Doe’s you’re book book Kneed aN editter? (Survey says…Yes!)

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”—Scott Adams, Dilbert

Not everyone wants or needs the same level of editing. And while anyone with a good eye, impeccable spelling, and an excellent grasp of grammar and punctuation rules can copyedit a fiction manuscript, it takes an artist to polish a novel from a rough stone into a fine gem. I am that artist. Through years of practice and a natural talent, I have mastered the art of line editing, and I have a special flair for fiction.

Whether your novel needs just a few minor adjustments or a major overhaul, I can help—without changing YOUR unique voice.

A special note for self-publishers and first-time authors:
No matter how good your book may be now, you can always benefit from having an impartial, trained, intuitively talented editor help you prepare your manuscript ready for publication. I am a published author and long-time professional editor whose clients include writers whose memoirs, general nonfiction, and novels have spent time on The New York Times bestseller list.

Editing Rates—Priced according to the number of words you send me):

surface editing—Sometimes mistakenly called proofreading, this means correcting simple grammatical and spelling errors, plus adding the occasional comment or query for clarification.
• Up to 100,000 words = .01 per word
• 100,001 and over = .015 per word

copyediting—This process includes the above, plus minor sentence revision, vocabulary/tone adjustments, simple sentence or paragraph reorganization.
• Up to 100,000 words = .015 per word
• 100,001 and over = .02 per word

line/substantive editing—This includes all the above, plus major enhancements in tone, organization, and content. Warning: Prima donnas should NOT request this level of editing. These fees are estimates only until I can evaluate the actual manuscript.
• Up to 100,000 words = .02 per word
• 100,001 and over = .03–.05 per word

Other services:
• book design and formatting for self-publishing
• custom print-ready cover designs
• ask!

Email a sample and project description for an estimate. Package pricing available.

Musing About Muses

In 2007, HarperCollins published an illustrated slipcase edition by one of my favorite writers ever. The text originally appeared in The New York Times (July 16, 2001) as “Easy on the Adverbs, Exclamation Points and Especially Hooptedoodle.” The book, Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing, stretches to just 90 pages, with illustrations, and by virtue of having been printed on 100# card stock (I’m estimating), manages to feel like a hefty tome while still being short enough that one of those hyperdexterous artists could etch it onto a grain of rice. Like Strunk and White’s slim guide to good writing, Leonard’s book is worth many times its weight. My copy (signed edition #236 of 400) holds a place of honor above my desk next to Jim White’s Clarity: A Text on Writing, a book to which I contributed years ago, and the aforementioned gem, The Elements of Style.

3booksWhich brings me to this. In April 2014, I released Live Free or Die, the first in a series of murder mysteries featuring amateur sleuth and professional writer Kit McCormick. I wrote the book on a lark, to cure a nasty case of writer’s block, while I was working on my “real” book, my (second or third) version of every earnest writer’s Great American Novel.

Now I am torn.

A handful of strangers and a crowd of friends and family are clamoring impatiently for Kit book #2, and while I have it somewhat sketched out, I am stalled. I know some people who can churn out page after page of bearable if unremarkable prose without breaking a sweat, but I wrestle with every detail, adjusting the characters’ collars and connecting the strands from plot points A to Z…and it’s slow going. So every once in a while I glance up at the trio of books by the Masters and think…this is why I have spent all my life tasting words and dreaming dialogues? For one or two or five whodunits that only a few hundred people will ever see? I imagine my mentors (some big names, and all big talents) scowling at me for abandoning my “art.” I am not a fan of adverbs or exclamation points…but am I too enamored of hooptedoodle?