I've been a freelance editor since 2006 and have worked on over 200 books. The authors I've worked with have self-published and submitted their manuscripts to agents and publishers. A few of them have even won awards, like Gerry Robinson, whose book The Cheyenne Story: An Interpretation of Courage won the Western Heritage Award for Outstanding Western Novel in 2020. I also worked on A Great Length of Time by Joyce Cherry Creswell and Tough Girl by Carolyn Wood, which won awards from Oregon's Literary Arts. If you're looking for references about my work, just ask!
What Genres Does KHG Specialize In?
I am particularly good with historical fiction and narrative nonfiction, whether that's a well-researched book for a general audience or a memoir. I like to do fact checking, and I have an uncanny eye for anachronism.
I also enjoy working with works in translation from any language to English. I'm fluent in French and can read Spanish, and I have an understanding of the basic workings of many language families and alphabets. Before editing any project that has been translated, I will learn the underlying structure of the original language to better help me identify where issues such as verb tenses might be troublesome in English.
What Kinds of Editing Can KHG Do?
I am most effective with developmental edits and line edits. I'm less great when it comes to the fine-toothed comb of proofreading, though I can do that occasionally too.
Developmental editing: This level of editing takes into account structure, character arc, narrative flow, voice and style, worldbuilding, and other big-picture questions. It does not address spelling, punctuation, or grammar so much. I'll return a manuscript in Microsoft Word with notes in the margins, some corrections in the text (using track changes), and an editorial letter of 4-6 pages to help guide you through your revisions.
Line editing: This is where I'll dig into grammar, spelling, consistency, fact checking, anachronisms, character names, and more. I'll still query you in the comments if a sentence or paragraph could use revision for clarity, but I'll assume the overall structure and style are in place. I like to combine copy editing with line editing, so the Word document will likely have a lot of marks in track changes in addition to the queries in the comments. The editorial letter for this level of editing is short; I usually just let you know if there are recurring things to look for, like putting end puncutation inside quotation marks.
How Do I Get Started Working with KHG?
Easy. Use the form on the editor page of my website. It's very basic, but it will tell me that you're thinking about having me edit your book. I'll usually get back to you within one working day.
Here are some handy things for me to know:
- What's the word count of your book right now?
- What's its genre?
- Is this your first book?
- Has anyone else read it (your critique group, a writing class, your friends)?
- How many revisions has it been through? Your best guess is fine.
- Are you hoping to publish it yourself or submit it to agents for traditional publishing?
- Do you have a timeline in mind or a deadline that must be met?
Here are some handy things for you to know:
- I'm usually booked at least a month in advance. So if you send me an email in, say, early April, I'll probably be able to fit you into my schedule in mid-May.
- I will do a free sample edit on a few pages of your book, preferably from the middle. I'll ask for about 10 pages from the middle of your manuscript, and I'll edit those to make sure we're a good fit.
- Like many trade publishers, I use the Chicago Manual of Style as my guide. I am familiar with AP style as well. I always take the author's style and preferences into account and create a style sheet for each project.
- I will send an estimate of time and cost for editing your book along with the sample edit.
- I ask for a third of the cost up front as a deposit, a third in the middle, and a third on completion and approval. I have a very easy to use invoicing system that accepts just about any kind of payment.
- I have a contract template that protects you and I both. I customize it for each project.
- No surprises! I want to be very clear and answer all your questions about the editing process and the service I'll be providing. It's time and money and a project that is probably very important to you, and I respect that.
BUT I DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW PUBLISHING WORKS!
That's okay. I do. I've worked with traditional publishers, and I run a very small press myself. Publishing has some arcane systems built up around it, but I'm happy to help you navigate your choices and show you the paths you can take. We can even schedule a free half-hour phone or video call to chat about it if you like.