Do you worry that your plot isn’t pacy enough, your dialogue sounds wooden or your punctuation is letting you down?
I can help.Help for Fiction Writers
Are you struggling with your travel notes, wondering how to transform your journals into a book for others to enjoy?
I can help.Help for Travel Writers
I’m Lucy, a professional book editor
I’ve spent thirty years working with novelists and travel writers at different stages of their careers.
I edit for self-publishing authors and publishing houses.
My portfolio includes first-time fiction and bestsellers, travel memoirs and prizewinning novels.
And now I’d like to work with you.
Giving you the confidence to publish
Whether you are writing a novel or a travel book, whether you are submitting to an agent or planning to self-publish, I will use my editorial expertise to help you proceed with confidence.
Together we will analyse what’s working well and what’s in need of attention.
Always mindful of your vision for your book, I will offer constructive advice on how to tackle problem areas and how to keep your readers onside.
I’m also an author myself, so I know how important it is to have an experienced and sympathetic editor in your corner.
Lucy has not only been a brilliant editor but has also acted as my counsellor, ally, adviser and creative midwife. Had it not been for her incredible support and always helpful comments, I would never have had the energy and courage to imagine this new universe into being, and I thank her for that.
Katarina West, author of The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice (commercial women’s fiction)
Head of Zeus
Head of Zeus
Head of Zeus
I have collaborated with Lucy on some of Head of Zeus’s biggest titles, and she is hands down the best editor I’ve ever worked with.
Laura Palmer, Publishing Director, Head of Zeus
Things you might be wondering
Do I really need an editor if I’m self-publishing?
Yes! Completing a book is an extraordinary achievement. You’ve devoted a huge amount of time and effort to getting this far. It would be a shame to launch your book without polishing it first.
Even Hilary Mantel, JK Rowling and Bill Bryson have editors — several of them, in fact, brought in to critique and refine the manuscript at different stages of the publishing process.
No one is going to stop you from self-publishing an unedited manuscript, but reviewers can be quick to condemn lacklustre storytelling or sloppy punctuation.
Working with a professional editor will allow you to publish with confidence.
What sort of edit should I choose?
Broadly speaking, every commercially published book will have gone through at least three editorial stages, and most self-published books will benefit from following a similar process:
- a Stage 1 structural (developmental) edit to address the big-picture issues
- a Stage 2 line- and copy-edit to focus on the nuts and bolts of the language, line by line
- a final proofread to ensure that the formatted text is ready for publication
I offer Stage 1 and Stage 2 edits for novelists and travel writers.
What’s the difference between an edit and a proofread?
A proofread is designed to be the final onceover before you press the ‘Publish now!’ button. It’s where the fine details of the formatting or typesetting are checked — the term literally means ‘the reading of the proofs’, where ‘a proof’ is a page that has been typeset ready to be sent to the printer. A proofread also provides a last chance to correct any errors that haven’t been picked up during the edits or revisions.
I don’t offer a proofreading service because my expertise is in providing editorial support at an earlier stage in a book’s gestation. I specialise in edits that focus on a book’s structure, content and language.
How much does an edit cost?
The fee depends on the length of your manuscript (number of words), how much work it requires, and your budget.
When you contact me for a quote, I will ask you to send me two sample extracts from your manuscript so that I can draw up a proposal.
Most edits cost between £15 and £30 per 1000 words.
If you’re not quite ready for a full edit, you might like to begin with a fixed-price Introductory Edit on your book’s first 10,000 words. This costs £450.
Will it be worth the money?
Editing is a painstaking and time-consuming business. All edits require at least two thorough readings of the manuscript, plenty of thinking about the manuscript, and time devoted to annotating or editing the script and compiling a full set of editorial notes.
This means it may be more expensive than you were expecting.
As you can see from the case studies, these writers all thought it was worth the investment. Some went on to self-publish. Others have used the edit to improve their skills as a writer and are now embarking on their next book.
How long will it take to edit my book?
A full Stage 1 structural edit or Stage 2 copy-edit usually takes four to six weeks; an Introductory Edit will generally take one to two weeks.
I can get booked up several months in advance, so please plan ahead if you can.
Will you mess up my book?
I will listen very carefully to what it is you are hoping to say with your book. It’s your book, not mine.
My comments and edits are always suggestions, not commands. It’s up to you whether you accept or reject those suggestions.
My job is to help you realise your vision for your book.
Lucy developed my drafts from a wildfire of spontaneous convolution into a structured story that consequently blossomed into a bestseller. She is my first go-to when it comes to editing and polishing my prose.
Joe Cawley, author of the ‘More Ketchup than Salsa’ trilogy (travel memoir)
That was the most satisfying critique I have read of any work I have produced. You have managed to marry clarity with a good dose of empathy (and understanding). It has encouraged me no end.
Wes Stuart, author of My Name Is Sam (YA sci-fi adventure)