I am honored to help others tell their stories. I specialize in upmarket fiction, memoirs, and books about personal growth.
I also help small business owners develop their corporate narratives.
As a developmental editor, my goal is to evaluate the big picture. That means helping you make your narrative the best it can be, keeping in mind your target audience. A good dev editor doesn't just point out what to fix; she also identifies your strengths as a writer and what works in your manuscript. She is thorough, insightful, analytical, and compassionate.
Your project is ready for a dev edit when you’ve been through it a few times, have a pretty solid idea of what your goal is, and don’t know what to do to next to make it better.
As a line editor, my primary focus is to help you say what you’re trying to say in the best way possible, A good line editor embraces your writing style and voice.
You’re ready for a line edit when you honestly think you’ve got your manuscript in pretty good shape. For fiction or memoir, this means the narrative arc is established, the plot and pacing are strong, and your characters have been developed. For nonfiction, your vision, structure, and content are firmly in place.
As a copyeditor, I pay close attention to details, word by word, and look for mechanical errors in spelling, grammar, and so on. Some copyediting projects also involve recommendations to improve the prose by eliminating repetition, smoothing out awkward phrases, etc. A good copyeditor is proficient with grammar, is familiar with the correct style guide, and pays close attention to detail.
Your project is ready for copyediting when it’s been through developmental and/or line editing or when you’ve gone through multiple rounds of revision yourself and have done everything you can to polish it on your own. Even the best writers can benefit from a good round of copyediting!
While each project is unique, I always like to start with a review of sample pages, followed by a meeting or call so I can hear you describe your vision--in your voice.
I work in Microsoft Word using Track Changes. I rely on The Chicago Manual of Style 17th ed. and Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary 11th ed. I normally correspond with clients through email and, occasionally, I meet with them on Zoom.
Dev edits usually result in lots of margin comments, some in-text revision, and a detailed editorial letter. Line edits normally have a lot of digital red ink on the page, with some explanatory margin comments, and are also accompanied by a detailed letter. Both of these types of edits may include a follow-up call or meeting to answer questions.
Copyediting revisions are made in the margins and/or in the text and vary depending on the depth of copyediting desired.
After I’ve been able to look at a sample of your document and we’ve had a chance to talk, or at least correspond by email, I’ll estimate how much time I’ll need for your project and submit a proposal that addresses my fees and other terms.
For book-length projects, I charge based on word count, and the rate varies depending upon the content and length of the book, the quality of the writing, your desired level of editing, and my availability. A single-pass developmental or line edit will range from $.03 to $.045 cents per word. Copyediting costs from $.02 to $.03 cents per word. I often charge more for rush jobs and less for family, friends, and returning clients.
Other services and consultation, beyond the standard pre-edit and post-edit calls or meetings, are currently charged at $60 per hour. My rates are in line with industry rates. For more information, see the Editorial Freelancers Association and Northwest Editors Guild websites.
I generally request 50% up front for each round of editing to hold your spot in my calendar, with the balance due when I send you my deliverables. I prefer electronic payment.
Corporate and other editorial services
If you’re a small business owner and need editorial help with your corporate communications, financial reports, business plans, or other documents, I’m here for you!
If you've written a book and you're not sure what the next step is, I can offer a manuscript assessment.
If you need help crafting queries, synopses, and book proposals for agents and publishers, I've been there and done that. I can certainly help!
If you've got a rough draft or even just the germ of an idea and are wondering "Now what?" just send me a note. I'd love to help you develop your vision, identify your audience, and explore publishing paths.
Want to learn more about the craft or the therapeutic value of writing? I'll gladly develop a workshop, or a series of them, for your friends, family, or colleagues.
Fees for other services vary depending on the nature and scope of these projects.
You are a genius! I truly couldn't have done this without your expertise and guidance! Thank you sooooooooo much for everything.
—Lisa Pevateaux, Your Best You!: Live with Joy, Passion, and Purpose
Gail was very helpful in the early stages of writing Climate Warrior and in teaching me about what the publishing world was looking for. I recommend her highly for helping you write and publish your book.
Thank you so much for your excellent guidance. This book would not be where it is today without you! You have helped me become a better writer throughout this process.
Gail Kretchmer is a gifted editor who was committed to helping me make my book the best it could be. Gail understands structure and flow, but beyond that, understands the power and beauty of words. Her sensibility is almost musical; she focuses on how words can be put together in ways that are rhythmic and lyrical. Gail is a delight to work with—an excellent educator, a sensitive counselor, and an enthusiastic supporter. —Barbara Sommer Feigin, My American Dream, A Journey from Facism to Freedom
Working with Gail was a transformational process for me. As you write, there are so many other voices you forget when you can only hear your own...thematic considerations, parallel structures, subhead construction...this is why you need someone like Gail. A third party who can hear your voice and make it clear to everyone else. —Nora Castro, Open Your Own Doors: One Woman's Story of Success in a Male-Dominated Industry
Thank you so much for your extensive comments and suggestions. It feels like a new book to me, with a stronger message, and more relatable personal stories. Your guidance has been invaluable and so encouraging that every comment, every conversation made me want to be more open, more vulnerable with the reader. That's where the magic lies in this book. Thank you!!!
—Arda Ozdemir, The Art of Becoming Unstuck: Your Personalized Journey through Consciousness in Search of Ultimate Happiness
For many years, I struggled to finish a novel, working in writing groups, classes and workshops, and with a cadre of beta readers, but few really gave helpful critique. When I finally had a coherent draft, I asked Gail to read it. Gail provided me with a summary of issues affecting the manuscript, specifically in relationship to character development. She also provided me with detailed notes on each chapter. Gail's insightful editing helped me ask myself important questions about my characters' motivations, target gaps and inconsistencies, delete unnecessary words, and home in on the purpose of each plot point. Her edits helped me come up with a polished work that I now feel comfortable sending out to agents for query. Gail helped me cross the finish line, and I highly recommend her."
G. Elizabeth Kretchmer’s editing is skillful, intuitive, and detailed, delivering precisely what writers want and need from a good editor: a constructive critique with specific suggestions for making our manuscripts the best they can be. I hired Kretchmer to provide a developmental edit of my memoir after receiving her sample edit. What I received was far and above what I expected. She provided line edits to show where the flow and feeling of my language weakened, as well as noting developmental details re Plot, Characters, and Story Line. In addition, Kretchmer wrote a multi-page “general notes” summary with specific details relating to the “big picture” of the overall manuscript. I found that her observations were spot on. I highly recommend Ms. Kretchmer.
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