Marie Valentine

Marie Valentine

Copy Editing and Proofreading Services

New Authors, First-Time Authors, Self-Publishing Authors, DIY Authors, Query Reviews, Publisher Submissions, Poetry, Experimental Writing, Permissions Assistance

Fiction: Short Stories, Literary, Commercial, Mainstream, Young Adult and Middle Grade, Science Fiction, Fantasy, Thriller, Detective/Mystery, Suspense, Action/Adventure, Romance, Women’s Fiction, Erotic, GLBTQIA

Nonfiction: Memoir, Biography, Self-Help, How-To, Religion, Spirituality, New Age, Business, Technical, Web Journalism

BA – English & Spanish Literature, University of Minnesota

MA – Communications, Marquette University


Marie Valentine

New Author Assistance

With nearly twenty years of book editing and proofreading experience, Marie helps first-time writers prepare their manuscripts for submission to publishers or in preparation for self-publishing. Marie has worked with diverse authors whose books span the genres of fiction and nonfiction.

Many authors are not writers by trade; they may write books in their specialty or as a hobby. Marie has worked for small, midsized and academic presses, and will help authors who are new to the publishing process navigate the path to selling a book. She offers query letter and submission package review and can answer any questions you have along the way.

A post from Marie for new authors on releasing your inner critic

Writer Coaching

Some writers need guidance to get their writing practice in order. Marie can assist writers ing creating a path to writing success. She often writes about her editing experiences and offers lessons learned about the writing process from an editorial perspective.

A post from Marie on five ways to thicken your writer skin (plus benefits)

Self-Publishing Consultant

If you are a writer hoping to publish your own work, Marie can help you through this process. From development of a manuscript to formatting it for layout to final proofread, Marie can help get it done. Whatever stage you may be at with writing and publishing, Marie can offer feedback on covers, design decisions, and marketing materials. She often blogs with her self-published authors to help promote their work.

A post from Marie about self-publishing and the editor

Book Editing Services

As an editor, Marie is vigorous yet hands-off: she will find errors and inconsistencies with a sharp eye but lets the work stand for itself. She won’t change anyone’s work into her own. She finds each author’s unique qualities and makes those resonate. Besides offering an objective critique, Marie provides advice on presentation. This can involve discussions on formatting the manuscript as well as crafting query letters for agent and publisher submissions, book marketing, and self-publishing.

Some of the book editing services provided by Marie include:

  • manuscript evaluation
  • developmental editing
  • copyediting
  • query & synopsis development
  • structural editing
  • permissions assistance
  • formatting
  • content organization

Proofreading

Marie has passed the rigorous proofreading test of this editing network, so you can trust that her edits will also clear up any typographical errors in your book. Marie knows how to identify inconsistencies in structure as well as style and spelling of key terms. She is fluent in Chicago Manual of Style as well as AP Style. She will adapt to your project’s own particular style and make sure it is consistent.

A post from Marie about the differences between editing and proofreading

FICTION

In fiction writing, Marie can see where characterization needs rounding out or where the plot thins. She will work with you to strengthen your setting, plot, and impact. She can offer developmental comments regarding clarity of story and structure, pointing out opportunities to improve flow and pacing. Her copyedit will catch overlooked words or typographical errors.

Literary fiction titles edited

John Ethier, The Little Red Boat. Independent 2017.
Gabe Mesquita, Champion. Independent 2017.
Anand Rao, The Corner Office. Independent 2014.
Caroline Doherty de Novoa, Dancing With Statues. Independent 2013.
Ryan Parmenter, Hyperbole. Rype 2012.
Miron Neghabian, Coming Home. Independent 2012.

