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professional book editing services

Book Editing, Proofreading, Book Design,

Indexing, and Manuscript Submission Services

Short Story and Novella Editors

Mark Twain once wrote, “I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” That pithy statement describes well a major challenge facing the writer of short stories.

A novelist has the luxury of tens of thousands of words in which to fully flesh out a story. Short story writers don’t have that luxury—they must make every word count, and they must choose a single story to tell, with little room for side plots. The focus must be razor sharp, and every detail must relate to the one story the author has chosen to tell. The essence of each character must be distilled, so that the story contains just enough information for readers to understand and fully grasp the meaning of the story.

The best short story writers and editors are those who understand the art of brevity and of knowing just where a story begins and ends. A skilled short story editor will point out material that isn’t necessary to tell the story and help the author refine the work so that no words are wasted and everything that is required for readers to get the full impact of the story is in its proper place.

Suggested resources:

Structure Style and Truth: Elements of theShort Story, by John Daniel

Creating the Story: Guides for Writers,by Rebecca Rule and Susan Wheeler

ROSANNE CORNBROOKS CATALANO specializes in children's and young adult books, fantasy novels, and Christian/inspirational manuscripts. Prompt and professional, Rosanne works well with any author's voice, providing clarity and punch while respecting the integrity of the work.

In books for younger readers, every word counts—more than usual! Rosanne has worked with picture books, early reader books, middle grade books, and young adult books in all stages of development. She understands the multiple factors that go into each type of writing: reading level, book length, and age appropriate content, as well as the artistic and grammatical aspects of writing.

She gives each author's work the care it deserves, drawing on her diverse life experiences and knowledge in many fields like period clothing, genetics, all aspects of theater, Celtic legends, rustic camping, the martial arts, architecture and languages (Latin, French, Anglo-Saxon, Middle English, a little Welsh and Japanese).

Add that to the marketplace savvy she learned working in publishing houses, and you have an experienced editor who can polish a manuscript and get it past that crucial first reader!

Note: Rosanne is booking for August 2015.

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fiction query letter book editing historical young adult childrens booksANA HOWARD is the author of seven well-reviewed and award-winning children’s novels and has helped many others with their manuscripts, including picture books, chapter books, middle grade and young adult novels. After working in public schools for many years, she has now been a part of the publishing industry for fifteen years and provides a creative and supportive environment. She is passionate about children’s literature and offers the following services:

• Mentoring
• Developmental, substantive and content editing
• Formatting and guidance on the submission process
• Query letters and synopses
• Advice for self-publishing authors

Publishing Credits Include:

  • Water at the Blue Earth, young adult historical fiction (Roberts Rinehart)
  • A Ceiling of Stars, middle grade contemporary fiction (American Girl)
  • Nowhere, Now Here, middle grade contemporary fiction (American Girl)
  • The Magic of Ordinary Days, adult historical fiction (Viking Penguin)
  • Under a Stand Still Moon, young adult historical fiction (Brown Barn Books)
  • Call Me the Canyon, young adult historical fiction (Brown Barn Books)
  • Nicki, contemporary middle grade fiction (American Girl)
  • Thanks to Nicki, contemporary middle grade fiction (American Girl)

She has seen one of her novels made into film (for Hallmark Hall of Fame Productions on CBS) and has won numerous literary awards. She believes that even in today’s tough publishing climate, it is still possible for new writers to enter the business and succeed. Second to writing her own novels, she loves to mentor others to help them achieve their goals. She knows firsthand how writers benefit from the help and support of other writers and/or editors.

Author Feedback

"My novel had lingered in the offices of editors at the Big Six for years. Ana’s editing was timely and skillful and showed an understanding of my work. I used 95% of her suggestions and cut 200 pages from a 600 page manuscript. End result is a book with a clean, compelling narrative that has been called 'a gripping read'. Reader reviews of my book at Amazon and Goodreads have been very gratifying and allowed me to enter the top 100 for science-fiction/fantasy. Kirkus Reviews selected Prophets of the Ghost Ants as one of their Best of 2011. I would recommend Ana Howard's services to any author whose work needs an edit. Cost of the service was more than fair and the end result was priceless." —Clark T. Carlton

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short story editing service journal editor FLOYD LARGENT specializes in history, natural history, anthropology and the sciences on the non-fiction front, and speculative fiction (science fiction, fantasy, horror, and allied fields) otherwise. He's published his own e-book on fiction marketing (100 Great Places to Sell Your Short Stories, Both On and Off the Web), and is intimately familiar with technical writing, having worked as a technical writer and editor for ten years. He's also been published in most of the popular American history magazines, including American History, America's Civil War, Old West, and True West. Mr. Largent can provide publishing assistance (especially with short stories and journal articles), content development, manuscript evaluation, and mentoring services, supplemented with advice concerning manuscript mechanics, query letters, book synopses, and proposals.

"I handed Floyd my 65,000 word manuscript on June 6th and got it back, polished to within an inch of its life, on July 25th. Floyd did a fantastic job."

"I've been going through the story and I'm about halfway through the review.... So far, the work is incredible. I really like what you've done with it to say the least. Satisfaction would be an understatement."

"Floyd Largent did an outstanding job with my manuscript. [H]is attention to detail, knowledge, and professionalism surpassed my expectations. I could not have been happier with the final product, or picked a more qualified editor to work with."

Developmental content editing
Book proposals

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book editor Adina PortmanADINA PORTMAN is a published author, columnist, and book editor of numerous award-winning fiction and nonfiction titles. Her editorial role is to help you reach your goals as a writer by bringing your work closer to your ultimate vision. In addition to providing an overall manuscript review, she can offer a thorough developmental edit and critique that gets into the nitty-gritty of how to improve your work. She checks for tone, continuity, word choice, correct sentence structure, and any "author ticks" that emerge. On a larger scale, she can ensure that the narrative is smooth and progresses naturally, pointing out where the story needs clarification or the plot is inconsistent. She will focus on the presentation, structure, and organization of your work as a whole, and will make sure that the content is as coherent and effective as possible.

