Catherine Dee

Catherine Dee - Editor

Copy editor and proofreader; loves helping authors perfect their nonfiction books. Award-winning author (Little, Brown). Easy to work with!

Request a quote
Verified identity

Overview

With your nonfiction book, do you want to:

Sound like a pro?
Avoid being judged or discounted for grammar errors and typos?
Make sure your work is polished and glowing?
Effectively connect with your readers?

I can help! What qualifies me to work on your book?

I've been an editor of nonfiction books for adults and kids at a small publisher, EarthWorks Press. These titles included The Recycler’s Handbook, The Women’s Voting Guide, and Kid Heroes of the Environment.

I'm also a published author of nonfiction books, so I know what you're going through. I wrote five inspirational books to help teen girls build their self-esteem and pursue their dreams. The Girls' Guide to Life was a San Francisco Chronicle bestseller. The Girls' Book of Wisdom won awards from the American Library Association, New York Public Library, and Disney Adventures.

I've also perfected my copy editing and proofreading skills at technical companies, including HP and Google.

As a copy editor and proofreader, I'm known for my ability to:

● Correct grammar errors, spelling mistakes, style errors, and typos that others may miss
● Simplify long and wordy sentences, removing words you don't need
● Suggest ways to simplify jargon
● Create a more conversational tone

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

● Straightforward with suggesting corrections (which you may accept or ignore)
● Not afraid to say what I think you could clarify or improve (I'll put comments to you in the margins)
● Passionate about helping you get your message out
● Attuned to editorial details (or, as I like to say, "In the weeds")
● Cognizant of the bigger picture: I'm not a developmental editor, but I may identify ways you could improve your message and point out concerns about content
● Approachable and easy to talk to
● Attuned to editorial standards: I loosely follow the Chicago Manual of Style
● Appreciative of your flexibility on the due date (I'm often juggling projects)
● Efficient; possibly completing the work before the deadline

I'd love to help you with your adult nonfiction book about basically any topic. I'm especially passionate about working on books that help people find and nurture relationships, help women and girls become empowered, and uplift and inspire regular people to cope with everyday things and reach their goals.

A few testimonials on my work:

"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 that 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, author

"I have nothing but good things to say about this editor. I found her comments and feedback thoughtful. I appreciated the way she understood the intent of certain sections and how to make the words flow better for a specific audience. I'd definitely work with her again and highly recommend her!" —Virginia Goodhart, author

"Catherine has become my go-to teammate for editing. She 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, author

"Catherine is a solution-oriented oasis of positive energy—a real joy to work with." —Kevin Steen, content manager, Google

If this all sounds good to you, I'd love to bid on copy editing or proofreading your nonfiction book. My rates are competitive with those of other established professionals, and I think you'll be pleased with the results.

I look forward to helping you make your book fantastic!

Cheers,

Catherine

P.S.: Here's a set of tips I've created for nonfiction book authors. Let me know if you have questions!

47 Things You Can Do to Improve Your Nonfiction Book Before Having It Copy Edited

Writing is a process that's similar to the act of peeling an onion. In my experience, getting writing to flow correctly and make sense almost always requires multiple drafts and tons of revisions.

The amount of “polishing” you can do before hiring a copy editor could make a big difference in the number of red marks and suggestions you receive.

Want to make your book as awesome as possible for your copy editor? Here are ways you can get it in shipshape:

1. Write in Microsoft Word or Google Docs, which will make it easy to track changes.

2. Start strong. Begin each chapter with something intriguing, entertaining, or reader focused, such as a question, quotation, or anecdote.

3. End each chapter with a “summing up” that’s interesting and leaves your reader feeling good.

4. Peel the onion. If you tend to write “backward,” throwing your thoughts onto the page and eventually arriving at the point you want to make, consider doing a second draft to restructure all that information. Start with the main point, or at least clearly allude to it.

