as author, your reader's relationship to the project, the project itself, and the narrative devices you can use to bring it to life.

  • For an Eval: Full read of a manuscript at any stage, a full evaluation and recommended next steps, and 1-2 coaching hours to go over the findings.

  • Pause or stop here if it feels like enough support for now, or continue on. Can be payable in $500 increments.

incubator

$500-$2500/mo 

  • 12 weeks to focus on refining your drafting or revisions plan—every chapter gets a clear focus and the book has a dimensional arc.

  • BONUS: 4 separate craft-specific calls taught live, by me or one of my amazing colleagues, around writing, publishing, and mindset.

  • Example outcomes: the bones of a book proposal, a drafting or revisions map, self-permission.

  • Choose from three levels: low-touch milestone management, 1:1 coaching support, or intensive-level deep dives.

intensive

$2500+ monthly for ~12 mos

  • Intentional commitment to move from discovery to development to the damn finish line, whatever it takes, usually across ~12 months.

  • Customized support that teases the line between development editing and ghostwriting.

  • I want you to know your content so well that it's all you think about (and not the hard work of writing)

  • I want me to know it so well I don't have to think when I edit. 

  • Extremely limited space for this—currently 2 authors at a time. We don't mess around here (sorta).

(Booked)
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