Helping Authors

Are you a traditionally published author wanting to step out into the exciting new world of independent, subsidy, co-op, or hybrid publishing?

Having worked with in-house editors, you understand the value of getting feedback from someone who understands professional writing techniques. Having worked with in-house proofreaders, you know the importance of getting a fresh pair of eyes to look at your manuscript prior to publication, to catch those embarrassing typos and inconsistencies as well as errors in punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling.

You also realize how crucial it is for your independently published books to maintain the same high standard of quality the readers in your established fan base have come to expect from your traditionally published books.

Or maybe you’re an established nonfiction author considering a switch to fiction. Or you’re thinking about branching out into other genres than what you’re known for.

Or maybe you’ve been writing books for so long, you’re beginning to wonder if your writing is keeping up with the latest trends or if it’s as fresh and polished as it could be.

I can help!

Professional Editing and Proofreading

I have been a full-time freelance editor since 1998. I’ve edited both fiction and nonfiction in a variety of genres. I’ve worked with lots of aspiring, beginning, and intermediate writers, but I’ve also worked with several of the top authors in Christian publishing. (Click here for a list.) I’ve also done substantive content editing and line-by-line copyediting for a number of publishing houses (both traditional and independent).

And as for proofreading … well, my Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors is the culmination of almost twenty years of studying the publishing industry’s standard reference books for punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling (and doing proofreading for a number of traditional and subsidy publishers). I’ve also gathered an impressive collection of tips on catching typos, inconsistencies, and inaccuracies from some of the top Christian authors in the business.

Why work with me?

Personal and Professional

Most subsidy publishing companies offer editing and proofreading as optional services. Having worked as an editor and proofreader for several of these publishers, I understand how that works. Most of these companies don’t really screen their freelancers, accepting pretty much anyone who offers to do the job for the amount they’re willing to pay. And they don’t actively oversee the work as it’s done. So you never know what caliber of editor or proofreader you’re going to get, how long that individual has been editing/proofreading, or how familiar he or she might be with Christian publishing in general.

I’ve been in this industry for almost twenty years. I speak and teach at Christian writers’ conferences across the country six to eight times a year, so I keep up with the current trends. And I’ve worked with some of the best Christian authors in the business. Instead of being assigned an editor/proofreader by your publishing company, and being stuck with whoever they choose, you can check my credentials on my website and ask questions via e-mail prior to working with me. You can also contact any of the authors I’ve done editing for in the past [LINK to that page] for testimonials.

Many subsidy publishers do not allow direct contact between the author and the editor assigned to the project. Since all communication regarding the manuscript has to go through the company, you don’t have the advantage of asking questions and getting direct feedback.

If you decide you’d like to work with me, we can start with just the first few chapters if you like. You’ll get a good feel for what I can do for you, and I’ll get a good idea of how much time it will take to do the complete manuscript. After that, you can send more chapters or the complete, and we will proceed for as long as you feel comfortable, until the manuscript is as polished as we can get it … together. As a team.

How much will it cost?

My Rates

Many subsidy publishing companies offer content editing, copyediting, and proofreading, each for a flat fee. Some charge by the word or page. Since they need to make a profit, the amount they pay their editors and proofreaders is less than what they charge you.

Freelancers who get paid by the page or word, or who accept a flat project fee, will calculate how much time they can afford to spend on a job based on that payment. They may need to rush through a project, or stop after one quick pass, in order for it to be cost-effective for them.

I charge by the hour for my services. And I do content editing, copyediting, and proofreading, so you’re not working with different people on various aspects of the process. I can even combine all three types of editing in one pass if you wish, so you won’t have to pay multiple fees. Doing it all at once will also decrease the turnaround time, so your book will get published sooner.

Since you’re an established, experienced author, your manuscript will be more polished than those of beginning or intermediate writers. Since your book will take less time to edit and proofread than theirs, it should cost you less. Paying by the hour, rather than a flat rate the publisher sets for all manuscripts, ensures that you will get everything you need. And you won’t pay any more for the work than the time it takes to do it.

