Professional Book Editing

A Note from Charles

Besides writing this blog, I work as a professional freelance book editor. I’ve been editing books both for individual writers and for Christian publishers for 25 years. If you are writing a book or have finished one that is not yet published, I may be just the person to help you get it into better editorial shape for your readers.

old booksA frequent comment from publishers is that many writers submit their book manuscripts in terrible editorial shape, even though the writers assume that their manuscripts are in good shape. This blind spot among writers is more common than you may think, and it comes with a huge downside. Even if you have a great idea for a book, a publisher may turn yours down and give the contract to a writer who has a similarly a great idea but whose manuscript is in better editorial shape. Why is this? For one thing, publishers have become increasingly fussy the past two decades about the editorial quality of submissions. Writers who want to get published with traditional publishers need to be increasingly knowledgeable about editing processes. And there is this as well. Most writers are not also editors. But they need editors.

On the other hand, you can self-publish. You are certainly free to do that, and many are. Personally, and I say this based on a lot of experience, I don’t suggest self-publishing unless you have had a professional editor go over your book first. You may think that taking the extra time and spending some money for that is a waste of time. Believe me, it’s not. It will save you a lot of embarrassing moments with your readers. It will make your book stronger by making your ideas clearer. And it will help increase sales.

Here is another, not uncommon, wrong-foot-forward. Some years ago, I heard that a friend had written a book and was having it edited by an English teacher. That can tidy up some aspects of a manuscript, but in the long run it usually falls short of what’s needed. I explained why to my friend, but he had the English teacher go over his book anyway. “Besides,” he said, “it’s not costing me anything.” After the book was then published by a tiny imprint that did not include having it properly copyedited, my friend confessed, “You were right. I should have paid to have it copyedited. Readers have pointed out mistakes.” Now, I love English teachers, but if they are not also editors . . . .

Also, many editors are not also writers. But I am also a writer. So you get the experience of both worlds when I edit your book. I have written seven books to date (one co-authored) with major Christian publishers. And since I’m a freelancer (institutionally independent), there’s no middleman, so I’m able to offer moderate rates, probably one that fits your budget.

human eyeAnyway, enough of the sales pitch! I could go on, but I’ll end now. If you, or if anyone you know, wants to find a seasoned, trusted book editor to go over the punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, and related editing issues, let’s talk. I offer copyediting, line editing (sometimes called developmental or substantive editing), and proofreading services. If you are unsure which of these services is currently the one for your book, I can easily help you to determine that. Also, I work with writers as a teacher, so you will come away from our time together on your manuscript having gained more skills to become a better writer.

I hope I have said enough to spark your interest. To get in touch, use the Contact link, below. I usually reply within a few hours. But whatever you do, take this to heart. If you want to publish a book, find an editor, and do your due diligence when selecting one. It doesn’t have to me me. But I hope to hear from you.

Click here to email me about your book project. You can send me email confident that I will never disclose your details to a third party and that no commercial use will be made of your personal information.