Personal editing. Professional results.
  • "Ron digs into story, plot, and characters like an archeologist uncovering buried treasure. He climbs out of the hole with questions, suggestions, and encouragement. In every case, he helps me find a better way to tell my story. And when Ron offers encouragement, I can tell it’s not just lip service. Ron believes in me."
    – Rob Witherspoon, author of the conspiracy satire romps The Square Root of Texas and Deus Tex Machina
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  • "The best novels are revised and massaged until they produce the best work a writer can create. An editor’s eye for detail should be a given, but Ron’s ability to offer advice and direction below the surface is a tremendous value,"
    — Bill Ottinger, The Last Van Gogh, Shadows of Leonardo (Thrillers)
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  • "Ron kept me on track with detailed editing as I wrote. He knows how to support writers. I highly recommend him as an editor."
    — Brenda Vicars,
    Polarity in Motion (YA) Faking Lucky (Romance)
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  • "This book got 100 percent better after Ron Seybold became its editor. His masterful hand made my writing feel stronger and simpler to me. I benefited from his encouragement and wise suggestions."
    – Walter Polt, author of the psychology   groundbreaker From Anger to Power
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  • "Ron is a superb editor. Not only does he have an amazing eye for detail, a terrific set of professional ethics, and great editorial instincts, he's also able to offer advice and direction below the surface. I look forward to working with him on my future projects.”
    — S.A. Asthana, The Final Wars trilogy (SF) and the short story collection Beyond the Edge
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  • "It's really rewarding to have someone who I can take the work to. I'm always look for expertise that makes all the difference. I can go off doing something over for years and I don't know if I'm making it better or worse. And now I can feel the difference."
    — Carol Millberger, Molded (Memoir)
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  • "Professional athletes have coaches — writers can, too. I have gotten so much from working with Ron. Having him as an author coach keeps me focused on the project. Ron helps me think about things like pacing, delivery, and balanced narrative. He keeps me on track and helps me make my stories be the best they can be."
    — Earnie Painter, author of cat-fancy novella Carmella’s Outside
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Full Spectrum editing

Count on my editing and publishing work to polish and advance your book. Starting with a full draft of your manuscript, or there's a good beginning? A development edit can help. I deliver the full spectrum of edits, from the earliest that grow the book in development to those in between that polish language and make storytelling effective and moving.

Editing services

Many books benefit from development editing. Together we find the solutions that answer the question of "What goes in here?" Evaluations cover narrative, vocabulary, structure, and voice, with my notes inside Word as deep annotations, as well as an editorial letter. Development editing improves books in progress. You better understand choices about story flow, deciding what to include and what can be set aside. Development editing is 2-3 cents a word. If your manuscript is unfinished, that is often the best time to get a development edit.

Every writer needs line editing. This work establishes how we express ideas and story elements that are already in place. It's revising sentences, along with maintaining consistency, style, all while preserving your voice. After a line edit, you move to copyediting, the step where I correct and shape books to follow common usage. This cleanup of grammar and punctuation makes the writing clearer. Finally, if you've moving your book into the world yourself, there's proofreading, to catch what we missed.

The difference: Copyediting is for a finished book that needs its language polished before you offer it to an agent or publisher. Line edits make your choices clearer. Development editing helps you create the best book from the ground up. Together we craft story structure, plot, characters, and themes. An editorial letter, plus notes in the margins, is your guide to changes.

Review and evaluation with notes

I use Zoom at a deeper level. While we talk, Zoom records our meeting. Afterward, you get a transcript. It helps you focus on our discussion without the need to take notes. You can refer to the evaluation's nuances as you redraft for development.

Let’s talk about your project: 512-657-3264. I’ll test-edit a 10-page double-spaced sample of your book for free, so you can decide if we’re right for each other. Projects usually begin with a call so everyone can get to know one another. This is personal work.

Query, synopsis, and proposals

Editors and agents want to see your story summarized before deciding to read more. A book blurb is your introduction, doing its good work inside your query. For traditional publishing deals, a brisk synopsis and a compelling query get your foot in the door and demonstrate you know your book and its theme. I can develop from the start alongside you for these proposal tools, as well as evaluate your drafts. If you’re trying to lock down how your query’s Compel paragraph looks, we should talk. Compel is most exacting of a query letter's Four C’s.

Agent and title research: Using the latest industry databases and published-comparable book searches, I’ll help you track down the agents to whom you’ll submit queries, synopses, and manuscript samples. Your comps show an agent or an editor that you know where your book fits in your genre or field. Comps work in two aspects, the add-to, and the also-bought. If you can complete the sentence that starts “This book is for readers of” then you’ve begun your work on comps.

Proposals: These are a blend of development editing, copyediting, and research. A proposal is a marketing tool that’s powered by samples you’re selected from your book, plus your vision of who might buy it and what can be done to promote and sell it. They're a standard for nonfiction books and also helpful for fiction.

How it all works

We start with an introductory meeting via phone, FaceTime, even Skype. I get to know you and your project. With your sample in hand, I can customize your quote. There’s a straightforward Services Agreement for the project. You send me a complete file with your work to establish the deliverables, payment schedules — and set goals and deadlines.

The biggest boost to your success as an author will be the investment of your time to revise after you receive your development edit. We’ll find practices to keep you creating, too. When you keep working, you are making progress toward completing your book. Finishing School, another workshop service, is a program to discover your habits and align your efforts to achieve completion.

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