A good editor can make the difference between a book that sells and one that collects dust.
Whether you’re self-publishing, e-publishing, or planning on an agent, a good editor will bring your voice forward in the most compelling way and help your book get the praise it deserves. Your work will look professional and reflect your commitment to success.
With 30 years in the publishing business, I do it all:
- Developmental editing
- Line editing
- Copy editing
I’ve been a magazine and book editor since 1983 for publishers including Ten Speed Press, Chronicle Books, and Crown Publishing. I’ve edited travel guides, cookbooks, memoirs, workbooks, self-help and more for hundreds of independent clients — writers, professors, psychologists, retired professionals, chefs, and businesspeople who want to publish and people who simply want to write better. See my clients page to learn about some of the authors.
We go to the essence first: what is the “spine” of your story in a memoir or your take-away message in nonfiction? It’s from this core all else comes. In memoir I read, too, for the elements of fiction that transform truth to art and make a personal story a page turner: dramatic structure (narrative arc), momentum, pacing, scene construction, character development, handling of time, voice, and more. I consider where tension lags, check for vivid verbs that bring the writing to life. I give you notes about where these elements are working and where to add them. Nonfiction has its own issues. I work with your format and make sure it’s the strongest for your topic and tone. We work electronically (by email) or by telephone.
It’s time for a line edit when you’re ready to improve your writing and bring it to the next level. I read for clarity and consistency in tone and style, suggest what can be omitted to keep the writing concise, note where useful adds could be made, reorder passive or overloaded sentences. I prefer Track Changes, in Word, so clients can see suggested changes in the document before accepting them and avoid the separate step of incorporating edits from manuscript to computer. When a client prefers, I edit the printed manuscript. A line edit can include copy editing if your manuscript is already mostly in order. If it’s in an earlier stage of readiness, copy editing is best as a separate, finishing edit.
Copy editing is a final stage, following the line edit. A copy editor makes sure punctuation is correct, spelling is accurate, capitalization is done where it needs to be, syntax and flow of information is logical. Copy editors sometimes fact check, as needed, and develop or follow a style guide for certain categories of words (like varieties of apples and kinds of wines). I use the copy editor’s industry standard, The Chicago Manual of Style. After this comes the final proofing — a separate job done by a proofreader — and then it’s time to go to print.
Anthologies are assembled from collected writings or transcribed interviews. I edit anthologies and consult on the book’s structure and content.
Websites and Social Media
I edit and copy edit web copy and profiles on social media. Put your best when you go out there and the best will come back to you.
Editing is $95/hour for the first 5 hours and $90/hour after that. For projects that exceed 10 hours, payment plans are possible.
How It Works
After you contact me and I learn about your project, we discuss your project briefly by phone. I give a project estimate after a read-through of the first 15 pages. For those who prefer it, I contract for sample edits of up to 50 pages to be sure we’re the right fit.
If you’d like a reference, just ask. Books I’ve edited fill my shelves, and their writers would be happy to talk with you about working with me.
CONTACT ME and see how I can make the difference you’re looking for.