Services

If you’re not sure what services you need or how an editor can assist you with your project, don’t hesitate to ask. I’m here to help. You may contact me here or email me directly at gray.bevins@gmail.com.

Assessments and Evaluations

Manuscript Assessment + Revision Plan

For books and dissertation-to-book conversions

This service includes a full review of your entire book manuscript and a detailed editorial letter covering all issues of argument, evidence, narrative, structure, and style that stand between you and a completely effective manuscript. My feedback is both macro (issues affecting the entire manuscript) and micro (issues affecting individual chapters or sections within chapters).

I provide practical suggestions for revision that will help you better connect with potential readers, editors, and reviewers. These might include drafting new statements of your book’s thesis or arguments at the chapter level; suggesting new tables of contents and chapter structures; identifying areas that should be cut or condensed; brainstorming additional content that would better make a point; and more.

My feedback is aimed at helping your contribution to scholarship shine through to your audience, which is especially helpful for first-time authors who are still in “dissertation mode” (and perhaps even still “dissertating”) but equally valuable for veteran authors who have spent years immersed in their research materials.

The manuscript assessment is appropriate for authors who have a complete draft of their book manuscript (or a dissertation they intend to revise into a book manuscript). Authors may be at any stage in the contract and review process: I work with clients who are still narrowing their list of prospective presses, clients who have an advance contract but are preparing their manuscripts to undergo full peer review, and clients who have been through peer review and want to perfect their final drafts before publication. My clients come away from the developmental assessment feeling more confident in their work and energized to share it with the world.

The assessment is billed based on the length of your document and includes two (2) video or phone consultations with me: one before I read your materials and one after you receive my editorial letter and assessment.

A manuscript assessment + revision plan typically takes me 3-4 weeks to complete from our agreed start date.

Book Proposal Evaluation

First-time authors (and even experienced ones) can benefit from a fresh set of eyes on their proposals before they send them out to prospective presses. While a great topic and a compelling approach can take you so far with acquiring editors, a polished, persuasive proposal can boost your confidence when it’s time to pitch your book projects. More than that, the exercise of writing a book proposal brings you to a new understanding of your book project as a whole.

I help clients clarify and showcase their intellectual contribution, eliminate unnecessary and counterproductive details, identify realistic markets, and present all the required information in a professional manner. Working on your book proposal with me can be a good way to test-drive what it might be like to work with a developmental editor on your full manuscript.

Book proposal evaluations are billed hourly. A book proposal evaluation typically takes me 1-2 weeks to complete from our agreed start date.

Quick Proposal Evaluation

I offer a truncated (and less expensive) version of my full book proposal evaluation service for authors who have a skeleton proposal draft and want to make certain they’re on the right track.

I look over your materials and then, in a one-on-one session, talk you through the proposal’s main strengths and areas for improvement. I also provide you with a checklist you can use as you prepare to submit your work with publishers.

These evaluations carry a flat fee.

Hands-On Editing

Developmental Editing

In a developmental edit, I will analyze your manuscript from the big-picture view down to the details. A developmental edit helps to shape a story by providing you with in-text comments and suggestions about specific passages.

If you’re writing fiction, we’ll discuss elements such as plot, character development, continuity, structure, pacing, and overall impression. On the other hand, if you’re writing nonfiction, we’ll discuss structure, pacing, argument, thesis, style, and approach. Unlike in a manuscript evaluation, a developmental edit will include comments and markup within the manuscript itself, providing you with more detailed direction for moving into your next draft.

Developmental editing projects take me 4-6 weeks to complete from our agreed start date.

Line Editing

Line editing is what makes writing come alive. I will consider the cadence and rhythm of your writing at the sentence and paragraph level. In a line edit, I will make improvements to pacing, structure, organization, and transitions and do more extensive rewriting and restructuring of sentences and paragraphs than I would in a developmental edit.

In fiction, this level of editing also includes feedback about scene and character details, assistance with character and plot development, and frequent in-text comments about other issues arising in the manuscript.

Line editing projects take me 4-6 weeks to complete from our agreed start date.

Copyediting

In a copyedit, I will take a finer-grained look at your manuscript, cleaning up grammatical, mechanical, and spelling issues and conforming the manuscript to your preferred style guide, such as the Chicago Manual of Style.

For nonfiction projects, copyediting will also include an edit of your documentation—your notes and bibliography or references.

Consulting

Book Proposal Brainstorm Session

No idea where to start when pitching your book project to scholarly presses? Not sure how to come up with target presses or a comps list? Want to talk through your book’s argument or bounce ideas off an objective, experienced listener? My book proposal brainstorm sessions are designed to help you tackle what can feel like a mysterious and daunting process, even if you’re writing your second book.

In the session, you can talk through your proposal draft with me (I encourage you to email me your proposal prior to our consultation), ask me questions about the publishing process, practice your elevator pitch before meeting with acquiring editors, bandy about title ideas—I’m here to help. I also provide you with a checklist you can use as you prepare to submit your work to publishers.

Book proposal brainstorm sessions are charged hourly.

Publication Consulting

I provide consulting by phone and email on various issues that academic authors face during the publishing process. Collaborative consulting work may include:

  • Walking you through the academic book publishing process and planning your strategy
  • Helping you craft a cover letter to an acquiring editor or publishing agent
  • Interpreting readers’ reports and letters from editors in response to your work
  • Making a plan of action for revision based on readers’ reports
  • Crafting responses to readers’ reports to accompany revised submissions
  • Filling out your author questionnaire and marketing questionnaire to submit with your final manuscript, including crafting cover and catalog copy.

Consulting is billed hourly and may be combined with any of the above services.