Fiction editing testimonials

“Marie was so great to work with. This was my first time working with an editor. She was extremely professional, yet had a very down-to-earth way of communicating her editing opinions. I feel like my voice remained fully intact. She just brought everything to a different level. I will definitely reach out to Marie for my future editing needs.” – John Ethier, author of The Little Red Boat

“Marie was an absolute pleasure to work with. It was my first time having a story professionally edited and I am so glad I chose Marie. Not only was she done far ahead of what she expected her deadline to be, she was extremely supportive and constructive. She tells you from the get-go what she considers your strengths to be and what she’ll be able to help you improve on. All her feedback was extremely helpful and inspirational and will not doubt improve my overall project. She never alters your voice coming through the writing and rarely asks you to remove anything from your project. Thank you again for everything. Your suggestions and expertise with editing are greatly appreciated and have helped this story reach its full potential. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for what you’ve done! It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with you. Your kind words and constructive criticism has been a huge confidence booster and inspiration for me to continue this path. I look forward to working with you again in the future!” – Gabe Mesquita, author of Champion

“This is exactly what I wanted. I have worked with editors before, and the changes they made usually didn’t work very well for me, but yours are just perfect. It is a gift to improve a text according to the author’s personal style and rhythm. I am happy I picked you.” – Miron Neghabian, author of Coming Home: The Illuminating Novel

“Was able to choose from a wide range of editors and Marie Valentine always executed her work with an uncanny sympathy and acuity, never once distorting my intention or tone.” – Lyn V., screenwriter

Romance/Women’s Fiction/Erotic/GLBTQIA titles edited

Ashley Raquel, The Scarpello Carnival, Independent 2018.
Peekaboo Collins, Monogamy with Treats. Independent 2017.
Kristine Rudolph, The Myth of Jake. Scribl, 2016.
Kari Pilgrim, Half of No, Graywolf Prize 2014.
Jessica Gould, Shallow Foundations. Independent 2014.
S. Stephens, Between Right and Wrong. Outskirts Press 2013.
Tessa Saks, What is Love? Independent 2013.

Romance editing testimonials

“Working with Marie has been wonderful. She provides consistent work with a positive attitude. She points out strengths and weaknesses and evaluates what can be done to turn those weaknesses into strengths. She was easy to reach, returned e-mails within 24 hours, and met each deadline (twice was early). I look forward to working with her again in the future!” – Jessica Gould, author of the fiction novel Shallow Foundations

“I really enjoyed working with Marie. She was professional and clear and kept her deadlines. Her edits and comments were on point and did not alter my voice. I look forward to working with her on future projects.” – S. Stephens, author of Between Right and Wrong

“Marie did an excellent job proofreading my manuscript. I enjoyed her insight and found her recommendations very helpful. I was impressed by her professionalism and the quick turnaround.” – Tessa Saks, author of What is Love?

Mystery/Detective/Suspense titles edited

Antonio Martello, Forgive the Messenger. Independent 2018.
Augustus Van Slyke, Digging Up Bones. Independent 2014.
Carlo Caldana, Smile Again, Jenny Lee. Independent 2013.
Amy Patricia Meade, Million Dollar Baby. Midnight Ink 2006.
Deb Baker, Murder Passes the Buck: Yooper Mystery #1. Midnight Ink 2006.
A J Diehl, The Mind Box. Midnight Ink 2005.

Mystery/Detective/Suspense editing testimonial

“Thank you, Marie, for your fine editing work and valuable notes and comments. I will follow your suggestions about the ending.” – Carlo Caldana, author of Smile Again, Jenny Lee

Sci Fi/Fantasy/Thriller titles edited

Chris Ingram, Specious Skies. Forthcoming.
Elias Rahimi, Astrolabe. Forthcoming.
John Parrish, Free Fall: A Thriller. Independent 2017.
Seth Chanowitz, Russia Rising. Booklocker 2016.
Chizuko Nakandakari, Good Wife Kills Husband. Infinity Publishing 2014.
Taylor, Jr. Existence of Cape. Independent 2014.
Demethius Jackson, The Realmsic Conquest: The Hero of Legend. Independent 2014.

Sci Fi/Fantasy/Thriller editing testimonials

“The network responded quickly and ably to my query. Marie was a great choice for editing my novella. She had a genuine understanding and appreciation for the style of the piece, and provided invaluable, sensitive input while respecting my voice.” – Chris Ingram, science fiction author

“Your edits were superb! I liked that you were able to make corrections which enhanced the feel of the chapter without compromising the original voice of the story. You’ve been awesome!!! I definitely feel like I made the right decision working with you.” – Demethius Jackson, author of The Realmsic Conquest

Young Adult/Middle Grade/Children’s titles edited

S W Grant, Haunted Over The Edge. Squid Publishing, 2017.
Megan Wetzel, Abandon. Forthcoming.
Peter Landecker, In Troublalo. Forthcoming.
Ladrieka Ross, Highfliers. Forthcoming.
Noni Morton, Barney Tales Series. Independent 2015.
Jesse Arnold, Alethea. Dog Ear 2014.
Dianna Moore, Thieves and Outcasts. Independent 2012.

