If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it. — Toni Morrison
All of them! I focus mainly on fantasy, horror, scifi, and speculative fiction and their subgenres, because those are my favorite stories to read, but I love fiction of all kinds. If you have a brainy literary story and think I’m the editor for you, bring it on! If you have a heart-thudding thriller on your hands, I’m your gal. An inspirational memoir? Gimme! I even occasionally take on nonfiction: self-help, spirituality, specific subject matter. I’m a former interior designer and have a soft spot for home décor and lifestyle books. I typically don’t do romance (don’t read it, not into it), but if your book has romantic overtones within another genre, I’m all for it.
Yes. No. Sort of? Developmental editing focuses on plot, character development, structure, narrative, and other “big picture” items. Usually, a developmental edit will include in-manuscript markup plus a book map and an editorial letter. I do what I refer to as a “dev edit lite,” which I call a Story Critique. I look at everything included in a developmental edit and provide you with a diagnostic letter of approximately five to seven pages that generally addresses what works, what doesn’t work, thoughts and suggestions, and my opinion of the book’s publish-ability in its current form. A developmental edit is usually only effective on a fully completed manuscript. My Story Critique is perfect for manuscripts in any condition—finished, half finished, unedited, or anything in between.
Absolutely! I’ll gladly do a Style Tune Up, Nuts and Bolts, or Polish and Shine editing service on your book-related blurb, query letter, synopsis, or website content for a onetime project fee. For social media or blog posts, I offer a monthly retainer to copy edit your prose before it goes live, with a three-month minimum engagement. Cost depends on the projected number of posts. Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
I can certainly point you to helpful resources for finding an agent (or publisher), but the legwork to secure that agent will be yours, of course.
I use Microsoft Word. I work directly in a copy of your manuscript and make my edits using Word’s Track Changes feature. Prior to beginning my edit, I’ll do what’s called “silent edits”—fixing double spaces, straight quotes, ellipses, and other formatting issues—which won’t be tracked. As I work, I add items to the style sheet I create for your book (see more about the style sheet below). I’ll also have a fuzzy assistant or two or three sleeping at my feet, chillout tunes in the background for focus, and a cup of coffee or tea to keep me going.
Totally! I don’t do phone calls, but send me an email with your questions and I’ll respond within 24 hours. Also, I may have questions for you as I edit, so keep an eye on your inbox.
For my indie author clients (meaning authors who have not yet secured a publisher or know they will be self-publishing), I use the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th ed. It’s the preferred style of the book publishing industry. When I work directly for publishing houses, I use a combination of CMOS and the house’s style guide. For dictionaries, I use the online version of Merriam-Webster’s Unabridged dictionary.
A style sheet is a record of all the decisions you’ve made as an author and all the decisions and changes I’ve made as an editor. Examples: “gray” is spelled with an “a” in American English, “jobsite” is one word, etc.
It also tracks characters, settings, or any other book details that should remain consistent throughout the book. Examples: Bill’s eyes are blue, the Galactic Jetstar has 12 decks, etc.
Due to high demand, I’m usually booked out two or three months ahead. Scheduling your project will depend on my availability, so definitely apply to work with me as soon as possible to get on the calendar! Sometimes another author will reschedule, and I can shuffle projects around. I’ll let you know if that occurs and give you the choice to move into that slot.
I can typically turn around a project in 2-4 weeks. That timeframe depends on your schedule, the cleanliness of the manuscript, its length and complexity, and any other work or family obligations I have. We’ll discuss a specific timeline for your project during your application.
Your manuscript is ready to be copy edited after it’s a.) finished, b.) been through all rounds of critique and beta reading, and c.) you’ve incorporated all feedback you’re going to accept and have done all the rewrites you’re going to do. I recommend a manuscript go through developmental editing at this point. A professional developmental editor will approach story issues that critique partners and beta readers didn’t catch or mention. (I don’t do developmental editing, but I can recommend several five-star editors.) Once you’ve integrated your developmental edit, then your book can be copyedited. It’s generally best to do the copyedit once you’re absolutely, positively, 100% sure you won’t touch your manuscript again or do any more writing, which might introduce more word baubles or typos.
Just the facts, ma’am:
You can find out more here.
The honest answer: I might not be! The right editor is not just the person with the right qualifications, but someone you gel with, who “gets” your book and the way you write. The only way to tell if I’m the right editor is to apply for a free trial edit. A trial edit will give you a good sense of how I’ll edit your book, how I’ll treat your writer’s voice, and how I’ll go about doing your edit. And to figure out if we “gel” or not? Pay attention to how I communicate in emails and even on this website! Do you like my personality and tone? Do I come across as a person you can respect and get along with? Do you feel validated and seen as a writer? Only you can answer those questions through what you read and how I treat you. I hope my love for you as a human being and for your writing shines through!
My prices are listed on my Services page. (Note: Those are starting prices; final cost will depend on the cleanliness and complexity of your manuscript.) I charge mostly by the word, but sometimes per project depending on what you bring me.
I don’t have a minimum charge, as I typically price per word. That said, I generally don’t work with anything shorter than 5,000 words. (But exceptions can always be made for the right story!)
Yes, payment plans are available. A 50% deposit is required, and then payment arrangements are custom-designed for your situation (maximum of three payments and/or a three-month duration).