I had the opportunity to attend the PNWA (Pacific Northwest Writer's Assoc.) meeting last night. The topic was book doctors. It really opened my eyes to a service that I've overlooked. The speaker was Jason Black, www.plottopunctuation.com. He's a bit of a newbie book doctor, but he really knew his stuff.
First, he answered the question- What is a book doctor? Basically a freelance editor. But he divided his answer into three sub parts:1) a personal writing coach. 2) a person who helps you navigate the publishing world. 3) Someone who helps you stand out from the pack.
What services does he offer? He offers three different types of editing. The developmental edit- which is help with the whole book structure, story crafts, arcs etc... He copy edits- Spelling and grammar checks. And he line edits- line by line help with the writing craft.
Is it expensive? Depends on what type of book doctor you hire. Some charge by the hour, others by the word. He suggests checking out their websites and looking for editing samples, testimonials, and a try it before you buy it service. He lists his prices on his website and offers a 10% discount to PNWA members.
I'm sending him my middle grade story, Cleopatra's Legacy. So far no agents have asked for the full manuscript, but when they do, I'll be better prepared.