Services

Developmental Editing

FICTION

You want more than broad, big-picture feedback. You need someone to take your novel and dissect it. You want to know on a granular level what is working, which plot elements need further development, and where to cut. You want prescriptive advice on how to approach the next draft so that it’s stronger, tighter, and ready to sell.

I will create a plan of attack, analyzing your structure, narrative arc and plot points, pacing, character development, style, voice, setting, and point of view. I will offer constructive criticism on every element of your novel, annotated on the paragraph- or page-level, including strategies to resolve each concern I raise. When I’m done, you’ll have the tools you need to overhaul your full manuscript.

NONFICTION

You have a nonfiction proposal mapped out, but you know something is missing. Maybe the comparative titles section seems spare. Perhaps your overview is missing an adequate hook. In any event, it’s not ready to be sold to a publishing house, and you are anxious to bring it up to par.

I can ensure that your concept is presented in a unique and engaging fashion. I will point out ineffective phrasing, suggest ways to improve the angling, and address the clarity and flow of ideas. We will work together closely to see that your platform and sample chapter reels in an editor.

Substantive and Line Editing

You are having clarity and pacing issues in your fiction manuscript. Your beta readers expressed concerns about continuity; your dialogue feels flat. Or perhaps you are used to writing for an academic rather than a trade audience. Despite strong research and salient points, the argument in your book proposal just isn’t enthralling. At this point, you would prefer that a professional take over.

I can refine your material on the line-level. I will address your overall structure to guarantee that the plot or line of reasoning keeps a firm grasp on the reader’s attention. At the same time, I will improve the readability so that it properly mirrors your vision for the project. This service can be separate or combined with a developmental edit, depending on your needs.

Manuscript Evaluations

FICTION

You have written the Great American Novel…sort of. Ok, it’s half done, you aren’t sure about the ending, and everyone who has read it thinks that your characters’ voices sound oddly similar. Or maybe you’re a published author whose agent is asking for revisions and you’re unsure where to begin.

I will do a thorough read and extend professional notes on potential courses of action. I can provide you with marketing angles to appeal to a publisher’s eye, or treat your work from a purely artistic standpoint, as is your preference. I am the person who will tell you if that one new scene works. The bottom line is: We can make this a better manuscript.

NONFICTION

You are a professional, a journalist, a celebrity’s manager, or a professor, and you have an idea for The Next Big Nonfiction Book of “X” Genre. You want to know what your proposal will need to stand out and sell.

I have helped to cultivate literally hundreds of proposals, many of which sold to major publishers. I can walk you through the process of refining what you have written so far, or advise you on turning an idea into a viable body of work that can be pitched to agents and publishers alike.

Query Letter Editing

You are too close to your work to succinctly and effectively summarize it. But in today’s market, if you want an agent or publishing deal, a carefully crafted query letter is essential.

I can take your plot summary and whip it into shape, cultivating the perfect hook line to reel in your new book contract. After working in a literary agency for years, I know precisely what it takes to separate a manuscript from the stack on a busy agent or editor’s desk.

Copyediting

You have arrived at a draft you’re ready to shop to agents, or publishers and editors. Before your manuscript or book proposal goes out, you need to ensure it is in the best condition possible.

I will consult industry style guides and consider each word and sentence, both alone and in greater context, assuring accuracy in mechanical, grammatical, and stylistic usage. I will point out sections that appear wordy, overwrought, or that do not reflect the syntax that defines your voice. For nonfiction, I can verify consistency between formatted subheadings, page numbers, and table of contents; assure standardization of list, figure, and table formatting; and edit in‑text citations, footnotes, and endnotes against reference lists. Most importantly of all, open dialogue between author and editor will assure your voice remains intact.

Proofreading

You have sent out your copyedited manuscript and have the interest of an agent, editor, or publisher (or you have decided to self‑publish). It is time to convert your manuscript for publication as a paginated book or e-publication. You want a professional to take one last look through the manuscript page proofs to catch any pesky, last-minute typos or formatting errors.

I will scour sentences to identify and correct errors in punctuation, spelling, capitalization, and to fix any grammatical errors that escaped the copyedit stage. All lists, figures, tables, and charts will be proofread for mechanical issues, as will footnotes, endnotes, and reference lists. You will receive a thoroughly examined copy of your manuscript that is ready to be set in print.

Indexing

You have finished a commercial nonfiction book, or an academic or reference work, and you need a well‑constructed index that reflects its quality and scholarship. You want to provide access to the text from multiple angles and make locating desired information satisfying and efficient.

I will read the entire manuscript and structure an index to reflect the author’s presentation of the subject. I can word the entries to reflect the author’s language as well as to meet the readership’s needs for information access. The result will be a thoroughly cross-referenced index with relevant main topics, subtopics, and sub-subtopics when appropriate; I will help make your book a go-to title on its subject.