I am a professional book editor, specializing in developmental & 'heavy' copy edits of manuscripts ranging from raw first drafts to material that has survived several iterations & editorial 'beatings'.
Developmental edits demand that I immerse myself in the material, becoming 'every reader', as well as jungle guide, therapist, & devil's advocate. A novel has a duty to readers to take them on a journey that is engaging, makes sense, stretches their imagination, & provides an enriching experience. To accomplish this smooth 'ride', a novelist needs to disappear behind the story, dropping breadcrumbs and nudging the reader in the right direction with writing that is natural and intuitive.
My manuscript assessments and developmental edits provide annotated notes and direct-to-manuscript margin notes that tie together issues within the manuscript and give detailed guidance on why the issue is an issue.
For over 20 years I have collaborated with authors, becoming steeped in their processes, dreams, desires -- all the steps along their path to publication. During this time, I have encountered authors who became good friends, as well as repeat clients.
Checking the pulse of current writer/author conundrums through top-ranked writing blogs, while continuously stuffing my head with new publishing information helps me thoughtfully guide each author I meet through contemporary standards and trends.
I view every author and their manuscript as unique; and therefore, the edit process/service I recommend must also be unique, offering benefits tailored to specific needs or to the specific stage of the manuscript.
So, whether you are taking readers beyond this dimension, embroiling them in a searing romance, or revealing your proprietary system for strengthening our life experience, my bespoke approach will honor your concept and your need to express that concept.
I have been fortunate to have many wonderful editing experiences on Reedsy, as the reviews from a few authors below can attest:
"Ms. D'Marco was amazing. This is my first time working with a professional editor and I was very nervous. I vetted about about nine other editors and loved her sample edit and the way she communicated with me. My gut said this was the right fit so I went with it. And let me tell you, I am not disappointed! I intend to work with Ms. D'Marco as much as possible in the future. She was professional, thorough, and encouraging. As well as going above and beyond what I asked for, she has also been quick to respond to any and all my questions."
"Maria was great to work with. She was speedy and professional, keeping me updated along the entire process. And her enthusiasm for my work gave me encouragement when I needed it!"
"I'm grateful that a service like Reedsy makes it possible for a new writer to connect with professionals like Maria. I've learned a great deal from the editing process, Maria's experience. and her ability to communicate exactly what must be changed to make the story tighter. A fantastic experience!"
I was also delighted to support Leslie Heath, who relates her editing experience here:
My edit interactions with authors do not stop at the completion of an edit or assessment. I will remain available for consults to clarify my notes and comments as you prepare for rewrites. You cannot best utilize my guidance if you have questions about my directions -- so: I am here for you.
As an extension of every authors' journey to publication, I can also offer support for agent queries, book proposals, synopses, and cover blurbs.
Wanting to be certain your story, your message and your concept is clear? Let's get together and figure it out!
Perform all levels of manuscript edits, from in-depth developmental edits and comprehensive line edits, to detailed copy edits and insightful, illuminating manuscript assessments.
Establish collaborative partnerships with authors, tailoring editing to their needs in order to produce the highest iteration of their book within their budget parameters.
Coach authors through all developmental levels of their books, from initial concepts to world-building to developing character profiles or blocking out a first draft, and beyond.
Ghost-editing support from rough draft through final polish.
