Gretchen Schmid

Gretchen Schmid – Editor

Compassionate, thoughtful editor with 8 years' editing experience at multiple Big 5s. Specialties: memoir, history, the arts, translations.

Overview

I'm a professional book editor with eight years of experience at two different Big 5s (Penguin Random House and HarperCollins), where I've worked on a variety of fiction and nonfiction, including memoir, history, philosophy, biographies, mysteries, romance, literary fiction, and thrillers. Multiple books I've edited have gone on to be NYT bestsellers or award-winners. I'm happy to offer developmental editing, line editing, copyediting, and/or proofreading for your manuscript.


I have a particular love for editing nonfiction—especially memoir, history, and anything about the arts (I'm a former dancer and musician!). I know writing memoirs can be vulnerable, and I try to approach those projects with special care.


I also have experience as both a translator (French to English) and an editor of translations (from various languages). If you originally wrote a manuscript in another language and hired a translator to bring it into English, or if you translated it yourself, and are looking for an editor to smooth out the language, we might be a great match.


As an editor, I believe it's important to tell authors what's going RIGHT in their manuscript as well as what's not there yet. I love to highlight places where their storytelling is particularly effective, and let them know when I laugh or gasp out loud. I also work hard to help smooth out and polish their writing while ensuring that it still "sounds like them," and point out any and every sentence whose meaning isn't entirely clear yet.


As a copyeditor and proofreader, I have a sharp eye for misplaced commas, improper capitalization, and spelling mistakes, as well as bigger-picture issues such as continuity errors.


One service I offer is what I have deemed "copyediting plus"—a combination of a copyedit (which focuses on grammar, punctuation, etc.) and a line edit (which focuses more on phrasing, style, clarity, and paragraph organization). This is essentially a copyedit in which I will edit a little more intensively than a traditional copyeditor and pay attention to issues normally outside the copyediting purview. It's a good option for writers who have already revised their manuscripts on the big-picture level and do not wish to do two separate rounds of editing on the line level, whether for time, cost, or bandwidth reasons.


Congratulations on making it this far in your writing process! Looking forward to chatting with you.

Services
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs Humanities & Social Sciences Self-Help & Self-Improvement
Fiction
Contemporary Fiction
Languages
English (US)

Work experience

HarperCollins

Jan, 2022 — Present

Penguin Random House

Jan, 2021 — Jan, 2022 (about 1 year)

Penguin Random House

Jun, 2018 — Dec, 2020 (over 2 years)

Penguin Random House

Aug, 2016 — May, 2018 (over 1 year)

Gretchen has 7 reviews

Professionalism

Quality

Value

Responsiveness

Eric D.

Eric D.

Feb, 2024

Gretchen has been a fantastic collaborator, helping me shape my memoir. From first draft to our most recent edit, she has guided me through the writing process helping me craft my narrative. As a first time author, I have found her contribution invaluable as I try to tell my story. I highly recommend her.
Alicia J.

Alicia J.

Jan, 2024

This was my second time requesting for Gretchen to work on my manuscript. Once again she did not disappoint and I had an overall great service and experience from her. She is always professional, helpful and produces high quality work. What I always appreciate from her, are the additional comments and suggestions she provides. I highly recommend her and will definitely use her again in the futu...
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Alicia J.

Alicia J.

Sep, 2023

Working with Gretchen was wonderful, She went above and beyond working on my manuscript. She is extremely professional, always provided feedback, punctual and within a competitive budget. I highly recommend her and will definitely work with her again.
Megan K.

Megan K.

Jun, 2023

Gretchen was wonderful to work with! I am a first time author and just finished my first memoir. I hired her for copy editing services and query letter editing. She went above and beyond on both occasions - offering phrasing suggestions, adding notes, making corrections where they were needed, and even researching some copyright info that I requested from her. She delivered her edits on time an...
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Eric D.

Eric D.

May, 2023

Working with Gretchen was absolutely amazing! I am a first time writer and she has helped me think about shaping my memoir into a story which more effectively engages readers. She was thoughtful and caring in her approach and provided actionable, understandable and clear feedback. She offered guidance on story arc and flow as well as specific examples of paragraph and sentence structure, wh...
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