Your publisher will probably ask you to work with a developmental editor, but he will not be called so; instead, you will call him senior editor, executive editor or editor-in-chief.
His work is more suitable for non-fiction works because you need only a proposal to sign a contract with a publisher when you write non-fiction.
He will help you figure out what you want to write.
He can help you at any stage of the creation, from the idea, to the draft and before you contact a copy-editor. He will look for anything that will flag your novel as immediate rejection. Your developmental editor is concerned with content.
He will not change the author’s vision.
He will help with:
- basic concept of the novel,
- the story structure (suggest turning points, actions, events, twists, etc.),
- character development (suggest mixed feelings, realistic and unique characters, changes in professions or work environment, etc.),
Structural editing (also known as substantive editing) will identify the strengths and weaknesses of your novel once it has been written. The structural editor will look for content, structure, logic, smoothness, style and if the reader cares for the characters.
He can help you with:
- Story logistic
Marks and revisions are made directly on the electronic file. You send a Microsoft Word manuscript by email.
What your copyeditor can do for you:
- fix grammar,
- refine your prose and checks if words are used properly,
- check the flow of the syntax,
- the punctuation.
The copyeditor can even suggest reorganizing chapter or changing subtitles, and find plot holes.
Proofreading: Proofreading comes after copy-editing. It is the final stage. He checks if the copyeditor did not leave any mistake behind. Usually the corrections are made using a pencil and using codes. You need to learn what the proofreader’s marks mean.
You need to snail mail the manuscript. A proofreader formats the novel. He makes sure there are no typos and misspelled words, that the overall manuscript looks professional. He looks at the photos captions and if graphics match.
A ghostwriter typically writes the novel for you without getting the credit for it. She can help you with the research while you provide the voice, or you can tell her what to write and she will take care of making your story appealing.
Sometimes ghostwriters are needed when the author is too busy and does not have the time to write his own novel. That’s common among politicians. Tom Clancy’s was so overwhelmed by the demand that his publisher hired ghostwriters to write books in his style, under his name.
A ghostwriter can help you with:
- the research,
A book doctor is a person who will do her best to improve your manuscript. She has been around publishers and agents and knows what the industry is looking for. She will tell you how marketable your novel is and what to do in order to sell it.
A book doctor will especially be useful if she is specialized in your genre.
She will also help you restructure the text and make the biggest revisions such as the plot and the characters. She will encourage you when you are experiencing a writer’s block. She also will encourage you to have an author’s platform such as a Facebook or a Twitter’s account or a website dedicated to your kind of writing or your novel. She will tell you to write reviews on people’s blogs and have a presence throughout the internet. She will also help you write your book proposal. She will be especially useful if your manuscript has been rejected over and over again.
Resources (editors recommended by authors):
Lynn Mc Namee and collaborators.
Red Adept's editing services.
Harry DeWulf .
Shelley Holloway (can offer special rates).
Holloway House Editing & Proofreading.
The Novel Doctor.
Independent Editors Group (very expensive, but very experienced).
True Blue Editorial (will correct your query for free. I have not used her for other services.)