Receive line-by-line feedback about your book, improve your query letter, and increase your chances of publishing.
All writers develop blind spots. That’s normal. You spend months or years crafting your book. As you do, you get close to your work, which is great for your characters and their worlds!
…But not so great when it comes to editing.
The Limits of Self-Editing
When you read the same passage over and over, errors become invisible.Eyes glaze over typos. Abrupt shifts in point-of-view—“head-hopping”—happen. And no matter how many spell checkers you try, grammar mistakes persist.
Then there are the big-picture details. Ever decided to "kill a darling", only to forget to remove all mentions of said darling in earlier chapters? Or, had a beta reader hand you back your pages confused about a setting that was never described? We love software that keeps our notes and chapters neat and tidy, but then let developmental errors slide.
Self-editing is a good first step. But it can only get you so far.
Every writer gets too close to their book after a time, and this is normal.
Writers try to white-knuckle their way through, only to get stuck, overwhelmed, and exhausted. They feel like they’re running an endless race against the clock as they try to wedge in a half hour of editing here, a twenty minute session there. In the end, they feel as if they’ve done nothing more than spin their wheels. For months.
Sound familiar? Hear this: you’re not alone.
You Are Not Alone
To create a book that is publishable, external help is anecessity, not a luxury. A critique group may be your first stop along the road, but ultimately you’ll want to seek help from a professional editor—one with a track record for helping others polish and publish their work.
All writers need editors. Even literary giants—from Gertrude Stein to Alice Munro to Stephen King—relied on editorial feedback before going to print.
Meet Our Book Doctor
Kerry Ambrose is a professional editor—one of the only editors we trust here at So You Want To Write.
As a stylistic line editor, Kerry’s expertise is bringing your fiction or non-fiction book up to industry standards (using the Chicago Manual of Style). She especially enjoys LGBTQA2S+ and women’s fiction.
Her practice is inspired by her experience.A skilled writer with a cheerful wit, she’s penned her own novel, which is currently in development. And she has advanced degrees in philosophy and social justice, as well as fifteen years’ experience working in nonprofit, school, and community-based settings.
Before moving to Toronto, she lived on a Pennsylvania battlefield, in the Andean high plains, on a mountaintop in Vermont, and at a Buddhist meditation centre in California.
Choose the Right Prescription for Your Book
Do you know what kind of editing YOU need? You can be forgiven for confusing line editing and copy editing. Line editing comes first. A line editor works line-by-line, reviewing a writer’s word choice and syntax, pacing, and overall flow of the book.
A copy editor reviews spelling, grammar, and adherence to the rules of standard English. A good rule of thumb: a line editor is focused on style, while a copy editor is focused on mechanics.
Fear not—before any work begins, Kerry will explain what type of editing is right for you. Here's what we offer:
1. Book Editing
Type: line editing For: novel-length fiction books and novellas, non-fiction books
You will receive:
A dedicated line-by-line page review
Page notes will be included throughout your document,with tracked changes
A 10- to 20-page report that includes comments and critical editorial notes on strengths, weaknesses, and recurring issues related to outline, plot, pacing, characters, dialogue, etc.
At the end of this manuscript edit, your book will benefit from:
Flagged problematic dialogue/narrative
Finessed mood and narrative tone
Curated POV through identification of head-hopping and flashbacks
2. Query Letter or Marketing Materials Editing
Type: Copy editing/proofreading For: A writer’s query letter, website, blog, and social media accounts
You will receive:
An in-depth review of your query letter, or
An editing sweep of your website, blog, social media accounts, and other communications to eliminate errors and enhance comprehension.
A 1- to 5-page report generated with critical suggestions as appropriate.
At the end of this edit, your query letter or marketing materials will benefit from:
Grammar errors and typos corrected
Reading level adjusted for target audiences
Increased confidence when addressing industry professionals
Ready to produce the best possible book?
Book a free 30 minute consultation with Kerry.
Or,email uswith your questions. We try to accommodate all special requests.
Not sure if you need an editor?
Whether you are planning to self-publish or go the traditional route, an editor will help you produce your best work possible.
An editor will also save you time by providing you with clear recommendations that you can act on immediately (goodbye writer’s block!)
You'll come away feeling confident that you can achieve your goal of improving your manuscript and getting it published.
Benefits for Writers who Want a Traditional Publisher:
If you’re aiming to publish traditionally, you’ll reap the rewards that come with a publishing house. You’ll work on developmental edits with your assigned editor. Your copyediting and proofreading will be provided for you.
But it’sstillimportant for you to hire an editor before you seek a book deal. Why? The publishing industry is tough—getting out of the slush pile isn’t easy. Enter editors.
Editors arefamiliar with the traditional publishing market,including how agents work.
Editors know how towhip your submission packageinto shape(query letter, synopsis) so you get noticed.
Editors ensure your book is as strong and as bestsuited to the marketas possible.
Benefits for Writers who Want to Self-Publish
As a self-published author, you won't have a publishing house to vet your work.
And, unfortunately, family and friends won’t cut it when it comes to giving your manuscript a proper critique. Not even your hard-nosed Aunt Jennifer is likely to be objective. Here's what an editor can do for your self-published manuscript:
Working with an editor is your one shot toget expert feedbackbefore your readers get their hands on your book.
Editors are highly qualified professionals that have skills that can take your book to a level even your best-read friend can’t.
As with all products, the higher quality your book, theless you’ll have to spend on marketing.
It’s more likely you’llbecome a commercial success.
Invest in your writing practice now by working with Kerry.
After working with Kerry, you will go…
From being overwhelmed by the editing process to beingclear on the exact steps neededto turn your choppy copy intopolished perfection
From wasting time spinning your wheels tomaking edits effectively and efficiently
From being unsure of your work to havingconfidencethat it will stand out from the masses, andfind representation and/or a publisher
From writing alone to collaborating with anally who’s been where you are, and has atrack record for helping others get out of the messy middle and ready to publish
Book a free consultation now.
What Writers Are Saying About Kerry
"Kerry Ambrose is a wonderful editor. She possesses impressive literary skills, and her edits combine detailed attention to grammar and creating clear, concise writing. Her broad knowledge of cultural and social trends allows her to give insightful feedback on the more general issues my non-fiction books and poetry address. If you want a skilled, conscientious editor Kerry is an excellent choice."
— Katie Curtin, Author of Amazon Best-SellerThe Happy, Well-Fed Artist: How to Get Your Creative Projects Off the Ground and Into the World
"Working with Kerry has been a game changer. I started my trilogy fifteen years ago, but Kerry’s recent editing support helped me finish it. Now, I’m preparing to publish! I am proud to soon see my book in print; it has been a dream of mine for a long time. Consulting Kerry has been one of the best investments I’ve made in my journey to becoming a published author.”
—Stina Hemming, Author ofWillful Blindness,Book One in the Alex Greene “Ice Queen” legal thriller series
Schedule a call today to discuss your project and goals.