With twenty-six years of experience in the book publishing industry, Seattle-based independent editor Amy Smith Bell offers clients a comprehensive range of editorial services. Amy’s clients are typically trade or scholarly book publishers, small to midsize independent presses, nonprofit organizations, and individual writers. Amy specializes in historical scholarship as well as fiction and trade nonfiction (including the environment, health, humor, memoir, parenting, spirituality, and travel). Other interests include art, culture, current events / politics, music, poetry, and women.
Services include project management, manuscript evaluation and assessment, developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading. On the most comprehensive side of things is a developmental edit. This type of edit looks line by line at big-picture issues such as structure, voice and point of view, themes, characterization, pacing, plot lines, chronology/timeline, dialogue, tone, setting, narrative arc, and so on. After a manuscript has gone through developmental editing, it is time for copyediting, which addresses such nuts-and-bolts issues as spelling, grammar, editorial style and consistency, and so on.
Working with Amy
Depending on the client’s needs and budget, manuscripts are evaluated, analyzed, and edited for clarity, consistency, and sense as well as for style, tone, and accuracy. When working with individual writers, Amy typically encourages a three-step process (first developmental editing, next manuscript revision by the author, and finally copyediting) to ready a manuscript for self-publishing or submission to a literary agent or a traditional book publisher.