Editing Services

Why Hire An Editor?

 An Extra Set of Eyes. Having another pair of eyes review your material is essential to creating written work that is the best it can be. Hiring a good editor is money well spent. Editors check for a lot more than spelling and grammar. Editors can check for continuity and flow in your story line and identify areas where there may be confusion for readers. They can provide feedback about your characters and dialogue—helping you see where these areas may need further development. Editors can call attention to areas in your writing where facts may need further checking—and even verify those facts for you. In memoir writing, the editor can offer perspective on how to tell your story so that others can benefit from your experiences. An editor will work with you to assure that your unique voice comes through your writing. What an editor does is make your written work the best it can be. Using an editor makes your work more marketable.

 The Editor’s Job. The writer’s job is to write—the editor’s job is to edit. A professional and accomplished editor will make your words flow beyond your wildest dreams. An editor catches and repairs things, too. After you have looked at the same written materials dozens and dozens of times, you can become accustomed to seeing things the way you envision them. Your mind will fill in missing words and even correct misspellings, although they are not actually on the page. An editor’s task is to make sure that what you envision is what comes through in your writing.

 Objectivity with Heart. An editor is not emotionally attached to your work the way family and friends might be when they offer their help to read what you have written. However, a good editor still works from the heart and with heart, honoring that this is your creation and ensuring that your writing will be the best it can be.

Why Hire Me?

 My Experience. I have edited book manuscripts, book chapters, articles, blogs, newsletters, presentations, and websites, putting on the finishing touches and helping authors polish their prose to get ready for publication.

 My Motivation. Words are powerful and extremely magical. I especially enjoy working with you to bring out the magic and power of your own words, taking the reader where you—the author—want to lead them.

 My Heart. No matter how big or small the project, I work with heart. I honor the work you’re doing to bring your writing to life. I understand that especially when working on writing that involves your life experiences, the journey can be quite emotional. I am sensitive to your process and work with you to honor the emotions that may arise. I see myself as your midwife, helping you birth your writing and ensuring that your work has a safe delivery into the world. I also have a large community network and do my best to connect you with other people and services to get your work out there and into the hands of others. 

 My Diverse Background. Some publications need an editor with expertise in a particular area. I have experience in diverse subjects such as transformational work, green living, holistic wellness, leadership, teamwork, process improvement, and the corporate working environment. I’ve written in the medical and legal fields as well. I am passionate about nonfiction and memoir writing and also love working on fiction and children’s literature.

Click here to learn more about the levels of editing I offer.

Donna Mazzitelli

The Word Heartiste

Levels of Editing

 Manuscript Overview: Sometimes initial feedback is needed by a writer regarding their manuscript before any editing begins. This type of review is provided to give you initial impressions about your work. An overview offers you feedback for what is working well and where more development may be required. Areas of assessment include general storyline, description of place and settings, character development, as well as the use of dialogue. In the case of memoir, I look at the depth and breadth of what you wish to convey, taking into consideration who your audience may be and what you wish to have them gain from your experiences. As a part of an overview, I offer examples and suggestions to give you a sense of where you’ll go next.

 Substantive/Heavy Editing (1st Level Edit): At this level of editing, I provide content editing, including flow, pacing, plot, character and scene development, dialogue, voicing, style, length, continuity, and logic, along with initial line editing, as described in the 2nd Level Edit. This level is recommended for the first edit of a manuscript or for an article or blog that must be condensed to fit space requirements in a publication. My editing at this level combines content and initial line editing into one and helps strengthen your writer’s voice. For books, a 1st Level Edit is performed, followed by a 2nd Level Edit after the initial changes have been made. A 3rd Level proofreading is almost always required when editing books; in other cases, it is encouraged, especially when additional changes are made as a result of the 2nd Level Edit.

 Medium Line Editing (2nd Level Edit): This level of editing is ideal for an edit of smaller pieces. It’s always a good idea to have another pair of eyes scan your document for accuracy before having it printed, putting it on your website, turning in an important project, or submitting an article for publication. The 2nd Level Edit looks at the structure of your sentences and paragraphs, checking for spelling, grammar, correct word usage, punctuation, spacing, indentation, and style guide adherence. It can also include additional changes and tweaking to content. For a manuscript that will be published as a book, this level of editing is performed as the second edit of the manuscript.

 Extensive Content Edit: This level of editing checks for everything in the 1st & 2nd Level Edits, plus accuracy of facts. This is a full content edit with fact checking. This type of editing is recommended for technical documents and reference works.

 Proofreading (3rd Level Edit): Many people think that editing and proofreading are synonymous. A proofread is an in-depth line-by-line final read-through of your manuscript to ensure that all spelling, grammar, and punctuation is correct and details and style are consistent. It should be performed by a person other than the editor to ensure that a fresh set of eyes reviews your manuscript one last time. This is normally required as a third level of review for a book project.

PLEASE NOTE: For all levels of editing, you will receive your document in an electronic Microsoft Word file with areas noted (using “comments” and “track changes”) where changes are needed, along with any suggested modifications. If we agree that I will make changes, those will also be notated.

Contact me. I provide a complimentary 30-minute phone consultation.