Jodi Henley, Developmental Editor, Rates, and Services

Jodi Henley, developmental editor, rates and services


Updated 10.21.17

What kind of editor are you and what services do you offer?

I’m purely and simply a troubleshooter, which in its own way is a sub-set of developmental edits. In other words, I'm wordy, I talk a lot, I like to tell you why, and I rarely leave anything to chance or the possibility something might go haywire.

Do you handle smaller services like edits on query letters?

Query letters are specialized and can take longer than a short edit. So no, I'm sorry, but I don’t handle query letters, synopsis edits, or blurbs. I used to handle outlines, but I have too much work and no longer have time.

How many years of experience do you have?

I have worked as an editor since ’08. A developmental editor since ’09. I’ve presented more than a hundred (I’ve lost track) workshops all over the place on everything from the transformational character arc, to prologues, continuing arcs, structure of all sort, troubleshooting, subplots, epics, film deconstructions and conflict/motivation (my current and lasting fave). Right now I'm doing a series of promo workshops called "Five Pages." It tidies up your story with magic--nah, just joking. It's just short form dev edits with the opportunity to revise and some maybe remedial craft lessons if you need help to accomplish a particular objective. Check it out. I like teaching, and interesting projects give me great joy.

What do you specialize in, and what won’t you handle?

I specialize in character-driven fiction and people who've hit the limits of what they can do by themselves. I used to handle broken things and narrative non-fiction, but as Seneca says, "Time is the coin of your life" and I ran out of money. If you need me to break your project down using a spreadsheet and spend hundreds of hours on it, we're not a good match. Trust me on this. I like to eat and I have a mortgage.

What genres do you handle?

I can handle anything from MG (middle grade) and New Adult, to inspirationals and mainstream fiction. Romance, all sorts and sexual orientations. I also handle cozy mysteries, sci-fi, and fantasy of all niches and flavors.

Do you have an "editorial" pet peeve (or is there something that annoys you so much you can't be impartial)?

Please have decent tense usage (at least in the eighty percentile). Totally drives me bonkers.

What genre do you prefer?

I read a lot of urban fantasy and romance, but I also like accessible lit, cozy mysteries and science fiction. However, my library is huge and I remember almost everything in it, so if you're interested in doing a riff on the Boxcar Children, Mara, Daughter of the Nile, the Honor Harrington series or a serial influenced by Harlequin's Gold Eagle line come talk to me.

What is the hottest rating you can handle?

Whatever you can throw at me. I have no problems with menage, BDSM, alternative lifestyles, m/m, lesbian, poly or most forms of kink.

Do you have experience with authors outside the US (spelling, slang, usage, etc)?

I have repeat clients outside the US. I’m familiar with UK/Canadian spellings and usage. However, I edit slang in context.

What is your normal wait time? (updated 10/21/2017)

Due to heavy volume, I've gone back to booked dates. Talk to me at jodi henley AT gmail. com. However, sometimes life happens and there's a postponement or cancellation. 

What is your turnaround time on returning a manuscript?

If everything is aligned perfectly, it is usually 14 days from when I start on a story. However, that's a generalization. Dev edits are a mind game, and this kind of thinking takes time, especially if you're clocking 80-100k. If you have a super firm deadline, let me know. Shorter pieces take less time.

What is your policy on second reads, additional edits, and future questions on the same project or future projects?

Totally free, although additional edits on a story submitted for a second read (which is scheduled as time allows) are “free within reason”. There is an additional fee for a complete set of second edits, as well as a rush second read. Usually I can turn things around in a day or two. It takes longer if it was a difficult edit and I need to go over the manuscript with a fine-tooth comb.

If you are my client and have a series, all inquiries or pre-edit trouble-shooting are also free within reason.

Do you have a policy for squeezing in last-minute emergency edits?

Unless you are a longtime client or I have an opening, I simply can't. I carry some pretty heavy volume, and while I think I just need a few iron tabs, I can't pull back to back all-nighters anymore.

What is your cancellation policy?

If you need to cancel, just let me know. If you cancel and don't tell me, I'm afraid we're not a good match.

If I cancel, I’ll give you what I’ve already done, and credit toward a future edit. If something comes up, it's my fault, and edits on a non-difficult edit drag out past the two week (14 day) mark, I'll give you a twenty-five percent discount. Difficult edits take whatever time they need. However, once we get past that two week mark, they run into other projects and have to be done as time allows.

What's your fee schedule?

You know...the price of edits are getting outrageous and I've held the line a long time. However, because I was on the low side, I got a lot of manuscripts that needed more time in final draft. It's not fair to make you wait while I work on your material, and it's not fair for me to make others wait.

If your rough draft is good and tight, I'm fine with it, but in most cases if you finished thirty minutes ago and you're boinging all over the place, it's two cents a word. All others are .008. Regardless, if you are a new to me writer I will need to look at a few chapters.

Testimonials and References

Provided on request. Or you can visit All Writer Resources, the new yelp-style site for editor feedback. If you're interested, check me out, if I've helped you, consider leaving a review.

I've recently finished a google business listing. It should pop right up in the sidebar (like any other business). I've been populating it with covers to the books I've edited, but since I've done so many, and I don't really have time, I've been doing it super slowly. If you can't see the covers click on my head shot and it should take you to my pictures. If you're interested, check out some reviews for the listed books and see the kind of work I do. I'm proud of everything I handle.

Additional information about processes:

I won’t get upset if you don’t take my advice, or if you only take 20% of my advice. You paid, I’m good. However, if you feel push-back to the idea of potentially changing bits of your story, perhaps this isn't the right time. Developmental edits often contain potential changes to your story and/or characters. 

I’m also not a back and forth kind of person. Send me what you have, a short synopsis or sketch of what the story is about, where you want to go with it, how you want to get there (your personal writing limits (no this, no that, I refuse to write about this, and I can’t deal with that) or what is already in place in your world) and what’s bothering you, and I’ll send you back a sea of track changes with silly simple fixes that probably shouldn't take but a few days to implement. I haven't done editorial letters for years, because they tend to be vague and honestly--if you're going to be doing this for a living, you need pinpoint control to produce a strong, consistent product.

In other words, I’m not here to hold your hand or confuse you with vague suggestions. I am here to save you time and move you forward so you can get on with your project. This does not mean I won’t answer questions, help, or am not open to your concerns and thoughts as we move through the process, it just means that I’m not a chapter by chapter person and I won’t check back with you unless I have questions you haven't answered.

Please be aware that I might not be the right person for your story, or that my personality and the way I approach things might not work for you. Also be aware that if I edit your work in good faith and you send me angry, defensive letters we will not be working together on future projects.

Thank you!