Developmental Editing

What is Developmental Editing?

After the rush of finishing the first draft of a novel, the question is often–what next? The answer is editing. Whether your goal is to self-publish, query an agent, or submit to a publisher, editing is what takes your book from a rough draft to a resonant, polished book. For a new writer, the prices of a professional editor can make quality editing seem distant and unattainable. However, not all editing has to cost a fortune. 

My goal is to offer the perceptive skills I’ve gained from seven years of teaching, tutoring, and editing in a way that every writer can afford. (You can view my full work experience here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/l-baumgarten/) These affordable packages focus on developmental editing. Developmental editing is the first stage of editing, where a professional assesses the plot, character, themes, style, and world-building of your work. A first pass of this type is often called an editorial assessment.This assessment can give you a serious level-up in your writing, an idea of when your novel would be ready to query or publish, as well as sincere encouragement for the story you are forming. To see how my clients have felt about my services, check out the Testimonials section at the bottom of the page.

If you do not have a completed manuscript yet, or want ongoing support as you draft or revise your work, you may want to consider my Book Coaching services. They are designed to offer a serious weekly boost of encouragement, feedback, and experienced advice as you continue forming your book.

What You Can Expect

My editing experience spans from outlines to full manuscripts, and I made significant contributions to a manuscript slated to publish with HarperCollins Children’s. I have some unique strengths as a developmental editor that I am excited to offer you:

  • Affordable Rates: I have decided to offer these quality packages for a very low price so that these services can be available to as many writers as possible. My budget editorial review is only $65, and the full editorial review only around $350. This is less than half of what most editors are charging.
  • Hands-on Videos: In addition to in-depth notes and comments, I always include a video-explanation that demonstrates the most important points right in your manuscript. This makes it easy for you to understand each idea, and to start implementing solutions in your own voice.
  • Video Consultation: The full editorial assessment includes a 1-2 hour video consultation. This video consultation is a powerful tool to help you talk through the ideas you want to implement, and brainstorm solutions that will be a perfect fit for your manuscript. From working with hundreds of online students, I have extensive experience in asking the right question, and helping the writer find the heart of what they want to say.

I cannot wait to offer you these unique, affordable options!

Packages

Free – First 1,500 Words

A free review of the first 1,500 words of your manuscript. This allows you to see what my editing has to offer before committing to an editorial assessment. You will receive:

  • Thorough Comments: Get in-depth comments on the presentation of character, plot, theme, world-building, clarity and style in your writing.
  • Hands-On Video Explanation: I will include a personalized video walking you through my feedback. You will see clear examples of how to implement major ideas, with solutions workshopped in your submitted samples.

$65 – Budget Editorial Assessment

An in-depth assessment on your synopsis (up to 3,000 words) and the first 6,000 words of your manuscript. You will receive:

  • Edit Letter: Get a clear analysis of the strengths and potential of your plot, character, and theme development, with clear, principle-based suggestions on how to improve the bones of your story. This letter will also include writing principles that would most improve the style and clarity of your writing and a suggested revision approach.
  • Thorough Comments: Get in-depth comments on the presentation of character, plot, theme, world-building, clarity and style in your writing.
  • Hands-On Video Explanation: To expand on the most prominent points in the edit letter, I will include a personalized video. You will see clear examples on how to implement the edit letter, with solutions workshopped in your submitted samples.
  • Resources: At the end of the edit letter, you will receive resources to help you in the next stage of your writing journey, including article and book suggestions.

$0.0035/word – Full Editorial Assessment

An editorial assessment of your entire manuscript (an average-length manuscript is often between $300 and $400). You will receive:

  • Edit Letter: Get a full analysis of the strengths and potential of your plot, character, and theme development, with clear, principle-based suggestions on how to improve the bones of your story. This letter also includes explanations of writing principles that will most improve the style and clarity of your writing and a suggested revision approach. This comprehensive letter is often 6,000-8,000 words long.
  • Thorough Comments: Get in-depth comments on the presentation of character, plot, theme, world-building, clarity and style throughout the entire manuscript.
  • Hands-On Video Explanation: To expand on the most prominent points in the edit letter, I will include a personalized video. You will see clear examples on how to implement the edit letter, with solutions workshopped right in your manuscript.
  • Resources: At the end of the edit letter, you will receive resources to help you in the next stage of your writing journey, including article and book suggestions.
  • Follow-Up Video Consultation: After you receive your edit letter, you can schedule a follow-up video consultation. In this consultation, you will get 1-2 hours with me in a video call to go over questions and brainstorm solutions.
  • Note: Most editorial assessments cost over $900. I am excited to offer this quality, affordable option!

Note:

I specialize in speculative fiction novels (such as fantasy, science fiction, and dystopia) in young adult and middle grade age groups, but I am open to all genres. I have reviewed outlines and chapters from fantasy, science fiction, romance, and action-thriller. However, I cannot work with manuscripts that have explicit sexual or horror content.

Get Started

For questions, or to get started on your package today, fill out the form below, telling me which package you are interested in, and the length of the submission you want me to review. I will email you within one business day to discuss the details. I am excited to see your work!

 

Testimonials

“My experience with L. Baumgarten was more than I could have hoped for. From editing my manuscript, a video edit, as well as a video consultation, I was able to receive valuable feedback that was tailored specifically to me. Throughout the entire process I never felt attacked or that my work was undervalued. Instead, I felt fully seen and supported in my writing. She took what I loved about my story and helped me see ways to improve it while still maintaining my voice. She also provided invaluable insight into the industry and what publishers are looking for in manuscripts that I could integrate into my own story. I can give the highest recommendation and assure you that with L. Baumgarten, you are in amazing hands!” –Samantha, 2020

“L. Baumgarten has a marvelous way of delivering feedback that’s direct, smart, and insightful but doesn’t leave you feeling small. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Laura helps stories and authors swell with the kind of excitement that comes when you like what you did but you’re even more excited about what you’re going to do. You’ll feel like someone believes in your story and cares deeply for your characters in an honest way. She’s a wonderful listener whose advice is informed by a deep desire to understand and to help, and I’d trust any of my work in her hands.” — Cara, 2019

“L. Baumgarten is a phenomenal editor who opened a new world of writing to me with her services. She critiqued my writing in a way no one had ever done before, and thoroughly explained the ways my piece could improve. Pointing out my strengths as well as highlighting my weaknesses, I was given encouragement to both continue and improve. Her feedback has given me the enthusiasm for writing I lost back, and I am eager to become a better writer than I was before her services. I look forward to working with her again in the future!” — Solange, 2019

“A huge . . . thanks to [L. Baumgarten] who gave me the most amazing feedback on my [work in progress] outline this week. Notes and a video, with great insight, actionable points, and positive encouragement about the bits that worked well. Definitely check her out!” — Amanda, 2019

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