Catherine Dee

Catherine Dee - Editor

Passionate copy editor and developmental editor who loves helping authors perfect nonfiction books. Direct, detail oriented, and thorough!

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Overview

Do you want to:

Create a clearly written book that your readers love?
● Make sure your writing looks, sounds, and feels professional?
Avoid being judged later for grammar errors and typos?

I can help with all of these desires.

What qualifies me to work with you?

Four key things:

● I've been an editor at a small publisher, where I worked on successful mass-market books, including The Recycler’s Handbook, The Women’s Voting Guide, and Kid Heroes of the Environment.

● I'm an award-winning published author: I wrote five inspirational books to help teen girls build their self-esteem. The Girls' Guide to Life was a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller. The Girls' Book of Wisdom won awards from the American Library Association and Disney Adventures. I know the elements of a great nonfiction book, and I can help you ensure that you have them.

● I've been a long-time writer and editor in the corporate world, working and consulting at HP and Google, among other companies. This experience has sharpened my editing skills.

● I'm passionate about fine-tuning manuscripts meant to inspire and empower people to tackle their problems and reach their potential, find and nurture great relationships, or help improve the world.

As an editor, I'm known for my ability to:

● Be candid with suggestions
● Suggest ways to simplify sentences and paragraphs so they're easier to read
● Identify where you're missing transitions

When I'm your editor, you can expect me to be:

● Attuned to editorial standards: I loosely follow the Chicago Manual of Style
● Appreciative of any flexibility on your due date
● Efficient, possibly beating our deadline

A note about my rates: they are higher than Reedsy's averages and more aligned with those of seasoned professionals. For example, for copy editing, I bid around .030 per word. That said, I go more in-depth than many copy editors (so I've been told), providing abundant suggestions and pointing out possible improvements. I completely understand if you are on a tight budget; I just want to be up front about what to expect in a bid from me.

* * * * *

You've probably skimmed my Reedsy reviews; if not, here's some feedback I've received:

I LOVE the changes and suggestions you've made. Love them, and you have helped me look at the project in a new way. Thank you! —Andy Scarpati

I’ve gone through everything you did a few times now and had to reach out. THANK YOU! I am so appreciative. You went above and beyond anything I expected. I found myself nodding to my laptop as I read your recommendations. You truly helped bring this book to the next level. I will not hire anyone else for my books from here on out…that is, if you are open to working with me again. :) —James DiNanno


Catherine not only provides an excellent edit, she asks questions about my writing, which makes me think a little differently while guiding me to use more relevant words. I can't say enough about her work. —Steve Radentz

* * * * *

Thank you so much for reading my Reedsy profile and considering me as a prospective bidder on copy editing or developmentally editing your manuscript. I'd love to help you make it a best-selling success!

Warm regards,
Catherine Dee
Dee Best Communications

* * * * *

P.S.: Here are some quick proactive writing tips to help you reduce the amount of editing that your editor may suggest.

How to Improve Your Self-Help Manuscript Before Hiring an Editor

Are you ready to hire an editor?

I think of writing a self-help book as like peeling an onion. The first draft is simply taking off the outer layer; then you have many rounds of peeling in order to create a high-quality book.

If you want readers to take your message seriously, you're going to want to refine, and then keep refining, until everything is perfect.

Want to simplify your editing process? The amount of improvement you can make before hiring a developmental editor or copy editor can make a huge difference in the number of red marks and suggestions you get back from your hired pro. Plus, when you can correct a bunch of smaller issues, your editor can then focus on more-substantive input to help make the book really shine.

Here are some ways to get started.


The basics

1. Write your book in Microsoft Word or Google Docs, which will make it easy for you to see your editor’s suggestions and comments.

2. Keep your sentences relatively short (no run-ons).

3. Keep your paragraphs relatively short (3–6 sentences each max).

4. Break up dense text blocks by shortening or breaking up long paragraphs.

5. Include subheadings to provide structure and break up the text.

6. Include all the elements of a book: a title page, a copyright page, a table of contents, acknowledgments (people you’re thanking), an introduction (written by you), a preface (written by someone else; optional), references (if applicable), and your author bio.


Big-picture stuff

7. Start each chapter with something intriguing, entertaining, or reader focused, such as a “fun fact,” question, quotation, or anecdote.

8. Write in an engaging way to draw your reader in. Don’t bore them. Don’t just do the bare minimum. For example, don’t use a one-word subheading. Make the book a joy to read.

9. Get to the point. Cut out all extra words, sentences, and even entire paragraphs that aren’t relevant, particularly compelling, or likely to be adding value for your reader. The shorter and sweeter you can make the book, the better.

10. End each chapter by summing up your message in a way that will leave your reader feeling inspired.

11. Be logical. Make sure every single sentence in a paragraph relates to and connects with the one before and after it. Make sure every single paragraph relates to the one before and after it.

12. Make the book accessible to a wide audience by writing in a simple, straightforward way (not in a stuffy, long-winded academic style) for all reading levels.

13. Use informal language as much as possible. Imagine that you’re having a one-on-one conversation with your reader.

14. Avoid making generalizations (“We’re all so busy!”).

15. Avoid sounding biased (sexist, racist, ageist, elitist, etc.). For example, don’t address your readers as if they’re all men who are married with kids.

16. Don’t be preachy or tell readers they “should” do anything. Instead, present them with options they can relate to and that could inspire them.

17. Don’t plagiarize (steal other people’s content without crediting them). Want to include someone else’s work, such as a poem? Get their permission.

Focus on your reader (avoid talking about yourself)

18. In general, stick to the reader’s perspective and needs. They’re reading the book to get insights and action tips.

19. Unless the format of your book requires it, avoid sharing details and stories about yourself. Save the powerful personal anecdotes, and the reason you wrote the book, for the introduction.

20. Directly address the reader as “you.”

21. Avoid using “we” or “us” to refer to humanity or a subgroup (for example, people who suffer from a certain condition). Implying that everyone is the same can come across as condescending and alienate readers who don’t think of themselves as sheeple.

22. Don’t alternate using “I” and “my” with “we” and “our” in the same paragraph.

23. Don’t quote yourself (even if you consider yourself an authority).

24. Avoid referring to things you said earlier (“As I wrote in Chapter 1…”) and to advice you’ve given in other books.

25. Avoid marketing your services and promoting your business in the text. Your readers want helpful information, not a sales pitch. Save your promo blurb (if appropriate) for the back page or back cover.


Get the details right

26. Be concise. Prune every sentence. For example, instead of “Why is that?” write “Why?”

27. Avoid the future tense (“You will learn about this in Chapter 5.”). Instead, use the present tense. (“I cover these issues in Chapter 5.”)

28. When referring to a statistic, cite the source by either mentioning it in the text (“According to…”) or footnoting it (or both).

29. Use contractions (“You’re”) for a friendly tone.

30. Don’t start a sentence with “This” or refer to “this” if it’s not clear what “this” is.

31. Be elegant: avoid ending a sentence in a preposition (“…what you’re looking for.”)

32. Use one space (not two) between sentences.

33. Fact-check everything, including the spellings of people’s names.


Peel the onion

34. Rewrite your first draft. If you’re like many writers, you throw thoughts on the page and eventually arrive at the point you want to make. Unfortunately, this does not make for an easy-to-read book. Do an edit to better structure all that information.

35. Set the book aside for a week. Then pretend you are your target reader and read it from their perspective.

36. Have friends and family members read the book and give you their honest input.

37. Check for missing transitions and rewrite for a natural flow.

Follow conventional style

38. In chapter titles, capitalize major words (this is called “headline case”).

39. Capitalize only the first word of subheadings (“sentence case”).

40. Emphasize words by italicizing them. Don’t use ALL CAPS (it’s the equivalent of shouting). Italicize only words that are begging to be emphasized.

41. Don’t use bold for emphasis.

42. Don’t use italic as a contrasting font or to set off a large block quotation.

43. Don’t overuse exclamation points. Use them to occasionally indicate something truly amazing, otherwise they lose their impact.

44. Do a spelling and grammar check.


Have fun!

45. Don’t prematurely agree to a publishing date before you’re finished with the editing phase.

46. Give yourself time to correct and improve everything that may not be quite right, whether the process takes you two days or two weeks.

47. Enjoy the editing process and the moments of “flow” you may experience as you focus on creating a relevant, positively reviewed, and (we hope) best-selling book!


Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Career Guides
Education & Reference
Health & Wellbeing
Inspirational
Psychology
Self-Help & Self-Improvement
Sex & Relationships
Writing & Publishing

Work experience

Copywriter, editor

Self-employed
September, 2019 – Present (over 2 years)

I'm focused on copy editing and developmentally editing nonfiction books meant to inspire and empower people. I also edit and write marketing content (blogs and website copy) for tech companies.

Portfolio (26 selected works)

The Girls' Book of Wisdom: Empowering, Inspirational Quotes from over 400 Fabulous Females

Catherine Dee

Aimed at advising and amusing girls age 12 and up, this collection includes quotations from 500 famous women, including suffragists, pioneers, politicians, moms, musicians, athletes, and actors. The quotes are grouped by categories, such as friendship, confidence, and creativity.

Aimed at advising and amusing girls age 12 and up, this collection includes quotations from 500 famous women, including suffragists, pioneers, politicians, moms, musicians, athletes, and actors. The quotes are grouped by categories, such as friendship, confidence, and creativity.

The Girls' Book of Success: Winning Wisdom, Stars' Secrets, Tales of Triumph, and More

Catherine Dee, Ali Douglass

With quotes, suggestions, poems, and advice from celebrities, such as Beyonce Knowles and Amelia Earhart, provides young girls with encouragement and inspiration for achieving success in any career they wish to pursue. Original.

With quotes, suggestions, poems, and advice from celebrities, such as Beyonce Knowles and Amelia Earhart, provides young girls with encouragement and inspiration for achieving success in any career they wish to pursue. Original.

The Girls' Guide to Life: How to Take Charge of the Issues That Affect You

Catherine Dee

A handbook for girls ages ten to sixteen familiarizes them with the basic issues affecting girls and women today and explains how to cultivate a healthy self-image, presenting a mix of facts, activities, profiles, poems, and resource lists. Original.

A handbook for girls ages ten to sixteen familiarizes them with the basic issues affecting girls and women today and explains how to cultivate a healthy self-image, presenting a mix of facts, activities, profiles, poems, and resource lists. Original.

The Girls' Book of Love: Cool Quotes, Super Stories, Awesome Advice, and More

Catherine Dee, Ali Douglass

A collection of true stories, quotes, poems, and personal advice on various aspects of romantic relationships and being in love includes work by Oprah Winfrey, Sarah Jessica Parker, Amy Tan, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and others.

A collection of true stories, quotes, poems, and personal advice on various aspects of romantic relationships and being in love includes work by Oprah Winfrey, Sarah Jessica Parker, Amy Tan, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and others.

The Girls' Book of Friendship

Catherine Dee

The Girls' Book of Friendship published by Little, Brown and Co. for Hallmark Card (2003) [Hardcover]

The Girls' Book of Friendship published by Little, Brown and Co. for Hallmark Card (2003) [Hardcover]

The Recycler's Handbooks Simple Things You Can Do

Unknown

AAL Member Benefit edition

AAL Member Benefit edition

DotCom Divas: E-Business Insights From The Visionary Women Founders of 20 Net Ventures

Elizabeth Carlassare

In Dotcom Divas, prepare to meet some of the most talented, energetic, and visionary Internet entrepreneurs who ever plunged into the e-business revolution. And, oh, by the way -- they're all women. Industry insider, Elizabeth Carlassare, introduces readers to the inspiring women founders of 20 Internet companies, including LookSmart, EDGAR Online, E-Loan, RightWorks, and Marimba. In Dotcom Di... read more

In Dotcom Divas, prepare to meet some of the most talented, energetic, and visionary Internet entrepreneurs who ever plunged into the e-business revolution. And, oh, by the way -- they're all women. Industry insider, Elizabeth Carlassare, introduces readers to the inspiring women founders of 20 Internet companies, including LookSmart, EDGAR Online, E-Loan, RightWorks, and Marimba. In Dotcom Di... read more

50 Things Your Hairdresser Wants YOU to Know (and a few things we don't...)

Pittman, Shun, Edwards, Susan, Dee, Catherine, Lane, Sarah, McCallen, Laura, Banks, Jimmie, Curry, Lance, Kuhn, Steve

How to Find & Keep Your Perfect Man

Virginia Goodhart

Discover the world’s most comprehensive book on dating, romance, and the secrets of a happy love life. Finding the man of your dreams just got easier, thanks to this empowering, no-nonsense guide for women seeking real connections and long-term commitment. How to Find & Keep Your Perfect Man will revolutionize the way you think of men and your relationships with them. Drawing on a lifetime of ... read more

Discover the world’s most comprehensive book on dating, romance, and the secrets of a happy love life. Finding the man of your dreams just got easier, thanks to this empowering, no-nonsense guide for women seeking real connections and long-term commitment. How to Find & Keep Your Perfect Man will revolutionize the way you think of men and your relationships with them. Drawing on a lifetime of ... read more

Lynn's Choice

Janet Kelly

Follow Lynn through her experiences of being a drug addict. Her encounters with drug dealers and strangers. Accompany Lynn on her nonstop adventures with friends pulling her in opposite directions.

Follow Lynn through her experiences of being a drug addict. Her encounters with drug dealers and strangers. Accompany Lynn on her nonstop adventures with friends pulling her in opposite directions.

Catherine has 23 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Jack Witt
I enjoyed working with Catherine and appreciated the feedback she offered on my manuscript. She was prompt in her communication and provided excellent editing services.

Jack Witt, October 2021

Catherine Dee
Glad you felt that I provided you with excellent editing, Jack--thank you for providing a review!

Reply from Catherine Dee


Ajay Macherla
Overall, Catherine Dee was a very professional and efficient editor who gave me fantastic feedback on my manuscript. Not only were her copy edits specific and clear, but her developmental editing was excellent and really helped me craft a cohesive story. I believe that my manuscript grew 10 times better through the help of Catherine, and I would highly recommend her to authors, especially begin...
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Ajay Macherla, May 2021

Catherine Dee
Bravo, Ajay; you I'm excited about just how much you improved this (first, I hope, of many) inspirational book created just for kids like you. I know your readers are going to love it. Wishing you ...
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Reply from Catherine Dee


Katherine Utz Hunter
Catherine was very professional. She was responsive as well as efficient. Her edits and suggestions were easy to understand. She pays attention to detail while also keeping the big picture in mind.

Katherine Utz Hunter, May 2021

Catherine Dee
Thank you Katherine for your kind words. It was a pleasure helping you with your book, and I know it will resonate with your readers!

Reply from Catherine Dee


Maureen Gilbert
Catherine was exactly what I needed in an editor. She really understood the essence of what I was trying to communicate with my prose and did a skillful job of tightening up the text and suggesting edits that made the story flow. She was able to combine both high level developmental edits with grammar and structural edits to produce a work that was "print ready" after our collaboration. She ...
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Maureen Gilbert, December 2020

Catherine Dee
Thank you, Maureen! It was such a pleasure to work with you and review your intriguing book. I wish you a fantastic experience with being a published author!

Reply from Catherine Dee


Andy Scarpati
Catherine's work is outstanding. Her edits, comments, and suggestions took my book to another level! I am forever grateful. Thank you Catherine!

Andy Scarpati, December 2020

Catherine Dee
Andy, thanks for your kind words. It was an honor to help you with your very interesting book!

Reply from Catherine Dee

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