Young Adult/Middle Grade/Children’s editing testimonials

“Thank you Marie! It was a pleasure working with you on this project. I appreciate your professionalism and how you made the process of editing my first book a positive experience. Overall, you were awesome! Thanks again!!!” – Ladreika Ross, YA fiction author

“Along with editing, Marie also helped to provide comments that strengthened my writing or helped me clear up any confusion for my reader(s).” – Megan Wetzel, YA fiction author

“I chose Marie because I felt she was a better fit for me. She had very poignant comments. Easy fixes that worked well in my stories. She has made my series a much more polished package. I have more work for her and look forward to a long history with her editing skills.” – Deborah Morton, author of the Barney Tales children’s book series

Some posts from Marie on fiction writing

Fiction Classification: Literary or Genre?

Whose Head Am I In? Point of View in Writing

Choosing Your Book’s Point of View

The Many Modes of Third-Person Point of View

Using Your Senses to Write Well

On Pacing: Avoid TMI in Plot

Can You Believe It? Does Your Storyline Need To Connect With Reality?

Fiction Structure and Style: Time and Place

Short Stories

Marie has experience editing short stories for journals or for a collection, as well as novella-length fiction. If you are struggling with story order, overall theme, and interweaving storylines, her editorial suggestions will help. She is open to experiments and will collaborate with you to make your stories come together.

Short story collections edited

Amy Neswald, I Know You Love Me, Too. Forthcoming.
Dave Orewiler, The Die and Other Stories. Forthcoming.
Clayborne Taylor, Jr., Planetary Death. Independent 2014.
Dan Thompson, Crooked Shadows & Broken Glass. Remedy Ink 2015.
Mike Bahl, Scenic Utah. Remedy Ink 2014.

Short stories editing testimonial

“I love having Marie as an editor. She truly engages with the work. She finds the inner heart of the piece and works her way out from there. I appreciate that she fields my questions regarding edits openly and promptly. She is more than I could hope for. If it were ethical, I would have her edit this recommendation.” – Mike Bahl, author of Scenic Utah

A post from Marie on short story collection organization

NONFICTION

Spirituality

Marie has edited for spirituality publishers and studied world religions. She can find ways to make your book unique while adhering to standards of the genre in terms of audience expectations. She knows what the publishing world expects in a good book regarding spiritual content, based on her acquisitions and production experience. She has read broadly in many spiritual arenas, from Christianity to paganism to native traditions as well as Eastern religions.

Spirituality books edited

Danny Ariyo, The Power of the Cross, The Last Revival Ministries, 2018.
Erny Sarkany, Our Pathways to Eternal Life. WestBowPress, 2016.
Ji Hyang Padma, Living the Season: Zen Practice for Transformative Times. Quest Theosophical Society 2013.
Thom Van Dooren, Ly de Angeles, Emma Restall Orr, Pagan Visions for a Sustainable Future. Llewellyn Worldwide 2005.
Tau Malachi, Living Gnosis: A Practical Guide to Gnostic Christianity. Llewellyn Worldwide 2005.
Mark McElroy, I Ching for Beginners. Llewellyn Worldwide 2005.
Dianne Sylvan, A Body Sacred. Llewellyn Worldwide 2005.
Isidora Forrest, Offering to Isis: Knowing the Goddess Through Her Sacred Symbols. Llewellyn Worldwide 2005.

Spirituality editing testimonials

“From start to finish Marie was absolutely amazing! She delivered exactly what was promised and then some. The finished copy of my manuscript looks flawless. Marie was a pleasure to work with and I would definitely work with her again.” – (Author info on file with network)

“I appreciated Marie’s timely responses and reasonable service prices. She was able to point out several areas where idea development was needed, as well as provide a basic skeleton for copy editing.” – (Author info on file with network)

Self-Help/How-To

In self-help or how-to writing, Marie can make sure the instructive voice is consistent. Authorship is everything in this genre, and she’ll help emphasize your unique expertise. She will offer organizational tips and best practices based on her experience working for a publisher in this category.