Deep in the Amazon jungle, Ayahuasca: An Executive's Enlightenment chronicles a young man's self-transcendence to become one with the Mother of the Rainforest and the creator of the universe.A successful advertising executive, Michael Sanders travels to Peru on a quest for clarity and enlightenment. He partakes in three shamanistic ceremonies with the psychedelic plant medicine known as Ayahua... read more
Raiding the Empire of the Sun: Tinian 1945 is a historical novel of B-29 Superfortress missions over Japan during the last year of WWII. This book is based on real life events of a B-29 crew, describing life on Tinian Island as well as the dramatic happenings in the skies over enemy territory until the end of the war. The characters are fictionalized but the main character, Captain Jenson, is ... read more
The Fading of Lloyd embroils the reader in family history as members struggle through historic challenges: the end of the American frontier, the dawn of railroad travel that wove Midwest communities together, World War I, and the social mores of the 1920s and 1930s.The Huttleston family, whose son, Lloyd, is mentally retarded, struggles to cope with the difficulties encountered with his care. ... read more
The Order of the Dragon is a secret organization founded within the shadows of the Knights Templar. Their goal is to unite the world under one ruler: The Dracul. Many have sensed their existence, but none have been able to concretely expose them… until now.Tuttle, a special operator within the Secret Army of Northern Virginia, has pieced together enough information to expose the Order of the D... read more
She's the hero the world needs, and she's training for the rematch of her life…Alice is out for revenge. After narrowly escaping death at the hands of her nemesis, she spends her days living undercover as a crippled heiress. By night, she plans for the moment she can finally take down the Phantasm…When superpowered children are stolen from their homes, Alice immediately suspects her greatest e... read more
He fights crime. She was born into it. When the city’s in danger, superheroes can come from both sides of the law. Marco has abandoned his superhero duties to search for an antidote for his friend’s uncontrollable fits of rage. When the only man who knows the cure dies in his arms, Marco must puzzle his dying words alone in a crime-ridden metropolis. Without any solid clues, he has no choice b... read more
When a brilliant psychopath terrorizes the innocent, an untried hero is their only hope.Alice was never one to back down from a fight. So, when her beloved aunt is brutally murdered, she vows to bring the killer to justice. Even if it means becoming the legendary vigilante, Serpent.But being a hero is harder than it looks. And with one mistake, Alice unleashes a nightmare on the city.Can Alice... read more
Just when Big Jake Sujac had it made, 9/11 rocks his carefully constructed life. His story begins seven decades earlier in the Croatian neighborhood of Sunflower Hill. The Great Depression and World War II inflict a terrible toll on his family. Raised by his indomitable mother, Jake leaves The Hill behind, determined to escape those difficult memories. And yet, there are reminders along the wa... read more
MOVE! is written specifically for people who need to systematically re-orient their life. When we feel stuck, hopeless, overwhelmed, or in need of clarity, we need to move. For those facing tough decisions, life transitions, or stuck in a "Now what?" moment, MOVE! offers a path forward.Do you struggle developing clarity? Sometimes we become so stressed and busy that we need to slow down and sp... read more
Evil stalks her. True love finds her. Destiny claims her. Rose wakes from a coma to find her life has changed forever. Her parents were killed in the accident that nearly claimed her life. Now orphaned, her mother's sister brings her to live in the country with her cousins, who quickly make their resentment known. Once courageous and full of life, Rose now exists in the murky shades of grief. ... read more
Just when everyone thought our times would never go beyond stare-at-a-screen boring, along comes a generation that outshines the Beats, the Baby Boomers, the Xs, the Ys, the Zs, the Romans, and the Cowboys! The Mighty Beam Generation! ("Big" + "Dream" = Beam!) This highly imaginative graphic novel tells the saga of a band of Beamers ― baffled but driven, foolish yet brilliant ― on the fast tra... read more
A simple need for her birth certificate leads Jane, aged 19, to a devastating secret: she is adopted. Stunned, Jane is sworn to secrecy and forbidden to search for her biological family - a promise she honours until the death of her adoptive parents. A heart-wrenching family crisis and a longing to know her origins then drive Jane to painstakingly research her roots in Rhodesia, Johannesburg, ... read more
Pain is an unbidden guest, humanity's shadow companion down through the ages. It is a despoiler of dreams and a thief. Chronic pain can appear suddenly in a person's life, changing it forever. Dr. Lynn R. Webster puts a face on chronic pain through the lives of his patients, and provides an intimate view of what it is like to live with it. The Painful Truth will open your eyes to the world of ... read more
“Dr. Hisham's 4D Leadership is a fascinating book. He understands clearly what it takes to succeed and is a guiding light for others. Awareness is key and applying the principles in this book will open the door to your successful life.” - Bob Proctor, Best-selling author of ‘You Were Born Rich’ and star of ‘The Secret’“Dr. Hisham has created a brilliant piece of work with his 4D Leadership boo... read more
When two newcomers settle in the Shire of Yandilla (situated somewhere in the middle of the hinterland that skits the long eastern coast of Australia) they disrupt the peaceful environment. They play pranks on the folk of LillyVille, they cause havoc in the valley and they upset the fairies and elves. Those newcomers are Barry Badger and Tub the Toad. Neither Barry Badger nor Tub the Toad unde... read more
A creative wunderkind who once topped the country's most prestigious fashion school, Apple March is now languishing behind a retail counter. When fate shifts and her imaginative passion is reawakened, so too is the threat of a past secret. From the cool heart of Melbourne to Paris and New York, in a vibrant world of Pimms and croquet, crocodile boots and cocoon coats, Apple seeks the thrill of... read more
Dr Robyn Arrowsmith is author and publisher of All The Way To The USA: Australian WWII War Brides, which is based on ten years research for her PhD at Macquarie University. Robyn has travelled to America a number of times to meet with some of the remarkable Australian women who fell in love with US servicemen during the urgency and social chaos of WWII. The book chronicles the true and poignan... read more
'Success at School and Beyond' shows you seven simple steps how to boost your child's ability to learn, to have more confidence and self-esteem, for greater success in school and in life. Having fun, being in the moment developing happier, healthier and confident children.This is a book I wish I had when I was raising my children. I dedicate my book to them. I am excited to share my experience... read more
The author takes us along on her journey as she narrates the life events that weave an emotional tapestry, from adolescent imagination to adult life situations. Conveying amusing candor, Defforge details how she came full circle, from Paris to “la vie en rose” on the French Riviera. A true story of twists and turns and the author’s courage to follow it.
