I’d love to help you with your editorial project. My services include developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading. If you’re not sure about the differences between these tasks, detailed explanations of each are below.
My mission is to make your writing more effective. Whether you need assistance with a manuscript, blog post, section of your website, online course blueprint, or something else that contains words from the English language, I have the training to make your prose do what you want it to do. (Poetry, alas, not so much.)
SERVICES I OFFER
Developmental editing looks at the “big picture”: structure, flow, tone, organization, voice, audience, pacing, reasoning—all of the elements that differentiate, say, a lawn mower repair manual from a harrowing memoir about addiction. Developmental editors ensure that the content of a work not only fits but exemplifies the form. Consequently, they’re less concerned with the nitty-gritty of fixing grammar and formatting text. They ask authors to clarify statements that are unclear or don’t follow logically. They make sure a work is organized intuitively. They remind you (nicely!) to remember your transitions. They anticipate questions or objections readers might have and make sure they’re answered. They’re as much readers’ advocates as they are author whisperers. In short, they make a work whole. Accordingly, developmental editing is often the most time-consuming type of editing.
Copy editors review—and, when necessary, correct—the mechanical aspects of a work: grammar, syntax, usage, capitalization, formatting, labels, citations, consistency, etc. (For example, copy editors know that while the noun “copy editor” is generally styled as two words, with no hyphen, the verb “copyedit” is styled closed.) They also do light fact-checking, such as confirming the spelling of names and locations. If only it were that simple, though! Depending on where a work will be published, what constitutes “proper” capitalization or spelling may differ considerably. Conventions vary among the Associated Press, the University of Chicago Press (which publishes The Chicago Manual of Style), and the Modern Language Association, to name just a few of the major style enforcers. Also, many publications and businesses have their own quirky editorial preferences, called a house style. Whatever the style guidelines, the copy editor’s task is to ensure the rules are adhered to. (They also know it’s totally fine to end a sentence with a preposition, and that the passive voice is okay, too.)
Proofreading is the most basic level of editorial prophylaxis. It involves pointing out typos, mismatched formatting, and other superficial goofs that weren’t caught in the copyedit (and there are always some). Proofreaders don’t touch content; they are simply a backstop that makes sure glaring errors don’t make it into publication. Proofreading is usually the last process before publication.
I’ve been working on the editorial side of print and digital publishing since 2008. I began my career at the late, great Collins nonfiction imprint of HarperCollins, where I worked directly under the publisher on mass-market titles including Bill Russell’s memoir Red and Me; CNN correspondent Suzanne Simons’s profile of Blackwater CEO Erik Prince, Master of War; Elizabeth Marshall Thomas’s The Hidden Life of Deer; and the Sarah Palin–inspired humor title Terminatrix.
I moved into scholarly publishing in 2009. As an associate editor at Oxford University Press, I commissioned and edited contributions to the press’s flagship online references, Oxford Biblical Studies Online, Oxford Islamic Studies Online, and the Oxford African American Studies Center, a collaboration with Harvard University’s W. E. B. Du Bois Research Institute.
In 2012, I left New York City for lovely Asheville, North Carolina, where for four years I worked as an editor and course designer at Soomo Learning, an independent online educational publisher. At Soomo, I created interactive digital anthologies in early and modern world literature and international development from scratch.
I’ve done freelance editing for Columbia University Press, Simply Charly Books, Ambler House Publishing, AdventureKEEN, the Center for American Progress, the Eurasia Group, and other publishers and organizations. I’ve also helped many authors who are self-publishing get their manuscripts into shape for publication or submission to agents.
I’m proficient in Chicago, MLA, and AP styles, and I’m conversant in Adobe InDesign.
What makes me different from other editors?
If I may indulge in a cliché: I feel you. I’m a writer myself, so I’m well acquainted with the struggle. I’ve written essays, magazine features, reported articles, blog posts, website copy, and short e-books—and agonized, to varying degrees, through every last one of them. My experience makes me particularly attuned to the kinds of issues writers struggle with. It helps me intuit what an author means to say even if they haven’t said it, and it helps me ensure the writer’s unique voice remains intact.
Most importantly, I have nearly a decade of editorial experience. Over the course of my career in print and digital publishing I’ve worked with academics, journalists, researchers, graduate students, freelance writers, full-time writers, and bloggers. For what it’s worth, I read grammar books—for fun.
I’m a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association and the American Copy Editors Society (ACES).
How much will this cost?
My rates vary depending on the scope and length of the project, so if you’re interested in working together please e-mail me for a customized quote. Send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org or use the form below.
I look forward to hearing from you!