“Barbara Munson is a fantastic editor. She is direct with her feedback, but always aware that editing is a give and take process. She knows the technical aspects of her profession like a well-worn book and brings her expertise to bear on both the strategic and tactical aspects of editing. Not only did she show great attention to detail with my latest book, but helped me see the overall picture of where it was going. I have recommended her services to no fewer than five authors that are in the market for an editor and will continue to work with her myself.”

—John Sileo, author of Stolen Lives: Identity Theft Prevention Made Simple, www.thinklikeaspy.com

“Barbara has the rare ability as an editor to zero in on the weak spots in a book and come up with the perfect wording. Her contributions to GO BIG or Stay Home! were awesome.”

—Donna L. Cohen, president, Performance Insights, LLC,
and author of the new book on selling, GO BIG or Stay Home!

Are you writing a book?

Get professional help from an experienced book editor who can rev up your early drafts, quickly and accurately spot flaws, provide helpful suggestions on content and marketability, and add the final polish your book needs.

It doesn’t matter if your book is just in outline form, in its first draft, or almost ready for the world to see—send it to Barbara first. Why risk rejection, poor reviews, or slow sales?

Barbara specializes in editing both non-fiction and fiction books. These include history, biography, autobiography and memoir, spirituality, business and sales, how-to, self-help, inspirational, travel, personal narrative, romance and young adult topics.


The Basic Process:

1. Contact Barbara by email or phone before sending her your manuscript.

2. Discuss the goals for your book, what type of help you need for it and your time frame. If you live nearby, a face-to-face meeting is recommended.

3. Send the manuscript or sample chapters electronically (or by snail mail) to Barbara.

4. She will review the materials and get back to you with a proposal including an estimate on time, costs and other issues.

5. Depending on the length of the book and how much editing is required, expect to get updates and final edited copy within a few weeks. If your book requires substantive editing (reorganizing, rewrites, research), add additional time.

6. Barbara either will edit your book online (using “tracking” in Word) or mark up a hard copy that she will mail back to you. The method will be agreed upon ahead of time.

7. Expect to pay half the fees up front and the final payment upon receipt of the edited manuscript. Your initial meeting or phone consultation is free.

8. Ask Barbara about her additional services, such as writing book proposals, query letters to agents, press releases, book review letters and promotional copy for the back of your book. Also consider her “Self-Publisher Consulting” package.


Helpful Articles

Want to save money on the editing process?
Read Editing on a Shoestring.

Not sure what type of help you need?
Read Do You Need an Editor, Ghostwriter or Collaborator?

Recent Client List.


Editing on a Shoestring

21 Money-Saving Tips on Working with an Editor

Freelance editors are paid for their time either by the hour, the page or the project. Some projects may take them 20 to 40 hours, or more.

You do have options, though, to help minimize the financial crunch—without sacrificing the quality of your book. One of them is to save on up-front costs by learning how to be a savvy manager of the editing process. Here are some ideas from a book editor's point of view.

1. Decide what kind of editor you need. Do you want someone to provide light editing (or proofreading), medium editing (sometimes called copyediting) or substantive (content) editing?

2. Find an editor who understands the genre of your book and who has credentials or experience with other books in your field. Hiring a fiction book editor to edit a self-help or history book, or vice versa, could result in more time spent editingŃand larger fees. Get samples of other jobs he or she has edited, or ask for the names of past clients you may call.

3. Discuss all fees with your editor up front. Keep in mind that the editor is in business and should be treated as a business partner first (even though you may end up considering him or her to be your “best friend,” trusted confidante, and shoulder to cry on). Nail down the fees for the job (or at least establish a range of fees you both are comfortable with) before the editor begins working on your book.

4. Pay by the hour or fixed price? Some editors charge by the hour and others will quote you a set price for the project. Negotiation is acceptable—and often an editor will prefer to receive a set price, paid in installments, so you may be able to lock in a lower amount. Your editor may even offer to handle additional tasks, such as finding and coordinating with a printer, writing a press release or proposal or helping with other book marketing jobs, in one set price. Priced individually, the costs would be a lot higher.

5. Explain precisely what you expect from your editor. For example, if you want substantive editing help, saying, “Take a look and tell me what you think,” wastes the editorŐs time and your money. Instead, say, “My goal for the book is ______________. I'd like you to tell me if I have accomplished this goal.” Or, “I am considering moving chapter one to the end of the book. What do you think?” Or, “I would like the book to be read by older teens and young adults. Do you think I have used the right tone?” Or, “This is about my grandfather. What do you suggest I do to make it of interest to a general reader?”

6. Before you turn over your manuscript to your editor, do as much work on it as possible yourself. Use your computer's spell check and grammar check. Have a friend review the manuscript and point out anything that looks wrong. Try reading it out loud—this will help you spot poorly constructed sentences and confusing areas. The more you can polish the manuscript before you turn it over to your editor, the less time it will take the editor.

7. Give your editor the complete manuscript instead of one chapter at a time. This will eliminate the extra time the editor will spend rereading to ensure overall consistency.

