Every writer needs an editor. A skilled, attentive editor is a writer’s first line of defense and creative companion. My experience as a former Associated Press editor and owner/editor of a community newspaper honed my skills. My specialties are nonfiction and memoir. I was AP’s Washington state editor before joining my husband as owners/publishers of the Omak-Okanogan County Chronicle in north central Washington. After we sold the paper my editing clients included Puget Sound Press, the magazine “Master Gardener,” the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane and the Omak School District. My most recent post was as communications coordinator for Holden Village, a spiritual retreat center in a remote area of the North Cascade Mountains.
I’ve written about and edited publications covering a wide range of topics, from agriculture to education, from religion to health care, from the environment to politics. I’m adept with both AP and Chicago styles (and if you don’t know what that means, there’s another reason why you want to find an editor.) I’m a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association.
I’VE ASSISTED writers (and non-writers) with their memoirs. Here’s what a few had to say:
“[Thanks] to Mary Koch for expert help in organization and style …” Margaret Beyer, “The Art People Love.”
“I’d like to recognize Mary Koch for her efforts in working with my rough drafts and painstakingly sifting through the pages, challenging accuracy and continuity. Mary is a gifted professional … ” Werner Janssen, “Holden Village: A Memoir.”
“I was fortunate to have Mary Koch do some editing and general comments. Mary has been in the editorial business for some time and also is familiar with a lot of tribal history and is acquainted with many tribal members. She was very patient and helpful.” Wendell George, “Last Chief Standing: A Tale of Two Cultures.”
“… God has blessed me with my very special and dear friend, Mary Koch, of Omak, Washington, who turned out to be an actual editor and who single-handedly caused my dream of this book to become an awesome reality.” Elsie Ford, “My Homeless Poems”
CHOOSING AN EDITOR is a bit like online dating. We begin with a conversation to determine if the writer and the editor are a good fit. I’d be happy to begin that conversation with you. Connect with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BUT WHAT DOES IT COST? Many editing services charge by the number of words or pages. I usually charge by the hour. Some people can write a thousand words and it takes a half-hour to edit. Some people write five hundred words and it takes an hour to edit. I’ll ask you to answer a few questions about your expectations and submit pages from your manuscript. Based on the standard rate of $50 per hour, I will give you a firm price for editing your manuscript.