If you write content for other people, you need an editor. Editing is critical.
Editing will help you find errors like typos and word choice, but a good developmental editor will also make sure that you’re making sense. A developmental editor will make sure there are no holes in your thought process throughout the piece. A developmental editor will catch the incorrect grammar and awkward phrasing that you might have missed.
Often we are too close to our own work to see what might be missing. We automatically read into the text our original intentions and meanings, regardless of what the prose ACTUALLY is saying. The proof of your prose lies with the reader, not the writer – so you want to be sure the reader sees and understands exactly what you intend them to. For that you need another person – a content editor.
I have a Master’s degree in English and have spent 6 years as a full-time copy editor. Between college/grad school and my most recent day job, I have been an editor for more than 12 years. I’ve been a reader even longer. I can help point you to further research related to your topic or suggest alternatives for the organization and structure.
I’d love to help you make your next novel, ebook, sales page, or other writing the best that it can be.
Content editing is charged by the word and the level of editing needed – so whether you’re writing a novel or a small image-based ebook the rate is the same. The range varies from $0.015 to $0.08 per word, depending on the level of editing needed. If you are interested in booking, I’ll look at a small sample of your manuscript to determine how much to charge and we can move forward from there.
Content editing includes:
- full mark-up of your document with ‘track changes’ so you can accept or decline any of my recommendations to match your personal style
- full analysis of the overall arc/argument of your work
- solid, usable recommendations for how to correct any holes or structure errors
- highlighting awkward sentences or language, with recommendations for words and phrases to substitute
- outside research or further reading as needed
- proofreading for punctuation, grammar, spelling and consistency (as I notice them. You may want to hire a separate proofreader after you have revised)
- optional phone call or chat to discuss my comments, recommendations and any questions you may have after getting my edit back
For fiction, I can do ~50,000 words in a week and I only accept up to 150,000 words in a month. Be sure to book early if you have a deadline!
(Please note: I do not offer proofreading on its own, but would strongly recommend my friend Kristin if that is all you need)
Jamie Maltman, author of Blood of the Water, had this to say:
I enlisted Amy’s help on my second book, which I already felt was better than my first, and she helped me take it up several notches. The most useful things she helped me do were:
- Work on some unintended character issues that my alpha reader identified, but couldn’t give strong enough feedback so that I could fix them. With Amy’s help I zeroed in on them and later beta readers didn’t report any issues at all. In fact, one beta reader was surprised how little feedback she had for me compared to book 1, and one of my first reviewers highlighted the initially problematic character as one of the strengths of the book!
- Significantly tightened up the pacing in a few places through some reordering and streamlining of scenes and sequences
- Identify some tics in my writing that I’m now very aware of.
- Helped me better integrate one portion of the story into the whole, or face a nuclear alternative.
The result is a much stronger book, and one I’m very proud to be releasing.
John McGuire, author of The Secrets of Storytelling in Beyond the Gate said:
Amy was gracious enough to lend her talents to editing my short story for the Fiction Unboxed Anthology: Beyond the Gate. She certainly fixed problems in grammar, caught the occasional misuse of a word or phrase, but the biggest thing was that she asked questions which caused me to ask questions about the story. Those small pieces we writers sometimes miss because we are so anxious to get to the next scene, she forced me to take another pass at, to ensure what I had written told the story I wanted to tell. And each time I answered the story became a little stronger. She made me look like a better writer.
And I’ve found that a person who can make you better at story-telling is someone you want around you.
Cathy Pelham, author of Decision Day in Beyond the Gate, commented:
After years of writing and editing non-fiction, I was not prepared for the different skills required in fiction. Amy T. Schubert graciously reviewed my short story, and her edits were spot-on. She identified three problem areas I had successfully ignored. Amy’s insights allowed me to deal with those problems, and the result was a much stronger story. Anyone with a style guide can copy edit, but developmental editing is an art form. I would highly recommend Amy as the artist she is.
E.W. Pierce, coordinator of Beyond the Gate and author of the anthology’s Upon a Misty Morning said,
I worked very closely with Amy during the Beyond the Gate project and was continually impressed by her professionalism and organizational skills. She helped educate the authors (many of whom had never had a story edited before) about what a development edit was and how best to prepare for one. She developed a work stream to smoothly handle stories from 20+ authors, all coming in around the same 2-week window. Amy worked efficiently, turning around the edits in a matter of days, which was quite impressive considering some stories went to almost 10,000 words. Amy was also a part-time project manager, helping coordinate and track the editing process. And she provided valuable advice and guidance along the way, including how best to structure the book and market it. Amy was a huge part of whatever success Beyond the Gate enjoys, and it couldn’t have happened without her.
As it happens, I also had a story in the anthology, so I have some feedback on Amy as an editor as well. My copy was fairly clean, but Amy still cataloged logic issues I’d never even considered, things like: whether one character should be using a briefcase or a suitcase, given what was inside; questioning how long an airship takes to fly cross-country, and then researching how long it takes a zeppelin to cross Great Britain as an example (yes, she really did that). Her comments helped ensure a level of internal consistency that will hold-up to reader scrutiny and keep them firmly in the story, suspending their disbelief.
Amy also identified some tics that I didn’t even know I had. Turns out I love the em dash, but it’s an abusive relationship. Amy correctly pointed out that less is more, but often (okay, usually) it’s not needed at all. She doesn’t just point out what’s wrong, but suggests ways to improve it, and this feedback is given in a direct, non-offensive manner.
If you get the chance to work with Amy I highly recommend it!