Recently, Wendi and I have opened the gates to our new publishing division at Blue Sun Studio. Before the term “hybrid publishing” came along, we hadn’t considered ourselves publishers. After all, we weren’t offering contracts or advances like the Big 5 do. However, we did offer guidance on self publishing, holding our clients’ hands through the often confusing and detailed process, created professional covers, interior formatting, and author platforms. We would even go so far as to call a project to a halt if the manuscript needed more work and then coached our clients through cleaning up their story.
What design company does that? None that I know of.
At a conference this past April when Wendi was in town, we took advantage of our time together to have a mini biz summit. It was then we finally admitted we were indeed publishers.
As we reworked our services, we created the Manuscript Mentoring program as part of our publishing package.
What Is Manuscript Mentoring?
Manuscript Mentoring (MSM) is an in depth developmental editing program where we pick apart a manuscript and put it back together. Wendi and I work with each client through intense editing sessions, offering suggestions on plot and character development, pacing, and continuity. We serve as the unbiased sets of eyes that see what the author doesn’t.
Many times an author has worked so long and hard on a story they’ve become “story blind”. They can’t see the holes or lows. It takes outsiders with experience to point out the issues. Beta readers may help some, but do your beta readers really understand what to look for? Probably not.
The MSM process isn’t about reading the whole MS either. The program often takes longer than one or two sessions. Wendi and I take each story in chunks, chapter by chapter, working our way through and sharpening the overall picture. We ask the author where they had the most problems and focus on those.
But Manuscript Mentoring is more than us serving as editors. We’re educators too. We want an author to understand why a chapter may need to be cut, or why parts of the dialogue slows things down. Simply following advice blindly won’t help an author grow in their craft. From the very beginning, everything we did at Blue Sun was about educating our clients and granting them the freedom and confidence to move forward in their businesses, their writing and their lives.
Is Manuscript Mentoring For You?
The MSM program isn’t for everyone. It takes a special person to surrender to the process. You have to be able to leave your ego at the door. Yes, we understand how much you love your words, we love ours too. We know it’s hard to let go. But you have to accept that if it doesn’t serve the story, it has to go.
You also have to be able to work as part of a team. Open and honest communication is key. Commitment, dedication and follow-through are also crucial. You have to have the time to plunk your butt in the chair and do the work, because those rewrites aren’t going to happen on their own.
Even though you may have already had your MS edited by a proof reading editor, the developmental process is completely different. A clean MS will give you a head start, though.
Are you ready for Manuscript Mentoring? Contact us today and let’s talk.