Book Editing

Genres of Books and Manuscripts

I have edited books in the following genres, including a Kindle Award winner, and Amazon list-toppers:

Fiction

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  • Historical Fiction
  • Contemporary Fiction
  • Mystery
  • Short Story Anthology
  • Television Screenplay

Nonfiction

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  • Art
  • College Textbook
  • Travel Writing
  • Creative Nonfiction
  • Biography
  • History
  • Memoir

Translation into English

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  • Historical Fiction
  • Biography
  • Social Science

Types of Editing

There are several types of editing. Your work may need one or all, or you may feel confident in doing the work in some areas on your own.

Think of the process as something like polishing stones: you start by nicking off the rough edges, then proceeding to shape the biggest stones, and finishing off by polishing the smallest details.

Developmental Editing

Dev editing focuses on big-picture elements such as pace, style, structure, character development, and plot. This high-level pass attempts to strengthen your work by providing suggestions for adapting tone, connecting dots, and streamlining or adding information.

Copy Editing

I put myself in the reader’s shoes to track gaps between your intention and reader understanding. Is there anything that doesn’t make sense, or distracts from your story? Line by line, I make suggestions about grammar, voice, word choice, and the like. My style of copy editing overlaps with some areas of dev editing (since I note anything that may create confusion for a reader) as well as some aspects of proofreading (I look out for spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization).

Proofreading

This involves drilling down into the nitty-gritty details of your finished manuscript, in order to clean up every last error. Think of it as the final polish. I recommend a proofread for two main reasons:

  1. You’ve worked too hard to have a reader become distracted by a few typos!
  2. As the last phase, a proofread ensures you have a pair of professional eyes on any new writing that you’ve added, since it’s common to rework based on copy edit suggestions.

Other Services Related to Publication

Assessment

Are you wondering whether to proceed with your book, or how to improve its chances for publication? An assessment identifies strengths and weaknesses in a manuscript. Big-picture elements such as narrative, pace, voice, characters, and plot are examined with the goal of increasing chances of publication, and understanding marketability.

Formatting

Authors may find themselves in need of assistance in this area when they are ready to submit their finished work to agents or for publication.

There is no universal formatting standard, so every agent or publisher has distinct publication requirements. A finished manuscript may need formatting in order to comply with particular submission guidelines. My fee for formatting is $65 per hour.

Working With Me

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Marked-Up Manuscript

I will return your manuscript to you with suggestions, comments, and mark-up.

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Detailed Letter

I organize and explain some of the more common suggestions and edits in more detail.

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Follow-Up Call

Let’s make sure you got the information you want and need to move forward.

Notes and Tips

  • I am constructive and positive in my suggestions. (I’m a writer and artist myself, so I get it!)
  • Please don’t be discouraged by seeing a large number of comments and edits within your manuscript. This is normal even though it may look daunting. The quantity of notes isn’t tied at all to the quality of the writing.
  • Keep the suggestions that resonate with you and forget about the ones that don’t.
  • As for the follow-up (by phone or online meeting) some writers would rather spend their time writing than talking with their editor and I totally get that! But this can be a useful and even fun way to send you on to the next phase of your project. It’s completely optional and I’ll follow your lead.

Rates

My rates vary, depending on the length of your manuscript, the genre you’re writing in, and your desired turnaround.

If you think we’d be a good fit, let’s discuss your project!

Testimonials

“Maura was absolutely amazing to work with. As a novice writing my first novel, she was helpful, encouraging, and patient with all of my questions while providing the guidance I needed to create the best possible version of my story. I highly recommend working with her.”

Shailee Mehta
Author of Indians Don’t Get Divorced
Author Mark Henry.

“From the beginning, Maura felt more like a collaborator than an editor. Her notes and suggestions were invaluable. They made my book so much better! Maura has a knack for offering a writer just the right amount of compliments, which create the courage to address her criticisms. From grammar and word usage to story arc and character development, Maura helped me make a book I could be proud of.”

Mark A. Henry
Author of Lacking Evidence to the Contrary: A Lowbrow Novel of Questionable Necessity and The Honolulu Situation: Agent One

“Editing a historical novel is especially difficult because you have to catch the spirit of a former era. Maura did this with great care and sensitivity. The result is a very charming read that is true to the time and at the same time makes the text highly understandable for the reader.

Our work with Maura was an absolutely positive experience. We met a very warm and able person who went to any length polishing our manuscript.”

Horst and Julia Drosten, who write together using the pseudonym Julia Drosten
Authors of Land Beyond the Horizon and other award-winning books
Authors Horst and Julia Drosten, who write together under the pseudonym Julia Horsten.

“Maura’s work was *so* helpful. I can’t express it enough. Her edits were inspiring, thoughtful and clear-eyed, often saving me from myself. She was also extraordinarily supportive throughout the writing process. She is an “author’s editor,” telling you what you need to hear, but in an inspiring way that makes sense and puts the work first. She was amazingly thorough, from removing every last unnecessary bit of punctuation (my diagrams look so much cleaner without them!), to doing research on some points in order to help me better express the concepts. This was hugely helpful. I continue to be overwhelmed by the clarity she added to this project! Maura also has an eye for detail that can’t be matched. I occasionally (and deliberately) used slightly different fonts in the text — and I was surprised and impressed that she noticed!

Her work and perspective were so rich, thoughtful, helpful, insightful, and absolutely made my book so much stronger. I can’t thank her enough for her support and expertise.

Colleen Comerford
Author of The Accountant, the King, the Priest and the Poet  

“Maura helped me with the copy edit and proofing for my 96,000 word historical fiction manuscript. She provided me with a very thorough edit, reworked weak spots and inconsistencies, and made my voice shine. She was prompt and delivered the work timely, as promised. We had a post-edit debrief in which she offered additional thoughtful comments. Her edits gave me confidence to move forward with agent querying. I would highly recommend her for any editing work. She also offered great value for the price. Thank you so much, Maura!”

Gosia Bochenek
Author of Golden Girl
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“Maura’s copyediting exceeded my expectations. Her attention to detail and gentle honesty pushed me to become a better writer. She was very responsive and took the time to ensure my manuscript reached its full potential.”

Susan Morley
Author of Forever Sunday: A Mother-Daughter Memoir

“Maura was a pleasure to work with and her insight proved invaluable. She encouraged me with her thoughtful comments about my writing style and content, noting the strengths but also indicating, in a very kind and respectful manner, many areas for improvement. I am very grateful for Maura’s expertise and collaborative spirit. The outcome of our work together is a book that will be much more appealing to my readers.”

Deborah Roe
Author of Always Pass Uphill of a Yak: And Other Lessons from Nepal
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Author Martha Casazza.

“Maura was delightful to work with and made a significant difference to my writing. Her eye for clarity and consistency is excellent. At every step, she emphasized that she was making suggestions and not decisions. I felt that she brought a comprehensive approach to my manuscript and made it 100% more readable by eliminating distractions and so many extra words!”

Martha Casazza
Author of Fragile Courage and other books

Book Covers

I also design book covers, which has been an exciting complement to my editing work. I’ve done the research to know how to position a book within the best of the genre. If you’re in search of a sophisticated cover that will get your book noticed, let’s talk.