Why Use an Editor?

You’ve put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) and written a story/novel/memoir. Congratulations! You ARE a writer.

Now what? Perhaps a few friends or family have read what you’ve written, and of course they love it—because they love you.

But you want more than that. You have a story to tell and you want readers to connect with it. You’re either thinking of submitting to agents, or considering hybrid or self-publishing. Those are all legitimate paths to getting your work into readers’ hands, hearts, and minds.

No matter how talented, intelligent, or experienced a writer you are, it’s nearly impossible to see your work with dispassionate eyes. That’s what an editor can do: help you step back, analyze your work, and suggest ways to make it stronger.

Reviews from my clients:

Susanne’s manuscript review offered some much-needed encouragement and perspective on my second novel at a time when I was struggling with a short deadline and the typical sophomore book obstacles. Her sense of story and pacing was a true gift and made a significant difference in the final draft.

– DeAnna cameron

Susanne and I have worked together on several projects and she was the main editor of my novel “Acts of Contrition.” We were also both in a critiquing group and no matter what the genre or the writer’s expertise,  Susanne’s comments, insights, and suggestions were excellent, thought provoking, and on target while respectful of the fact that the author should have the final say. I would recommend her for any editing project.

-Rita Bleiman

What are the different types of editing?

  1. Developmental or Substantive Editing
  2. Line Editing
  3. Copy Editing

I primarily offer developmental editing (with an inability to prevent myself from line editing at the same time). This is editing that looks at your manuscript with an eye to tightening, polishing, assessing matters such as pace and structure. I make suggestions about style, POV, scene structure, etc. and try to identify places were your prose can be strengthened.

Line editing goes through your manuscript line-by-line, making suggestions for tightening up prose and making the words, sentences, and paragraphs work harder.

Copyediting focuses on grammar, usage, clarity of communication. Often proofreaders double as copyeditors. Although that’s not my specialty, I always note any grammatical/punctuation/spelling errors I find while reading through a manuscript. This is no substitution for a professional proofreader, however!

What you can expect in the editing process

There are two ways we can go about working together.

  1. You can use the e-commerce section of my Web site and upload your sample or manuscript directly.
  2. We can start with a conversation over e-mail or Skype.

If you choose number 1, when I receive your sample or manuscript I’ll e-mail you to set up a conversation and find out what your goals are for the manuscript, what your timeline is, and—if you’ve sent a manuscript of more than 75,000 words—what the final cost will be.

You can also start by e-mailing me directly and we can communicate about how I can best help you.

If we work together, I will read your entire manuscript, making comments in-line where I see areas for improvement—or places I love, because it’s as important to know what works as to know what doesn’t work. I’ll also write up a minimum 2-page editorial “letter,” with more explanation and suggestions to help you. At the end, after you’ve had time to process the feedback, we’ll talk again so you can ask questions.

If you decide to implement my suggestions (or most of them, anyway, because writing and reading are subjective pursuits), I’ll give your manuscript a second read for a reduced rate, if you wish.

Important caveat

My services are designed to help you create the best manuscript you can. It’s up to you whether you implement my suggestions or not. I cannot guarantee that your edited manuscript will be published, or if you self-publish, whether it will sell. Those things are entirely out of my control. Selling a manuscript to an agent or editor depends on so much more than its inherent quality, and how well your self-published book sells depends a lot on how much time and money you put into publicizing it and getting it in front of potential readers.

But having clear, unbiased eyes that know what to look for and can make concrete, constructive suggestions is a vital part of the publishing process. The better, more well-constructed your manuscript is at the outset, the better your chances of having it succeed in the marketplace.

If you’d like to set up an initial phone call with me, please contact me!