On this page you'll find out more about my editing services and what you can expect as we work together on your manuscript. The editorial assistance I provide is tailored to your individual needs.
What I'm Aiming For
Excellence in an editor is the ability to visualize your book in its ideal form, recognize its current condition, see what can be improved, and communicate the solutions. My aim as your editor, therefore, is to help you craft your manuscript into an interesting, complete, well organized, compelling book whose quality jumps off the page, immediately evident to agents and editors.
A Comprehensive View
To accomplish this, I look at much more than grammar and punctuation. In fact, I consider every aspect of your manuscript and its content. Are the book's style and tone appropriate for its purpose and intended readership? Are there any gaps or errors in logic, research or presentation that make your discussion hard to follow? Does each chapter flow logically and smoothly to the next? Are each of its parts, large and small, in the best sequence? Do readers want to keep turning those pages? These are just a few of many elements I look at.
I also help make sure your book measures up to the standards of excellence of its own subject area, category of nonfiction, and readership.
I Won't Fix It If It Isn't Broken
Taking this comprehensive editing approach does not mean that I will automatically tear your manuscript into pieces and reconstruct it from scratch. It does mean that I will look at your book from all angles to make sure it is the best book it can beall while preserving your personal style and voice.
Types of Nonfiction Books Edited
I accept manuscripts intended to be published as "Trade Nonfiction"books written for different segments of the general public and intended to be sold commercially. This may include specialized or semi-technical books, such as books about nutrition or music instruction, but does not include academic or scholarly works or treatises, or highly technical, scientific or mathematics books. Click on "Publications" to see a list of the books I have edited.
Categories I have edited include Sports Inspirational for Young Adults, Personal Memoirs, Celebrity Autobiography, Instructional and How-To, Self-Help, Spiritual/Inspirational, Financial Self-Help, Music and Vocal Instruction, Nutrition and Healthcare, Dieting/Weight Loss, Foster Care/Child Abuse Survival, General Religious, and Reference. If you are uncertain whether I can edit your type of book, please send me an email inquiry.
Tailor-Made Editing Assistance
Every manuscript needs a different amount of work. The varying skills and focus of authors make each manuscript different, so that a beautifully written film history by a Yale graduate may still require heavier editing than a practical guide for musicians written in casual "street" language.
Just as every manuscript has its own unique requirements and problems, so does every author need his or her own individual brand of assistance.
If you're a busy executive on a short deadline to get your manuscript to the publisher, you may not want me to write up a 50-page evaluation with suggestions for a comprehensive rewrite, including a tutorial on how to improve your writing! Instead, you might want me to edit the book rapidly, consulting with you about problems while doing as much of the revision and rewriting as possible. In other words, you want me to help you get the job done! So that's how we'll work.
Yet another writer may want help developing her book from a very early stage. So I might work with her to expand class notes, a teaching outline, or a manual into a full-length book. She may want to do most of the writing herself, while consulting with me on the organization and content. So that's the way we'll work.
In short, we will discuss our working arrangement to find the method that suits you and your manuscript best. The most common working arrangements are reflected on page 2 of my Project Info Sheet which you can find on my Rates page.
Many of my clients are experts and professionals who decided to share their know-how, ideas or expertise with others. I worked with them to develop and refine their rough drafts, outlines or notes into professional, marketable books. Some of these have received excellent reviews and become well respected titles in their categories. If you want help developing your book, I will adapt our working style to suit your preferences and degree of writing experience. I can provide any level of service, from consultation to editing, revision and moderate rewriting.
I believe in using e-mail or the phone while working on your project so I can get my questions answered and make sure I have all the information I need to do a great job for you. Sometimes it is necessary to resolve questions as they arise. However, I often write out questions and suggestions in the manuscript for you to consider and handle later.
In all cases, I try to present my questions and comments in a positive way so that the entire process can be enlightening and enjoyable for us both.
I work onscreen in Microsoft Word. With Word, I have the option of editing using the "Track Changes" feature, which allows editing changes to be displayed onscreen, then turned off when you want to read the "clean copy" (unmarked) manuscript. See How to Get Started, under the subheading Manuscript Logistics, for instructions on formatting and sending your manuscript.
Free Initial Consultation
If you are submitting a full-length book manuscript, you are entitled to a free initial consultation. In your free initial consultation, I will (1) make sure I understand your project and preferred editing approach; (2) estimate your manuscript's overall editorial needswhat kind and how extensiveand recommend the appropriate editing service; (3) determine your fee (or estimate); and (4) submit the above information to you in writing, usually via e-mail. We can review it on the phone if you have any questions or changes.
To prepare your initial consultation, I will ask you to fill out a detailed "Project Info Sheet." This form gives me important information about your manuscript and needs and helps me determine the best way to work with you on your project. A link to access the Project Info Sheet appears in Step 2 on the "How to Get Started" page.
You can check my Rates page for an explanation of the different levels of editing service available and their respective fees. Then click on the How to Get Started to see how to proceed. If you still have questions, please free to send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Distinct from the comprehensive editing services described above, copyediting services are available for those authors who want their manuscripts edited to correct grammar, punctuation, sentence structure (awkward phrasing), usage, word choice and repetitious elements and other needed improvements at the word, sentence and paragraph levels. Ambiguous meanings are corrected or queried. This service also includes moderate reordering of sentences and paragraphs.
If you want help with just a certain portion or element of your book manuscript, I can perform a consultation for you. I will analyze the requested element or part and make written recommendations. I can also edit specific portions of a manuscript upon request. Consultation services and "spot" editing are charged for hourly, as specified on the Rates page.