Kathleen Cook

Kathleen Cook - Editor

Chapel Hill, NC, USA

Experienced copyeditor and proofreader. Specialties include fiction (literary, romance, mystery), memoir, and historical nonfiction.

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Overview

After ten years as a production editor in New York, at Macmillan and Penguin Random House imprints, I moved back home to North Carolina. I'm now a full-time freelance copy editor and proofreader. I've worked on everything from prizewinning poetry collections, to paranormal romance, to historical nonfiction, to celebrated debut novels.

A few things to note:
* I copyedit using Microsoft Word Track Changes or Google Docs.
* I prefer to proofread on paper, but am experienced using Adobe's editing tools.
* I will accept copyediting projects ONLY AFTER your project has been edited. Developmental editing is a special skill that I cannot provide.
* If your project requires extensive fact-checking, please note that in your request. Extra costs may be incurred.
* I prefer to complete EITHER the copyedit OR the proofread of your project. That's what works best for my schedule, and most important, I believe it provides a better final product for you. Fresh eyes at each stage are best!

Depending on the complexity and/or length of the project, I usually require 4–6 weeks to copyedit. In copyediting, I will:
* fix typos and punctuation errors;
* fix or suggest changes for unwieldy or awkward sentences or word usage;
* do basic fact-checking;
* query character, narrative, and timeline inconsistencies;
* provide a basic style sheet that you can pass on to a proofreader;
* if appropriate, provide a basic timeline summary that you can pass on to a proofreader.

Depending on the complexity and/or length of the project, I usually require 3–4 weeks to proofread. In proofreading, I will:
* fix any lingering typos and punctuation errors;
* suggest changes for especially unwieldy or awkward sentences or word usage;
* double-check character, narrative, and timeline consistency;
* ensure that spelling, punctuation use, and general style is consistent;
* if your book is being printed, check page layouts to ensure they adhere to basic publishing standards.

When I'm not working, I'm usually off walking in the woods with my dog, working on a puzzle, or visiting one of North Carolina's many microbreweries. I look forward to learning about your project!
Languages
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Children's - Non-fiction
True Crime
Fiction
Historical Fiction
Literary Fiction
Romance
Women's Fiction
Humanities & Social Sciences
History

Work experience

Senior Production Editor

Penguin Random House
December, 2012 – July, 2018 (over 5 years)

Oversaw and coordinated copyediting, proofreading, and other parts of the book production process, from manuscript to bound book, for Vintage Books and Anchor Books trade paperback originals and trade and mass-market resets/reprints of Knopf/Doubleday hardcovers.

Freelance Copyeditor and Proofreader

Self-employed
October, 2011 – Present (about 8 years)

Copy edit and proofread book-length manuscripts and page proofs for clients including Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Knopf/Doubleday; Henry Holt; Hachette; and HarperCollins.

Production Editor

Penguin Group (USA)
November, 2010 – December, 2012 (about 2 years)

Oversaw and coordinated copyediting, proofreading, and other parts of the book production process, from manuscript to bound book, for New American Library trade and mass-market titles. Subjects included fantasy, romance, paranormal romance, historical romance, Westerns, thrillers, and cozy mysteries.

Associate Production Editor

Henry Holt & Company (Macmillan)
June, 2009 – November, 2010 (over 1 year)

Promoted from Assistant to the Managing Editor to Associate Production Editor in June 2010.
Oversaw and coordinated copyediting, proofreading, and other parts of the book production process, from manuscript to bound book, for Henry Holt's hardcover and trade paperback fiction and nonfiction lists, including heavily researched nonfiction, memoir, and women's lit.

