I offer a variety of editorial services to meet each client’s individual needs: copyediting, developmental editing, proofreading, manuscript evaluations, query letter coaching, and writing.
Copyediting is a must! This is the standard but very detailed kind of editing that every type of writing needs. Getting mechanical errors corrected is essential, above all else. Copyediting includes checking and correcting grammar, spelling, punctuation, style, consistency, syntax, etc. This also involves following a specific style guide, such as The Chicago Manual of Style. (I own a lot of reference books, in case you’re wondering.) Copyediting is what most people think of when they picture editing.
Developmental editing is a big-picture, deep kind of editing. With fiction, the focus is on repairing issues with and then enhancing plot, character development, dialogue, narration, story goals, flow, etc. Sometimes I find story holes, and I often ask questions that I think readers would ask. With nonfiction, the focus is typically on structure and organization of content, flow, voice, and missing or incomplete information. Rewrites may be needed for both fiction and nonfiction.
Proofreading is the final step in the editing process. It’s often confused with copyediting, but the two are different. A document is only ready for proofreading if it’s already been copyedited. Most mechanical errors should have already been caught by this stage, so this type of edit is quicker. Final formatting is also checked if the layout has been done. It is generally recommended to get a proofreader who is different from the copyeditor to have a fresh set of eyes review the project.
If you’re unsure where your book stands and you want a professional, honest, in-depth evaluation of it, this diagnostic option is the way to go. It’s also a good choice if you’re not quite ready for editing but you still want feedback. With a manuscript evaluation, I read a client’s whole book and then document strengths and weaknesses, both on a developmental level (i.e., content, big picture) and also touching on a copyediting level (i.e., mechanics related, detailed). I also detail my takeaway of the book—my impression of characters, plot points, dialogue, pacing, etc.—and how I believe readers would react. An evaluation additionally covers the type of publishing I recommend (self vs. traditional), if you’ve expressed interest in that, plus various other suggestions.
Query letter coaching
If you’re interested in pursuing traditional publishing for your book (think Penguin Random House), then you’ll be seeking a literary agent after the editing process is complete. To successfully land a literary agent, you need a killer query letter. (Not just any old letter will do.) Agents read lots of letters every day, so yours needs to stand out, and it should contain specific components presented in an appealing way. I’ll help you get those boxes checked to ensure your query letter will grab the attention of the agent who’s right for you.
Though my bigger passion is editing, I still enjoy writing and keep those skills polished. It’s my belief that every great editor should be a great writer first. Press releases, website content, real-estate listings, etc. are common things I write. Just let me know what you need!