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Services for authors

Thoughtful editing to help you connect with your audience

As a professional editor, I can help to make sure your nonfiction book is as persuasive, clear and engaging as possible. I can help you create the book that enhances your professional reputation and boosts your business.

In today’s busy world, if your book is a chore to read then readers will give up long before the end. I can help to improve the structure, content and flow of your book so readers can more easily extract the value from it – and then go on to recommend your book to others. Unlocking your book’s ‘recommendability’ in this way can be key to its success.

I work closely with authors of prescriptive nonfiction books (problem-solving books, such as business books, self-help books and how-to guides). Whether you’re looking for someone to help knock a rough draft into shape, or simply polish your prose, I’ve got you covered with the following services.

An overall assessment

Professional feedback on whether the content and structure of your book work as a whole.

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What you'll get

A detailed report on what works and what doesn’t, with constructive advice on how to make improvements. You’ll find out whether the content is appropriate, whether anything might need to be cut or added, whether the book is organised in a logical and sensible way, whether the overall argument flows and makes sense, and whether the book is generally readable and in a consistent style.

I’ll give you straightforward advice on how to revise your writing to create a book that’s well-structured, clear, engaging and persuasive. Most importantly, I’ll help you to make a clear promise to the reader and then fulfil it.

Best for:

  • When you want to be confident the book works.

  • When you’re happy to implement feedback yourself with minimal handholding.

  • When you’re not ready to pay for a full development edit.

  • Before you get to a polished, final draft where you’re worrying about typos and errant punctuation.

What next?

Fill in the contact form here or email me at harriet.power@hotmail.com. (Or read the section below on ‘how it works’.)

Manuscript evaluation

The big picture

Detailed advice on how to improve the structure, content and flow of your book.

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What you'll get

Detailed comments throughout the manuscript that give specific advice and suggestions on how to improve the structure, content, flow and tone of the book. Accompanied by a summary that highlights the main issues and suggests how to tackle revisions.

I’ll focus on similar areas to a manuscript evaluation but in much more depth. By commenting on specific sentences, paragraphs and sections throughout the manuscript, I’ll show you in detail how to revise your writing to create a book that’s well-structured, clear, engaging and persuasive.

Best for:

  • When you want to be confident the book works.

  • When you want specific, detailed advice and suggestions that take you through how to improve the whole manuscript step by step.

  • Before you get to a polished, final draft where you’re worrying about typos and errant punctuation.

What next?

Fill in the contact form here or email me at harriet.power@hotmail.com. (Or read the section below on ‘how it works’.)

Development editing

Sentence-level editing

Editing that ignores the bigger picture to put each sentence under the microscope.

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What you'll get

Specific suggestions for how to improve the readability of the text as tracked changes and comments on the manuscript.

 

I’ll focus on making sure your writing flows well and each sentence expresses what you want to say in the clearest possible way. I’ll fix embarrassing misspellings, odd grammar problems and any inconsistences so your book comes across as entirely professional.

Best for:

  • When you’re already confident the structure and content of the book works.

  • When you’ve got a final draft and want help polishing this to make sure your ideas are expressed as clearly as possible.

What next?

Fill in the contact form here or email me at harriet.power@hotmail.com. (Or read the section below on ‘how it works’.)

Copyediting

Not sure which type of edit you need? I can take a look at your manuscript and advise what I think would be most useful. I’ve also explained the differences between the main types of editing in more detail here.

Not sure about the value of working with an editor? Read the post here to find out how a good editor should be able to help you.  

"Harriet does everything that you would expect from a top-quality editor. She has an uncanny ability to put herself in the mind of the target reader. There can be no doubt that she has radically transformed many of the things I have written and made them so much better than I could have hoped."

David Ashworth, published author

Why work with me?

  • I've got over 12 years' experience editing and shaping manuscripts.

Much of this experience has been gained working in-house for large educational publishers. This background has really honed my ability to help authors express new or tricky concepts in as simple and engaging a way as possible.

  • I’ve undertaken relevant training. Professional development is important to me; I love taking courses and reading books about editing and writing. 

