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Selecting a book editor is like choosing a partner.
They have to complement you; they have to be your strongest critic and your most ardent supporter.
And you both need to have the same end goal in life- getting your manuscript ready for publication.
It is vital that you learn all the levels of editing before you approach a book editor so you can ensure what you need is covered in their services.
Book editors often offer four types of services.
Developmental editing is looking at the story, the characters and the plot in terms of big picture. If those are well etched, your book is on its right path.
Line editing or substantive editing is reading every line, removing or changing them so the entire book sounds good. This is a stylistic form of editing.
Copy editing is often clubbed with line editing by editors, as it involves correcting punctuation, grammar and spelling.
Proof reading is often the last level of editing when it’s all ready and just needs to be given a check for wrong spellings, facts or consistency.
So now you know what a book editor does, all you need to do is find the right book editor for your book.
There is no need to panic because we have compiled a list of 19 top non-fiction book editors to help authors and writers.
Bethany Davis is a professional copy editor based in Denver, Colorado. She makes it a point to make herself approachable to even new authors, and former clients rave about her ability as an editor, as well as her professionalism. She offers proofreading, copy editing, and editorial assessment services. Authors of non-fiction genres like biographies, business, health, and religion should make a point to speak to her.
Since 2016, Bethany has been working as a freelance editor. Her professional experience includes working at Rowman & Littlefield and The Author Incubator. “Facing Racism: The Guide to Overcoming Unconscious Bias and Hidden Prejudice to Be a Part of the Change” by Andrae Smith, “Love: The Women’s Guide to Not Fucking Settling” by Carlen Costa, and “The Art of Raising an Artist: Oh My Gosh, My Child Wants to Be an Actor” by Lilia Sixtos.
Speak to Bethany Davis today.
2. Skye Loyd
Seattle, Washington State is home to copy editor Skye Loyd. For over 20 years, she’s provided quality editing services, including developmental editing, copy editing, proofreading, and query letter reviews to writers of non-fiction books on art, earth sciences, education, history, life sciences, and music.
Skye has experience working at reputable agencies, including SAGE, Rowman & Littlefield, and Wiley. She is familiar with editing according to different academic styles, including the Chicago style. She has edited “Girls Who Don’t Believe” by Paul A Broome, “Inventing Entertainment” by Brian Dolan, and “Blackwell’s Five-Minute Veterinary Consult” by Barbara L. Oglesbee.
Go with Skye Loyd today!
Allison Serrell offers editorial assessments and developmental editing to writers of non-fiction books, including children’s non-fiction, self-improvement books, and material on DIY, home and garden, parenting, and relationships.
The experienced editor has over two decades of experience working on non-fiction writing for multiple media, including the printed book format. You’ll want to take a look at “Parent Goals: The Millennial’s Guide to New Parent Preparedness” by Lindsay C.M. Garrett and Vanessa Lapointe, “Circle Way: A Daughter’s Memoir, a Writer’s Journey Home, and “The Greater Good: Social Entrepreneurship for Everyday People Who Want to Change the World” by Madeleine Shaw for examples of her editing.
Contact Allison Serrell today!
4. Alexia Paul
Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Alexia Paul has been working as a self-employed editor since 2005. She is a specialist in developmental editing, providing writers with guidance on how to push their story from ideas strung together to one, cohesive body. Her services range from developmental editing, non-fiction book proposals, and coaching on non-fiction writing in general.
Genres of non-fiction that Alexia works with include biographies, business, health, new age, management, and psychology. Her portfolio includes books like “Choose to be Happily Married: How Everyday Decisions Can Lead to Lasting Love” and “Save Your Marriage in Five Minutes a Day: Daily Practices to Transform Your Relationship” by Bonnie Jacobson, and “The Wide Lens: A New Strategy for Innovation” by Ron Adner.
Take a closer look at more of her edited works and reach out to Alexia Paul today!
Kathie-Jo Arnoff comes into the editing industry with experience in a variety of business fields. She worked for over a decade at Macmillan Computer Publishing, and then another five years with BYSIS Education Services as their senior editor of product development. Today she works as director of publications at Kappa Delta Pi, the International Honor Society in Education, in addition to her work as a freelance editor, which she’s been doing since 2018.