Portfolio (22 selected works)

A Beach Wish: A Novel

Shelley Noble

New York Times bestselling author Shelley Noble returns to the beach in her latest summer read about the family we create and the wishes we make that can shape us.Zoe Bascombe has never said no to her family. When she blew her Juilliard audition, she caved to their wishes and went to business school. But when her mother dies and leaves instructions for Zoe to spread her ashes at a place called... read more

New York Times bestselling author Shelley Noble returns to the beach in her latest summer read about the family we create and the wishes we make that can shape us.Zoe Bascombe has never said no to her family. When she blew her Juilliard audition, she caved to their wishes and went to business school. But when her mother dies and leaves instructions for Zoe to spread her ashes at a place called... read more

Paul Takes the Form of Mortal Girl

Andrea Lawlor

“HOT” —Maggie Nelson “TIGHT” —Eileen Myles “DEEP” —Michelle TeaIt's 1993 and Paul Polydoris tends bar at the only gay club in a university town thrumming with politics and partying. He studies queer theory, has a dyke best friend, makes zines, and is a flaneur with a rich dating life. But Paul's also got a secret: he's a shapeshifter. Oscillating wildly from Riot Grrrl to leather cub, Paul tra... read more

“HOT” —Maggie Nelson “TIGHT” —Eileen Myles “DEEP” —Michelle TeaIt's 1993 and Paul Polydoris tends bar at the only gay club in a university town thrumming with politics and partying. He studies queer theory, has a dyke best friend, makes zines, and is a flaneur with a rich dating life. But Paul's also got a secret: he's a shapeshifter. Oscillating wildly from Riot Grrrl to leather cub, Paul tra... read more

Play Hungry: The Making of a Baseball Player

Pete Rose

The story of how Pete Rose became one of the greatest and most controversial players in the history of baseballPete Rose was a legend on the field. As baseball’s Hit King, he shattered hitting records that were thought to be unbreakable. And during the 1970s, he was the leader of the Big Red Machine, the Cincinnati Reds teams that dominated the game. But he’s also the greatest player who may n... read more

The story of how Pete Rose became one of the greatest and most controversial players in the history of baseballPete Rose was a legend on the field. As baseball’s Hit King, he shattered hitting records that were thought to be unbreakable. And during the 1970s, he was the leader of the Big Red Machine, the Cincinnati Reds teams that dominated the game. But he’s also the greatest player who may n... read more

Normal Sucks: How to Live, Learn, and Thrive Outside the Lines

Jonathan Mooney

Confessional and often hilarious, in Normal Sucks a neuro-diverse writer, advocate, and father meditates on his life, offering the radical message that we should stop trying to fix people and start empowering them to succeedJonathan Mooney blends anecdote, expertise, and memoir to present a new mode of thinking about how we live and learn―individually, uniquely, and with advantages and upshots... read more

Confessional and often hilarious, in Normal Sucks a neuro-diverse writer, advocate, and father meditates on his life, offering the radical message that we should stop trying to fix people and start empowering them to succeedJonathan Mooney blends anecdote, expertise, and memoir to present a new mode of thinking about how we live and learn―individually, uniquely, and with advantages and upshots... read more

The Government Lake: Last Poems

James Tate

The stunning, startling collection that is also the last work from a major poet A woman named Mildred starts laying eggs after feathers from wild poultry begin coming down the chimney. A man becomes friends with a bank robber who abducts him and eventually rues his captor’s death. A baby is born transparent. James Tate’s work, filled with unexpected turns and deadpan exaggeration, “fanciful an... read more

The stunning, startling collection that is also the last work from a major poet A woman named Mildred starts laying eggs after feathers from wild poultry begin coming down the chimney. A man becomes friends with a bank robber who abducts him and eventually rues his captor’s death. A baby is born transparent. James Tate’s work, filled with unexpected turns and deadpan exaggeration, “fanciful an... read more

Grievous: A Novel

H. S. Cross

H. S. Cross returns to “a school as nuanced and secretive as J. K. Rowling’s Hogwarts” (The Rumpus) in Grievous, the sequel to her coming-of-age novel Wilberforce.St. Stephen’s Academy, Yorkshire, 1931. A world unto itself, populated by boys reveling in life’s first big mistakes and men still learning how to live with the consequences of their own. They live a cloistered life, exotic to modern... read more

