Oliver Editorial Services

I work with publishers and directly with authors, primarily in trade nonfiction and technology. I love to learn and to help other people learn, so if you have something to teach and need help explaining it to the general public, or if you have an idea you want people to ponder, I might be the right editor for you. (And if you need help with the actual writing, that's also an option.)

Already know what you want?

Here’s what I provide:

  • Developmental editing and editorial consulting
  • Line editing (substantive editing)
  • Copyediting
  • Manuscript critiques
  • Help with book proposals
  • Collaborative writing

Not sure what you want?

No worries. I can look over your manu­script, and we can discuss what it needs, what your goals are, and what constraints you might have.

Have just a partial manuscript or outline?

So much the better! Let's make sure you're headed in the right direction before you write an entire book.

Rough guide to editing levels

In practice, various aspects of editing tend to blur together—and terminology usage varies across the industry—but for new authors, this guide will give us a starting point for discussion. So, roughly speaking…

If you’re in this stage of the process… …and you’re thinking these kinds of things…    …then you probably want…
Thinking through your book idea and putting together an outline Do I have enough substance for a whole book on this material, or would it be better as a speech or a series of blog posts?

Who else out there is talking about this stuff? Do I have anything new or different to say, or have an unusual angle on the topic?

Whom can I bounce ideas off of, so I’m not working in a vacuum here?

Is my premise solid, or do I need crackers to go with that Swiss cheese?

Editorial consulting
Anywhere from the early writing stages to completing a rough first draft Have I said blahbitty-blah yet? (Have I said it eight times?)

Am I leaving out anything important?

Am I backing up my arguments? Do I have enough examples?

Am I contradicting myself anywhere?

Are my chapters in the right order? Are there any parts I need to ditch?

Uhhh… what’s my main point again?

Is there any more chocolate in the house?

Developmental editing

(addressing the structural, big-picture stuff)

Solid draft Am I making sense? Am I explaining this clearly?

Could I say this better?

Do my analogies work?

How’s my tone?

Am I funny where I want to be (and not where I don’t)?

Are we there yet?

Line editing

(substantive editing)

Close to final draft

(the theme from Chariots of Fire is going through your head)

Dangling participles?

Misplaced modifiers?

Unclear antecedents?

Eyes. glazing. over. now…


(checking for clarity, consistency, and correctness)

Looking good so far? Check out some of the projects I’ve worked on, see what clients and colleagues have said about my work, or go ahead and get in touch.

Want to look for another editor? If I’m not the right editor for you, head over to the Editorial Freelancers Association’s website link opens in new window or tab, and search the directory or use the free JobList service. The EFA has lots of skilled members, who include editors, proofreaders, indexers, and writers, so chances are good that you’ll find the right person to help you there.