Donning a pressed apron and tender smile, Agnes Waverly puts the final touches on another scrumptious meal at her quaint bed and breakfast. But even Agnes has secrets...perhaps one that she may share. That is of course, if her deceased husband, Walter, doesn't take a liking to you. Unfortunately for guests of the Waverly House, Agnes will be the first to know.Being curious of odd noises around... read more
Lost the magic? Stressed and struggling on the way to your dreams? Find your happiness, as revealed through a mythical, magical dream. With simple, understandable explanations, this insightful book explores an empowering allegory – how Dorothy finds courage, wisdom, passion, and magic using her dreamer’s toolkit. It reveals Dorothy's way to happiness, independence and success; the secrets to h... read more
Demographics, globalisation, technology and the knowledge worker are impacting business growth in Asia and across the world. Despite these external issues, many so-called leaders are contributing to internal issues impeding success. People are looking for a quick fix, the magic bullet and the truth is that none exists. Too many managers prefer paper work to people work and the short-term view ... read more
Are you a professional woman ready to harmonize family career and self? This interactive and insightful book is divided into 7 short thorough exercises that will guide you, systematically, through a process of defining your personal Life Balance. You will assess your present situation by identifying your current values and life purpose. The discoveries you encounter in each of the 7 steps can ... read more
Welcome to Rulemania, a small country in the south pacific. On the outside, it is a flourishing nation with happy citizens and a fair ruler. On the inside, the country is almost torn apart by conflict. Prince Thomas is the tyrant that rules there with an iron fist. Power is his motive and his greatest weapon is fear. Everyone is afraid of him, except for one girl. Risa Kirek hates Thomas for n... read more
In the novel, The Oarsman, a magical river begins singing out, and a dying man suddenly aches to know if the paradise at its end is real enough to fill his heart. He hires an oarsman to take him upstream, but a twisted encounter sends them back to revisit every role the man has played in his long life.A merchant hoarding, an artist trying to capture love with a brush, a warrior looking for pea... read more
Vice, Loyalty, and Passion in the Roaring TwentiesAiden McCarthy enjoys thieving and scheming much more than abiding by the morals of his Catholic, Irish-American, working-class parents. He has always been a pisser, but working for the North Side Gang feeds his youthful desire for action, rebellion, and romance.When Aiden's pa is injured in crossfire between Italian gangsters, he must balance ... read more
Scott Johnson had always taken the easy path no matter who he hurt along the way. That is, until he was mistakenly targeted as a donor by the Good Works church and asked to assist in a world-changing project. His home in a mid-western city is also home to the Good Works church which is led by the highly respected Reverend Theodore Goodfellow and his daughter Heather. The church has just entere... read more
Joe Iocca, an undistinguished veteran P.I., hadn’t seen a new client walk through his doors in several months. So when his former clients start appearing, asking him to solve their cases as if he never had, the fact that they haven’t aged a day is worth investigating. In the tumult of his mysterious circumstances, Joe stumbles into a cold case homicide. Little Girl is out to find her father’s ... read more
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Formerly of Simon and Schuster, I love being able to work more directly with authors with honest and thoughtful collaborative editing.
I edit books on every conceivable topic, from geology to romance novels to theology, frequently for Amazon Publishing. No topic too obscure!