Frequently Asked Questions
Do I really need an editor? Can’t I just have some friends read my manuscript and give me their advice?
Sure you can. This is called a beta read, and it's always good to get some honest feedback on your work. But unless your friends are professional editors, you’ll still want to hire one. Perhaps you feel you can’t afford to have your manuscript edited by a professional or you think it doesn’t need it. But whether you’re planning to self-publish or submit your manuscript to a traditional publisher, you can’t afford NOT to have your manuscript professionally edited. In fact, if you’re planning to go the traditional route, many agents will only accept manuscripts that have been professionally edited. If you’re going to self-publish, do your future readers a favor and have your manuscript professionally edited. They’ll thank you with positive reviews.
Your manuscript is your baby, and you want it to stand out and make an impact with your readers. Just as you want your book’s cover to be dynamic and engaging, you want the same for the words inside your book, and a good editor can make that happen. In this competitive world where reader reviews can make or break a book, having your manuscript professionally edited is essential.
What genres and types of books do you edit?
Throughout my career, I’ve found that it works best to edit what
I know. And what I know comes from experience as well as what I read and where my interests are. That said, I edit both fiction and nonfiction materials for adults and children. In terms of fiction, I most enjoy editing (and reading) historical fiction, fictional biographies, crime fiction, roman à clef, realistic fiction, and young adult. The nonfiction genres I prefer are biographies, memoirs, historical nonfiction, creative or narrative nonfiction (i.e., nonfiction that reads like fiction), true crime, and self-help.
What genres do you NOT edit?
Nonfiction: business, academic, science, medical, technical; Fiction: sci-fi, fantasy, techno-thrillers, horror, gore, gothic, westerns, avant-garde, graphic novels, philosophy, religion, romance, erotica. However, send me a message if you’re looking for an editor or proofreader for one of these genres. Chances are, I can recommend a colleague who has experience in that area.
I also will not edit anything that presents a discriminatory agenda based on ethnicity, religion, or gender identity, unless it is to rebuke such an agenda and teach the reader why such behavior is wrong.
Although my passion and the bulk of my experience lie with book editing, feel free to contact me to edit your newsletter, brochure, marketing materials, website, supplemental teacher materials, or résumé.
Do you edit electronically or on paper?
These days, the majority of my editing work is done electronically. In Microsoft Word, I employ the Track Changes and Comments features so you will have complete control over every change that actually gets made. You are the author and your name is on the book’s cover, so I believe that ultimately, it is up to you to decide which of my changes you accept via Track Changes and those you reject. For errors that I notice occurring consistently (i.e., a spelling or punctuation error), rather than marking each one, I will make a note for you to make a universal change.
Any suggestions I give using the Comments feature are just that—suggestions—so it’s up to you to decide what to do with them. When you work with an editor through a traditional publisher, you may not have complete control over your own work.
During the proofreading stage, I typically review and mark up PDFs using Adobe Acrobat.
I prefer to work electronically, but if you have a strong desire for me to edit on a hard copy, I will gladly accept your printed manuscript for review. However, keep in mind that you will be responsible for transferring any changes to your electronic document, which is time-consuming and could introduce new errors.
If you're ready to get started, contact me and tell me about your project.