Kathie-Jo can provide developmental editing, copy editing, and proofreading to non-fiction books about business, computers, education, technology, and other subject matter. Her past edits include “Reframing the Curriculum: Design for Social Justice and Sustainability” by Susan Santone, “The ABC’s Classroom Management: An A-Z Sampler for Designing Your Learning Community” by Pamela A-Kramer Ertel and Madeleine Kovarik, and “Creativity and Education in China: Paradox and Possibilities for an Era of Accountability” by Carol A. Mullen.
Look to Kathie-Jo Arnoff for support on your next book!
Located in Columbus, Amanda Johnson is a trained independent book editor with experience in both developmental editing and copy editing. Accredited in copy editing at UCSD, her editing experience includes working at Ramsey Solutions among other reputable publishing houses.
Amanda’s editing focuses on non-fiction books written about economics, self-improvement, career, home and garden, finance, and business. Take a look at some of her editing work in books like “The Proximity Principle: The Proven Strategy That Will Lead to a Career You Love” by Ken Coleman, “Everyday Millionaires: How Ordinary People Built Extraordinary Wealth—and How You Can Too” by Chris Hogan, and “Teen Entrepreneur Toolbox: The Small-Business Guide for Teens” by Anthony ONeal.
Let Amanda Johnson support you in getting your next book published!
7. Molly Spain
Working in Fort Worth, Texas, Molly Spain is an editor who is ready to meet and work with writers, particularly those focused on non-fiction manuscripts. Her editorial services include copy editing, editorial assessment, and proofreading for books on art, biographies, history, music, philosophy, and photography.
Certified in publishing from the Denver Publishing Institute, Molly has been working as an assistant editor for TCU press since 2015, in addition to freelancing as a copy editor on her own. She has edited “The Rebirth of Hope: My Journey from Vietnam War Child to American Citizen” by Sau Le Hudecek, “The Iron Orchard” by Tom Pendleton, and “Talking to the Stars: Bobbie Wygant’s Seventy Years in Television” by Bobbie Wygant.
Contact Molly Spain today for more information!
Jessica Hatch is a professional editor working out of her home in Jacksonville, Florida. Former clients have described her as detailed in her corrections and suggestions, professional and supportive of their work. She’s able to work on books written in British and American English, and offers developmental editing, copy editing, proofreading, and query letter review.
Since 2013, Jessica has been freelancing as an editor, after accruing professional experience with organizations like Writer’s House, Fox Literary LLC, and St. Martin’s Press. She specializes in biographies, health, LGBTQ non-fiction, and self-help, and has edited books like “Huntress” by A.E. Radley, “The Gondola Maker” by Laura Morelli, and “Come Dancing” by Leslie Wells.
Reach out to Jessica Hatch for more information!
9. John R
Located in Austin, Texas, John R does developmental editing, copy editing, and proofreading for non-fiction writers of biographies, as well as books on Buddhism, history, music, philosophy, political science, and sociology. He’s been working independently for over twelve years and has previously edited for organizations like Raritan, Lubbock Meditation, and the Undergraduate Writing Center at the University of Texas.
Previous clients of John speak of an editor who is knowledgeable, experienced, and eager to pair his experience with the client’s literary vision. To see more of his editing, look at examples like “Not Hitler’s Child: Christa-Maria’s (Extra)Ordinary Life, Early Childhood to 2000” by Christa-Maria Beardsley, “Practicing Imperfection” by Charles T. Dupree, and “Sex and Death in Eighteenth-Century Literature” by Jolene Zigarovich.
Let John R know more about your book today!
10. Jain Lemos
Dallas, Texas is home to Jain Lemos a professional developmental and copy editor who is able to deliver editorial assessments along with other general editing services. With a keen interest in non-fiction writing, Jain edits for biographies, inspirational books, and books on cooking, photography, and self-help.
Since 2005, Jain has been working independently as an editor and consultant to writers who are looking to get published. She has worked with various reputable organizations as an editor, including Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Harper Collins, and Chronicle Books. Books she has edited include “Write, Open Act: An Intentional Life Planning Workbook” by Lee S Weinstein, “The Gourmet Prescription: High Flavor Recipes for Lower Carbohydrate Diets” by Deborah Chud, and “PATRIOT: My Journey Through America’s Undeclared Civil War” by Dannielle Blumenthal.
