Developmental Editing

Big-picture editing focused on argument and structure. For drafts (complete or incomplete) that need conceptual work or restructuring. Developmental editing services always begin with a manuscript assessment (usually 8-11 pages in length).* You can then implement the suggestions in the manuscript assessment independently or request that I implement changes through a hands-on developmental edit.

Manuscript Assessment

  • Focus is on issues of argument, structure, analysis, or authorial tone that should be resolved to make manuscript more effective

  • Manuscript assessment examines broad issues pertaining to manuscript as a whole or to particular sections

  • Two Skype or phone consultations included: one before I read your manuscript & one after you receive my manuscript assessment

Cost: For a book manuscript, between $900 and $1100.
*Please note: If you’re sure that you don’t need structural editing or big-picture feedback and you’d like to skip the manuscript assessment, then please see my page on
stylistic editing.

Hands-on Developmental Editing

This might include structural editing or intensive line editing (stylistic editing). It might also include helping you implement requested revisions for “revise and resubmits” or condensing material to meet target word counts. During our second consultation (after I’ve completed the manuscript assessment), we can discuss what the hands-on developmental edit should involve for your particular manuscript.

  • Structural editing: Restructuring material for coherence and flow, drafting new transitional language and placeholder text as necessary

  • Intensive line editing (stylistic editing): Revising sentences & paragraphs to clarify meaning and ensure logical connections

Cost: Generally between $450 and $650 per chapter. I can provide an estimate after completing a manuscript assessment.

I was a bit nervous about letting someone ‘into’ my text, but it was amazing to have Ellen do work that I know would have cost me blood, sweat and tears. Ellen was not ‘attached’ to the material in the way that I was, but just wanted to figure out what was necessary to the argument. This process made it much easier to let go [of some things]. I particularly liked how thorough Ellen is and how easy and painless the process of working together was. I found it really enjoyable to work on the text together. I would definitely recommend Ellen, because she is extremely efficient, to the point, clear and easy to communicate with, and genuinely interested in the content of my book in a way I really appreciated.
— Developmental editing client at Leiden University