Book Editing

An Extra Set of Eyes

From concept to publishing, authors need that extra set of eyes. Oh yes, they certainly do! Over the years I’ve seen authors dedicate months—even years—to their manuscripts. But after all that effort, they self-edited and published a book sprinkled with errors.

Book editing by Melanie Saxton

Book editing by Melanie Saxton

Book editing is crucial. Although a story may be great, readers notice flaws. Flaws are annoying, and for this reason reviews can be brutal. After all, readers spend their hard-earned dollars on a book and expect it to be well written. Right?

Let’s make sure your book is a delight to read. I can help. Professional book editing makes a world of difference, and that’s the truth.

Types of Book Editing

Authors generally need copy editing, line editing, developmental editing, substantive editing and/or research. Each is explained below.

Copy editing. Your book may require the most basic type of editing, which is copy editing or proofreading. Special attention is paid to ensure your manuscript meets industry standards:

  • Misspellings
  • Typos
  • Grammatical errors
  • Tense
  • Subject-verb agreement
  • Hyphenation
  • Mislabeling
  • Awkward transitions

Line editing. The next level of editing, called line editing, helps determine paragraph structure, flow, pacing, usage and writing style. A line editor looks at your syntax and how you weave various literary devices into your manuscript. I usually copy edit as I line edit, because both require intense attention to detail.

Developmental editing. A more advanced form of editing, known as developmental editing, involves just that—the development of your narrative and story arc. This includes overall conceptualization, plot, character, theme, and other storytelling elements. I may rewrite or add new content. Your front matter, back matter, chapter titles and overall organization is reviewed and revised.

Substantive editing. This type of editing can include an overhaul of your manuscript — and that’s a good thing, not a bad thing! Some of the most wonderful stories get “lost in translation” as they travel from your brain to the keyboard. I rewrite, restructure and resurrect your work, sometimes ghostwriting the bulk of it so that it soars.

Research editing. I offer research services to gather background (this often helps with the story arc), verify facts and provide citations.

“Special thanks to Melanie Saxton, who proved to be critical in this process. She provided creative ideas and editorial excellence to help make this book come to life. Thank you for your insight, kind words, and wisdom during the entire process. You are more than I could have wished for in an editor.” ~Velma Jackson-Wilkins, New York, NY, author of Too Many, Too Soon and A Look Back

Book Editing Process

I’m a hand holder and become completely immersed in each project. I don’t just edit—I collaborate as a book editor who cares deeply about my clients. My goal is to ensure you are happy with your manuscript and that it resonates with your audience.

  • I’ll ask for your word count and a preliminary look at the first three chapters, as well as the final chapter.
  • After this review I’ll know if your book requires substantive editing, developmental editing, or proofreading.
  • I can help you write your front matter, back cover, author’s bio and chapter titles.
  • I may suggest that we tighten up your prose, rewrite your copy when needed, and edit for length and completeness.
  • If you are not at 55,000 words (a minimum industry standard), I’ll help you write additional content.
  • Your style and voice is respected. My editing simply elevates your writing by removing errors which distract readers.
  • Once your book is edited, it’s ready for publication.
  • Check out my Book Publishing page if you need help with self publishing.

Read more about the value of book editing here.

Contact Me For a Book Editing Quote

Send an email at melanie@melaniesaxtonmedia.com and we’ll discuss the ins and outs of your project.