Self-Help/How-To titles edited

John Desautels, The Inner Guru. Independent 2016.
Maria Bucaro, Love Your Body Now. Independent 2013.
Dana Sitar, A Writer’s Bucket List. DIY Writing 2013.
Matti Korhonen, Goalie Force Success Guide. Independent 2013.
Alex Black, The 24-Hour Transformation. Independent 2013.
Alex Black, The Acne Solution. Independent 2013.
Alex Black, Obesity Crisis, Independent 2013.
Richard Webster, Color Magic for Beginners. Llewellyn Worldwide 2006.

Self-Help/How-To editing testimonials

“I would like to thank my editor, Marie Valentine, for her sharp eye and many helpful comments. My implementation of her suggestions has greatly improved the overall structure of the book.” – John Desautels, author of A Prophetic Dreamer’s Reflections on Life

“I have known Marie for years, and we have worked together on multiple projects. Her hard work and creative spirit have always been an inspiration to me. Her love for language/writing/editing are clear, and she turns that into enthusiastic and insightful contributions to a project.” – Dana Sitar, author of A Writer’s Bucket List

A post from Marie on taking your expertise from blog to book

Memoir/Biography/Creative Nonfiction

In memoir and creative nonfiction writing, Marie can see where more descriptions are needed. She will spot inconsistencies in setting or spelling of key terms. She may find missing details an author does not realize they’ve passed over, being so close to the work. She edits and reads broadly in the genre, from memoirs of celebrities to historical biographies to stories of addiction and mental illness.

Memoirs edited

Danette Mondou, My Time with Meta Given. Independent 2018.
John Desautels, A Prophetic Dreamer’s Reflections on Life. Independent 2017.
Clifford Stearns, Life in the Marble Palace. Friesen Press 2016.
Lori Hart Beninger, An Ordinary Tragedy: A Memoir of Crimes and Shattered Lives. On Track Publishing 2016.
Gary Mancuso: The Last Places on Earth: Journeys in Our Disappearing World. Great Lands Publishing Co. 2014.
Grace Hernandez, I Know You’re in There: A Memoir of Loss, Healing, Farming. Balboa Press 2014.
W T Gillespie, Aikido in Japan and The Way Less Traveled. Budoka Books 2014.
Dana Sitar, Welcome to the Shit Show. Smashwords 2011.

Memoir editing testimonials

“This woman is outstanding!” – the Honorable Clifford B. Stearns, former U.S. Congressman and nonfiction author of Life in the Marble Palace

“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your feedback, the edits and your future offer of help. I really enjoyed your feedback. Thank you for the work, it was very professional and has made the words flow like butter.” – Danette Mondou, author of My Time with Meta Given

A post from Marie on writing family memoirs

Business/Technical Editing

Marie has experience with the current trends in the news industry. She has worked as a writer and editor of a web magazine on information technology, business intelligence, data management, and project management. Her daily interactions with business leaders inform her work on local business blogs and workforce development publications. Trust her to attend to your text with a confident aptitude whatever the domain: print, ebook, or web publishing.

Business titles edited

Various authors, New Trends in GUI. SendPoints 2018.
BizInsights sponsored content for BizTimes Media, 2017-present.
STUFF made and built in Wisconsin – Contributing Editor, 2017-present.
Information Management, infomgmt.com – Senior Editor, 2005-2011.
Sudipto Majumdar, Bittersweet Lessons of a Startup Guy. Independent 2014.
Klaus Tumuscheit, Projects and How to Survive Them. Ebooklaunch 2013.

