I consider editing to be a fine art, one that requires, in its way, as much skill as writing fiction. Not only do you need a keen eye for underlying weaknesses, but you need the backbone to be honest, and the suave to phrase it constructively.
What am I offering?
I edit most commercial fiction for adults and young adults, especially fantasy, science fiction, romance, and mystery/suspense. I know these genres well and read them often. I will sometimes take on memoirs, nonfiction, historical fiction, or literary fiction. I do not work on children’s books. (I will do mid-grade.)
Every manuscript is unique, and every author has different goals. Generally speaking, I offer professional developmental editing, line editing (also called content editing), and copy editing. Every editor you meet will define these terms slightly differently, but what I mean is that I can edit your story as a whole, from big picture plot problems to minor punctuation errors.
Before I dig into a manuscript, I don’t know what it will need. I have worked with books so clean they needed little more than a light copy edit and some minor consistency checks – these are from seasoned authors, especially ones I’ve worked with over multiple projects. I have also worked on manuscripts that had massive problems at every level, from plot and character to grammar and style, making them barely coherent.
Most projects fall somewhere in between, but that in between is vast and varied.
With this in mind, I offer two introductory services that can stand alone (for the budget conscious author) or segue into full, multi-pass editing. Bear in mind that traditional presses send their books through three to six rounds of editing, not just one! I do my best with one pass, especially understanding the needs of the indie author, but for a truly professionally edited book, these services will only start the process.
The Book Doctor
This is my signature service, and the one I most highly recommend to indie authors on a tight budget. If it is possible to edit your book in a single pass, I will. Looking at everything from character development and pacing to grammar and style, I will work hard to help you “level up.” Using in-line margin comments as well as track changes, I will point out weaknesses, make suggestions, and sometimes share a laugh out loud. 🙂
When I finish The Book Doctor, I will send you not only your edited manuscript, but also a revision letter with general notes to help you understand your ideal next steps. Almost always, I will recommend further editing. Revisions introduce errors, and major revisions, which are often warranted, introduce a lot of errors. At the very least, to smooth things out, a follow-up copy edit is advisable.
To keep the cost of this service down, The Book Doctor will not include heavy copy editing, especially for excessive or repetitive grammar and style errors. What I will do when I see issues like this is mark them up for a chapter or three, then put a note in your revision letter explaining the problem and asking you to continue fixing it per the early examples.
Another way I try to keep costs down for the author is this: If I get to the end of chapter five and feel strongly that I’ve already uncovered your book’s greatest needs or weaknesses, I will stop and offer to let you pay for my time, refunding the balance of this flat rate service.
Cost: $0.01 (1 cent) per word
I will read and offer clear, constructive feedback on your manuscript, either in whole or in part. This feedback, in the form of a revision letter, will include strengths, weaknesses, suggestions for improvement, and next steps. I will be honest – if the book (or scene) needs a total rewrite, that’s what I’ll say. But I will also be constructive and supportive, keeping your writing and publishing goals in mind.
A manuscript evaluation does not include line editing. The final deliverable is a revision letter.
Most authors can benefit from a manuscript evaluation. It’s a low-cost way to uncover your book’s greatest strengths and needs, and to begin to develop a relationship with an editor. It is especially useful if:
- You don’t know what kind of editing your book needs.
- You have serious big picture concerns about your book that could preclude line editing. That is to say, if you’re pretty sure you’re going to have to rewrite most of it, there’s probably no point in paying for a line by line edit.
- You’re interested in developing a mentoring relationship with me. Mentoring has to start somewhere, and this is as good a place as any.
- You have a specific question you want a pro to answer, such as: Should I keep working on this? Is this science fiction? How’s the hook? Do you like Bob and understand his motives?
Cost: $0.005 (1/2 a cent) per word (minimum $50)
Full Service Editing
Once I’ve done that first round of editing, I can continue to work with you based on your needs and goals to fully line edit and copy edit your book, preparing it for publication. I can even recommend a proofreader. Options and costs vary, but I am here to help you succeed and will do everything in my power to help you achieve your goals at a fair and reasonable cost.
Why choose me?
“Christine Amsden is a top-notch editor with expertise in a variety of genres. She approaches each manuscript with intelligence and compassion. A great book needs a good editor. A good book needs a great editor. Christine is definitely a great editor and she has my highest recommendation as an editor, book doctor and/or book coach.” — Lida E. Quillen, Publisher Twilight Times Books“Christine is a skilled development and copy editor who has played a major role in improving my work”-Christopher Nuttall, author of Schooled In Magic and Ark Royal.
Some of the books I have worked on include …
The Ash Curse by Jessica Miller
The Schooled in Magic Series by Chris Nuttall
- Schooled in Magic book 1
- Lessons in Etiquette book 2
- Study in Slaughter book 3
- Work Experience book 4
- The School of Hard Knocks book 5
- Love’s Labor’s Won book 6
- Trial By Fire book 7
- Wedding Hells book 8
- Infinite Regress book 9
- Past Tense book 10
- The Sergeant’s Apprentice book 11
- Fists of Justice book 12
- The Gordian Knot book 13
Under Strange Suns by Ken Lizzi
Reunion by Ken Lizzi
Zook County by Bill Swears
Death by Opera by Erica Miner
Staged for Murder by Erica Miner
Deeds of a Colored Soldier by F. W. Abel
The Winter Spy by S. W. O’Connell
His Only Sin by Lily Ellison
I Should Have Stayed in Morocco: My misadventures with billionaire Ponzi-Schemer Scott Rothstein
- Twilight Times Books 2012-present
- Elance/Upwork 2012-present
Professional Development Courses
- Beginning Developmental Editing (EFA)
- Intermediate Developmental Editing (EFA)
- Advanced Developmental Editing (EFA)
- Beginning Copy Editing (EFA)
- Intermediate Copy Editing (EFA)
- Copy Editing for Fiction (EFA)
- The Immortality Virus, 2011
- Winner: 2012 Epic Ebook Award for Science Fiction
- Winner: 2011 Global Ebook Award for Science Fiction
- Touch of Fate 2007
- 2011 Eric Hoffer Award for Legacy Fiction (Honorable Mention)
- Cassie Scot:
Paranormal Detective 2013
- Winner of the 2013 Global Ebook Award for Fantasy
- Finalist in the 2014 Next Generation Indie Awards
- Secrets and Lies 2013
- Winner of the 2014 Global Ebook Award for Fantasy
- Mind Games 2014
- Winner of the 2014 Global Ebook Award for Fantasy
- Winner of the 2015 EPIC awards for Paranormal Fiction
- Stolen Dreams 2014
- Winner of the 2015 Global Ebook Award for Contemporary Fantasy
- Finalist in the 2016 Next Generation Indie Awards for Ebook Fiction
- Madison’s Song 2015
- Kaitlin’s Tale 2016
- Winner of the 2017 Global Ebook Award for Contemporary Fantasy
- Frozen 2018
- Muse Online Conference from 2006-2011
- Workshops for RWA 2011-2013
- Workshops at Savvy Authors 2009-2014
- Workshop at Guppy Online 2020
- Classes at the SMIAH Writer’s Conference in 2021
- B.S. in Psychology
- B.S. in Computer Science
- Attended Orson Scott Card’s Boot Camp in 2003