Transforming manuscripts into books — fine copyediting for authors and publishers of social science fiction.
For architects of worlds …
I specialize in copyediting and line editing for speculative fiction. I am committed to understanding your vision, and to editing in a way that serves that vision.
“The copy editor was a joy to work with. An absolute pleasure to work with someone who gets language.”
How I work
After copyediting novels for authors and small publishers for more than 15 years, I’ve developed a system I like to use. I am also happy to work with you to adjust as needed. But here’s what my system looks like:
1. Initial conversation
It’s important that you work with a copyeditor you trust and who gets your language and your vision. For this reason, I like to start with a 20-minute phone or Zoom conversation, where we can both ask and answer questions. If this isn’t comfortable for you, we can always converse via email.
I usually schedule projects 2–3 months in advance, so I invite you to contact me as soon as you know you are going to want a copyeditor.
2. Editorial agreement
Once we decide we’d like to work together, I will send you an editorial agreement that outlines the work to be done in plain language (not legalese). Questions and adjustments are welcome. When we both agree that the agreement describes the project accurately, I will ask you to send me a signed copy.
If this is the first time we are working together, I will ask for a deposit before I begin work. For return clients, I generally invoice the total amount agreed when step 3 (below) is complete.
In the copyedit, I pay attention to grammar, spelling, clarity, conscious language, and consistency of voice, character, plot, and worldbuilding. I create a stylesheet, and I do light document formatting and styling (as needed) to prepare the document for book design.
I usually send a 5- to 10-page sample edit during the first week of the copyedit. This allows us to discuss my approach in detail so I can adjust as needed. If you would prefer a sample edit earlier in the process, please ask.
I generally invoice when the copyedit is complete, and expect full payment within 30 days.
4. Author review
All style and grammar “rules” are really just guidelines, and all edits are really just suggestions. During the author review, you will read every sentence of your book again, review my suggestions, and respond to any questions that arise directly in the text. I will set up the document so that all of your revisions are clearly tracked, and all you need to do is make any necessary changes.
You can set your own schedule for the author review.
When you’ve completed your author review, you send the document back to me. I will then check every revision to make sure there aren’t any final typos or extra spaces, and to make sure all questions have been answered. When I’m done, I will send you (a) a fully tracked edit and (b) a completely clean document ready for the next step in book production.
I work primarily with independent authors and small publishers. Here are a few examples of past copyediting projects:
- Dreams Before the Start of Time (winner of the 2018 Arthur C. Clark Award) and Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind (on The Guardian’s list of Best SFF Books of 2015), by Anne Charnock
- Fossil Island (winner of Best Indie Novel 2015 from the Historical Novel Society) and The Former World (Editor’s Choice, Historical Novel Review), by Barbara Sjoholm
- At the Center, Death, Unchartered (winner of an American Fiction Award for Mystery: Multicultural and Diverse), and Nuclear Option (winner of Best Mystery/Thriller 2020-21 in a Reviewers’ Choice Awards), by Dorothy Van Soest
- Girl on a Wire, YA fantasy by Gwenda Bond
- The Bulari Saga novels and prequel novellas, beginning with Double Edged, and the Nanshe Chronicles, beginning with Ghost Pirate Gambit, science fiction series by Jessie Kwak
- The Babylon Twins and Queen of Babylon (with Imani Josey), YA science fiction by M. F. Gibson
- The Eagle Tree (a national bestseller), YA contemporary fiction by Ned Hayes
- The Fire Keepers and Infinity’s Illusion, YA science fiction by Richard Farr
- The King-Killing Queen, epic fantasy by Shawn Speakman
- Science fiction and fantasy short stories by authors such as Kristin Britain, Saara El-Arifi, Kate Elliott, Mark Lawrence, Darcie Little Badger, An Oyomoyela, Anna Smith Spark, Anna Stephens, E. Lily Yu, and Genevieve Valentine, published in Grim Oak Press anthologies such as Lost Worlds & Mythological Kingdoms (edited by John Joseph Adams)
“Damn, that’s a good call.
I love working with great editors!!!”
How to get started
When possible, I like to connect with a new client by phone (or Zoom). My goal is to hear a little more about your book and to give us both a chance to ask and answer questions. It’s important to me that you find an editor you trust and who is a good fit for your work. If that isn’t me, I will be more than happy to recommend a few other editors I know and trust.
To set a time to talk, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I never charge for initial consultations.
“A great editor is worth their weight in dragon gold!”