It's finally happening. After six years as an English educator and copyeditor, I'm transitioning back to my first love: Editing fiction BOOKS.
I'm so excited to make this leap, but I don't think I could have done it without teaching first. I'm truly grateful to education for giving me the empathy and collaboration skills necessary to become the kind of editor I want to be. When I was 20 years-old and getting my first taste of the publishing world, I thought the point of editing was to adhere at all times to the all-powerful style guides.
I love The Chicago Manual of Style (CMOS), don't get me wrong. But I am older and wiser now, having edited the work of writers from America, Canada, England, Japan, and South Africa. I've become familiar with so many different dialects of English and I've learned that there are innumerable ways to write good, compelling fiction.
My favorite quote at the moment comes from Amy J. Schneider's new book, The Chicago Guide to Copyediting Fiction:
"You can't stuff a novel into perfect CMOS style."
She's so right.
My Vows as a Book Editor
1. To prioritize authors' authentic voices
2. To stet whenever possible
"Stet" is Latin for "let it stand." It's editors' shorthand for not changing a thing. It's also my favorite solution to tricky editing quandaries.
Why? Because your book is not my book. I'm not here to "write over" you. I'm here to help you find solutions to the stuff that is objectively incorrect or that might confuse readers.
I do more than fix spelling and punctuation—I map out the timeline of your book, making sure it's never Friday three days in a row; I create profiles of all your main characters, tracking their development and pointing out inconsistencies; and yes, I fix your formatting, so that the final version of your book doesn't end up with awkward spacing like this sentence does.
In short, I make sure there is nothing in your prose or your typesetting that pulls readers out of the story. The end result is the strongest, most immersive version of your book.
What Do I Offer Authors?
When I was a literary agent's assistant, I asked the agent I worked for how many subpar books an established author could put out into the world before losing some of their audience.
Her answer jolted me.
One typo-ridden book. One book where the main character's hair color changes between chapter 1 and chapter 10 (and not because they dyed it!). One book with a plot hole or obvious misinformation.
And the readers would leave.
That means every single book needs to be edited before it's ready for its audience.
I'm here to help authors make their stories strong. I want you to reach wider audiences and hook loyal readers. As an editor, I provide compassionate, clear feedback and uplift every author's unique writing style. I'm happy to talk about your project via e-mail or Zoom.
My website has just been made. It's on the minimalist side for now, but you can check out testimonials and learn more about my services and experience.
I'm smiling as I write this. So excited to enter the book world again!