I help authors shape, trim, or polish their manuscripts; some authors want the ms. ready to publish and some want it ready to submit to an agent.
Let's talk! Find me—Jennifer Silva Redmond—on Facebook, or email me: jsilvaredmond(at)gmail(dot)com
Many writers have called me their book's "midwife," a term which I am grateful to hear. The reason I like the term "book midwife" better than "book doctor" is that most doctors see a problem as something to be diagnosed, that requires medicine—the same pills a million others are taking (for 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 others on their team of helpers, in the best way to bring this being into the world.
And the "book as child" metaphor doesn't end there, oh, no! Every writer I've known, and I've worked with hundreds, wants their book to be not only born healthy and beautiful, but to have a good and productive life—to make good friends, be appreciated, to spread their wings and know the world, and, ultimately, to find find their place in it—and to someday move out on their own and perhaps even to earn a living!
But at some point I found out that there's a Book Midwife who actually trademarked the term. 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 an early draft of the manuscript), 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.
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 He drew some darling ladybugs to illustrate it, but other projects beckoned and took over, and the story is still unpublished...However, the nickname, "Redbug" stuck, eventually becoming a term for both of us—the Redbugs—and for Yours Truly, Jenny Redbug.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 still 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.)