H. S. Cross returns to “a school as nuanced and secretive as J. K. Rowling’s Hogwarts” (The Rumpus) in Grievous, the sequel to her coming-of-age novel Wilberforce.St. Stephen’s Academy, Yorkshire, 1931. A world unto itself, populated by boys reveling in life’s first big mistakes and men still learning how to live with the consequences of their own. They live a cloistered life, exotic to modern... read more

See What Can Be Done: Essays, Criticism, and Commentary

Lorrie Moore

A New York Times Critic's Top Pick of the YearThis essential, enlightening, truly delightful collection shows one of our greatest writers parsing the political, artistic, and media landscape of the past three decades. These sixty-six essays and reviews, culled from the pages of The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, Harper’s, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker, among others, find Lorr... read more

A New York Times Critic's Top Pick of the YearThis essential, enlightening, truly delightful collection shows one of our greatest writers parsing the political, artistic, and media landscape of the past three decades. These sixty-six essays and reviews, culled from the pages of The New York Review of Books, The New York Times, Harper’s, The Atlantic, and The New Yorker, among others, find Lorr... read more

The Last Book Party

Karen Dukess

A propulsive tale of ambition and romance, set in the publishing world of 1980’s New York and the timeless beaches of Cape Cod.In the summer of 1987, 25-year-old Eve Rosen is an aspiring writer languishing in a low-level assistant job, unable to shake the shadow of growing up with her brilliant brother. With her professional ambitions floundering, Eve jumps at the chance to attend an early sum... read more

A propulsive tale of ambition and romance, set in the publishing world of 1980’s New York and the timeless beaches of Cape Cod.In the summer of 1987, 25-year-old Eve Rosen is an aspiring writer languishing in a low-level assistant job, unable to shake the shadow of growing up with her brilliant brother. With her professional ambitions floundering, Eve jumps at the chance to attend an early sum... read more

The Devil Aspect: A Novel

Craig Russell

A terrifying novel set in Czechoslovakia in 1935, in which a brilliant young psychiatrist takes his new post at an asylum for the criminally insane that houses only six inmates--the country's most depraved murderers--while, in Prague, a detective struggles to understand a brutal serial killer who has spread fear through the city, and who may have ties to the asylumIn 1935, Viktor Kosárek, a ps... read more

A terrifying novel set in Czechoslovakia in 1935, in which a brilliant young psychiatrist takes his new post at an asylum for the criminally insane that houses only six inmates--the country's most depraved murderers--while, in Prague, a detective struggles to understand a brutal serial killer who has spread fear through the city, and who may have ties to the asylumIn 1935, Viktor Kosárek, a ps... read more

Family of Origin: A Novel

CJ Hauser

A novel at turns exuberant and wise, in the vein of The Family Fang and The Portable Veblen, about estranged half siblings yoked together on a swampy Gulf Coast island after their biologist father's drowning.Welcome to Leap's Island, where a group of fringe scientists are obsessively studying the Undowny Bufflehead, a rare species of sea duck whose loss of waterproof feathers proves, they say,... read more

A novel at turns exuberant and wise, in the vein of The Family Fang and The Portable Veblen, about estranged half siblings yoked together on a swampy Gulf Coast island after their biologist father's drowning.Welcome to Leap's Island, where a group of fringe scientists are obsessively studying the Undowny Bufflehead, a rare species of sea duck whose loss of waterproof feathers proves, they say,... read more

Mahimata (Book 2 of Asiana)

Rati Mehrotra

A young female assassin must confront the man who slaughtered her family, risk her heart, and come to terms with her identity as a warrior and as a woman in this thrilling fantasy from the author of Markswoman.Kyra has returned to the caves of Kali, but her homecoming is bittersweet. She no longer knows what her place is. Her beloved teacher is dead and her best friend Nineth is missing. And g... read more

A young female assassin must confront the man who slaughtered her family, risk her heart, and come to terms with her identity as a warrior and as a woman in this thrilling fantasy from the author of Markswoman.Kyra has returned to the caves of Kali, but her homecoming is bittersweet. She no longer knows what her place is. Her beloved teacher is dead and her best friend Nineth is missing. And g... read more

