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 have glove-service, know that this is NOT a quick process. Round 2 will probably take longer (though it doesn't faze me if there is a break between rounds for glove-service. I know you probably need time to work on your story after my first pass).
The style of my comments varies. If you can take it, I’ll whip out those black leather gloves and let your MS have it—and you will like it. If you need kid-gloves I have those too; I can do hand-holding and cheer-leading.
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).
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.
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
4. Word count
5. Any deadlines if you have them (though note my above comment about speed).
6. Any trigger warnings for your story
I have openings beginning October 15th 2023.
Trial Basic Edit:
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$7.50 per 1000 words
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.
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. 'Scene Saver' is available after edits are complete if the writer wants certain areas looked at again.
Glove-service Developmental Edit:
USD$15 per 1000 words
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. I don’t label my gloves, sometimes they are white, sometimes boxing, and on occasion black leather.
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.
Hashing Out Scene Saver:
USD$20/hr (1 hr minimum charge)
This service is only for clients already working with me at either basic or glove service level.
Do you have a scene that is just not working? I can get on google docs together with you and help hash it out. I can offer very specific suggestions and drag—wait, I mean lead—you away from the corner that you’ve written yourself into. I will look at all your fixes and tell you what’s working and what’s still not working. We will fix the scene together but it will still be your work.
I Accept PayPal and Venmo
Trial edits paid at start (if you go on to a basic/glove service edit price will be subtracted from initial payment).
Basic edits paid 50% at start and 50% when we reach the middle of the book.
Glove Service paid 50% at start of pass #1, 50% at start of pass #2.
Scene Saver billed hourly as completed.
*start up payments are non-refundable if you decide to stop the edit before the 2nd payment for any reason.
Books I Have Worked On:
"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
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
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.