Want more?

Promotional Help

As a successful published author, you understand the importance of social media in promoting your books. You also know how time consuming it can be to come up with material for posts on your blog, Facebook, Twitter, and other online venues.

As I do the final proofread of your manuscript, I can keep an eye out for short excerpts that would make great tweets. Or topics you could blog about to pique the interest of potential readers. Or subjects you could bring up on Facebook that would get people talking about your book.

To bring things full circle, I can edit and proofread all of your promotional material so that your social media posts, guest blog interviews, ads, and everything that anyone reads about you or your book maintains the professional image you have worked so hard to build and maintain.

How do we start?

Opening Chapter(s)

To get a feel for what I can do for you, we could begin with an overall critique of the first one to three chapters of your manuscript (up to 15 pages), which includes:

  • analyzing the organization of the material and the general tone of the writing
  • providing a detailed evaluation of the opening chapter’s strengths and weaknesses
  • indicating where the writing sounds stilted or unrealistic
  • personalized recommendations for polishing the chapter

You could also send a detailed synopsis for an overall critique of the book as a whole.

Alternatively, I could give you a comprehensive, in-depth edit of your first one to three chapters, which includes all of the above plus:

  • checking for pronouns that do not modify the appropriate nouns and verbs that don’t match their subjects
  • pointing out clichés, jargon, dangling modifiers, and run-on sentences or paragraphs
  • identifying words, sentences, paragraphs, or sections that could be cut to tighten the manuscript
  • pointing out words and phrases that may be confusing or offensive to certain readers
  • offering recommendations for improving clarity, pace, and ease of readability
  • suggesting ways to increase smoothness, eliminate ambiguity, and tighten the writing
  • suggesting rewrites of sentences to improve the flow and avoid convoluted sentence structure
  • highlighting where words, phrases, or sentences have been repeated in close proximity

For nonfiction, I illustrate how certain fiction techniques can improve the manuscript. For novels, fictional anecdotes in nonfiction, and true stories told in a narrative style, I highlight areas where you can “show, not tell,” use active voice rather than passive, and weave in more sensory details and point-of-view characters’ observations, thoughts, and feelings.

In addition, I correct typos, inconsistencies, and errors in punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling according to the US publishing industry’s standard references (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary 11th Edition, The Chicago Manual of Style 16th Edition, and The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style 2004).

Where do we go from there?

More Chapters

If you are pleased with my work on the opening chapter(s) of your manuscript, you may send another payment for the next set of chapters or for the rest of the manuscript.

If you make a significant number of changes after I’ve edited a chapter, you may send me a revised version of that chapter for a second edit.

Once you are pleased with the complete manuscript, I can go through it a final time to catch any typos, inconsistencies, or errors in punctuation, usage, grammar, and spelling that may have slipped in during the editing process, prior to your submission of the manuscript for publication.

After your chosen publisher does the interior design and sends you the galleys, I can proofread those for you as well.

What if I’m not the best choice for you?

Professional Referrals

I realize that I’m not the perfect editor for every author and every project. But I’ve been in the publishing industry long enough, and I’ve attended and taught at enough writers’ conferences, to have made a lot of professional contacts. I am also the founder and director of two networks for Christian editors: The Christian PEN (www.TheChristianPEN.com) and the Christian Editor Connection (www.ChristianEditor.com).

So if I’m not the right editor for you, I can help you find the right one for you.

Ultimately, it’s not my goal to get your business … it’s my goal to do whatever I can to help you achieve the dreams and goals God has placed on your heart.

Ready to start?

Contact Me to get a personalized quote on editing your manuscript, including my hourly fee and an estimate of how many pages per hour your edit will likely take.

If either of us feels that a different editor would be a better choice for you, I can refer you to other established, professional editors, whom I have personally tested and screened, through the Christian Editor Connection … at absolutely no cost to you.

Let me help you successfully navigate this exciting transition in your publishing career.