I love to help people tell their stories … whether as a book editor, writer or ghostwriter. I work in the genre of memoir and biography, and general non-fiction. Here are some books I have worked on.
Not only is Heather professional, efficient and effective – she also is patient and understanding, and has nurtured me through my first publication.
Rojina McDonald, founder, Soul Publishing and Faces and Food
Heather really opened my eyes and mind up to the craft of writing, and worked with me in a way that I could understand. I am so appreciative for her work and what I've learnt.
Darcia Ondrovcik, author and owner, Beauty in Strength
What can you expect when working with a book editor?
You've finished your memoir, biography or non-fiction book. You’re finally at the stage of looking for a book editor, but you’ve never worked with one before. What can you expect from the relationship? A professional editor can help you take your manuscript to the next level.
1) Think of your editor as a therapist for your writing.
A good editor is part therapist, part coach and part midwife. And they should have a similar skillset – empathy, sensitivity, patience. They should be able to coax out your best work and still be subtle enough to point out the flaws in your writing – but without pushing any buttons. Likely your book took longer to gestate than a child, so choose an editor you think you can trust to give you the truth. They should also be able to give it in a way that is not going to maim your baby-in-the-making or risk its birth in any way.
2) You can expect to get a better book by working with an accredited editor.
A good editor is a master of the English language. You can be sure you are choosing the best if you select an accredited editor to help you edit your manuscript. Accredited editors (AEs) are known for their high level of skill and professionalism. They sit a rigorous exam with the Institute of Professional Editors to ensure they meet the highest editing standards. You can be confident in giving custody of your words to an accredited editor. They will discuss your manuscript with you, preserve your voice and message, and correct and improve your text. They will also work within agreed timelines and budgets.
3) Choose the right stage of editing for you.
There are various stages of editing. If you cannot afford a full developmental edit of your book, you can ask for a manuscript assessment instead. An editor will then read your book, and give you a written report, with recommendations for improving your manuscript. You can then make the suggested changes yourself. If you can afford it, an editor can do a full developmental edit for you, and then a copy edit. A proofread is the final stage.
4) You can say no!
It’s your book, and in the end, if you are not happy with certain changes suggested by your editor, you are able to say no. Your editor will most likely use track changes in Microsoft Word to mark up your manuscript. As you go through and look at the suggested changes, you can accept or reject them. But bear in mind, there will be a good reason why your editor has suggested a change. Often they will explain why, using the Comments tool, but if not, and you want to know why, just ask them.
5) Your editor should be able to justify the reason why they are making certain changes.
If your editor is skilled at what they do, they will be able to explain clearly why they are making certain changes. They will even be able to refer you to style guides if you want further information, such as The Style Manual: For Authors, Editors and Printers (6th Edition, published in 2002 by John Wiley & Sons, Australia) and The Australian Editing Handbook (3rd Edition, Elizabeth Flann et al, published in 2014 by John Wiley & Sons, Australia).
You can read more about what to expect from a book editor at iped-editors.org/About_editing.aspx