In 2005, I co-founded Inside Mexico magazine. During our three-plus year run, I was the magazine's editor. We published a wide range of general interest articles about immigration to Mexico, travel, art, literature and film, the environment, sports, the US-Mexican border, NAFTA. We examined Mexican and North American identity from many different angles. Each issue was a labor of love, forged during endless nights and with the tireless efforts of passionate, talented writers, photographers, artists, and designers. During its run, Inside Mexico became the most widely distributed, English language periodical in Mexico with subscribers all over Mexico and in the US, Canada and Europe. 

Since that time, I have worked with a number of writers to hone manuscripts for publication. Though we romanticize the lonely, tortured artist, the creative process is nearly always collaborative. And collaboration, in my experience, improves the final product. For me, the process of helping a writer achieve her or his vision is absorbing and inspiring. Everyone has a story to tell. But not everyone has the dedication -- or the right help -- to craft that story into something that will engage, inform, or entertain a reading public. 

"Writing is rewriting." - Ernest Hemingway

An experienced editorial consultant and editor, I help writers with fiction and non-fiction projects: history, memoir, biography, narrative non-fiction, natural history, sports, and adult, YA and NA fiction. I also like working with academics who wish to reach a larger readership. 

    • Proposal Development. Crafting a book proposal that catches an agent's eye is an art. As an author, you'll always be the one to query the agent. Behind the scenes, however, I can help  with the proposal structure, the market analysis, the writing samples, and a successful query letter.
    • Manuscript Assessment. I give a close reading of a whole or partial manuscript and make general comments on structure, voice, character development, setting, dialogue and pacing, all in the interest of honing the narrative arc of your work and your voice as a writer.
    • Commercial Assessment. As a distinct piece at either the Proposal Development or Manuscript Assessment stage, I will give you my sense of the commercial potential for your project. This can help guide your decision as to the most appropriate publishing platform for your work.  If appropriate, I will identify agents and editors who may be drawn to your subject and style. 
    • Content Editing. In this phase, I roll up my sleeves and dig into your manuscript. I will make specific suggestions about what to cut, where to expand the narrative, how to rearrange sections and paragraphs, how to add dramatic tension to the narrative, better develop your characters, and make the voice(s) more consistent. 
    • Line Editing. Once the narrative structure of the project is in place, I will line edit your manuscript. At this stage, my focus will be on sentence structure, word choice, and grammar. Once the line edit is complete, the manuscript should be clear, concise, and internally consistent. This is not proofreading, but it does includes a general copy edit. Manuscripts will be submission ready after this stage.
    • Research: As an experienced researcher, I can help writers with the collection of archival materials, interviews, summaries of relevant books and publications, and more.
    • What I don´t do: Proofreading. 

    Pricing: Quotes will be given on a project basis and are based on the services required and number of pages to be edited. Pricing will be competitive with other developmental editing services. Clients will be given a clear list of services to be rendered and will be required to pay in advance. 

    Why work with an independent editor?

    The Writing Process. Writing is lonely work. It takes time to craft a good book. The chance to work with someone who knows your project and understands its evolution can be critical to producing a polished manuscript.

    Even the most experienced writers need a fresh set of eyes to help them see what isn’t working…and what is.

    It is cliché -- but true -- that rewriting is where good writing happens. Having a professional give you insight and encouragement throughout the creative process can make the difference between a manuscript that gathers dust in a desk drawer and one that catches the eyes of an agent or publisher.  

    Technology.  Ten years ago, there were approximately 200,000 books published in the United States. The number for 2013 will be over 2,000,000! The competition to find readers is more intense than ever before.

    Technology has changed the publishing industry. The exciting thing is that there are more opportunities and outlets than ever before for both new and established authors. The myriad choices available to an author can create confusion: Kindle Singles. Atavist. Byliner. Writer’s Digest. Authorhouse. Random House. Agents. Editors. E-Books. 

    Getting Started. As you are in the process of writing the book you will probably have a lot of questions. With more than a decade of experience working in publishing and digital  media, I can help you figure out the best ways to market and distribute your work so that you can focus on the writing.

    • Do I need a literary agent? If so, how do I find one?
    • Should I consider self-publishing?
    • If I publish my manuscript as an e-book, might a traditional publisher still put it out as a paper book?
    • If a publisher buys my project, who will be responsible for the marketing?

    Contact Aran Shetterly