Joanna Pinto-Coelho, PhD
 

Start here

if you think an Academic Content Editor might be able to help you. 

 
 
 
 
The Rare Book Room at the University of Pennsylvania’s Van Pelt Library (image via Pinterest)

The Rare Book Room at the University of Pennsylvania’s Van Pelt Library (image via Pinterest)

What is an Academic Content Editor?

In the heyday of book publishing, editors were amazing creatures — voracious readers and masters of story who shepherded writers and their manuscripts through the revision and publication processes. Not too long ago, editors’ publishing quotas grew too high for them to invest the same kind of time, energy, and care into every author. With the “publish or perish” imperative in academia, the same has been true with academic presses as well. In both spheres, freelance content editors, developmental editors, and book coaches have stepped in to fill the void.

Content or developmental editors do more than correct spelling or grammatical errors. Academic editors can elevate your writing by recommending changes to structure, argument, framing, and voice; helping you focus effectively on your target audience; and designing sustainable plans for publication; among many other things. Developmental editors can guide you through the entire process of a longer-term or larger-scope writing project.

 

 
 

When can an Academic Content Editor help you?

You would benefit from working with an Academic Content / Dvelopmental Editor if you meet any of the following criteria:

  • You have not been getting the kind of constructive, practical, or helpful feedback you need to improve your work

  • You are not quite sure how to incorporate, or respond to, the feedback you have received

  • You would like to develop an academic writing habit and would like an accountability partner, coach, and editor

  • You have a couple “almost-there” papers or projects gathering dust that you haven’t figured out how to “get right” enough to publish or share at a conference

  • You want to take your academic writing style and voice to the next level

  • You want to turn a dissertation into a book, or an article into a book, and you have no idea where to start

  • You want a partner on the path to publication

pem cherries.jpg
 
 

What are you writing?

 
 

A shorter piece

  • A journal article

  • A standalone book chapter (e.g., anthology contribution, introduction, conclusion, data and methods chapter, etc.)

  • A conference paper

 

 SOMETHING ELSE

  • Letters to reviewers and/or editors

  • A faculty or author bio

  • Book jacket copy

  • Conference or paper abstracts

  • Cover letters (e.g., to agents, hiring committees)

  • Academic website copy

a longer piece

  • A dissertation

  • Turning a dissertation into a book

  • A separate book project (academic or commercial press)

 

I DON’T KNOW YET

Need help figuring out what to do next with your idea or data? Brainstorming together could produce:

  • A revamped research question

  • A more powerful justification or throughline

  • An outline

  • A writing, revision, and/or publication plan

 
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Here’s how I can help you with shorter pieces:

 
 
 

FIRST LEVEL : REVIEW AND REVISE

All short pieces must start here. You may purchase LINE-BY-LINE and/or ONGOING COACHING in addition to, but not instead of, REVIEW AND REVISE.

You would be a great candidate for this service if:

  • You have a full draft of this article, chapter, or paper

  • You have received feedback on this piece from an advisor, colleague, editor, or reviewer that you are struggling to respond to and/or incorporate

  • You have not submitted this piece for publication yet, but want to get it in the best possible shape before you do

  • You feel stuck or lost with this project and need help unearthing its potential before you give up on it entirely

After you send me your draft and we have an initial phone consult about your goals and challenges, I get down to work.

In the editorical cover letter I write and the wrap-up phone conversation we have, here’s how I can help you with content and developmental editing:

  • I provide strategic feedback based on the specific project goals you have for a piece (e.g., publishing in a specific journal, accommodating a specific reviewer) as well as specific writing goals you have for yourself (e.g., reducing colloquial language or jargon use, articulating a clear argument, ).

  • I focus on the “30,000-foot view” (e.g., evaluation of argument and evidence effectiveness, organization, citation practice, style).

  • I provide a detailed plan for revision.

 

INCLUDED

Initial phone consult

Editorial cover letter

Wrap-up phone consult

advance notice

1 week

TIME TO COMPLETION

2-3 weeks

RATE

hourly

 

SECOND LEVEL : LINE-BY-LINE

You may purchase LINE-BY-LINE in addition to, but not in place of, REVIEW AND REVISE.

If you feel as though guidance from the “30,000-foot view” is not enough, then you have the option to add line-editing and in-line commenting to your service package.

Here is how I can help you:

  • I provide direct, micro-level feedback at the paragraph and sentence level.

  • Reduce the amount of time you must spend on these micro-level edits and revisions.

  • I make my thought process clear on the page (or in the Word document Track Changes function, as it were) to help your thinking and writing moving forward.

 

INCLUDED

Electronic manuscript edited, revised, and commented on (in Word’s Track Changes)

advance notice

+ 1 week (in addition to Review and Revise)

TIME TO COMPLETION

+ 1-2 weeks (in addition to Review and Revise)

RATE

hourly

 

THIRD LEVEL : ONGOING COACHING

You may purchase ONGOING COACHING in addition to, but not in place of, REVIEW AND REVISE.

For those interested in a more dialogic, interactive, hands-on approach to an editor.

Here’s how I can help you:

  • I can answer questions and assuage concerns as you have them.

  • I can guide you through the revision process (and publication process, if you are so inclined).

  • Together we can develop plans of action for data collection, literature review restructuring, your path to publication, etc.

  • In one-on-one brainstorming sessions, we can solve problems, streamline your focus, and re-evaluate theoretical frameworks, among many other possibilities.