  • I'm a writer too. I know what it's like to be on the receiving end of an editor's red pen, and I try to bear this in mind by providing supportive, sensitive feedback (which is nonetheless still honest and critical!). I'm lucky to have a flair for words and I can use this ability to help your writing shine.

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  • I'm a Professional Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP). This is the main professional body in the UK for editors. Only those with proven experience, training and references are able to upgrade to Professional membership. This also binds me to the CIEP’s code of practice, which sets out best working practices that editors are expected to adhere to. 

"Harriet provides a professional, first-class service with an expert eye for detail and builds an excellent working relationship with authors. We know our books are in very safe hands with Harriet."

Jonathan Barnes, Editorial Director, John Catt

The editor's creed

Here are the core principles and values that guide my work.

Respect the author. Anyone who’s put the effort, time and courage into writing a book should be respected. What they’ve written should also be respected and treated with care. It’s my job to be critical, but I’ll try to critique in a way that empowers and encourages you to write the best book you can.

Remember the reader. Let’s assume you want your nonfiction book to be read by more than your immediate family, closest friends and nosy neighbour. Connecting with a wider audience means prioritising your readers, and I’ll keep them firmly in mind as I edit. I’ll help you to make sure your book solves your readers’ problems in a clear, engaging and persuasive way.

Provide solutions. An editor’s job is to point out problems; I’ll also make sure I suggest solutions. For example, rather than simply telling you a paragraph is too disjointed, I’ll suggest a rewrite to make it flow better. Rather than just pointing out that the structure of a chapter doesn’t quite work, I’ll suggest a reordering that’s more logical. I want to help make your revisions as quick and painless as possible.    

No bullshit. I’ll only agree to work on your book if I know I can genuinely add value. If I don’t think I’ve got the right experience and knowledge for your particular project then I’ll try to recommend someone else. If I don’t feel that you’re at the right stage in your writing journey to get real benefit out of working with an editor then I’ll say so and explain why (even if that means no business for me).

Don’t be a pedant. Rhythm and style are just as important as the ‘rules’ of grammar and punctuation, if not more so. (I’m well versed in the rules but I don’t get hung up on them. What matters most is readability.)

Knowledge is important. I’m motivated by the belief that knowledge makes the world a better place and should be accessible to as many people as possible. I love helping experts get their ideas and knowledge across to a wider audience.

"I feel very fortunate to have had the support of Harriet on several projects. She has always been supportive of me as a writer, giving constructive advice on how a passage might be improved, providing imaginative ideas when my inspiration has been running low, and staying calm when deadlines have been under threat. I have particularly admired her editorial skill and tact in bringing together disparate ideas from co-authors when I have been working on joint projects."

Richard Knight, published author

How it works

1.

Get in touch     If you're interested in working with me then drop me an email at harriet.power@hotmail.com or use the contact form here.

2.

Provide a bit more info     If I think I can help then I'll ask a few questions about your manuscript and publishing intentions. I’ll ask to see a sample and we can discuss the type of editing you'd like in more detail. I'll make sure we’re a good fit and only agree to help if I think I can genuinely bring value to your book.

3.

Pay a deposit     Once we've agreed on a timescale and fee then I'll usually expect 50% of the payment before starting work.

4.

Wait for the edit     I’ll critique or edit your manuscript within the timescale we agreed and send it back to you. For a critique I’ll provide a detailed report; for a development edit or copyedit I’ll use track changes and comment bubbles in Word.

5.

Make revisions     You may want to revise your manuscript and then ask me to take another look at it. For example, after a manuscript critique or development edit I could then copyedit your manuscript.

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Let’s talk prices. Every manuscript is different so I can’t give you an accurate quote until I’ve seen yours and we’ve pinned down the type of editing you want. The price essentially depends on three things:

  • The length of your manuscript

  • The type of editing required

  • The level of intervention needed

 

This is why I always ask to see a sample before giving an accurate quote. As a rough guideline, you can expect an edit to cost between £10 to £30 per thousand words. (I charge in pounds (GBP) but work with clients worldwide.)

How much will this cost?