Books may well be the only true magic.

—Alice Hoffman, American novelist (b. 1952)

Let’s talk about what I can do for you.

What kind of editing do you need?

Most of what I do is developmental editing (you hear it called substantive, macro, or content editing too), both fiction and nonfiction, for publishers. Developmental editing is big-picture stuff. In fiction, that means plot, characterization, pacing, structure, continuity, and so on. In nonfiction the big picture would be organization, logic, completeness, clarity in the writing, and more.

Sounds like a lot of work, doesn’t it! It is. But every book published by a traditional publisher goes through a version of this process. My goal in editing is that my suggestions will sound like your own great ideas, my tweaks will be in your voice, and after we’ve tidied everything up again, you won’t even see my tracks.

I also offer manuscript critiques, which involves my reading and commenting on your manuscript. I’ve done quite a bit of this for publishers and agents. I can do something similar for your first pages.

Finally, I copy/line edit manuscripts that have already been through the developmental phase. Actually, this can be two separate processes in some houses: 1) a line edits to make the writing more beautiful, more elegant, including word tweaks and sentence improvement, and 2) a copyedit, which covers all the grammar, punctuation, and anything else to make the manuscript consistent with U.S. publishing standards.

Services I offer.

There are different types of editing—I’ve discussed them in detail above—but here are the basic services I offer. If you don’t see what you had in mind, send me a message and we’ll talk.

Developmental Editing
Also called content edit, macro edit, substantive edit
Option 1: Margin notes plus editorial letter, and we’re done.
Option 2: Margin notes plus editorial letter, I reread your revisions and comments.

Margin notes plus a one-page editorial overview, and we’re done.

First Pages
You provide the first chapter (3000 words or so) plus synopsis for a critique with margin notes and a page or so of commentary.

Copy / Line Edit
I will not copyedit unless the manuscript has first been through a content edit; I do offer a price break for those who want both.

A lot of what I write is book jacket copy (or marketing copy packs) for different publishers. But I also blog, and I’ve cowritten three-chapter books.

How to get a quote.

Go to my contact page. Tell me your word count, whether your book is fiction or nonfiction, and what type of editing you’re looking for. Later I’ll have you send me a sample chapter for evaluation.

What I don’t do.

  • While coaching is inherent in the editorial process, I am not a writing coach per se.
  • In developmental editing, the editor makes suggestions for revisions, but the author does the rewriting. If you’re looking for someone to do an extreme rewrite, you probably need a very heavy copyedit. Or a ghostwriter.
  • I no longer proof typeset pages.
  • I don’t conduct research, secure permissions, act as an agent, or guarantee publication.
  • I don’t accept every job I’m offered. Most of my work comes from publishers; I accept a limited number of projects from unsigned authors.

“Thanks for always making so much when we provide so little—when you have no manuscript, etc. I appreciate your willingness to work with me.”

Karen Stoller, Marketing Manager

Your article in the MTSU magazine was outstanding. You did a great job with all the personalities you had to interview and work with.

Linda Hardymon

“Thank you for making this process so easy! I appreciate everything you did: all your notes and the positive way you presented everything.”

Cindy Kelley, Co-Author

“To [my] editor, Jamie Chavez, who keeps pulling me out of literary ditches and putting me back on the right path.”

Golden Keyes Parsons, Author

Remind me to have you work on everything I publish from now on.

Michael Hyatt, Author / Chairman

Love @EditorJamieC’s post today about #author worship. I smiled because I have an #editor crush on her. (on Twitter)

Laura Anderson Kurk
Editor / Writer

“Note to self: Memorize this list! “Words I Never Want to See in Your Novel. Please.” I love lists like this! Excellent post.”

Michael Hyatt, Chairman