Editorial services attuned to you and your project.
I have 20 years' experience editing award-winning nonfiction books. My areas of focus are architecture and design, garden and landscape history, historic preservation, sustainability, Southern history and culture, business, and general nonfiction. I frequently work with first-time authors, providing sensitive feedback and patient guidance adapted to their skill level. I also work with academics and organizations on a variety of publishing and in-house projects. Think of me as your concierge editor!
Helping authors create a professional-quality publication.
As editorial budgets have shrunk, publishers are less able to guide authors and help them polish their manuscripts. When approaching a publisher, it is more important than ever that your manuscript is in near-publishable shape. This will increase your chance of securing a book contract.
For those who are self-publishing, you bear all the responsibilities for not only writing the text but ensuring that it is properly edited, designed, and printed/e-published.
Whether you are traditionally publishing or self-publishing, I help authors create a publication-ready manuscript. I offer a range of services: optimizing organization, providing feedback on the effectiveness of your text, critiquing your book proposal, refining your expression at the word and sentence level, correcting for grammar and punctuation. And for those who are self-publishing, I can help you find the right self-publishing platform and navigate the process.
Bridging the gap between author and reader.
I help authors frame and polish a piece of writing to have maximum impact with the intended audience. I dive deep into a book manuscript, article, white paper, blog post— whatever the form—to get a feel for what the author is trying to say and then work with them to say it more effectively and authentically.
An authentic message is crafted with the audience (the readers) in mind: what do they already know? what don't they know? what do they want to know? It is not always easy to write with the readers in mind; it is hard to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. As an editor, I serve as the bridge between the author and the readers to help craft an authentic voice that is powerful and engaging. And once my work is done, that bridge is invisible.
We, the author and editor, both contribute something different to the process. You bring your vision for your ideas, a depth of knowledge about your topic, and your imagination. I know what questions to ask to guide you in more effectively expressing your ideas and how to achieve a polished final manuscript ready to be launched into the world. When we collaborate, we manifest your vision more strongly than either of us could do on our own.
I began an incredible journey with Jennifer to write my very first book, a historical biography, with my target goal of publishing with an academic press. Choosing Jennifer to be my developmental editor was the best decision I made. She guided me to a finished product that was accepted for publication with Mercer University Press. Her thoughtful and encouraging comments and suggestions elevated my work to a level I would not have achieved without her. I would recommend Jennifer to anyone who is interested in becoming a better writer, or a newly published writer like myself.
—Lee C. Dunn, Author of Cracking the Solid South: The Life of John Fletcher Hanson, Father of Georgia Tech
My Philosophy on Words.
Words are an important way for individuals, companies, experts—anyone, really—to share their ideas, expand their client base, or sell their products and services. In order to have this power, words must be well crafted. You want readers (potential clients, employers, consumers, or simply readers) to focus on your message, not on how it is worded. The more your readers have to work to understand what you are saying, the less likely they will connect with your message—or even continue reading.
When your words make sense, readers don’t notice. But when they are awkward or confusing, readers tend to flip back to reread passages, skim or skip over parts, or stop reading altogether. The more you make your readers work for the information you want to share, the more disinterested they will become.
Editing helps make sure your words are just right: sentences flow together, readers seamlessly transition from one paragraph to the next, and, most importantly, your ideas start implanting themselves in your readers’ heads. That’s powerful!