Republic of Lies: American Conspiracy Theorists and Their Surprising Rise to Power

Anna Merlan

A riveting tour through the landscape and meaning of modern conspiracy theories, exploring the causes and tenacity of this American malady, from Birthers to Pizzagate and beyond.American society has always been fertile ground for conspiracy theories, but with the election of Donald Trump, previously outlandish ideas suddenly attained legitimacy. Trump himself is a conspiracy enthusiast: from h... read more

A riveting tour through the landscape and meaning of modern conspiracy theories, exploring the causes and tenacity of this American malady, from Birthers to Pizzagate and beyond.American society has always been fertile ground for conspiracy theories, but with the election of Donald Trump, previously outlandish ideas suddenly attained legitimacy. Trump himself is a conspiracy enthusiast: from h... read more

The Deepest Blue: Tales of Renthia

Sarah Beth Durst

The natural magic of the classic The Island of the Blue Dolphins meets the danger and courage of The Hunger Games in this dazzling, intricate stand-alone fantasy novel set in award-winning author Sarah Beth Durst’s beloved world of Renthia.Life is precious and precarious on the islands of Belene. Besieged by a capricious ocean full of malicious spirits, the people of the islands seek joy where... read more

The natural magic of the classic The Island of the Blue Dolphins meets the danger and courage of The Hunger Games in this dazzling, intricate stand-alone fantasy novel set in award-winning author Sarah Beth Durst’s beloved world of Renthia.Life is precious and precarious on the islands of Belene. Besieged by a capricious ocean full of malicious spirits, the people of the islands seek joy where... read more

A Piece of Good News: Poems

Katie Peterson

A rich and challenging new collection from the young award-winning poetIn those days I began to see light under everybushel basket, light nearly splittingthe sides of the bushel basket. Light camethrough the rafters of the dairy where the gracklescongregated like well-taxed citizensuntransfigured even by hope. Understand I was the oneunderneath the basket. I was certain I had nothing to say. W... read more

A rich and challenging new collection from the young award-winning poetIn those days I began to see light under everybushel basket, light nearly splittingthe sides of the bushel basket. Light camethrough the rafters of the dairy where the gracklescongregated like well-taxed citizensuntransfigured even by hope. Understand I was the oneunderneath the basket. I was certain I had nothing to say. W... read more

Thin Blue Lie: The Failure of High-Tech Policing

Matt Stroud

A sweeping and wide-ranging investigation of how supposedly transformative technologies peddled to cops have actually made policing worse—lazier, more reckless, and more discriminatory.American law enforcement is a system in crisis. After explosive protests responding to police brutality and discrimination in Baltimore, Ferguson, and across the country, the vexing question of how to reform the... read more

A sweeping and wide-ranging investigation of how supposedly transformative technologies peddled to cops have actually made policing worse—lazier, more reckless, and more discriminatory.American law enforcement is a system in crisis. After explosive protests responding to police brutality and discrimination in Baltimore, Ferguson, and across the country, the vexing question of how to reform the... read more

Eat Only When You're Hungry: A Novel

Lindsay Hunter

Finalist for the 2017 Chicago Review of Books Fiction Award and a 2017 NPR Great ReadRecommended reading by Nylon, Buzzfeed, Vulture, Lit Hub, Chicago Review of Books and Chicago Reader"With this novel, Hunter establishes herself as an unforgettable voice in American letters. Her work here, as ever, is unparalleled." ―Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist and HungerAchingly funny and full of feel... read more

Finalist for the 2017 Chicago Review of Books Fiction Award and a 2017 NPR Great ReadRecommended reading by Nylon, Buzzfeed, Vulture, Lit Hub, Chicago Review of Books and Chicago Reader"With this novel, Hunter establishes herself as an unforgettable voice in American letters. Her work here, as ever, is unparalleled." ―Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist and HungerAchingly funny and full of feel... read more

The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror

Mallory Ortberg

From Mallory Ortberg comes a collection of darkly mischievous stories based on classic fairy tales. Adapted from the beloved "Children's Stories Made Horrific" series, "The Merry Spinster" takes up the trademark wit that endeared Ortberg to readers of both The Toast and the best-selling debut Texts From Jane Eyre. The feature has become among the most popular on the site, with each entry bring... read more

From Mallory Ortberg comes a collection of darkly mischievous stories based on classic fairy tales. Adapted from the beloved "Children's Stories Made Horrific" series, "The Merry Spinster" takes up the trademark wit that endeared Ortberg to readers of both The Toast and the best-selling debut Texts From Jane Eyre. The feature has become among the most popular on the site, with each entry bring... read more

Happiness Is a Choice You Make: Lessons from a Year Among the Oldest Old

John Leland

A New York Times Bestseller!An extraordinary look at what it means to grow old and a heartening guide to well-being, Happiness Is a Choice You Make weaves together the stories and wisdom of six New Yorkers who number among the “oldest old”― those eighty-five and up.In 2015, when the award-winning journalist John Leland set out on behalf of The New York Times to meet members of America’s fastes... read more

A New York Times Bestseller!An extraordinary look at what it means to grow old and a heartening guide to well-being, Happiness Is a Choice You Make weaves together the stories and wisdom of six New Yorkers who number among the “oldest old”― those eighty-five and up.In 2015, when the award-winning journalist John Leland set out on behalf of The New York Times to meet members of America’s fastes... read more

Get Well Soon: History's Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them

Jennifer Wright

A witty, irreverent tour of history's worst plagues―from the Antonine Plague, to leprosy, to polio―and a celebration of the heroes who fought themIn 1518, in a small town in Alsace, Frau Troffea began dancing and didn’t stop. She danced until she was carried away six days later, and soon thirty-four more villagers joined her. Then more. In a month more than 400 people had been stricken by the ... read more

A witty, irreverent tour of history's worst plagues―from the Antonine Plague, to leprosy, to polio―and a celebration of the heroes who fought themIn 1518, in a small town in Alsace, Frau Troffea began dancing and didn’t stop. She danced until she was carried away six days later, and soon thirty-four more villagers joined her. Then more. In a month more than 400 people had been stricken by the ... read more

Marlena: A Novel

Julie Buntin

A National Book Critics Circle Leonard Prize FinalistLonglisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel PrizeNamed a Best Book of the Year by Vogue, BuzzFeed, The Washington Post, Esquire,Harper's Bazaar, NPR, NYLON, Huffington Post, Kirkus Reviews, Barnes & NobleChosen for the Book of the Month Club, Nylon Book Club, and Belletrist Book ClubNamed an Indie Next Pick and a Barnes and Noble Disco... read more

A National Book Critics Circle Leonard Prize FinalistLonglisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel PrizeNamed a Best Book of the Year by Vogue, BuzzFeed, The Washington Post, Esquire,Harper's Bazaar, NPR, NYLON, Huffington Post, Kirkus Reviews, Barnes & NobleChosen for the Book of the Month Club, Nylon Book Club, and Belletrist Book ClubNamed an Indie Next Pick and a Barnes and Noble Disco... read more

Goodbye, Vitamin: A Novel

Rachel Khong

Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, O, The Oprah Magazine, Vogue, San Francisco Chronicle, Esquire, Huffington Post, Nylon, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed, Booklist, and The IndependentWinner of the California Book Award for First FictionLos Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist for First Fiction"A quietly brilliant disquisition . . . told in prose that is so startling in its spare beauty that I... read more

Named a Best Book of the Year by NPR, O, The Oprah Magazine, Vogue, San Francisco Chronicle, Esquire, Huffington Post, Nylon, Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed, Booklist, and The IndependentWinner of the California Book Award for First FictionLos Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist for First Fiction"A quietly brilliant disquisition . . . told in prose that is so startling in its spare beauty that I... read more

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