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What is a book development editor?

A professional developmental editor works with a book author to:

  • complete a manuscript that will interest agents and/or acquisition editors at publishing companies;
  • develop a winning book proposal (perhaps the most important role a development editor can play);
  • position and package the writer’s concept to an agent or publisher; and
  • establish an electronic persona and online audience platform for the writer.

A book development editor is NOT an agent, which means s/he does not work on commission of the sale of your intellectual property. The book development editor charges you for professional services; and the fees may vary according to the type of service you contract for. Your editor is not compensated by agents or publishers for referrals.

A book development editor is NOT a publisher and discourages most authors from self-publishing. While self-publishing and e-books have their place—wedding albums, company histories, scrapbooks, family stories, gift books, church directories, cookbooks—the bulk of self-publishing initiatives are poor investments. These ventures usually take more money from authors in publishing fees than they generate in book sales.

A book development editor IS an editor and someone the author hires—often before the manuscript is completed—to provide editorial support, advice, and guidance. The development editor tells that writer what works, what doesn’t, what needs to happen and how to do it. A writer hires a developmental editor to deliver the truth and to provide options for making the book come to life.

Many book development editors specialize in genres (fiction or non-fiction), even subgenres, and they do not accept all clients for their services. A book development editor usually has particular areas of expertise with a particular network of agents and publishers. A book development editor maintains professional relations with these agents and publishers, and knows what they are looking for in new material.

Many publishers are delighted to know the author has invested in a developmental editor. It implies the author will be able to deliver a manuscript according to stylistic and digital submission requirements in a timely fashion, build an audience platform using social media prior to book launch and has someone to assist with the stresses, complexities and demands of publication, marketing and sales.

A book development editor elicits excellence from an author to yield the best possible manuscript and final book product in the marketplace of ideas. S/he makes you and your work shine and spread your words far and wide, giving flight to
your book.

If you are serious about publishing your non-fiction book manuscript and don’t want to be rejected or scammed, then a book development editor may be what you need. Let Swenson Book Development, LLC help you navigate the headwaters of the publishing industry in these turbulent times.

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