Alison Kerr Miller

Alison Kerr Miller – Editor

I'm a talented manuscript editor who has worked on thousands of trade titles for adults and children, including high-profile authors.

Overview

I got my start at a university press, where my duties as assistant to the managing editor provided an excellent editing education, and I moved on to trade publishing a few years later when I landed at Houghton Mifflin's Trade Division. The first novel I ever copyedited, Susan Straight's Highwire Moon, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and set the tone for the many works of literary fiction I have gone on to copyedit. In addition to select Adult titles like that one, at Houghton Mifflin I worked on all Children's books, copyediting all picture books and many middle grade, nonfiction, and YA titles myself as well. After seventeen years at Houghton (and its many iterations), I left to freelance exclusively and shifted my focus to Adult titles, but I still love a middle grade novel.


My favorite genre is the memoir, and I have edited those by some "names," such as Jenny Slate, Kathleen Turner, and Tori Amos, but I love helping all kinds of authors tell their own story of any scope. I've copyedited many nonfiction titles exploring historical events and people, and I excel at organizing notes and bibliographies into CMS compliance, the correct format for book publishing. (However, I won't say I ENJOY that, because I'm pretty sure only psychopaths enjoy editing back matter.)


Though I have experience proofreading all genres, I'd now be interested in working on PDFs of only heavily illustrated lifestyle, design, and cookbook titles. I love the puzzle of fitting text with photos on a spread by figuring out how best to tighten the text.


Even though I have had decades of experience and am now one of the "older" freelancers that I used to hire when I was in-house in my twenties, I like to stay current, whether it's related to language, technology, or pop culture. My editing style is centered around clarity and sense rather than arcane grammar rules (but I maintain that a lot of rules serve clarity and sense and will show you how if you're interested!). I follow the author's lead but operate as a stand-in for a very observant reader, and I always choose querying over rewriting.

Services
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs Cooking, Food, Wine, & Spirits History
Fiction
Coming of Age Contemporary Fiction Literary Fiction Middle Grade
Languages
English (US)

Work experience

Self-employed

Jul, 2017 — Present

Copyedit and proofread for major trade publishers including Hachette (Little, Brown), HarperCollins, and multiple Random House imprints. Essentially all genres: fiction, memoir, biography, annotated nonfiction, children’s/YA, cookbooks, design.

Houghton Mifflin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Mar, 2000 — Jun, 2017 (over 17 years)

Oversaw the editorial production of all children’s and young adult trade titles (HMHBFYR and Clarion Books). Copyedited and proofread all HMHBFYR picture books and short nonfiction, plus select longer nonfiction and middle grade and young adult novels, as well as catalog and promotional materials. From 2000 to 2004, before the addition of two more children's imprints, worked on adult titles as well. Managed a stable of approximately thirty freelance copyeditors, proofreaders, and indexers, providing instruction and feedback. Worked with acquisition editors and managing editors to determine house style and procedures, and helped acquisitions editors and freelance copyeditors with the transition to electronic editing.

Portfolio

Copy Editing
Copy Editing
Copy Editing
Copy Editing
Copy Editing
Proofreading
Proofreading
Proofreading
What We Owe

Golnaz Hashemzadeh Bonde

Copy Editing
Copy Editing
Highwire Moon: A Novel

Straight, Susan

Copy Editing
Proofreading
Proofreading
Orbiting Jupiter

Schmidt, Gary D.

Copy Editing
Copy Editing
Copy Editing
Copy Editing
Proofreading
Copy Editing
Copy Editing
Copy Editing
Copy Editing
Little Weirds

Slate, Jenny

Copy Editing
Copy Editing

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