I think I was born an educator. It’s the only way to explain what editing means to me and how I go about doing my job as an editor. My goal is never just to clean up a story and send the client on his or her way. My goal is to spread teachable moments throughout the editing process–through the changes I suggest and the comments I make–so that the writer will learn from those moments and not only revise the story into a stronger, better one, but will also use these lessons in future works, making those stories better in the first draft.
Page Table of Contents (TOC)
- What I Edit
- What I Use when I Edit
- What You Can Expect from an Edit
- Editing Fees*
- How I Edit
- Need an Edit?
- Final Note
What I Edit
- Fiction. I have experience in editing novels, novellas, and short stories in several genres to include mystery, romance (and many of its subgenres), Christian fiction, paranormal, fantasy, horror, and literary.
- Academic work. I have experience in editing proposals, research papers, journal articles, theses, and dissertations. I have edited scholarly articles, academic essays, theses, and dissertations. Most of these projects fall within one or more of the following subjects: all forms of communication (spoken, written, visual, digital), rhetoric, technical communication, virtual worlds, online education, English, literature, identity, identity construction, and community building. Most recent work includes being a copy editor for Technical Communication and a part-time editor for Intercom, both publications of the Society for Technical Communication.
- Non-fiction. I have experience in editing memoirs, how-to books, self-help books, articles, essays, and interviews.
- Graphic novels. I have experience in editing horror, historical, literary, and memoir.
What I Use when I Edit
I love reference books! Anything that can help me help you better your content, I’m there for it. I use the following gems when I edit:
- AP Stylebook
- APA Handbook
- The Chicago Manual of Style
- The Copyeditor’s Handbook
- Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
- MLA Handbook
“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Shonell for a little over ten years. In that decade we have worked together on countless books as well as the movie adaptation of one of my books. One reason I work with Shonell time and time again is her dedication to her work and the thought and caring she puts into everything. She has also become a dear friend to me. I’m lucky and blessed to have her in my life.”Liz DeJesus, author, creative workshop developer/moderator
What You Can Expect from an Edit
I provide three levels of editing: content editing, copyediting, and proofreading. Below, I will define each, and then I will provide you “in my own words” how I come to the page as an editor.
Shonell Bacon has worked with NewSeason Books and Media on several book projects and is a brilliant editor. Her work is thorough and precise, and the feedback she gives is incredibly insightful. Our authors rave about how she makes their writing better; their work, stronger. We consider her part of the NSB family and look forward to working more with her in the future.Tracey M. Lewis-Giggetts, NewSeason Books and Media Founder & Chief Creative Officer
Content editing is about digging into the heart of your story. It makes no sense to review things like grammar, punctuation, and spelling first if the project is underdeveloped and unorganized. Here, I review the manuscript’s overall story development. We want the first page, the first chapter of the story to draw in readers. We want scenes and chapters to set the stage and to provide intrigue for readers, and to end in a way that urges readers to the next scene or chapter. We want dialogue that reveals characters. We want conflict that escalates. We want a clean, well-written, and well-developed story that will make readers happy to have read YOUR book.
In the content-editing stage, I focus first on information I gather from you at the start of our talks: title, genre, story description, your concerns, etc. With that material in mind, I think about your manuscript’s purpose, its audience, and I examine the project to make sure it connects with those two things. In fiction, this means examining elements, such as character and plot development, setting, point of view, and style. Are there plot holes? Is there more telling than showing? Do your scenes have great in and out points? For non-fiction projects, like self-help books, this includes reviewing your book’s purpose and then each section of your book to make sure each section fits your audience and your purpose. This also includes an examination of the project’s development and suggestions of other components for your book that would be a benefit to your readers, such as end-of-chapter questions and exercises. This edit includes both in-text edits/comments and an evaluation memo complete with comments on what works well and what minor and significant issues need revisions, how to correct those issues in revisions. [Back to editing types]
A goal of copyediting is to improve a manuscript’s consistency. Copyediting can include performing research to check facts within a manuscript. It can also include reviewing the consistency of mechanics of style and standardizing grammar, punctuation, and spelling. A client may feel she developed her story well, with powerful characters and pacing that keep readers reading. However, there may be places within the text where I will need to correct the story’s flow by reorganizing content. Because I use Track Changes in Word, the client always has the final say in how content will look in the completed manuscript. This edit includes in-text edits/comments and an evaluation memo to note any critical issues found within the manuscript that need your attention before moving to the proofreading stage. [Back to editing types]
As you approach the finish line of polishing your manuscript, you will enter the proofreading zone. With proofreading, I assume your manuscript has gone through content editing and copyediting. There may be residual errors that squeaked through, like spelling, grammar, and tense and incorrect usage, and I will review those at this stage. I will also review issues, such as correct use of white space (between sentences, with margins, with widows and orphans); consistency with the table of contents and chapter titles, headings, and subheadings; and typographical errors. Here’s a great way to think about proofreading. When I taught writing, whether it was English Composition or Writing for the Media, I always told students that when they felt ready to submit a piece of writing, they needed to do one final thing: read their piece aloud from end to beginning, one sentence at a time. By doing this, you’re not focusing on the overall content of a piece or the structure because you’ve already conducted revisions and content editing. Here, the focus is on clarifying each sentence, formatting each sentence, and finding any errors that might still linger within each sentence. That’s what I, as a proofreader, will do for your project. [Back to editing types]
You have edited twelve books and a college dissertation for us over a six-year period, and not one person has offered a negative comment or complaint. … You have shown yourself to be an outstanding resource to the success of Bravin Publishing. … Your keen eye and overt professionalism have become indicative of the work we provide authors here at Bravin. … We recommend your services to anyone looking to have their work edited.Keith “K. L.” Belvin, Bravin Publishing LLC Founder & Owner
$.01 per word
$.015 per word
$.02 per word
Editing, $10 per layout page
Proofreading, $5 per layout page
$.02 per word
I write articles for online and print publications. My fee is $50 per 500 words.
I do transcription, typically for interviews. The fee is $1.50 per audio minute. Email me for additional information on this service.
How I Edit
I prefer to edit electronically and to receive manuscripts in Word. I use both Track Changes and Comments features within Word.
Need an Edit?
If you are looking for an editor for your work, please fill out this short form. Once I receive your message, I will read and respond as soon as possible.
Before inquiring about editorial services, you will want to complete your manuscript.
To the best of your abilities, correctly format your manuscript. If you are submitting a manuscript that is print-ready, then you may submit that for editing. However, for most manuscripts, you will want to adhere to the following format conventions:
- 1″ margins all around
- Double-spaced throughout
- Times New Roman or Courier 12-point font
- Each chapter starts on a new page
- Paragraph indentation
- Dialogue formatting—typically new dialogue starts on its own line, indented with quotation marks around the dialogue.
I take my editing seriously, and I take my role as a teacher of the writing craft seriously.
Let me help you make your work stand out in a crowd.
Again, if you are looking for an editor for your work, please fill out this short form.
NOTE: Using CLG’s editing services is not a guarantee that an agent or a publishing house will accept your work. However, your writing WILL be stronger!