Business & technical editing testimonials

“Marie Valentine has an eye for detail and a flair for originality in highly technical writing. It’s no mistake that she was the final oversight for many submissions of news, features, commentary and informational pieces in her years at Information Management magazine and website. Marie is a consistently curious reader and a stylistically solid editor, and she is an excellent, timely communicator of those unique skills. As she introduced me to the niche writing world of business intelligence, Marie passed on to me and others important daily writing insight and content resources, with both patience and grace. There is no editing or writing opportunity in which I would doubt Marie’s capabilities.” – Justin Kern, writer and former colleague at Information Management

“Marie displays both an administrative flexibility and the ability to meet unforeseen challenges, as well as a real capacity for making the editorial interventions that discriminates between true quality and mere excess. The vast array of projects she has taken on over the years stands as evidence of her willingness to experiment with new possibilities. The projects that Marie has tackled are successful and fully-realized. Hers are not fragmentary pipe dreams but rather complete visions. That these efforts of hers often involve working collectively, adjusting to various personalities, and coordinating disparate groups of writers and artists, is an even greater testament to the depth of her ability. This unique combination of vision, dedication, and focus is what I have valued in my work with her, and it is precisely what I believe makes Marie an adept communications professional.” – Andrew Knighton, professor of English, California State University Los Angeles (former colleague at Visual Art Critics Union of Minnesota)

“I have worked with Marie as a freelancer, and I’ve seen her jump to challenges, adapt to change, carry out difficult goals, and help our publication distinguish itself. I was particularly impressed when I had an idea for a different way to tackle an old concept. I bounced the idea off Marie, and she made it work. She accepts feedback extremely well, and in a way that encourages a dialogue. You won’t go wrong with her.” – Diane Bacha, Publisher at Kalmbach Publishing Co. (former General Manager of MKE, A Journal Communications publication)

“Marie is an enthusiastic, dependable and conscientious employee who would be a great addition to any project.” – Jean Schauer, former Editor in Chief at the BeyeNETWORK

“Marie brings a creative mind and love of nature to everything she does. I really like her focused approach to work and her ability to get things done well and in a timely manner. She is very energetic, earning her masters degree while working full time, and a loyal, dependable member of the team.” – Mary Jo Nott, Editorial Director at Bloor Group

Poetry

As a practicing poet, Marie offers a sensitivity to poem writing that will allow for your own personal style. She welcomes experimentation and enjoys wordplay and absurdist humor. Her experience with poetic writing gives her flexibility as well as an ear for rhyme, rhythm, alliteration and assonance. Marie’s keen poetic perception will pick up the nuance of layered meanings in your work, and her suggestions will help you best arrange your lines visually on the page.

Poetry titles edited

Josh Handville, Internalize. Independent 2018.
Mariam Rauf, When Anxiety Met PTSD. Independent 2018.
James Schindler, The Best Damn Poems You Never Read. Independent 2015.
Kelsey Hoff, Sad Girl Poems. Independent 2014.
Wes Tank, Girlcrazy. Remedy Ink 2012.
Edited collection, Phraseology. Remedy Ink 2010.

Poetry editing testimonials

“I was extremely satisfied with the quality of the services I received. Marie not only took great interest in my book but provided me with appropriate corrections and useful suggestions as well. I used most of the suggestions she offered me to tighten up the text of my book. I was extremely satisfied with the cost of the service in terms of value. Not only was Marie submitting work to me before my deadline, but she did so in a manner which showed she had put time and effort into my book. Internalize, my book of poetry, is a piece of my soul, and Marie seemed to understand that wholeheartedly. To me, that’s priceless. Marie was prompt and timely when it came time to answer any of my questions. I was admittedly concerned about how interactions between an editor through email would pan out, especially since this is my first book. Marie made all those initial concerns disappear and that alone was worth the price. When I came across Marie, I had a good feeling about her. I saw she had experience with poetry, which automatically made me interested in hiring her. However, there was also a feeling that she was a very down-to-Earth person and was fully capable of helping me tighten up my manuscript. I’m glad that gut feeling of mine was correct in that assumption!” – Joshua Handville, poet

“Marie, I can neither tell you how thankful I am to you nor express how delighted I was to see your email. I kept editing the manuscript as per your suggestions every day. This morning I finally completed it, and I am extremely thankful to you for going through it so patiently, sending it back so quickly and providing so many inputs and encouragement. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. Every time I’d read this email or a comment about the tone and what you liked and what could be better, this book became more of a reality. Thank you for being part of the best part of my story, for having faith in it and tying the ribbon, for being so kind and conveying such warmth. May you always shine and light up lives like this.” – Mariam Rauf, poet

“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, musician, and filmmaker

You can read more about Marie here:

10 Questions Answered by a Freelance Editor

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