5. Directly address your reader as “you” and make the book as focused on their needs as possible.

6. Don’t use “we” or “us” to refer to humanity or a subset of people (for example, those who suffer from a particular condition). By doing this, you appear to assume that everyone is exactly the same, and it can come across as condescending and alienate readers who don't subscribe to your way of thinking.

7. Addressing your reader directly and as much as possible. Don’t change from “I” and “my” to “we” and “our” or “you” and “your” in the same paragraph. Ideally, stick with focusing on the reader ("you") and not you or your experience.

8. Lead your reader. Make sure every single sentence in a paragraph relates to the ones before and after it. Make sure every paragraph relates to the ones that come before and after it.

9. Get to the point. Cut out extra words, sentences, and paragraphs that aren’t relevant or adding value for your reader. The shorter and sweeter, the better.

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

11. Be elegant. Avoid ending a sentence in a preposition.

12. Don’t repeat yourself or refer to something you said earlier (“As I wrote earlier…”). Don’t reference information in other books you’ve written.

13. Be understated about yourself. Don’t quote yourself in the text or above it. It’s better to quote celebrated authors and celebrities (even if would consider yourself to be one). Don't subtly market your services or other books you've written to the reader.

14. Cite the source if you’re referring to a statistic.

15. Be concise: prune every sentence of unnecessary words. For example, instead of “Why is that?” write “Why?”

16. Keep paragraphs short (3–5 sentences).

17. Keep sentences relatively short.

18. Break up dense text by adding subheads.

19. Avoid making generalizations (for example, “We’re all so busy!”).

20. Make sense. Have you left out any key words? Will your reader know what you’re talking about?

21. Be logical. Make sure each sentence and paragraph leads to the next thought.

22. Transition smoothly. Don’t sporadically switch topics. At the very least, insert a subhead to denote a new topic.

23. Write informally. Use words that people will understand. Imagine that you’re having a personal conversation with one of your readers.

24. Use contractions (“You’ve”, “Can’t”) for a friendly, informal tone.

25. Delete most details about yourself (unless you’re writing an autobiography). Save the personal anecdotes for the introduction and maybe the end.

26. Avoid sounding biased: sexist, racist, ageist, misogynist, elitist. For example, don’t assume your reader is male and married with kids.

27. Fact check all your material, including the spellings of people’s names.

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

29. In subheads: capitalize only the first word (this is called “sentence case”).

30. Emphasize words by italicizing them.

31. Emphasize the right words: only those that are begging to be emphasized.

32. Don’t use ALL CAPS for emphasis (it’s the equivalent of shouting).

33. Don’t use italic as a different font.

34. Don’t overuse exclamation points. Use them for occasional emphasis to indicate points that are truly exciting. If you use them too often, they lose their effectiveness.

35. Avoid the future tense (for instance, “You will learn about this in Chapter 2.”). Instead, use the present tense. (“I cover issues in Chapter 2.”)

36. Assume that you are your reader and read the book from their perspective.

37. Have friends and family members read the book and give you their candid input.

38. Make your content interesting. Put effort into your phrasing. For example, don’t write a subhead that’s a single word.

39. Don’t plagiarize. Credit ideas as appropriate. Rephrase others’ thoughts in your own words.

40. Don’t be preachy. Don’t tell readers that they “should” do something.

41. Write for all levels: Make sure your content would make sense to a 6th grader.

42. Do a spellcheck.

43. Do a grammar check.

44. Hire a developmental editor before having the book copy edited to ensure that it’s ready for detailed editing.

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

46. Review this checklist.

47. Have fun! Enjoy the process of working on your book, whether it takes you two months or two years.



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, proofreader

Self-employed
September, 2019 – Present (about 1 year)

I'm focused on copy editing and proofreading non-fiction books that inspire and empower people: women, men, couples, singles, baby boomers, millennials, business owners, health advocates, activists, speakers, parents, non-parents, entrepreneurs, writers, artists, health-care professionals, and others.

I also edit marketing and technical content for companies. I specialize in blogs, articles, white papers, and web sites.

