Editor for Hire (also, How to Get Me for Free)

Along with my “Stories/Publications” and “About the Author” tabs, I’ve recently added a new one: “Editing.”

I’ve been a copyeditor for several years now, since earning my license from the University of San Diego (yes, you can be a “licensed” copyeditor. So far, my job has not involved heavy machinery, although the Chicago Manual of Style can get plenty heavy). I specialize in fiction and creative nonfiction, working across many genres–including erotica, though I’d always like to see more.

(Honestly, my dream is for someone to hire me to edit a femdom erotic romance out of the blue. I’ve been hired for tons of other cool projects, but not one of those yet.)

And then I realized, well, it’s not like a lot of people know  I edit erotica, do they? I should probably advertise! So now I’ve got that new tab, and you can also find me on the author resources page of the Erotica Readers and Writers Association.

But some of the best advertising, I like to think, is offering FREE stuff–well, not “stuff” so much as “services” in this case, but anyway. It is FREE.

In this case, I’m offering a free edit on the first 1,000 words of any story that’s novella length or longer (25,000+ words). This sample can be a good way to determine if my work fits your needs. Personally, I think you’ll get hooked.

(This offer applies to novels/novellas in any genre–I’m focusing on erotica here, because it’s where I most want to expand, but I also edit literary work, what often gets described as “women’s fiction” or “LGBTQA fiction,” historical fiction, sweet romance, science fiction and fantasy, memoirs, some nonfiction articles, and many short stories.)

A bit more about me as an editor:

On the acquisitions side, I’m a co-editor, with Alex Freeman, of a micropress called The New Smut Project that publishes erotic short fiction of literary quality in all genres. Reviewer Adriana Ravenlust describes one NSP anthology as “among the best of all the erotica I’ve read, and that says something given how many books I’ve reviewed.” Alex and I did some content editing on the stories in the anthologies before they went on to copyediting from Annabeth Leong.

And my services:

  • Copyediting: Sometimes also known as “line-by-line” editing, although copyediting can be more stringent. I ensure each manuscript adheres to common grammatical principles and to Chicago style, but with the goal of respecting and enhancing the author’s personal voice and style. A lot of flexibility is possible. I believe in letting authors begin sentences with conjunctions (I do it several times in this very post), end sentences with prepositions (that’s not even a real rule!!), use singular “they” (Chicago Style is finally coming around to this), and have sentence fragments where it makes sense. That “where it makes sense” part can be hard for an individual author to judge–you know what you’re saying, after all–and that’s part of why I’m here. I provide a second perspective and suggestions based on years of experience as an editor, reader, and writer.
  • Developmental Editing: This actually comes before any copyediting is done in most cases, though I can also work as a “beta reader” to catch final continuity errors, confusing passages, or unclear character motivations before a book is released. A developmental edit evaluates the content, overall pacing, character development, and dramatic arcs in the plot and subplot. I provide developmental feedback in the form of a 3- to 5-page memo summarizing my suggestions for plot, characterization, and voice/style, along with inline comments. Often I can also share some marketing advice, including helping writers figure out their subgenre or search for publishers who might take their piece. I provide developmental edits on both book-length manuscripts and short stories, the latter often in combination with copyediting.
  • Lastly, I provide formatting for Print on Demand paperbacks and hardcovers (Lulu, Createspace, and so on). Don’t publish your manuscript in 12 point Times New Roman! My advice will make your story easy to read on the page and avoid gaffes that create wasted space or, conversely, crowded text. I can also format files for simple ebook conversion at Kindle, Smashwords, or Draft2Digital. (I enjoy printing books through CreateSpace and Lulu so much that I’ve done it as a fun hobby, the way some people knit. If your book involves a lot of tables or images, however, a more specialized formatter may suit your needs better.)

Editing is an investment that can pay dividends by presenting your words at their best. That said, I do try to keep my rates reasonable and accessible to freelance writers. In addition to the free first thousand words, I am willing in some cases to arrange payment by swapping services, such as: beta reading (for in-depth feedback equivalent to copyediting), cover design, specialized formatting and ebook production services, promotional services, and coding/website work.

Again, the page with information about my editing services is here. You can use the contact form on that page to get in touch with details of your manuscript.

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