What Can a Publishing Professional Do for You?

For the Independent Author: While anyone can simply print a manuscript, publishing a book requires much more. Committed authors set goals and know what they want to accomplish when they publish a book. To be successful, they understand the need to invest in trade-quality work, execute solid marketing and branding plans, and target sales directly to their audience.

What does a Consulting Editor Do? Authors often find they’re having trouble with the book’s overall structure or content. Others find they’ve gotten their manuscript as far as they can on their own and need an expert opinion. Still others have submitted a manuscript to their publisher only to read editing comments so daunting they want to abandon the entire project. Have a story to tell or knowledge to share but unsure of how to get your manuscript to the next level? Publishers today don’t buy many unfinished manuscripts or put the editing you’d hope into the work. Agents want a project with a strong concept and content. If you need help writing, editing or structuring your book, a consulting editor can assist you. If you’re stumped on the publishing process, contracts, royalties, or marketing, a publishing professional can help you.

Whether you’re self publishing or under contract, you may need a development editor, book doctor, copy editor, or proofreader.  A development editor reviews your manuscript for content and structure.  A book doctor can assist you with more of the writing, research, and technical expertise from beginning to end.  Feeling overwhelmed?  Know exactly what you need?  Contact me for guidance, to ask questions, or for an assessment on your manuscript.  Together, we can decide how you can achieve your goals.

For the Cookbook and Recipe Authors and Publishers: A professional cookbook editor can ensure your recipes are conform to editorial standards for steps, ingredient consistency, and preparation steps. Did you know cookbooks and recipes conform to specific style guides? Additionally, a good cookbook editor will help you ensure your recipes actually work, ensuring your readers love your creations!

Editing and consultative services for authors:

  • Manuscript evaluation, development editing, content notes
  • Full packaging including ghost-writing, coordination of copy edit, proofread, index, and as needed technical edit
  • Ghost writing and full authoring services as needed (including footnotes, graphic generation, etc.
  • Editing and manuscript readiness for food and wine writing, cookbooks, and recipes.
  • Editing for manuscript readiness for Christian Book Association market.
  • Review and advice on your book proposal from structure to the industry knowledge you’ll need to include.
  • Education on royalties, industry norms, and what you should expect in your contract with a trade publisher, academic or association press, hybrid or self-publisher.
  • Connections or packaging with copy editors, technical editors, proofreaders, and more
  • Marketing plans for authors for both authors using either traditional publishers or self-publishers.
  • Preparation of guideline-required formatting, graphics, figure logs, and other elements.
  • Some areas of content expertise:
    • Cooking/Food
    • Wine/Beverages/Culture
    • Writing/Publishing
    • Business/Leadership
    • Personal Finance
    • Health/Fitness/Sports
    • Cooking/Food/Wine
    • Spirituality/Religion
    • Sports
    • Music
    • Culture/Arts
    • Computers/Technology
    • Reference/Foreign Language
    • How-to’s on all topics
    • History
    • Selective academic and scholarly work

For the Organization:

If you are a not-for-profit association or scholarly society, you know that non-dues based revenue is more important than ever before. As a professional who knows the publishing business inside and out, I can advise you on:

  • Expanding your book publishing program by helping you publishing titles that will sell.
  • Building workflows for your team get books approved, written, and published on time.
  • Guiding your sales team though today’s challenges including discounts, wholesalers, e-books, distributors, and ebook models for libraries.
  • Helping you build efficiency and accuracy internally with a sales reporting system, royalty preparation and contract analysis.
  • Open-access, library models and other current publishing concepts.
  • Analyzing team and staff needs, outsourcing opportunities, performance metrics, and budgeting.
  • The ins-and-outs of scholarly journals, Impact Factors and other metrics, peer-review workflows, and goals.
  • Coordinating scholarly or industry-specific editor search committees.
  • Providing a plug-and-play solution for publishing staff on temporary leave.
  • Scenario planning and other strategic planning sessions to help your program prepare for the future.


What are your rates?

Rates are determined based on your goals for your work and what we need to do to achieve them. For individuals, depending on service needed, pricing may be an hourly or per page rate. For organizational projects, pricing may be based on a per project or daily basis.  For in office consultations, day rates apply.

How do publishers usually make a decision to publish my book?

Typically, publishing houses have complex and detailed processes for making publishing decisions.  Authors (and agents) prepare proposals. Editors conduct research, market analysis, evaluate similar titles, and, of course, assess the content, writing, style, and tone of the manuscript or sample chapters submitted. Acquiring editors also work to determine the author’s goals, platform, contacts, and ability or willingness to promote or market the book.  Editors compile all this information along with category and market research focusing on the opportunity and present their recommendations to members of a publishing board (or editorial board).  At a publishing board meeting, everyone uses their professional expertise to help identify the market opportunity and create a plan for the book with the research, recommendations and author’s goals driving the book’s content, focus, packaging, and marketing plan. Most authors are never privy to any of this research or information. They wait at home by the phone or computer to hear what decision editors and publishers have made about proceeding.

What books have you done that I can see?

As a ghost-editor and book doctor, many books that I personally touch aren’t book you’d know or can find.  Some have never even been published!  But at Penguin, Pearson, Macmillan, and Literary Architects, I worked with authors like Peter Coffee, Ron White, Sally Edwards, Daniel Boulud, Ellen Brown, Joe Nameth, Amy Zavatto, Kendall Livingston, and other known names.  Two of my favorites out there that I edited and contributed to:

What is trade quality?

Trade quality is the level of quality found in the best books for sale in retail bookstores; it indicates a book that meets the highest publishing standards. Trade-quality books are unique, well-written, appropriate for their markets, and free from errors. They have effective, eye-catching covers, crisp photographs and illustrations, and are printed on quality paper.

I work with each author to ensure his or her book meets this high quality standard—we find that it is usually something that our authors demand also.

How do you ensure that my book won’t lose my voice in this editing process?

As a writer, I know firsthand what it is like to have my own work edited. We know that your unique voice and style are integral to your book’s success. As an editor, I respect your material: My role is to offer expert advice throughout the publishing process. After each stage of editing,  we look at your manuscript together with my recommendations and edits highlighted, to facilitate discussion and to make it easy for you to approve or reject my work. This means you retain control of your manuscript throughout the entire process.

Why is branding so important to a book’s success?

Browse any section of a bookstore and you’ll see branding on almost every major book cover: Look how a fiction author’s name is treated on all his books, or the way a fitness author is pictured on her cover. The treatment of your name, the book’s title, the artwork, and the cover text should work together to create a strong brand that conveys a specific message to the consumer. We believe that creating a strong brand for you, your book, and your concept increases your book’s success and enables you to capitalize on that success (whether in your business or your next book)

Have another question?  Want to know more?  Contact me and ask!

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