Manuscript Editing

Services I offer:

Story/developmental editing: 
   Consistency and continuity
   Organization: For example, shouldn’t we have had this information sooner? Or later?
   The story arc: Where is the arc? Does it arc?
   Intended word usage: Redundancy, descriptive words, proper word usage, for example, accept/except, etc.
   Emotional appeal: How well does your story engage the reader emotionally?
   Identify weak points

Copy editing:
   Make sure writing adheres to Chicago Manual of Style for grammar and punctuation
   Treatment of numbers and numerals
   Treatment of quotations
   Use of abbreviations and acronyms
   Errors in syntax, usage, and diction

   Fine-tune manuscripts that have previously been edited
   Basic grammar


Jakki Leatherberry and I became acquainted through the Jane Austen community. From reading her reviews on Amazon, I knew she had an eye for good storytelling and for spotting plot weaknesses. Recognizing her talents, I asked her to read and comment on my time-travel novel, Becoming Elizabeth Darcy, a book I was self-publishing. Having been traditionally published, I knew what to expect from a story and copy editor, but Jakki exceeded all my expectations. In addition to pointing out grammatical and spelling errors, she made suggestions that would make the story more compelling. From that time, I considered Jakki to be my editor.

In addition to internalizing the Chicago Manual of Style, the editor’s Bible, Jakki maintains an e-mail exchange throughout her review and delivers the manuscript to the author in a timely manner. Her comments on the manuscript are detailed, and she provides reasons for any suggested changes. In brief, she is the consummate professional. I can’t imagine publishing a book without Jakki having edited it.

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It was such a pleasure working with Jakki on my novel Pride, Prejudice and the Perfect Match! I'd been looking for an editor to give the manuscript a final read-through and to check for any content issues that might remain. She did a wonderful job providing feedback on the narrative, pointing out sections where clarification was needed, and addressing the specific questions I'd asked her in regards to the character development, the pacing of the scenes, and the level of believability throughout the story. In addition, she was generous with her praise in pointing out what worked well, and she was always very upbeat and professional. I'd highly recommend her services! 

~Marilyn Brant, USA Today bestselling author of The Road to YouThe Sweet Temptations Collection, and A Summer in Europe

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Editing can make a huge impact on the success or failure of any book. Writing is a subjective art, but grammar is one of the few aspects that writers can control. This is where Jakki Leatherberry of Leatherbound Manuscript Editing comes in. Her copy editing is thorough and detailed, and she takes time to explain the reasons for her corrections. Jakki also excels at story editing, a task that is often harder than it sounds. It is easy to identify a scene that isn’t working, but it is much more difficult to explain why it isn’t working and offer suggestions on how to fix it. Jakki has the ability to do both. I highly recommend Jakki Leatherberry for proofreading, copy editing, and story editing in any genre.

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More than an editor, Jakki Leatherberry is an ardent reader as well. As a reader, she has a well-honed sense of where the story is going. As an editor, she knows how to help the writer get there. In addition to being insightful and constructive, her editorial feedback is highly engaging.

~P. O. Dixon, author of He Taught Me to Hope, Almost Persuaded: Miss Mary King, Love Will Grow, Lady Harriette: Fitzwilliam's Heart and Soul, and other Pride and Prejudice variations.  

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I had Jakki edit one of my books, Pirates and Prejudice, and I was very pleased with the detail of her work. She made wonderful suggestions and thorough corrections in my book, pointed out problems, and gave me encouragement when she was intrigued and drawn into the story. I would highly recommend Jakki if you want someone you can trust, who will look at your writing literally word for word and give you excellent, honest input.

~Kara Louise, author of Pirates and Prejudice, Pemberley Celebrations, Only Mr. Darcy Will Do, and Darcy's Voyage.

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What is required of the author?
If you are interested in seeking my services for your novel, please send me the following:

  • Name and email address
  • A 5-20 page sample of your document that I will use for a sample edit. This ensures we will be a good fit. It also provides you with an opportunity to see how I will edit your manuscript and communicate using the comment boxes. Note: I will not necessarily edit all 20 pages sent. This is just to give me a feel for you as a writer and you a feel for me as an editor.
  • Word count for your manuscript
  • Deadline date (are you working towards a deadline or are you flexible)?
  • Genre
  • Please submit work in a Word document as I will be using the “Review” tab and comment section.
 Do you have an editing contract?
Yes. I have a detailed agreement that covers services I will offer, the cost and deadline date.

May I contact writers with whom you have previously worked?
Yes. I have recommendations on my page for you to view. If you would like further contact with any of these authors, please email me, and I will get you their contact information.

What is your turnaround time?
Once I begin editing your manuscript, depending on its length and amount of editing needed, it will be anywhere between 2-4 weeks until I have finished editing and you receive my comments. I will email you once I start the editing process of your novel, providing an approximate date as to when you will receive your work back.

How much do you charge?
Pricing is decided based on the amount of editing required. A manuscript requiring only proofreading will cost less than a manuscript in which grammar and plotting errors must be addressed. I will use the document sample you send me to determine pricing. Payments will be made through PayPal.

I understand that this manuscript is your baby. You have toiled many months over it, making it the best work you can create. As stated in the agreement, I will keep all of your information secure and confidential.

Contact me at jakki36(at)yahoo(dot)com