“Bryon’s work on The Mercy of the Night was crucial in making the opening stronger and tighter, eliminating repetition and cutting unnecessary sections, maximizing dramatic impact through rethinking the scene weave, and much more. He combines honesty with insight in a way that makes him a joy to work with, even as he’s telling you what you’d prefer not to hear. I’d use Bryon again in a heartbeat, and hope to do so with my next novel.”
–David Corbett, New York Times Notable author of The Mercy of the Night
Whether you’re looking to be the next big indie publishing success or hoping to pursue the traditional publishing route, a freelance editor with experience across multiple fields is a huge asset. Much as you wouldn’t scale Mount Everest without a knowledgeable local and a sturdy goat, you don’t want to scale the mountain of publishing without an experienced guide.
But why should you choose me, other than the fact that I have a wife and three little kids and a wicked fast food habit I need to fund? As an editor I have over a decade of publishing experience that includes my last position as an acquiring editor with Angry Robot Books.
I’ve worked as a freelance editor for New York Times bestselling authors and books I’ve edited have been selected as the best of the year by USA Today and Library Journal among others. I understand the strange and exciting publishing world we live in today. I have experience working as an editor with large traditional publishers, mid-sized publishers, and with publishers putting out work on computers in their basements. I’ve also worked with hybrid publishers such as Harlequin’s digital-first imprint Carina Press and Amazon Publishing.
I love book stores and e-readers and have published my own work across a multitude of platforms. I respect the author’s vision and want to help bring that vision to full realization. I want to be your partner, not your high school composition teacher crushing your dreams.
I enjoy working with a broad range of projects, but my main wheelhouse is pop fiction: science fiction and fantasy, crime fiction, mysteries, thrillers, romance. I also love YA in all of those genres as well. If you’re interested in my editing philosophy, check out this piece I wrote for Chuck Wendig’s site called 5 Things You Can Learn From a Freelance Editor.
I’m on my sixth novel with Bryon as my developmental editor, and I foresee many more in the future. Knowing I’ll have him in my corner lets me explore and tackle new things as a writer, and his agility as an editor means I can use his services on any of the (many) genres I dive into. I highly recommend him to anyone wanting to take their storytelling up a level!”
–Susan Kaye Quinn, bestselling author of the Singularity Series, the Mindjack Trilogy, and The Indie Author Survival Guide
This is big picture stuff. Plot holes, pacing, character motivations. If you’re looking to cut down a manuscript that’s too long or beef up a manuscript that’s too short, I can help with that as well. I’ll read through your manuscript and make extensive notes throughout the manuscript using Track Changes with a brief editorial letter outlining the strengths of your work and opportunities for improvement. Rather than just noting “This works” and “This doesn’t work” my comments tend more toward “This works great as a simple way to clarify what just happened to the characters” or “This didn’t work for me because I think you bring the antagonist in too late and the reader hasn’t had a chance to develop enough of a connection with them for this twist to work.”
I’ll work with you on possible solutions, both through comments in the manuscript and through follow-up emails or phone calls. For developmental edits between 70k-90k words I charge a flat fee of $800. Anything outside of that word count will be calculated on a per-project basis but will be around $0.01 per word.
This is more sentence-level stuff. Line edits will focus on word choice, clarity, continuity, awkward sentences, repetition, crutch words, wooden dialogue, and other style and tone issues. This will be done with a mix of comments in the margin and, when appropriate, directed changes in the document. Line editing fees are by the word and start at $0.01 per word depending on the level of editing required.
I know a lot of people think these are all the same thing, but they’re not. Each level and type of editing addresses specific issues and can be done separately or as part of a comprehensive edit that approaches the level of editing you get with a New York publisher. Proofreading is a final check. Let me be that last set of objective eyes to give your project a final review before you send it out into the world. Proofreading starts at $0.008 per word.
For folks looking for a more comprehensive editorial experience, I offer packages of any two services, booked together, for a discount.
Query Letter & Synopsis Review
If you’re looking to put a final polish on your query letter or synopsis I can help with that too. Prices for query letters (one page single spaced) are $50 and for a synopsis (up to five double-spaced pages) are $75 and include in-depth content and line editing work. I’ve read thousands of query letters as an editor and written almost as many as an author so I can help you trim the fat, and hit all of the right notes (including eliminating cliches like “trim the fat” and “hit all of the right notes”).
I’m currently scheduling about a month out and half of the agreed upon payment is due up front by PayPal to lock you into my schedule with the remainder due upon receipt of the edited manuscript. I look forward to hearing from you all at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Thanks again, Bryon, for your outstanding notes. The quality and professionalism is at the highest level and I’m better for your services.”
–Paul Guyot, co-executive producer, THE LIBRARIANS & LEVERAGE
“To me and many other writers, stories are our children, and so the nicest thing I can say about Bryon as an editor is this: I trust him with my babies.”
–Jordan Harper, author of She Rides Shotgun and writer/producer for THE MENTALIST and GOTHAM
“Bryon edited Brain Storm, the first novel in my new Angela Richman, Death Investigator series. His suggestions made me see my work with new eyes. He ruthlessly removed cliched lines, pruned dialogue, and made this novel of psychological suspense a faster, tauter read.”
–Elaine Viets, Anthony and Agatha award-winning author of the Dead End mystery series and the Angela Richman series.
“Bryon Quertermous has a keen editorial eye, an inspired touch and a nose for good drama, all the things you want from an editor. He whipped my first short story into shape without me realizing I was being edited. All these years later, I still remember the click of recognition I had when he made his suggestions. They made all the difference, and his advice stays with me.”
–JT Ellison, New York Times bestselling author of the Taylor Jackson series
“I love working with Bryon! He was referred to me by another author, and I’m super happy that I followed her advice. His edit of one book helped me on the previous three. His insights and the examples that he provided to make his points assisted me in becoming a much better author. Well, ‘much better.’ I’ve still got a long ways to go, but the reason I love working with Bryon is that I grow as a writer with each of his edits.”
–SM Blooding, author of the Devices of War Trilogy
“Bryon’s work as an editor was instrumental in elevating Hope’s Peak to the next level. I felt that he really ‘got’ the story, and understood what I was doing with the characters. He was professional and timely, and I can’t recommend the guy highly enough. I can’t wait to work with him again.”
–Tony Healy, author of Hope’s Peak