Summing Up

Words add value to empty space. Developmental editors and developmental writers, not to mention book proposal writers, coauthors and screenwriters, help make those words more useful, memorable, and salable. Freelance editors and freelance writers can tailor your ideas to the needs of a particular audience, whether you enter that market through traditional gatekeepers like agents and acquisition editors, or take the rapidly growing self-publishing track. Although the media available to authors has expanded enormously—from bound books (printed in mass or on-demand) to e-books downloaded from the cloud or Internet—one thing remains the same: audiences demand a “good read” that leaves them hungry for more. Strong content sells books, keeps them in print, and sometimes makes them classics.

All authors have blind spots and even star athletes need a coach. If you’re serious about your writing, put your manuscript on the fast track to success with a seasoned author-editor: a writing coach or collaborator who knows the score.

Jay Wurts Writer and Editor
About Jay Wurts Writer and Editor

You want people to believe in your work even when that work can't yet speak for itself.

I'm willing to bet a third of my fee on your success.


ou’ve read books about writing, attended classes and workshops, and sought feedback from friends and family. Maybe you’ve tried tutorial software or hired an expert to critique your work.

Still, your manuscript is unsold with no agent or publisher in sight.

You want to be published because that’s your only real assurance that all the time, energy and money you’ve spent on writing hasn’t been wasted. You want people to believe in your work even when that work can’t yet speak for itself. Most of all, you want more than constructive criticism: you want positive guidance about what to do next—how to get your novel, autobiography, memoir, self-help book, and other great idea into print. You want reliable advice that’s there when you need it.

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Back in 1977, I was in your position. I wanted to write good books that paid the rent—partly because I admired the fine writers who came before me, but mostly because I just enjoyed spending time with words. The years went by and I did a lot of writing. Some of it sold. The first book I published taught me a valuable lesson: The best way to learn to write well is to be well edited.

After that, I wrote and developed dozens of books, both fiction and nonfiction, and worked with collaborators, editors, publishers, book packagers, and agents on both coasts. My books have been widely reviewed (once on the cover of the Sunday New York Times Book Review) and won several awards. They’ve been translated into eleven foreign languages and adapted for Hollywood and TV. I’ve published magazine articles, book and performing arts reviews, and appeared before various writers’ groups and on PBS and cable television. I’ve written widely in the fields of corporate communications, organizational behavior, and minority business issues, and taught at several San Francisco Bay Area colleges.

As I became a better writer, aspiring authors—especially those from culturally diverse, ESL, and women’s-issue backgrounds—asked me to help them find a mainstream audience. Like me, these hard-working, earnest writers wanted three things from an editorial helper:

  1. A fixed, reasonable price for honest feedback that actually helps.
  2. Specific instructions—not just general advice—on how to make their manuscript more salable to agents and publishers, plus referrals to those professionals.
  3. Ongoing coaching and mentoring to support them for the long haul—help with revisions, queries, book proposals, contracts, and publicity until they’ve become “old pros” themselves.

As a result, I’ve evolved an innovative way to give writers like you the support you’ve asked for—one that shares the risks as well as rewards of your great adventure.

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I invite you to tour my web site, beginning with Professional Services: Developmental Editing. Check my approach and my credentials, and see if my way of getting your great ideas to readers is right for you.

Click on a thumbnail for more information
Daughter of the Sea
My Old Man
The Emotional Yoga Experience
Ghosts of Babylon
Short-Form Publications
Consensual Democracy: An Owner's Manual
Bold Enough to Try: Resurrecting the City of Angels
Water Lily