Memoir Editor

A good editor can make all the difference.

Whether you’re self-publishing, e-publishing, or planning to find an agent, a good editor will bring your voice forward in the most compelling way and help your book earn the praise it deserves. Your work will look professional and reflect your commitment to success.

With over thirty years in the publishing business, I do it all:

  • Developmental editor
  • Line editor
  • Anthologies editor
  • Blog editor

My clients have included publishing houses, such as Ten Speed Press, Chronicle Books and Crown Publishing. I’ve edited travel guides, cookbooks, memoirs, workbooks, self-help and more for them. I’ve edited manuscripts for new and experienced writers, for professional musicians, professors, scientists, psychologists, retirees, entrepreneurs, and other businesspeople. You can read about some of my clients here.

Developmental Editor

Developmental editing is necessary when you need professional assistance with a book that is not ready for the fine detail of line editing. In developmental editing, I go to the essence first: what is the “spine” of your story, or theme, in a memoir? (This is NOT your topic; they are different.) What is your take-away message in nonfiction? It’s from this core all else comes. In memoir I read, too, for elements of fiction that help transform truth to art and make a memoir a page turner: dramatic structure (narrative arc), momentum, pacing, scene construction, character development, handling of time, voice, and more. I consider where tension lags, check for vivid verbs that bring the writing to life. Using Tracked Changes (in Word) I give you notes in your document about where these elements are working; where they are not, I suggest you add them. Nonfiction has its own issues. With nonfiction, I work with your format and make sure it’s the strongest for your topic and tone. We communicate by email or by telephone. If you are not ready for the marked-in-manuscript detail of a developmental edit, we start with a consultation.

Line Editor

It’s time for a line edit when the writing is ready for improvement, refinement. The basics are in place. (See Developmental Editing, above.) I edit your manuscript for clarity and consistency in voice, I suggest what can be omitted to keep the writing clear and concise, note where useful additions can be made, reorder passive to active sentence structure, and recommend breaks in overlong sentences. (With Tracked Changes, the editing tool in Word, writers can see the edits made in the document and accept or reject them, bypassing the step of incorporating edits from manuscript to computer.) I mark for correct punctuation, make sure that spelling is accurate and capitalization is done correctly. Where fact-checking is needed, I query the author to pursue that research. For self-publishers, a line edit will include copy editing (per the rules of the Chicago Manual of Style) if the manuscript is ready for it. In most cases, copy editing is done as a separate, finishing edit preceding the proofread. I can provide referrals for a proofreader, as needed.


Anthologies are assembled from collected writings or transcribed interviews. I edit anthologies and consult on book structure and content.

Put on your best when you publish and the best will come back to you.

Fees for Service

I provide an estimate for line or developmental editing based on manuscript length (word count, not pages) and determine which form of editing is required after reviewing the table of contents (if there is one) and seeing twenty-five pages of the manuscript. Half of the estimated fee is due to start with the balance due at completion. A line edit of a 50,000-word manuscript is approximately $2500. By request, I offer a sample edit of ten pages for $90 to be sure we’re the right fit.

Requested rewriting, or light ghostwriting, is available for an additional fee.


I can help you shine.

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