Here's how I work and what I like to work on. 

I can give you a timeline estimate, but it’ll be that - an estimate. I give your story the time it needs, I won’t rush through comments just to get to the end.  Especially if you are doing book doctoring, know that this is NOT a quick process. Bringing a book from draft to published is not for the faint of heart.

The style of my comments varies. If you can take it, I’ll let your MS have it. If you need kid-gloves; I can do hand-holding and cheer-leading too. (psst... I LOVE cheer-leading new authors!) 

Either way, you will get comments that may come across as tough—ones that will make you think, and maybe pout a bit. You will get manifestos- but I tell everyone new to me, those are GOOD, it means you've got me hooked and I am invested. You WANT those, even if they are somewhat unsettling. If I'm hurry-typing enough to fuss up my spelling, it’s because I am invested and trying to get back to the action.

Developmental editing is a big commitment - for you in dollars, for me in time. So I totally understand the need for a trial run (for both of us—you need to connect with my commenting style and I with your story, sometimes it just doesn't work out and that’s understandable).

For Frequently Asked Questions scroll to the bottom of the page.

Genres I connect with:

Genres/topics I don’t connect with:

*I do read some epic fantasy so feel free to send me a query with your blurb and we can chat to see if your book is a fit for me 

**If your book doesn’t fit on either of these lists feel free to query me and we can talk about it!** 

Special Expertise - Horses in fiction

Do send me your books with horses in them! I am a trainer and have been an equestrian since before I could walk. I will help make those scenes as realistic as possible so readers are not thrown from your story like from the back of a young horse. I also have experience helping integrate horses, or horse-like animals into your fantasy world in a realistic, yet true-to-story way. 

I am also happy to work on sections of your work that contain horses. Minimum 2.5k words to each scene/chapter. All levels of editing available.

How To Get In Touch:

Send the following to EricaSDamon@gmail.com with "Developmental Edit" in the subject line.

1. Your MS (or a link to it in GoogleDocs)
2. A blurb or short (under 200 words) book description
3. Genre/subgenre
4. Word count
5. Any deadlines if you have them
6. Any trigger warnings for your story 

I have openings beginning mid-June 2024

Trial Basic Edit:

USD$20

Offered for a limited time only, as I build my client list.

I will give a basic developmental edit on your first chapter (or up to 2500 words) 

Basic Developmental Edit:

USD$0.006 per word (ex 80,000 words: $480)

One pass: I will read and leave in-line comments on your work in a googleDoc, each chapter will also get a write up with my thoughts and ideas instead of just one overall write up at the end so it is more clear where you can implement my suggestions. I am known to light up your MS like a Christmas tree, from heart emojis on passages I love to full on manifestos where something needs work (often with suggestions as to how to do this). I’m not known for biting my tongue, but I can (and will) also be your biggest cheerleader once you hook me. Basic editing includes 2 hours of email support after the edit is complete. Further time can be added at $25/hour. Included time MUST be used within 2 months.

Who it's for: Writers who want feedback and to move forward with it on their own. Maybe they have a good idea that *something* is off and just aren't sure what. Looking for a ‘quick’ map-out of their story. 

Book Doctor Developmental Edit:

USD$0.012 per word (ex 80,000 words: $960)

Some writers are ready to/need to get down and dirty with their MS and I’m here for that. You get the basic first pass with in-line comments but you also get me around for your fixes. Mark up your changes, reply and ask questions about my comments and I’ll jump back in for a second pass to help you move in the right direction. I will help you totally revamp scenes, create new ones, chop the bad ones—whatever is needed. Generally, I plan for about 4 weeks between rounds for you to work on your edits, but this can be flexible and discussed during scheduling. Book Doctor editing includes 2 hours of email support after the edit is complete. Further time can be added at $25/hour. Included time MUST be used within 2 months.

Who it's for: Writers willing to put in the work. You are here because you believe in your story and are willing to do whatever it takes to make it better. It will no longer be a one on one battle with your MS, we can tag-team it into submission. 

Manuscript Critique:

USD $0.003 per word (ex 80,000 words: $240)

This is a read-through of your MS at a slightly more surface level than developmental editing. I will still be looking at plot arc, pacing, character development, and for plot holes. But I won't be leaving in-line comments. You will get notes at the end of each chapter, then a summary of the entire work at the end. Follow up email support may be added to a Manuscript Critique at $25/hour. If an author wishes to come back for another level of developmental editing they can receive a 20% discount on future edits.

Who it's for: Writers looking for an overview of their MS, who want to-the-point feedback on big picture areas of their story. This can be great for new writers who feel they may be overwhelmed with extensive in-line commenting. 