 

INCLUDED

ongoing writing and publication coaching and consulting throughout the project duration

advance notice

reasonable, but not much

TIME TO COMPLETION

project duration

RATE

hourly

 
 

Please note that amounts of time listed in “ADVANCED NOTICE” and “TIME TO COMPLETION” are subject to change for these and all other services.

 

 

Here’s how I can help you with longer pieces:

 
 
 

FIRST LEVEL : REVIEW AND REVISE

All long pieces must start here. You may purchase LINE-BY-LINE and/or ONGOING COACHING in addition to, but not instead of, REVIEW AND REVISE.

You would be a great candidate for this service if:

  • You have a full draft of your dissertation, or your dissertation is complete and you would like to turn it into something else

  • You have received feedback on this manuscript that you are struggling to respond to and/or incorporate

  • You want to make your manuscript the best version of itself so you can shop it as ready-to-go to literary agents or academic presses

After you send me your draft and we have an initial phone consult about your goals and challenges, I get down to work.

In the editorical cover letter I write and the wrap-up phone conversation we have, here’s how I can help you with content and developmental editing:

  • I provide strategic feedback based on the specific project goals you have for a piece (e.g., publishing in a specific journal, accommodating a specific reviewer) as well as specific writing goals you have for yourself (e.g., reducing colloquial language or jargon use, articulating a clear argument, ).

  • I focus on the “30,000-foot view” (e.g., evaluation of argument and evidence effectiveness, organization, citation practice, style).

  • I provide a detailed plan for revision.

 

INCLUDED

Initial phone consult

Editorial cover letter

Wrap-up phone consult

advance notice

1 week

TIME TO COMPLETION

2-3 weeks

RATE

flat fee associated with manuscript length

 

SECOND LEVEL : LINE-BY-LINE

You may purchase LINE-BY-LINE in addition to, but not in place of, REVIEW AND REVISE.

If you feel as though guidance from the “30,000-foot view” is not enough, then you have the option to add line-editing and in-line commenting to your service package.

Here is how I can help you:

  • I provide direct, micro-level feedback at the paragraph and sentence level.

  • Reduce the amount of time you must spend on these micro-level edits and revisions.

  • I make my thought process clear on the page (or in the Word document Track Changes function, as it were) to help your thinking and writing moving forward.

 

INCLUDED

Electronic manuscript edited, revised, and commented on (in Word’s Track Changes)

advance notice

+ 1 week (in addition to Review and Revise)

TIME TO COMPLETION

+ 1-2 weeks (in addition to Review and Revise)

RATE

hourly

 

THIRD LEVEL : ONGOING COACHING

You may purchase ONGOING COACHING in addition to, but not in place of, REVIEW AND REVISE.

For those interested in a more dialogic, interactive, hands-on approach to an editor.

Here’s how I can help you:

  • I can answer questions and assuage concerns as you have them.

  • I can guide you through the revision process (and publication process, if you are so inclined).

  • Together we can develop plans of action for data collection, literature review restructuring, your path to publication, etc.

  • In one-on-one brainstorming sessions, we can solve problems, streamline your focus, and re-evaluate theoretical frameworks, among many other possibilities.

 

INCLUDED

ongoing writing and publication coaching and consulting throughout the project duration

advance notice

reasonable, but not much

TIME TO COMPLETION

project duration

RATE

hourly

 
 

Please note that amounts of time listed in “ADVANCED NOTICE” and “TIME TO COMPLETION” are subject to change for these and all other services.

 

 

Here’s how I can help you with other academic writing:

 
 
 

FULL REVIEW

Lots of different pieces can qualify for full review, including but not limited to:

  • Letters to reviewers and/or editors

  • A faculty or author bio

  • Book jacket copy

  • Conference or paper abstracts

  • Cover letters (e.g., to agents, hiring committees)

  • Academic website copy

After you send me your draft and we have an initial phone consult about your goals and challenges, I get down to work.

Here’s how I can help you with content and developmental editing:

  • I provide strategic feedback based on the specific goals you have for a piece (e.g., publishing in a specific journal, accommodating a specific reviewer) as well as specific writing goals you have for yourself (e.g., reducing colloquial language or jargon use, articulating a clear argument, developing your own authorial voice).

  • I focus on the “30,000-foot view” (e.g., evaluation of argument and evidence effectiveness, organization, citation practice, style).

  • I also provide line-editing and in-line commenting.

  • I also provide a detailed plan for revision beyond the in-line corrections.

 

INCLUDED

Initial phone consult

Editorial cover letter

Electronic manuscript edited, revised, and commented on (in Word’s Track Changes)

Wrap-up phone consult

advance notice

1 week

TIME TO COMPLETION

2-3 weeks

RATE

hourly

 
 

BRAINSTORMING

You may purchase BRAINSTORMING after we have developed a good working relationship.

Here are just a few of the ways I can help you:

  • I can help manifest an unformed idea onto the page.

  • I can help organize your ideas into an outline for a paper or slide deck.

  • We can figure out which journal or medium is a better fit for your research question.

  • We can prioritize one project over another, but make a plan to complete both (or more) in a certain amount of time.

There are so many possibilities. Just send me a note and we can figure something out.

 

INCLUDED

time working together on project via your preferred method of communication

advance notice

1 week

TIME TO COMPLETION

usually about an hour

RATE

hourly

 

Please note that amounts of time listed in “ADVANCED NOTICE” and “TIME TO COMPLETION” are subject to change for these and all other services.