Leigh Anne Couch
We'll begin with an introductory conversation to clarify the intentions of your project, assess your needs, and strategize the work at hand (including the deadline). After the job is done, you will receive the annotated manuscript and a detailed letter, usually four to six pages, laying out the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript as it is. The letter will be specific and will offer possible solutions. If needed, we can have a follow-up conversation to tie up any loose ends. My approach differs for fiction and non-fiction, but if you trust the teller, you will trust the narrative. A good ear can catch an author’s voice and style in the earliest stages of a project, saving the author a lot of wasted motion in revision.
Line editing is a reflex that kicked in while I was teaching composition in high schools and colleges and was sharpened through years editing magazines and books. In fact, it is hard for me to write to the end of a sentence before editing it. However, I am not a Strunk & White-wash sort of line editor. Standard American English is a necessary point of reference, but there are others. Line editing (like developmental editing) should be guided by a sensitivity to voice, style, consistency, and intended readership.
I love being involved with a manuscript when it is this close to completion. I have an exceptional eye for detail and consistency. After a conversation with the author to get some background on the project, I will edit using standard American English or a style guide provided by the author or editor. Any changes beyond the granular, I will query in the margin.
I call this the Close Appraisal. With me, it begins with an introductory conversation so that you can provide some background, as well as your goals and intentions for the manuscript. During this conversation you can also lay out particular concerns and things to watch for. We’ll agree on a deadline for you to receive a three- to four-page letter mapping out the manuscript and making suggestions to build on its strengths. I am happy to follow up with a conversation. If the author desires more specific guidelines for revision, we can draw up a new contract for a developmental edit.
Though books are mostly set digitally these days, I worked for eleven years on a magazine that was typeset on letterpress. Proofreading was critical.
I've written a good deal of marketing copy for book promotion and web site. After a solid introduction to the project and its audience, I can write what you need.
I'm fast and careful and a good proofreader.
One of my first jobs out of graduate school was doing research for a novelist working on historical fiction about William James. I loved it and I'd love to help you out too. If you'd rather write than research, give me a call!
Projects worked on
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Sarah Combs (YA), Peter Guzzardi (nonfiction), Janet Benton (fiction), Julia Burns (memoir), Kelly Beard (memoir), etc.
Book-relevant education or training
Duke University Press (editorial assistant; assistant managing editor); Sewanee Review (managing editor); Assistant to Russell Banks (author), Daniel Halpern (former editor, Ecco), and Peter Guzzardi (former editor, Harmony Books/Random House) for individual editing and research projects.
I am a poet with two collections.