Follow Up Email Support:

USD$25/hr (1 hr minimum charge, must be pre-purchased)

This service  is only for clients already working with me. I will answer questions regarding your MS via email and help you work through any issues that arise during editing. Time will be billed while reading your email and while working out my reply. I will add what time you have remaining at the end of each email. I find this more helpful than a call because you have everything in writing and can work through notes and reply on your schedule. I aim to return all emails within 48 hours.

*please note: if significant time has passed since I edited your MS, it may take me a bit longer to work out the best answers for you as I may have to re-read sections of your story to give you an accurate opinion.

I Accept PayPal and Venmo

Trial edits paid at start (if you go on to another service edit price will be subtracted from initial payment).

 A 10% non-refundable deposit is required to book your editing slot.

Basic Edit & Manuscript Critique: 40% will be due when the MS is delivered to me and the remaining
50% will be due upon completion. You will received your MS back once the final installment is paid.

Book Doctor Edit: 40% due when MS is delivered. 25% due upon completion of first round edits and the final
25% due upon delivery for second round edits.

Follow Up Email Support: pre-purchaesd hourly.

Books I Have Worked On:

Client Testimonials:

"I’ve worked with Erica on a few different projects of my own. My experience was so amazing that when a fellow indie author asked me for a recommendation for a developmental editor, she was the first to come to mind. Erica is thorough, kind, professional, and so, so knowledgeable. She really knows how to get to the root of the story and characters and make stories shine. She’s amazing! I recommend her to anyone who is serious about their writing. "

- MK Hall author (Summer Simmer) and line editor

"Apart from the usual comments I would expect, Erica was able to tell me exactly which scenes needed expanding and which were missing. Her evaluation of my manuscript was the work of an intelligent reader. My manuscript changed for the better once I adopted her suggestions and I can honestly say that it is a richer and more engaging story thanks to her thoughtful and kind input. I highly recommend her. you won't be disappointed."

- Cassia Hall author of Summer Lights, Fall Lanterns & Silvermist 

"I think of your replies as if... I'm putting together a quilt and you are able to hold it to the light and show me the holes.  I'm learning very much from your commentaries. Excellent stuff. Can't believe this is the end. The last few weeks have been a jambalaya of emotions: the excitement of preparing the next chapters for your latest review, the dread of not being able to keep one chapter ahead, the triumph of learning from your comments, the sadness of losing an excuse to jot you lines of self-pity. You have been great working with me, taking my newbie questions, and thoughtfully answering them."

- David Basinski author of The Vet's Apprentice 

"I have worked with Erica on several of my flash stories and I find her brilliant in giving straightforward feedback, spotting the problems with characters and even cheering to make the flash into the novella. However, the thing you would love the best to receive is Erica’s legendary manifestos (It means your story is awesome and if you listen to Erica it will be even better).

The first time I received one of Erica’s manifestos drew me back (even made me a bit angry) but when emotions died out, I could see her point that, to be honest, reached the crux of the problem of my story."


- Naito Diamond author featured in Spring Blossoms and Summer Simmer

Looking for Line Edits or Proofreading?

Developmental edits are just one step in publishing, if you are looking for an editor to help you polish your prose check out MK Hall of Get TUF Editing Services.

I have worked with her on a few stories and highly recommend her services!

Free Resources for Writers

Here are some of my favorite free places to get information on writing craft: Youtube is a great place to start, there are some amazing content creators that are also authors and editors sharing tips and tricks for writing and editing. Some of my personal favorites are: @AbbieEmmons, @ShaelinWrites, and @AlexaDonne
@20Booksto50kRLiveEvents is also a great source for seminar videos on many writing and publishing topics.

There are also some awesome blog posts over at Sand Kittens Press page (a collab with my crit partners) on all kinds of writing craft and indie publishing tips.

Developmental Editing FAQ

What part of the story do developmental editors focus on?

Developmental editors focus on 'big picture' aspects of the story, such as plot and character arcs, overall pacing, looking for plot holes, missing scenes, scenes that don't move the story forward, etc. I am NOT looking at grammar, sentence flow, word choice, etc. There are times I may flag certain 'lower level' things if they are really standing in the way of another fix, but those notes are a bonus. I am here to make sure your characters are consistent and believable, to show places where your story might lag, or to pull out those necessary details that are in your head but not on the page.


