Author Services

In today’s highly competitive publishing world, having a professional editor review your manuscript is more important than ever.

I believe in positive, collaborative relationships between author and editor. I have a sincere interest in every project I take on, and I’m committed to helping you make your book the very best it can be while maintaining your voice and style. You will find that I’m easy to work with and always available to answer your questions. I have years of experience editing fiction and nonfiction manuscripts and a thorough understanding of editorial workflow. My goal is to help you become a better writer and feel more confident as you move forward in your publishing career.

Services

  • Manuscript critique
  • Developmental editing
  • Copyediting
  • Proofreading
  • E-book formatting
  • Query letter review

Manuscript Critique

This service is ideal for first-time authors or writers who are looking for initial feedback on an early draft. I will read up to 10,000 words (or more if requested) and submit an evaluation addressing the following: theme, plot, characterization, dialogue, target audience, voice, point of view, pace, and overall strengths and weaknesses.

Developmental Editing

Just get it down on paper, and then we’ll see what to do with it.

—Maxwell Perkins

Developmental editing looks at the big picture. Does the book accomplish what it set out to do? Are the characters strong, with clear and believable motivations? Is the core conflict compelling? Were there any particularly slow chapters or anything that could take the reader out of the story? Is the point of view consistent? Does the book meet the expectations of the genre? These issues and more are reviewed in depth during a developmental edit.

As your developmental editor, I will establish a collaborative and supportive relationship with you and assess your manuscript as a whole. I will look at plot, structure, theme, character development, dialogue, world building and descriptions, voice, pace, and point of view—the elements of storytelling. You will receive in-line comments and a detailed editorial letter that lists the main concerns in the manuscript and specific suggestions to fix these problems.

I understand that revision can be overwhelming, and I will provide a clear road map for this process. I am also happy to work with you via phone, e-mail, Skype, or Google Chat to discuss my suggestions for revision.

Copyediting

Copyediting is the process of fixing grammar, spelling, punctuation, usage, syntax, and tense errors and ensuring the writer’s message is clear, consistent, and engaging. Copyediting typically takes place after a developmental edit (if the manuscript needed one) and before proofreading.

Having your manuscript professionally copyedited is a vital step to the publication process. Industry-trained professionals like myself know when to look things up or query an author if something isn’t clear. This is why I find mistakes that your family, friends, and beta readers didn’t when they read your manuscript. As your copyeditor, I will correct your mistakes but also help polish and tighten your prose to enhance the reader’s experience. This could mean substituting weak words or phrases with stronger alternatives, restructuring sentences, and addressing flow. I will also find and fix problems with the following:

  • Logic and continuity in plot and character thoughts, dialogue, and action
  • Repetition of specific words or details
  • Consistency in timeline, plot, details, character names and descriptions, stylistic choices (e.g., capitalization, numbers, punctuation), and formatting
  • Potential permissions issues (e.g., if you have used lyrics, poems, or other content that might require permission to reprint)
  • Clarity and word choice
  • Grammar, spelling, punctuation, usage, syntax, and verb tense
  • General writing errors and things that should be avoided (e.g., head hopping, info dumping, dangling modifiers)

I always keep a detailed style sheet, which is a separate document that lists specific style decisions, character and place names and descriptions, spellings, and other conventions used throughout the manuscript to ensure consistency. My style sheet always includes a brief summary of the events in each chapter so that I can track the storyline and plot. All of my edits are made using Microsoft Word’s track changes feature so that you can see what I have changed, and in-line comments are made using Word’s comment feature.

When the copyedit is complete, you will receive two versions of the manuscript: one with all edits shown (a “tracked” version) and another with all of the edits already implemented but the queries remaining (a “clean” version). You will also receive a detailed editorial letter that summarizes my edits and provides a solid blueprint for going forward.

I also have experience editing nonfiction works that contain in-text citations, bibliographies or references, endnotes, and footnotes. I have edited many multi-author volumes and can edit for consistency throughout the entire volume or per chapter.

Proofreading

Proofreading, which is often confused with copyediting, is the last chance for errors to be caught in a manuscript before publication. As your proofreader, I will work to catch any errors that slipped through after copyediting­ or during the typesetting or formatting stages. I will correct misspellings, typos, subject-verb disagreement, usage errors, misnumbering, and incorrect or outdated cross-references. I am a meticulous proofreader and am always on high alert for misused homophones, missing words, and extra words. I can check typeset copy against the original manuscript and mark deviations and verify that corrections have been entered correctly, if necessary. I can proofread in Microsoft Word, Adobe Acrobat Pro, InCopy CS6, and other applications.

When proofreading a typeset manuscript, I will check margins, spacing, word breaks, and other layout issues. I will also check consistency in design—page numbers, typeface, fonts, running heads, and overall appearance. If your book has illustrations or tables, I will proof them against the originals and ensure their consistency in the text.

When proofreading an e-book, I will ensure all content is present, verify internal links, and check for formatting problems that are common as a result of file conversion.

E-Book Formatting

Cypress Editing offers e-book formatting services for fiction and some nonfiction books, such as memoirs. Each e-book will contain a hyperlinked table of contents, the book’s cover image, consistent formatting, and active hyperlinks. The e-book will be validated and checked in preview readers to ensure the content displays properly. Files formatted by Cypress Editing are guaranteed to be accepted by the following e-book distributors: Amazon KDP (Kindle), Smashwords, Kobo, Apple iBooks, Lulu, and Barnes & Noble (Nook).

Query Letter Review

Yes, there’s a formula when it comes to writing query letters, but well-written query letters make literary agents and acquisition editors forget all about that formula and focus on your story. Receive professional and specific feedback to improve your query letter before sending it off. I will review the overall focus, flow, and structure of your query letter; determine whether you are presenting your book’s most marketable qualities; and fix any grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors.