Carmen Smith

Carmen Smith - Editor

Austin, Texas, USA

NEA speaker. Published author. I've put NYTimes bestselling authors and Amazon #1 bestsellers through my self-help and memoir boot camp.

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I was born to edit.

While you lie in bed at night thinking about research, audience, and content, I lie in bed thinking about grammar, clarity, and structure.

My priority as an editor is to center your vision. My ten years of professional editing experience and six years of studying English help me understand not only the current version of a work but the intent behind the content as well. Grammar is just the tip of editing. In my hands, your content will become even smoother, crisper, and more compelling to read.

Recent projects:

>Led a memoir writing workshop with the National Endowment of the Arts Big Reads program

>Editor for Making Numbers Count, Simon & Schuster book by Chip Heath (Stanford Business School professor whose previous books have been on the New York Times bestseller list, sold 3 million copies, and translated into 35 languages)

>Editor for the upcoming book by Helen and Dave Edwards, co-founders of Sonder, a decision design company

I see myself as a publishing concierge, supporting and guiding authors as they take their book from manuscript to publication. Not only will I provide feedback on the text, I will also provide recommendations for a book cover designer, formatter, and give you access to my proprietary National Endowment of the Arts webinar “Essential Guide to the Publishing Industry” at no extra charge.

I offer a complimentary sample edit of your work (500 words) and a 15-minute phone call to hear about your vision. Official estimate depends on the total word count of your manuscript, we can discuss this on the call. I am tough and thorough, and your work will be the better for it.

I want your readers to get as much out of your work as you put into it. So I don’t just edit, I put your content through boot camp. I drill the grammar until it is perfectly in line. I keep the standards high so that every sentence is clear and captivating. My promise is that every book, blog post, paragraph, sentence, and period that passes my desk will be clean, modern, and engaging by the time it leaves.

"Carmen went above and beyond our contract. She is concise, thorough, ahead of schedule and every edit or suggestion she had for me was spot on. She made my book better! Also...she's a really cool lady that encouraged me, believed in my work and pushed me. I am SO grateful for her and once I finish the first round of edits, I will be hiring her again to do the line-by-line. I cannot recommend her enough."

"This is the second time I’ve worked with Carmen. Once again, her assistance was invaluable and skills and professionalism exemplary. I realize these are a lot of kudos, but trust me. If you need someone to assist you in any facet of writing- contact her. You can’t find anyone better!"

"Carmen is simply amazing as what she does. She polished my novel to perfection. I will be working with Carmen again on my future books!"

"As I tried to determine who I should contact, her presentation caught my attention. It was detailed and precise, but also conveyed a person who is passionate about her work. After our initial phone call, I knew I made the right choice. She is skilled in the technical aspects of copy editing. But, her abilities are deeper than grammatical corrections and placement. Carmen added a dimension to my manuscript that provided the depth and emotion the book needed. I labored for a long time with this writing. Carmen took a manuscript and made it the book - I am proud of…"

"It was amazing to work with Carmen. She is patient and very understanding of the work. I also liked the work ethic and the dedication she put up in my work. I sincerely feel that i received more than i paid for in her services. And I know she will be my first choice to work with, the next time. I'd rather wait for her to complete all her ongoing projects in hand if she is extremely busy than work with anyone else."

"It was a fantastic experience working with Carmen. She did a great job of diagnosing my needs and coming back with a perfect project. Of particular value were the comments she included in why she felt certain changes to my first draft were warranted. I plan to use Carmen on all of my future writing projects. She is also extremely personable and easy to deal with. Great Job Carmen."

"I was extremely lucky with hiring Carmen. Her methodology behind the editing process was not something that I would've known that I needed, but is by far, the best process. Your project would benefit greatly from the experience that I have had. Good work!"

"This is my third contract with Carmen, and will not be my last. Her professionalism and skills are remarkable. She is a pleasure to work with and her insights invaluable. A "truly" 5-star association."

"Carmen did an outstanding job. Her comments and suggestions were right to the point. She was insightful and provided a different perspective to consider when developing this project. I will not hesitate a minute to ask Carmen to work and refine my future projects."

"Carmen was responsive and understood my vision for the book. Overall working with her was smooth with no issues at all. She even met my last minute time requirements. I will definitely be hiring her for future projects!"

"Carmen has been wonderful to work with. I went with my gut instincts when I hired her and I am so glad I did. She is very professional, got my projects done in a timely manner and was very easy to communicate with. I love people who live up to my expectations, and Carmen has far exceeded them."

"Carmen did a fantastic job understanding what we needed and executing with a high level of accuracy, efficiency, and proficiency. Communication was always great and we're looking forward to collaborating with her on future projects."

My experience by the numbers:
6 years studying English at the collegiate/graduate level
1 master’s in English
2 years of professional and academic editing at a university
10 years freelance editing
English (AUS)
English (CAN)
English (NZ)
English (SA)
English (UK)
English (US)
Biographies & Memoirs
Business & Management
Health & Wellbeing
LGBTQ Non-Fiction
Self-Help & Self-Improvement


  • MA in English
  • BS in English

Work experience

Co-Founder, Editor in Chief

April, 2011 – Present (over 11 years)

Co-founder. Manage three editors. Line editor for upcoming Simon and Schuster book by bestselling author Chip Heath whose books have sold 3 million copies and been translated into 35 languages.

Guest Lecturer

National Endowment of the Arts
March, 2020 – April, 2020 (about 1 month)

Developed and taught a 4-week virtual memoir writing workshop curriculum, “Making Room: Eliminating the Barriers to Writing Your Story” in conjunction with the NEA Big Reads program.

Writing Consultant

Northern Illinois University
August, 2015 – May, 2017 (over 1 year)

Portfolio (9 selected works)

GALLANT: The Call of The Trail

Eckard, Claire, Mann, Phylicia

ADHD and Neurofeedback Explained

Cunningham, Schuyler, Norman, Tim

Carmen has 6 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Adriana Tokin
Carmen was amazing to work with. She was very professional and accommodated my needs. Carmen was great with communication and I never had to wait long for a response back. Thank you Carmen for the opportunity to work with you, it was wonderful!

Adriana Tokin, April 2022

Shelly Slocum
Carmen was AMAZING to work with! She was professional, prompt and friendly. I loved all of her edits and truly believe she made my book better. I highly recommend her. I will definitely use her again for my next book!

Shelly Slocum, March 2022

Wen Peetes
Carmen has changed my possibilities as a first-time author and as a self-believer. Yes. Carmen’s talents as an impeccable editor are immutable. But she gives so much more. From our first interaction, she asked thoughtful questions and listened, truly listened to what I needed. My self-help book is about healing childhood trauma and abuse. I needed my voice to be authentic, hopeful and strong. C...
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Wen Peetes, March 2022

Ward Richmond
Carmen was amazing to work with. She exceeded all expectations including quality of work and deadline. She works fast but thorough and expert communicator with positive optimistic attitude.

Ward Richmond, March 2022

Tyreeck Todd
Working with Carmen was great! I love the communication and feedback with every step along the way. The quality of her work is outstanding.

Tyreeck Todd, February 2022

Carmen Smith
Same, Tyreeck. It was a pleasure. Best of luck to you and the future of your book! You should be proud of what you've accomplished.

Reply from Carmen Smith

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