Z Editing and Writing Services
Editing and Writing Services
How I Came to Editing
Endlessly curious, I love to work with words, understand what people think, and work with them to communicate it clearly—even more than that, to communicate so that people are moved, their lives changed. I have spent the last 16 years teaching preaching at San Francisco Theological Seminary. Semester after semester I’ve taught students how to structure their writing so it not only communicates but rocks the world of those sitting in the pew. I’ve practiced that craft as well, writing sermons each week for the last 20+ years, then finally I took up the task of writing my own book, Evolving Christianity; Life After Faith Crisis, just last year. This has given me a very real sense of the trials and tribulations an author encounters along the way. During this last year I’ve worked extensively with Dr. Marc Gafni, editing his most recent (630 page) book, Tears, along with several articles and the scripts of a number of videos. I’ve absolutely loved the work, diving in and working through a text so that it carries its message into the mind of the reader.
The Editing I Do
I do what people in the trade call content editing. This encompasses both developmental editing and line editing. A developmental editor works on a manuscript to ensure the book has a cohesive, well ordered, argument or point of view. The editor makes sure there are no “holes” in the presentation of the material, that it is logically ordered and carries readers through to the end, while holding their interest throughout. Developmental editing takes the broadest view on a book. This is the point in the process where paragraphs, pages, even whole chapters are moved about or removed in order to create the smoothest reading experience. It requires an understanding and instinct for the underlying structure of the book. This is where I excel. I go into the world thinking structurally, looking for how the many disparate pieces fit into a whole.
A line editor works to ensure that the writing flows from one sentence to the next, that it makes sense each step of the way. This is the art of writing prose, the point in the process where long complicated sentences are broken up so a reader doesn’t need to work too hard to understand what the author is saying. It’s all about the reader. I always want to know, “What will the reader’s experience be?” Line editing requires an almost lyrical sensibility, a feel for the way readers will hear what they are reading. Years of writing sermons have honed my ability to hear what a reader is reading, it has sharpened my lyrical sensibility.
I have extensive experience writing short form pieces, blog posts, short articles and so forth and invite this work as well.
Relationship Between Author and Editor
Beyond the editing itself, the relationship between an editor and an author is critical. After all, I will be doing more than simply reading and editing your manuscript. I will be interacting with something that you have labored over sometimes for months or even years. Your relationship to the manuscript is not casual and should not be treated that way. The relationship between author and editor can be fraught with tension but I have found that need not be so. It requires the editor to be clear and thorough in his work to be sure, but he needs to be kind and supportive as well. These are skills I learned well as a pastor. My interest is in helping you and supporting you, as get your book ready. It’s a huge undertaking; I look forward to working through it with you.
What I Charge
I have proven aptitudes and skills to do the work of developmental and line editing, but my experience doing so on book length projects is limited. For that reason I am charging less per hour than some editors with what I think are similar gifts. At least for the time being, I am charging
If you would like to explore the possibility of working with me to get your book into the world, the first step is a short conversation to talk about the project. I’m happy to answer any questions you may have during that call.
Rev. Samuel G. Alexander
238 Ridgeway Ave.
Fairfax, California 94930