Writing is hard work. A clear sentence is no accident. Very few sentences come out right the first time, or even the third time…. If you find that writing is hard, it’s because it is hard.”  —William Zinsser, On Writing Well: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction

Writing Coach/Mentor: Are you ready to write a book, but aren’t sure how to go about it? Or have you started writing a book, but need direction? If you need guidance, as well as someone to read and review your manuscript, advising you every step of the way to completion, I can be your writing coach and keep you motivated and on track with your writing project.

I work on a variety of nonfiction projects: family histories, memoirs, biographies, histories, travel narratives, diary and letter transcriptions/annotations, essays and essay collections, and more. (I do not accept fiction, poetry, or screenplays.)

My coaching/mentoring services will assist you through all phases of your writing project: research consulting and advising, manuscript consulting (by phone or e-mail), outlining, content editing of your manuscript, copy editing, and proofreading the final page proofs.

Book or Essay Evaluation: I provide a written review of your book or essay manuscript, noting its strengths and weaknesses.

Content and Development Editing: I review your work in progress for proper writing techniques, organization, and, if applicable, genealogical and historical content. You can submit chapters as you are writing or the full manuscript. Manuscripts must be sent double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins all around. I do not accept manuscripts for content editing that are already formatted like a book.

Copy Editing: I copy edit your manuscript for sentence structure, grammatical problems, and punctuation. Manuscripts must be sent double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins all around. I do not accept manuscripts for copy editing that are already formatted like a book. Choose from the following levels:

  • Light copy edit: similar to proofreading for typos and such, but does a thorough check for grammar and punctuation problems.
  • Medium copy edit: includes the level of light copy edit, plus checks the body text for style consistency and fixes awkward/unclear sentences.
  • Heavy copy edit: includes the levels of light and medium copy edit, plus improves the flow of the text by rewriting portions for a uniform tone and focus; changes passive voice to active voice; rearranges sentences as needed to improve readability; cross-checks any reference material (e.g., notes to bibliography); checks style and consistency of end- or footnotes. Heavy edits almost always require another run-through by the author and editor to make changes to the changes.

Proofreading: Have the final pages (galleys/page proofs) of your formatted book proofread for typographical errors and formatting problems before you publish. I work with print copies only.

Book Proposal Evaluation: I copy edit and/or proofread your proposal, as well as make suggestions for improvement.

Self-Publishing Services: Going the self-published route? Click here for more about layout, design, photo digitization, enhancement and placement, charts, and indexing services from my sister site, Warren, Carmack & Associates.

Note: None of my services guarantees acceptance by an agent or publisher.