Thursday, April 03, 2014


"What's the best way to proof copy? Get someone else to do it."           
William Safire                                                                                                                                             
Proofreading and Copyediting
Manuscript Evaluations
Self-Publishing Advice
Free Sample Edits  

Have you just completed that special manuscript? Months or even years of research, toil, and roadblocks are finally behind you. Your book is finished – almost.

Every author needs a professional editor before going to print. Even the most seasoned writers no longer have any objectivity about their work in the final stages of writing, and for first-time authors, a highly-skilled copyedit is essential. Staring at a manuscript, day in and day out over a long period of time, prevents us from seeing our own mistakes, or stepping back to ascertain flaws in our plot line and inconsistencies in characterization.

Proofreading is about accuracy. It involves correcting mistakes in spelling, grammar, punctuation and typos. Editing is an in-depth look at your writing style, flow, and content in addition to the correction of spelling and grammar errors, problems with punctuation and typos.

Proofreading and Copyediting 
Proofreading or Level I Copyediting – this involves correcting your spelling, grammar, punctuation and typos.   I also standardize Canadian, American, British or Australian spelling so that you don't spell center the American way and neighbour the Canadian way in the same document. And I check to make sure that chapter titles match up and headers are consistent. 1 cent per word
Level II Copyediting – this involves everything in a basic proofread and a Level I copyedit as well as a line-by-line analysis of your prose and sentence structure.  I also identify repetitious words and recommend synonyms as well as revise passive sentences when indicated. Are you too wordy? Inconsistent? Do you contradict yourself? Do you use acronyms that may be confusing to readers or choose inappropriate words? This comprehensive edit ensures that your manuscript is clear, consistent, well-organized and salable.   1.5 cents per word

Manuscript Evaluations
Level I – a basic critique of your work, indicating strengths and weaknesses, as well as noting areas where you could improve your material.   1 cent per word 
Level II – a comprehensive assessment of your book, including the aforementioned, as well as feedback on characterization, dialogue, and plot for fiction, and structure, organization, flow, clarity, references and consistency for nonfiction.  1.5 cents per word 

Every writer is different and each proofreading or copyediting job is unique. I suggest that you send me five or six pages from your manuscript. I will do a free sample edit on the first 500 words and recommend the level of editing or proofreading that you require. At that time I will give you an estimate.


For years, writers felt inferior when they published their own works. They were told that if their writing was good enough, it would be accepted by a traditional publisher. Often it was hard to obtain reviews for self-published books. Fortunately, this stigma is disappearing. Smart people realize it could take months or years to submit a manuscript to conventional publishing companies, only to be rejected in the end.
Why not do it yourself? Finish your book and get it out there. Make higher royalties than you could with a company. Have complete control over your material starting with the essential message and moving on to the cover art and pricing.
Sounds simple but there is much to know about navigating the complicated, self-publishing highway. Should you use CreateSpace, iUniverse, Lulu, Author Solutions, Trafford, Smashwords, Blitzprint or a local printer? How much will you have to pay for shipping? How can you sell your book on your website? What about e-books? How do you get reviews? And what price should you set for your book, both electronically and in print?
I’ve been self-publishing books for myself and clients for eleven years, and I've also worked with four traditional publishing houses. I know the ins and outs, and can recommend the highest quality, least expensive self-publishing options. I'll customize a program just for you. I also have great contacts who can do page formatting, headers and footers, and create awesome cover art!

I’m not only an editor; I’m also an author. I know what it's like to work for a year or two on a book and feel nervous about giving it over to a stranger. I’ve written three books – including Be Your Own Editor – and numerous articles that have been published in periodicals such as the Women's Freedom Network Newsletter, the Toastmaster, She Unlimited, True North Perspectives and the popular American magazine Justice Denied. I've been affiliated with four publishing companies over the last decade, and I won the blog of the year award for my blog in 2011 on writing tips.
Consequently, I understand the world of publishing and marketing. Writing a book is only half the job! Marketing, networking, and promoting comprise the other half.

First, I specialize in  proofreading and copyediting, so I'll polish and perfect your language and sentence structure, remove redundancies and repetitions, and eradicate typos and problems with spelling, grammar, or punctuation.
Second, I offer a comprehensive critique of your manuscript, which will make it more clear, concise and professional.
Third, I've edited more than 150 full-length books including fiction and nonfiction. I've covered a wide range of genres from thrillers to historical fiction to mysteries to romance to erotica to drama to science fiction and fantasy. In nonfiction I have edited and evaluated self-help books, inspirational material, religious works, political books, and a number of memoirs. Thirty-nine of my clients started out thinking about self-publishing but then found traditional publishers.
Third, I have assistants, associates, and a number of important connections in the publishing field who will provide you with all the help you need to publish your book. Because I'm part of a team, you won't be left hanging after I've edited your manuscript. And I know the best self-publishing companies, which will save you money and aggravation in the long run.
Start with me and watch your rough manuscript blossom into a polished book with an engaging story line. It will then morph into your own baby with a special message; you’ll learn how to deliver it directly into the hands of the right self-publisher, and zoom out onto the Internet with a specific, targeted marketing plan geared to your intended audience.


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Monday, October 03, 2011

Be Your Own Editor

Be Your Own Editor is a best-selling reference manual, rated #2 in the Amazon Kindle store and among the Top 100 Paid Books in Kindle. It is an informal, crash course on grammar and writing basics. It’s meant as a guidebook for students and writers of all ages and stages, and incorporates humor as well as pop quizzes to help you learn in the least painful manner possible.BYOE covers a wide range of topics from word usage (Should you say further or farther? Between or among?) and punctuation, to how to organize essays and add spunk to nonfiction, to developing three-dimensional characters and dialogue in fiction. BYOE is available on for $17.99. [ ] The Kindle version is only $2.99 [ ]

Read more on my blog,

Read the rave review by Patricia Fry, the author of an astonishing 31 books, and Executive Director of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network). Scroll down about a third of the way through the page until you come to the section that says Review: Be Your Own Editor []

Sigrid (sigridmac at

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Podcast Series on Basic Grammar and Creative Writing

I have recorded a 10-part podcast series on grammar, punctuation, and English comp, as well as some creative writing material. If you're interested in how to avoid writing run-on sentences, when to use apostrophes properly, how to establish realistic dialogue in fiction, how to create strong characters, how to develop vivid background setting, how to organize and structure nonfiction material from manuscripts to college essays, the importance of maintaining consistency in point of view (POV) as well as verb tense conjugation, the most frequently misused words, and whether you can trust your spell-check, this series is for you. It's loaded on MySpace, it's free, and you can listen by clicking here: Enjoy! Sigrid Mac

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