As needed, I will also share resources that can help with certain fixes. Such as my favorite blog posts I've found or YouTube channels that will go into detail about an issue I am noting in your manuscript so that you can dive deep and learn the best fixes. I will give you suggestions, but I am an editor, not a teacher (or a ghost writer). There are plenty of people with free teachings on the internet, and I am happy to direct you to them. The editing process is the best way to learn about writing, but that doesn't work if the editor is the only one doing the work. 

What types of notes are given in a developmental edit?

In my Basic and Book Doctor packages, I return manuscripts with in-line comments throughout. Each chapter will also get a wrap-up note, as well as a note at the halfway point and at the end. I prefer this method over one long editorial letter at the end. It helps to know exactly where something is an issue rather than having to search your manuscript and make your best guess. Since I love working with new authors, this is the most popular method I've found for returning feedback.

If you are looking for feedback at a more surface level than a developmental edit, as noted above, I also offer Manuscript Critiques, where I return an editorial letter only. This can be good for authors who know something is off and are ready to do a (partial) rewrite on their own but just want a direction to move in. Or possibly for new authors who think they may be overwhelmed by lots of inline comments; however, this option requires more focus on the writer's part to implement the suggested changes.

If a writer starts with a Manuscript Critique, one of the full developmental editing packages can be purchased for 20% off the same manuscript.

How much self-editing should be done before a DE?

While a developmental edit comes early in the revision process, there is still work to be done before you send your manuscript off. I am not looking at grammar or sentence structure, but if either is very poor, it may affect my reading of your work and slow me down. It is best practice to do at least one round of self-edits before sending out your book. If you are a newbie, this can be something as simple as using a program like ProWritingAid to go over your work.

When using programs like this, never blindly accept all changes (sometimes they can actually make things worse), but use the suggestions to catch errors you seem to repeat and learn from looking over each offered correction. Taking it slow is invaluable! While you are reading through at this level, you may also catch some inconsistencies in your story or find points that trip you up in the flow.

Another great option is building a critique group with fellow writers and exchanging reads and critiques of each other's work. Practice being on both sides of this, and it will help you grow your writing quickly. There are many Facebook groups dedicated to writers and networking, or you can check out websites like Critique Circle or Scribophile.

Editors will help you with all these things along the way, of course, but you should turn the best work you can possibly create over to them at any given step. Editors are not there to rewrite your book; they are only there to point out where you need to focus to fix errors. If you think of your editor's notes as a guide to help you learn, not as someone doing it for you, you will be a dream client, and your future books will be better and better.

Manuscripts should be delivered in some kind of standard format. 1.5 or double-spaced, Arial or TNR fonts at 12 points.

What if I have questions about the notes given or want more help?

Both Basic and Book Doctor editing come with 2 hours of email follow-up time to address any questions you have while going through your edits. I prefer to follow up in this way, as it leaves everything in writing and gives me time to give you a thoughtful answer that a zoom call doesn't. Time is subtracted from when I read your email through me sending off the reply. I will always include your time remaining. Additional follow-up time can be purchased at an hourly rate.


If you have done Basic DE and find that you've made big changes and want my input on them, I will offer an 'upgrade' to the Book Doctor package by putting what you've already paid toward the new service. If my schedule allows, this is best done 1-2 months after the initial pass; this gives you enough time for thoughtful edits but is also short enough that your story is (likely) still fresh in my mind. 

What is the next step after a DE?

After you get your notes back, I recommend reading through all of them before making any changes. You may find that there are 'bigger' notes later on that might make small changes obsolete. It is also a good idea to make a copy of your manuscript document with all the comments. That way, even as you work through and remove the in-line notes, you will still have a copy with all of them visible.

Once you've made your way through all the notes, deciding what to keep and what doesn't feel right for your story*, set it aside for a while. Fresh eyes are the best thing you can bring to editing.

After that little break, you are back into self-editing mode! If you choose (especially if you've added or changed a lot), another pass of grammar checking is a good idea. This is also a great time to listen to your book. I use naturalreaders.com to read my books aloud while I follow along on the manuscript, flagging anywhere that isn't smooth or any other issues that pop up to me. Working with your book in an alternate form really helps you notice issues. Downloading it to your kindle or e-reader is a great option too, or even printing it out in hard copy!

Once the manuscript is as clean as you can possibly make it, it is time for line editing. Be sure to get a sample edit so that you know you and the editor are a good match. This can also be a way to double check that your book is ready for a line edit or if you might have more work to do first. If your book is cleaner, your line editor fees may be lower.


*Remember, this is your story; you are not obligated to use all (or any) of the feedback if it doesn't resonate with what you are trying to say. But editors are there to help, so it's good to seriously consider all notes.