How long have you been an editor?
In 2006, I took a part-time job as Publicity Assistant at Interlink Publishing Group. Within a couple months, I took on a role as Assistant Editor. Over the course of my six years at Interlink, each season I saw 10+ books through the publishing process—from early manuscript to copy edits, layout, design, and proofreads, to galleys and eventually finished books. Alongside my editorial work, I wrote press releases and pitch letters, maintained an extensive network of contacts, and arranged author events.
While working at Interlink, I began occasionally freelance editing for a company that supported self-published authors on the journey to seeing their books in print. I also founded a literary magazine—Cactus Heart—which over the course of four years published sixteen e-Issues and six print issues. In 2014, after I finished my MFA in fiction, I began freelance editing part-time while I also helped manage a retail boutique and shopped my first book. Over the years, I’ve worked with a number of clients, both individuals and businesses, on a number of projects—from website copy to e-books to short stories, novels, and memoirs to visual art and trade books.
Why is editing important?
In a world where anyone can publish anything with the click of a few buttons, editing and its often neglected counterpart, proofreading, can move your writing from merely good to excellent. A well-written book stands out for its professionalism, which lets the reader know that the writer has invested the time and energy necessary to really honor their subject matter and expertise. Rambling sentences, grammatical errors, and typos can distract or turn off a reader, meaning your message won’t reach its desired audience.
What does an editor do?
There are two main types of editing: copy editing and developmental editing. Copy editing goes line-by-line, with a focus on ensuring the copy is readable and intelligent, while also conveying the message it intends to. Developmental editing focuses attention on larger aspects of the manuscript such as voice, style, structure, and pacing. A good editor will help you figure out what type of edit you need by reading a sample of your work.
What’s the difference between developmental editing, copy editing, and proofreading?
Developmental editing (often) occurs during the early stages of a book manuscript, perhaps before you’d even think of it as a manuscript. Developmental editing focuses on ideas (such as plot, characters, themes), structure (are your chapters in the right order? do your characters’ motivations and actions make sense?), and other large-scale issues (is your book getting across the message you intend?). Equally important for fiction and nonfiction manuscripts, a good developmental editor will help you clearly see the big picture of your project and give you support in achieving your overall intention.
Copy editing (what most people think of when they think of “editing”) happens in the middle stages of a manuscript, but certainly pre-design and layout. Copy editing is an intensive process, in which the editor spends a significant amount of time working to get the manuscript to its very best state. This sometimes means structural, voice, or content changes, but its main focus is on grammatical, stylistic, and other line-by-line edits.
Last but not least, proofreading occurs at a much later stage in the game. Post-layout, a proofreader looks for layout and design issues, dropped formatting, widows and orphans, sections breaks that look wonky, misspelled words, missing words, and other infelicities that can ruin a final copy.
What are your areas of expertise?
Whether I’m engaging with a short story collection, novel, or memoir, I approach editing in a way that allows the story’s voice to find its truest expression. I’m well versed in the “rules” of what makes “good” writing, but I’m more interested in helping authors use all the tools in the craft toolbox to make their work shine. My true loves are literary fiction and creative nonfiction, and I have a background in poetry and history. As for subject matter, I’m drawn to and knowledgeable in the following: British proto-feminist history and American feminism (all waves); cookbooks, food and recipes; contempory English and American literature; short stories; astrology and tarot; alternative and holistic health; LGBTQ literature; cartography. All that said, I’ve edited many manuscripts outside of my areas of expertise, and am happy to consider your manuscript whatever the subject matter. I edit by the Chicago Manual of Style, MLA formatting, and Merriam-Webster’s 11th Edition.
I have a very short piece I need help with—do you take on small projects?
As of 2024, I am only accepting book-length manuscripts.
What are your rates?
My rates are within standard range. At this time, I am only taking on book-length projects (typically 30,000 words or more), for which I quote a fixed rate based on the manuscript’s needs.
How can I talk more with you about my project?
Send me an email and let’s talk!