Speak to Jain Lemos about what you’re working on!
11. Tom Berger
Tom Berger is the founder of Orange Street Editorial, his own organization that focuses on providing editorial services to writers, which opened in 2007. To this day, the San Diego-based editor offers non-fiction writers services like developmental editing, copy editing, editorial assessments, proofreading, and query letter reviews.
For writers focused on biographies, business, health, and LGBTQ non-fiction, Tom Berger is the person you want to call. Tom’s professional experiences as a business owner, professional photographer, audiologist, and contractor allow him to connect with writers and their books like few other editors can. “LGBTQ of Steel” by Jan Dee Gordon, “Building a Solid Board-CEO Partnership: A Practical Guidebook for Transit Board Members, CEOs and CEO-Aspirants” by Doug Eagie and David Stackrow, and “The Abell Book of Art and Verse” by Tyler Abell are a few books that feature Tom Berger’s editing.
Allow Tom Berger to take care of your book!
12. Gregory Dobie
Gregory Dobie’s background in education and communication is invaluable for the writers that he works with. Based in San Antonio, this professional writer and editor delivers developmental editing, copy editing, and proofreading for non-fiction writers. His past education is evident in the genres that he works on, such as architecture, art, education, health, history, photography, and self-improvement.
Since 1993, Gregory has been a self-employed editorial consultant, working with well-known names like Chronicle Books, the Getty Education Institute for the Arts, Jeremy P. Tarcher, Inc, and Yale University Press. He’s edited “Open Hearts Open Doors: Reflections on China’s Past and Future” by Elizabeth Gill Lui, and I.M, Pei, “Art & Science: A Curriculum for K-12 Teachers from the J. Paul Getty Museum, and “Maria Sibylla Merian: Artist, Scientists, Adventurer” by Sarah B. Pomeroy and Jeyaraney Kathirithamby.
Rely on Gregory Dobie to bring your book to life and onwards towards publication.
13. Holly Caldwell
Holly Caldwell is a professional editor capable of developmental editing, copy editing, and proofreading for non-fiction books like biographies, children’s non-fiction books on education and history. Located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, past customers have described Holly as detailed and accurate with her corrections and suggestions and professional in her communications.
Holly started out in education, teaching at Chestnut Hill College, University of Delaware, and Susquehanna University. Since 2016, the freelance editor has been working for various publishers and independent writers. She’s been responsible for editing books like “Gale Researcher Guide for Rebellions and Independence Movements in Latin America” by Celeste Chamberland, “Andrew Johnson: A Myreportlinks.Com Book” by Judy Alter, and “The Revolutionary War (U.S. Wars) by Carl R. Green.
Look to Holly Caldwell for the editing you need on your next non-fiction manuscript.
14. Rachel Alexander
Located in Phoenix, Arizona, Rachel Alexander is a writing consultant and professional editor. Her editorial services, including developmental editing, copy editing, proofreading, and query letter review are available for non-fiction writers working on manuscripts about computers, economics, history, law, political science, technology, or religion.
Rachel has worked in various industries, including stints as a bankruptcy attorney at Alexander Bankruptcy Law Firm, a deputy county attorney at Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, and an editor at Western Shooting Journal. She is currently a freelance consultant and looks to convert many years of experience to succeed with helping her clients with their writing. “The Right to Believe” by Thomas Freiling, “The Capitalist Manifest: The End of Class Warfare, Toward Universal Affluence” by Ralph Benko and Willaim Collier, and “The Night After Christmas: A Holiday Paradigm Revisited” by Jim Chapman and Jay Montgomery are a number of titles she has edited.
Let Rachel Alexander help you with your next work in progress.
15. Julie Cantrell
Houston, Texas is home to Julie Cantrell, a bestselling author and professional editor who offers developmental editing, editorial assessment, and query letter reviews. Since 2001, she has worked as a freelance editor, using her own experience as a writer to benefit fellow authors looking to experience professional success.
With past experience with publishers like Harper Collins, Zondervan, Mercer, WaterBooks, and others, writers working with Julie Cantrell can rest assured that they are in the hands of someone who has been through the process many times before, and knows what they are doing. She has edited books like “Crescendo: The Story of Musical Genius Who Forever Changed a Southern Town” by Allen Cheney, “A Second Blooming: Becoming the Women We are Meant to Be” by Susan Cushman, and “Touch My Tears: Tales from the Trail of Tears” by Sarah Elisabeth Sawyer.