Technical Editor

Talend
April, 2016 – September, 2019 (over 3 years)

● Helped non-native-English-speaking writers improve their English grammar and usage: created editorial style guide and weekly style tip
● Edited and proofread software training courses, course certification content, and technical help articles

Editor

Google (contract)
April, 2015 – December, 2015 (8 months)

Edited and enhanced exam questions about Google search, display, mobile, video, and shopping advertising, as well as related study guide material and UI content

Content Manager

eBay (contract)
June, 2014 – March, 2015 (9 months)

Edited web content to help eBay sellers promote their listings, help eBay users create item collections, and simplify buyer-focused help pages

Senior Copywriter

Hewlett-Packard
February, 2003 – May, 2014 (about 11 years)

● Edited and proofread web marketing copy and promotional content
● Improved conversions by 12%, content quality by 35%; 66% of customers preferred new messaging; achieved results by strategically rewriting landing page
● Wrote and maintained editorial style guide

Editor

EarthWorks Press
May, 1990 – May, 1992 (about 2 years)

Achievements:
● Edited trade paperback books about the environment and politics, including The
Recycler’s Handbook, The Women’s Voting Guide, and Kid Heroes of the Environment
● Managed team of writers and researchers, ghost-wrote newspaper columns, promoted books

Portfolio (14 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

How to Find & Keep Your Perfect Man

Goodhart, Dr. Rychard and Dr. Virginia

Catherine has 18 reviews

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

Daniel Ratner
I really enjoyed working with Catherine. Very professional and great communicator.

Daniel Ratner, November 2020

Catherine Dee
Daniel, thank you for being my A+ client again--I thoroughly enjoyed working with you as well!

Reply from Catherine Dee


Tamara Griffin
Working with Cate was so simple. She truly is a gem. Cate was very quick in responding and her suggestions helped to strengthen my project. I definitely would work with her again.

Tamara Griffin, November 2020

Catherine Dee
Thanks so much for your feedback, Tamara. It's been a true pleasure working with you!

Reply from Catherine Dee


Steve Radentz
Catherine has become my go to teammate for editing. She 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. She takes my words, and turns them into a book, while educating me on proper writing techniques. She does this in a casual yet straight forward way. I can't say enough about her w...
Read more

Steve Radentz, October 2020

Catherine Dee
Thank you, Steve. It's an honor to have you as my first, and now, repeat, Reedsy client. I'm thrilled that I could help with your books, and I sincerely enjoy working with you. Best of luck with yo...
Read more

Reply from Catherine Dee


Daniel Ratner
I love working with Catherine. This is my 2nd book using her. She is very easy to communicate with and an excellent editor.

Daniel Ratner, October 2020

Catherine Dee
Daniel, Thanks for your kind words, and I love working with you as well. Your books are fun to read and I appreciate your upbeat, inspirational vibe!

Reply from Catherine Dee


Shun Pittm
Catherine is super talented. She was hired to proofread my manuscript because the two editors before her thought it was ready. Catherine made a decision to offer edits instead. I felt overwhelmed and my timeline got thrown off. However, I am grateful for her wisdom. She challenged me for the better. My only disappointment was not being able to have her review the changes I made based on her cr...
Read more

Shun Pittm, September 2020

Catherine Dee
Shun, it was such a pleasure to work with you, and thank you for being open to my more substantive input. I'm glad you found the suggestions helpful and that you were able to refine your work, and ...
Read more

Reply from Catherine Dee

Read more reviews

Explore the Reedsy Community

Reedsy is a community of top publishing professionals. Join Reedsy today to browse 1000+ profiles.

Maria Gifford

Extensive experience collaborating with healthcare providers to produce content to help promote behavior change and self-improvement.

Rochester, Minnesota, USA

Julia Kellaway

Experienced and meticulous non-fiction editor with a keen eye. Passionate about great books.

London, United Kingdom

To view 1,000+ more profiles, Join Reedsy