8. Point out special styles or phrasing you want the editor to leave as is, for example, using lower case in a certain area and/or no punctuation. Remember the poet, e e cummings? Make a list of any areas of concern that you want the editor to pay particular attention to, such as photographs, footnotes or a section with poetry.

9. Discuss deadlines and stick to them. You'll have deadlines in the process, too.

10. View your editor as a team member. Keep him or her in the loop, just as you would if you were in a work environment. For instance, if you are going out of town for two weeks, and won't be available for questions, let your editor know.

11. Consider a written contract. Not all editors routinely provide contracts, but if you want one, they will be happy to oblige. The contract should include expected timeframe, fees and responsibilities of the author versus the editor (e.g., who is responsible for checking that final proof from the printer?).

12. Make every change to the manuscript that the editor suggests, unless you feel strongly it should not be changed. The editor is a professional—the best person for the job. If you are not sure why your editor red-marked an area of your manuscript, ask.

13. Determine whether your editor prefers on-line or hard-copy editing. If you send your manuscript electronically and the editor has to print it out to work on it, that costs time and money. Who will make the corrections to the actual digital file? You could save money by making them yourself, but don't miss any changes or notations the editor has indicated! In general, an editor will charge more to edit online.

14. Avoid making changes after you have sent the manuscript to the layout artist. If you have planned and organized your book well, and you and your editor are satisfied with it, avoid the temptation to “add just a few more paragraphs.”

15. Let the editor know what style manual you used, if any, in preparing your manuscript. Share your thoughts on such style considerations as the serial comma, capitalization and use of italics.

16. Communicate with your editor often. The more input you can provide, the better the outcome.

17. Ask about indexing. An editor often will take on this task.

18. Who does your editor know? An editor with an extensive Rolodex can be a goldmine, if you need suggestions for printers, graphic designers, literary agents, publishers, booksellers, media contacts, etc.

19. Are you going to need help with marketing and promoting your book or researching the competition? Select an editor based on those needs, as well. You may find that your editor is more knowledgeable about the book industry and marketing than an outside consultant, and may charge lower fees for those services.

20. Don't switch editors midstream. If you are unhappy with your experience with an editor, try to work it out before running to another editor to “fix it.” The problem may be just a lack of communication. A second editor will probably have to start the editing process at the beginning!

21. Think you're ready for a proofreader? You aren't, unless your book is in its final form, i.e., it has been formatted and is ready to go to the printer.

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Do You Need an Editor, Ghostwriter or Collaborator?

The Different Roles of a “Word Specialist”

The writer drafts and writes the manuscript, and you provide the materials (background information, audio or video tapes, notes, books written, journals, etc.) and interviews. Also includes additional research by the writer when necessary. No byline given to writer.

Coauthoring or “As told to...”
This is a shared creative process. You draft it and provide input throughout the process, as needed, as well as materials (see Ghostwriting above). You may or may not participate in the writing. Includes byline of both parties.

Similar to coauthoring, but the research, creative input and writing are done by both parties. Includes bylines of both collaborators. Comprehensive revision When your manuscript needs a complete overhaul, I rewrite. Byline for writer is negotiable. The level of work done is more extensive than a content edit.

Content Editing
When your manuscript requires editing and some rewriting help. Entails substantial work on a manuscript, which may involve suggesting more effective presentations. This level of editing also focuses on eliminating wordiness, triteness, confusing statements, vague generalizations, mixed metaphors, gaps, redundancies, jargon or overuse of slang, use of passive voice (if requested), and ensures coherence, consistency of tone and focus, logic, and manuscript organization.

Copy Editing
A light edit compared to content editing. Focuses on word choice, transitions, and overall fluency as well as correct and consistent style in spelling, punctuation, hyphenation, capitalization, grammar, numerals, and abbreviations.

For that final pre-publication check performed on the galley after a manuscript has been typeset, in readiness for printing (self-published books). The proofreader corrects typographical, spelling, punctuation errors, and typeface variations or inconsistencies as well as page format, and overall clarity, consistency, and accuracy.

Manuscript Assessment
Perfect for those who may be two or three chapters into a manuscript and need an objective assessment of whether or not they're on the right track. This one-page assessment evaluates setup, style, tone and organization, and provides an initial gauge of the marketability of your theme, concept, or idea.

Manuscript Critique
If your completed manuscript won't sell, or if you'd like a professional opinion before you submit it to an agent or publisher, a detailed, objective analysis includes a typed three- to four-page report that addresses both strengths and flaws in your manuscript. Particular focus is given to all of the above items in Manuscript Assessment, with extensive suggestions for improvements. The critique does not include proofreading, editing or rewriting.

Manuscript and Marketing Analysis
This includes a thorough reading of your manuscript and an analysis of the marketability of your manuscript. Advice on any similarities of your book to books currently in print as well as related upcoming titles. In addition, the review will address all of the problem areas listed in Manuscript Critique, and give general recommendations on rewriting and suggested resources on the craft of writing.

A personalized estimate for writing or editing your book can only be given after a discussion with you about your goals and plans for the book, and a review of sample pages, if editorial services are requested. The fees depend on many variables, including length of the book, how much work and time will be involved, and the book's genre and potential for success.


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Munson Communications
Phone: (303) 526-9095
Email: Munsonbarb@aol.com

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