Speak to Julie Cantrell today!
16. Vanessa Ortiz
Vanessa Ortiz is a professional editor who has experience with both copy editing and proofreading. Working out of Chicago, Illinois, Vanessa has been freelancing since 2018 and can work on material in British, American, Canadian, and Australian English, as well as in Spanish. Her professional experience also includes experience working for Select Italy as a travel editor, PACO Communications, Word One New York, LAPIZ, and Apex CoVantage.
The multilingual editor focuses on edits for non-fiction manuscripts, including those about art, education, history, philosophy, psychology, and writing. She’s edited “Challenging the Cult of Self-Esteem in Education” by Kenzo E. Bergeron, “Cases of Teacher’s Data Use” by Nicole Barnes and Helenrose Fives, and “Acting Archetype and Neuroscience” by Jane Drake Brody.
Reach out to Vanessa Ortiz today.
17. Claire Winters
Having edited books that have ended up being bestsellers on Amazon and the New York Times, Claire Winters has an accomplished history behind her that’s sure to win her the interest of many readers. Based in Los Angeles, California, the professional editor focuses on developmental editing and editorial assessment for non-fiction literature.
Claire’s professional background includes editing for Scribe Media and writing for various organizations, such as Investor’s Business Daily, Elle, and The Liberty Project. She’s currently an editor and writer at Wit & Spark, where she’s been working since 2016. Authors of non-fiction like career guides, and books on self-help, psychology, and entertainment should look to connect with her. If you’re looking for a more detailed look at her editing work, check out “Lost in Startuplandia: Wayfinding for the Weary Entrepreneur” by E. Killer Fitzsimmons, “Future Proof: Reinventing Work in the Age of Acceleration” by Diana Wu-David, and “Life as a Masterpiece: Design and Live a Life You Love Today” by Cathy Christen and Hal Elrod.
Go with Claire Winters and learn what she can offer you!
18. Lia Ottaviano
Located in New York City, Lia Ottaviano is a professional editor who offers developmental editing, copy editing, editorial assessments, and query letter reviews to her clients. She has edited for John Wiley and Sons, Diversion Books, and Callisto Media. Clients describe her as approachable, detailed, and extremely professional.
Lia provides editorial services for authors of non-fiction material She’s edited books on biographies, business, management, new age, true crime, religion, and self-improvement in the past. Examples of her work include “The Effective Manager” by Mark Horstman, “The Art of Strategic Leadership: How Leaders at All Levels Prepare Themselves, Their Teams, and Organizations for the Future” by Steven J. Stowell and Stephanie S. Mead, and “Get Momentum: How to Start When You’re Stuck” by Jason W. Womack and Jodi Womack.”
Look to Lia Ottaviano for editing support!
19. Madeline Jones
Madeline Jones delivers developmental editing, copy editing, editorial assessments, query letter reviews to writers who work in American English and are working on non-fiction books about earth and environmental sciences, economics, entertainment, nature, or psychology.
Holding an undergraduate degree in English from Cornell University and certified in publishing from Columbia Publishing Course, Madeleine is currently an editor at Algonquin Books, a position that she’s held since 2021. Since 2015, she’s worked in editing at various organizations, including Simon & Schuster Asymptote Journal, and Henry Holt and Company. Take a look at titles she’s edited, such as “Outrageous Act and Everyday Rebellion” by Gloria Steinem, “Archaeology from Space; How the Future Shapes Our Past” by Sarah Parcak” and “Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples” by Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt.
Contact Madeline Jones today.
That’s our list of top 19 non-fiction book editors. I would recommend you go with the editor you can trust. You can choose the right editor by giving them a sample and getting a free edit done. A lot of experienced and professional editors often agree for a free edit as it lets them see your manuscript and lets you get a sense of how they work. You can also go through their credentials and testimonials provided by previous clients to gauge their quality of work. The onus is on you for doing the research because you know the stage your manuscript is at and the amount of help required to complete, polish and ready it.
Are you a non-fiction book editor? Tell us more about your services in the comments box below!
Shikha Pandey is a creative, content and script writer based in Mumbai, India.