I used to call myself--because authors called me this--a "book midwife", but it turns out that the term is actually trade-marked by someone, so is not up for grabs to be used by me, who knew? So I call myself a "book doctor"...Most of you have heard of "book doctors" or "script doctors", those whiz-bang diviners of the true tale within the mess of manuscript pages, and here's a description of what book doctors do by the Science Fiction Writers of America.
I work with authors in basically the same way--helping them to make a book ready to publish or be represented by an agent. The reason I liked the term "midwife" of books is that most of us think of doctors as people who see a problem as a disease that can be diagnosed, and that often requires a prescription--the same pills a million others are taking for both similar and wildly different maladies. A midwife or birthing coach helps a person birth what is theirs, naturally, if possible, using their years of experience to guide both of them (and other helpers, often) in the best way to bring this being into the world.
And the "book as child" metaphor doesn't end there, oh, no! Since every writer I've known--and I've worked with hundreds, by now--wants their book to be not only born healthy and beautiful, but to have a good and productive life...To make good friends, and be appreciated in finer circles, to spread their wings and know the world, and find their place in it--and to someday move out on their own and perhaps even to earn a living!
So, now I call myself a Publishing Consultant--because most writers do want to be published (someday soon) and they need guidance that goes beyond the book doctoring and editing and into the new world of choices: whether to self-publish or not; if they should try to find an agent or not; and when and how approach a publisher.
That is what I do--help and instruct and guide and encourage an author from the earliest steps (most often from the manuscript page), to the point where their book is ready to be represented or published. And then I help them make the decision of how to go on from there.
Let's talk! Find me on Facebook, or you can
email me: jsilvaredmond(at)gmail(dot)com
As to why I use the name Jenny Redbug...Twenty or so years ago, when Russel and I were honeymooning in Baja California's Sea of Cortez on our first sailboat, I wrote a story for children, about a ladybug who rallies her bug community to save a bug friend; I named it "Redbug's Rescue." He drew some darling ladybugs to illustrate it, but other projects beckoned and took over, and the story is still unpublished...However, the nickname, "Redbug" stuck, eventually becoming, for both of us, the Redbugs, and for Yours Truly, Jenny Redbug. We've been told that a small island we used to anchor at is now called "Redbug Island" by the local cruisers! Emails and calls from friends often begin "Jenny Redbug" and I don't think a thing about it anymore...(I sometimes forget now, that ladybugs aren't actually called redbugs, for that matter.)