Why DMA?

Dawn Marano & Associates offers developmental and substantive editing which, in contrast to copyediting, attends to issues such as the overarching structure of a book, its narrative arc, its latent thematic content, the voice of its character(s) or narrator, its handling of time cues and tense-shifts, the dimensions of its scenes, its narrative pacing, and so forth--fundamental issues that may impair its chances for publication. Developmental and substantive editing is also appropriate for a book-in-progress, before a complete manuscript draft has been achieved.

The publishing industry has changed dramatically in recent years. Because of economic pressures bearing upon publishers, developmental and substantive editing costs for promising manuscripts, once routinely underwritten by publishing houses, are being shifted to writers and/or their agents.

If the goal is to publish, authors deserve the most comprehensive and rewarding editing experience possible. This means finding an experienced independent editor; one who can understand and communicate with a particular author; one who feels an affinity with his or her work.

Finding the right independent editor might be compared to meeting the right therapist--and we don't make the analogy lightly. DMA conceives of the work we do for authors and their manuscripts as book therapy because we believe that the best editors invite and sustain a dynamic process of exploration between two minds--a process based on mutual trust and respect. Together we make a commitment, not to a "cure" for your manuscript, but to our shared "curiosity" about it. Together we turn that curiosity into exciting, transformative discoveries and tangible improvement on the page.


"Without the luck of Dawn Marano in my writing life, I honestly doubt I would have books published at all."

--Mark Spragg, Where Rivers Change Direction

"Whatever virtue my book possesses is due in large part to Dawn's insight and tact."

--Chris Chester, Providence of a Sparrow

"Dawn Marano's greatest strength (among many) is her ability to perceive what you have in mind, the ideal book held somewhere suspended between what is actually on the page and what needs to be there."

--Elizabeth Dodd, Prospect: Journeys & Landscapes