"Working with Adina was like working with a side of my own brain that I couldn't otherwise access—her edits identified problems I wasn't able to see on my own, yet they struck me as intuitive and aligned with the overall goals of my book. Crucially, Adina knows how to tread those sensitive waters of being critical without being disheartening, and being supportive without blowing smoke." —Robert Martin

Before the Lights Go OutTestifyDuplex

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James Powell - manuscript editorNovels, short stories, creative nonfiction, mainstream trade, religion, philosophy, adventure, romance, science fiction, erotica, action/military, travel/lifestyle, gay/lesbian, ethnic/culture, literary journalism, memoir/autobiography, New Age, spirituality, poetry  

“James Powell examines the symbols of language the way a biologist examines cells.”  New York Times Review of Books  

“James Powell assures us that the universe is a silent partner in a dialogue that goes on all the time.”  New York Times Review of Books

JAMES N. POWEL is "a good literary surgeon," as one of his accomplished clients noted. As an editor of fiction and non-fiction, he views manuscripts with comprehensive vision and an eye for detail. He will read your fiction with an eye to making it believable and your non-fiction with a knack for making it both convincing and engaging.
His books and short stories have been translated into many languages and are known throughout the world. His list of publications includes The Tao of Symbols (Morrow 1982), Energy and Eros (Morrow 1985), The Prentice Hall Global Employment Guide (Prentice Hall 1983), Mandalas: The Dynamics of Vedic Symbolism (Sterling 1980), Derrida for Beginners (Writers and Readers 1996), Postmodernism for Beginners (Writers and Readers 1998), Eastern Philosophy for Beginners (2000), Deconstruction for Beginners (2005), and Slow Love: A Polynesian Pillow Book (2008).

His short story "The Silence of the Hummingbird" was published in Spanish in Revista Katharsis, in Malaga, Spain, and his journalism has appeared in Spirituality & Health, Tahiti Beach Press, the Santa Barbara Independent, and Montecito Journal.

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Book Editor David RoseCopy Editor | Proofreader

Fiction and nonfiction: thrillers, mysteries, crime, adult, young adult, drama, fantasy, sci-fi, erotica, short stories, golf, public policy issues, memoir/autobiography, current affairs, nature, military history, travel.

DAVID ROSE has edited more than seventy published books, both  fiction and nonfiction. Dave appreciates the interdependence of clear writing with clear thinking. He enjoys helping writers clarify their language and their thoughts, analyzing arguments, plot lines, and pointing out issues or inconsistencies that detract from a good story. Dave likes how the process of writing, rewriting, and editing leads to that aha moment of—yes, that is what I want to say, and I’ve said it well. Dave respects a writer’s individual style, keeping voice and tone intact while ensuring for consistency, correct grammar, and usage.

Dave got his start as a business reporter and went on to write for major corporations. He’s experienced in business and investment writing, book editing, communication planning, and public policy research. In addition to his editing, Dave writes for a wealth management advisor, developing web content and keeping clients abreast of market developments through letters and research reports.

Author Feedback:

"David edited my book The Adventures of Sebastian Bold. His constructive suggestions and sensitivity to language enhanced my book tremendously. David is a very good editor, and I recommend him highly." - Michael Brandt (2015)

"David edited my first book and the results were amazing. I self-published, and even though I edited the book myself several times, it was still a mess. David was fast, thorough, and cost-effective. I had the book up selling on Amazon within a day of David’s final version back to me. I strongly recommend his services and will definitely hire him again for my next book." - Brian Glenmuchie, Golfing Chronicles (2014)


Dave earned a BFA in Film from New York University and an MA from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. He is a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association and the American Copy Editors Society.

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Marie Valentine - proofreader and copy editor

MARIE VALENTINE's editorial work ranges from conceptual and developmental brainstorming to copy editing and proofreading, as well as the nitty-gritty of print and Web production. She has worked in acquisitions and production for the renowned new age book publisher Llewellyn Worldwide. She has also served as a news editor and writer, business technology editor, poet and small press publisher of experimental works by contemporary writers. Marie will use her knowledge in literature and nonfiction to clarify your thoughts with minimal alteration, but she is also open to experiments and will adapt easily and quickly to your perceived vision and goals. A flexible editor and proofreader with a light touch, Marie will help your prose shine while keeping your personal style intact.

—10+ years proofreading experience (print, web, digital, books, magazines, news weeklies, chapbooks and more)
—6 years business and technology editing experience
—5 years book manuscript editing experience, both fiction and nonfiction
—4 years publisher acquisitions experience - Ruminator (small press), university press (U of MN), commercial press (Llewellyn). She knows what publishers look for in a book.

Services include:

  • manuscript evaluation
  • beta reading
  • content organization
  • structural & substantive editing
  • proofreading
  • formatting
  • style editing (Chicago, AP, project-specific, etc.)
  • copy editing
  • self-publishing consulting
  • query and synopsis development
  • book marketing planning
  • online publishing

"Marie Valentine has edited three books I have written and we have co-edited several short-run chapbooks. Her keen intellect, critical eye for good writing and ability to process large amounts of complicated text in a short period of make her a valuable asset. Marie is impressively well-read and has been tremendous to collaborate with due to the broad range of literature which encompasses the breadth of her interest. I would highly recommend her in the areas of editing, proofreading, writing, analytical critique and inspirational encouragement." – Wes Tank, writer and filmmaker

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