|Posted by Kristen Hamilton on June 30, 2017 at 9:00 AM|
The relationship between an author and his or her editor is critical. With the optimal balance of open communication and clear goals, the right book editor can help an author transform a book from a “good” manuscript to a bestselling novel.
As a book editor, I read for a living (and yes, it’s as awesome as you think it would be). Having the opportunity to edit and improve a book from a rough draft to a polished product is a fantastic thing. In my work since 2012, I’ve edited some excellent books…and some that have shot to or near the top of Amazon bestsellers lists in their respective genres. Below is a list of several authors whose books (edited by Kristen Corrects, Inc.!) have done exceedingly well in Amazon sales by indie author standards.
On Daring and Life by Alicia Anderson, edited by Kristen Hamilton
On Daring and Life received recognition for one of Amazon’s Best Books of 2015 and was named Amazon’s Best Book of the Month (July 2015). I completed a full edit on Alicia’s book in 2013: developmental editing, line editing, then proofreading. These three passes through the manuscript helped first to fix all big-picture issues in storyline, pacing, and story organization; then to improve sentence structure, rhythm, and consistency and logic of scenes; then finally to check that no surface errors such as improper grammar and typos remained.
Alicia and I made a great author-editor team, one that paid off: as of the time of this article, On Daring and Life has received 27 five-star reviews.
Cornered by Alan Brenham, edited by Kristen Hamilton
Alan Brenham’s Cornered was featured as Amazon’s Best Book of the Month (May 2015) and has garnered positive reviews from USA Today bestselling authors and Amazon Top-100 reviewers. It was an honor to work with Alan, as he’s an international bestselling author of crime thrillers.
I completed a line edit on Alan’s work back near the beginning of my freelance career in 2012, fixing all issues in sentence structure, consistency, and clarity, after which he took his manuscript to be published by Black Opal Books. What a wonderful opportunity!
Pinnacle Lust by Michelle Dim-St. Pierre, proofed by Kristen Hamilton
Pinnacle Lust, the debut novel from author Michelle Dim-St. Pierre, won nine awards at various contests, including best Romance and General Fiction book. I served as the second editor (proofreading only, focusing on typos, spelling issues, grammar, and word choice) for Pinnacle Lust in early 2014.
Michelle and I still talk and work together frequently, and Michelle is currently working on two more book projects related to continuing the Pinnacle Lust series.
Three Points of Contact by Gregory Q. Cheek, edited by Kristen Hamilton
Gregory Q. Cheek’s debut book garnered over 7,000 pre-sales prior to publication, is a required book in some college classes, and culminated in a nationwide speaking tour. Once released, it reached #1 in Amazon’s Best Seller List in the Oncology genre (August 2015).
Greg’s manuscript required multiple passes of developmental editing (for improving story organization, development of key points, and cutting out unnecessary material), then several rounds of line editing and proofreading. I also formatted this book and worked alongside another fantastic proofreader, Gillian Burgess, during this process. Three Points of Contact currently has 95 five-star reviews on Amazon. Congratulations, Greg!
Some Call It Life, Others Call It Faith by C.M. Hodges, edited by Kristen Hamilton
C.M. Hodges’ debut novel reached #2 in Amazon’s Religious & Liturgical genre (August 2015). I finished a line edit and proofread on her book in 2015, first focusing on improving consistency, breaking up too-long paragraphs, and improving rhythm by creating a mixture of long and short sentences, which creates better readability and flow. The final proofread then included a check for surface-level issues including punctuation, spelling, and grammar.
The editing process on Some Call It Life, Others Call It Faith was quick and simple because C.M. was so lovely to work with. It was truly a great experience for both of us!
Crunching Numbers by Jason Fitzgerald & Vijay Natarajan, edited by Kristen Hamilton
Crunching Numbers, the debut book by Jason Fitzgerald & Vijay Natarajan, reached #7 in Amazon’s American Football genre (March 2017). Crunching Numbers has also been mentioned on CNBC, ESPN, ESPN (again!) and Yahoo Finance.
I recommended and provided my two most common services, a line edit and a proofread, on Jason and Vijay’s book. These two services focused on consistency throughout the book (lots of formatting here) as well as making sure quotes were accurate, checking that names were spelled correctly, and fixing grammatical errors. I feel this book was one that changed my life: Before I edited this in 2016, I had no idea what I was missing out on football. Now I’m a big fan. (Go Packers!)
Resurrectionists by Lou Paduano, edited by Kristen Hamilton
Author Lou Paduano is known for his supernatural/paranormal Greystone series, and his prequel Resurrectionists is a double Amazon bestseller, reaching #5 in the Fantasy – Superhero genre and #14 in the Horror – Occult genre (May 2017).
Just like with all Lou’s books, on Resurrectionists I performed a line edit and a proofread, making sure all sentences use active verbs, improving the flow of sentences, and fixing surface errors such as punctuation and grammar issues. Lou has been one of my longtime clients and I love working with him!
Solar Winds: Providence Ends by Bryan G. Shewmaker, edited by Kristen Hamilton
Providence Ends was author Bryan G. Shewmaker's debut book and the first in the Solar Winds series, an incredibly detailed and captivating sci-fi space opera. In June 2017 the book reached #10 on Amazon's Space Opera genre, and #9 in the Military Sci-Fi genre.
With Bryan's debut work, I did a manuscript critique (to address all big-picture issues with character development, narrative style, plot holes, and pacing), then a line edit (to improve sentence structure and clarity) and then finally a proofread (to take care of any remaining issues with grammar, typos, or word choice). It was a long, long process, as the book had many drafts and is true to the sci-fi genre at well over 100,000 words...but well worth it. Bryan became a friend in the process and today, we send each other cat videos almost daily.
The Year They Tried to Kill Me by Dr. Salvatore Iaquinta, proofed by Kristen Hamilton
Although Sal Iaquinta published his book The Year They Tried to Kill Me in 2012, it has remained successful on Amazon’s bestsellers lists, remaining high (#20) on Amazon’s Humor – Doctors & Medicine genre at the time of this writing, five years after its publication date. I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to proofread Sal’s book so early in my career! During this process, I focused on fixing any typos, improving grammar, spelling, and word choice.
I am humbly grateful for the authors who selected me to edit their books, and even more thankful for the authors who say they couldn’t have done it without my help and have given me some wonderful testimonials. Being able to say that these authors climbed high on Amazon bestsellers lists in their respective genres makes me a proud editor…and knowing I make a difference in the final version of these books—the product that readers buy and put on their bookshelves—makes me love my job that much more.
I believe that having a best-selling independently published book is a result of many things, including the story concept, quality of writing and editing, and marketing. Contact me if you're looking for an author-editor collaboration or if you'd just like some advice on making your next book as successful as possible!