You’ve done the hard work of planning, writing, and revising, and now you’re ready for editing. Trusting your book to someone else can be a daunting prospect. How will you find an editor who will respect your voice and vision, yet still do wonders for your book?
I’m Paige Duke, an independent editor, and I’d love to take a look at your book. We all know that grammatical errors and inconsistencies in a manuscript can undermine an author’s credibility and turn readers off to a great story. So, I enjoy working with authors to help them create polished and professional books that stand out in the market. Not only do I work hard to get a book’s grammar and punctuation in great shape, I edit for consistent style conventions so that your manuscript meets industry standards. Here are just a few tips to give you an idea of the kinds of style issues I look for:
- Italics vs. quotation marks. Use italics for internal thought, book titles, and unfamiliar foreign words. Use quotation marks for spoken dialogue, short story titles, and blog articles.
- Restrictive vs. nonrestrictive appositives. A word, phrase, or clause that gives unnecessary, extra information (nonrestrictive) about a noun is set off by commas. But if the word or phrase provides necessary information about the noun (restrictive), don’t use commas.
- Em dash vs. en dash. An em dash is the long dash you use to set off and emphasize an explanatory phrase or clause. An en dash is shorter and should be used with numbers — and sometimes words — to signify through or to. So, you’ll often see an en dash used for a range of dates, times, page numbers, and to report scores or directions.
Since graduating with my English degree, I’ve worked as both a corporate and independent editor for the last nine years. In my first two jobs out of college, I worked with legal and financial texts. Though it wasn’t always thrilling, it taught me valuable lessons — like how to meet tight deadlines and the importance of knowing and upholding style expectations — that have served me well in working with indie authors. In addition to working with my own clients, I work on freelance teams with indie presses and editorial organizations so I can stay informed about the changing trends and expectations of the publishing industry.
In my time as an editor, I’ve taken on both fiction and non-fiction projects across multiple genres, and I’ve grown to respect each author’s unique voice. While every writer brings a creative perspective to their book, it’s my job to help them recognize the tropes, trends, and conventions particular to their genre that will make their story compelling and authentic for readers.
I currently offer developmental editing, copyediting, proofreading, as well as support with marketing materials like query letters and website copy. I feel it’s so important to foster a positive and collaborative relationship with authors so I can share my expertise without compromising their creative work. For me this means giving honest and specific feedback about what I feel is best for your book, but allowing you to make final decisions about the markup. In the end, I want my clients to feel the book is theirs — I’ve only helped them reach its higher potential.
At my website, you’ll find everything you need to know about each of the services I offer, the editing process, rates and turnaround times, and samples of past projects. From there you can contact me for a free sample edit or to ask questions about your project.
I’d love to hear about your book and discuss how we can work together to get your manuscript ready for the world.
I’ll leave you with a testimonial that I feel represents the heart of what I hope to provide my clients:
Fortune smiled on me the day I emailed Paige Duke. I found excellence in editing. Not only is Paige technically correct, she is able to gently suggest changes and offer encouragement that so enhances one’s work. Moreover, she is prompt and delivers on time, as promised. Simply top of the line.
— Rory Johnston, author of Katambora Rising and Katambora Sunset
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