Shannon Cave

Shannon Cave - Editor

Puyallup, Washington, USA

Specialist in editing book-length fiction and nonfiction, including NY Times and USA Today Bestselling authors, with decades of experience!

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"Shannon's editing skills are spot on and her suggestions always make my writing better. As both a traditionally and independently published author, it's such a relief to have people I can count on who understand the business." - Teri Brown, author of Born of Illusion Series (Balzer + Bray)

"Shannon is a wonderful copy editor to work with. She's professional, timely, and easy to work with. More importantly, she can edit without editing out my voice. Her feedback was spot on, and exactly what the manuscript needed." - Erin Fleshman

Are you a writer who feels confused about your storyline and you just can’t look at it ONE. MORE. TIME? Or maybe you’re confident about the story, but know that grammar and punctuation aren’t your strength? Or are you looking for a new team member to support your writing career and to help you take things to the next level? If any of these are true, we may be the perfect fit!

As a traditionally published author in the romance genre, I know what it’s like to be an unsure new writer, as well as an experienced writer trying to up my game with each new book. Thanks to that experience, I’m passionate about helping writers make their work shine, while keeping true to their unique voices and remembering the reader on the other end. I’ve worked with New York Times and USA Today Bestselling authors, as well as debut authors, both traditionally and self-published.

Whether you’re prepping for submission to agents or New York editors, or want to self-publish your book, I can help! My experience and eye for character and story issues can help you organize your story better, making sure you’re hitting all the plot points, and that your characters are consistent and believable. My eye for detail can help rid your manuscript of spelling errors, clarity issues, funky grammar, and typos (like the copy editor who saved one of my characters from receiving a “bouquet of floors.” Yikes!). My #1 goal is to make YOUR book the best it can be!

Here's what you’ll get from me:

* Honest but gentle feedback in my edits or evaluations. I love to point out the passages I enjoy as much as I do those that might need more work! But I won’t BS you with fake praise either. If something is confusing to me as a reader of your book, it’s likely to be confusing to your future readers, too, and I’ll be sure to give you the opportunity to fix it.

* Respectful treatment of your work. I’m thorough, and I ask questions where clarity is needed, rather than just assuming. It is your work, your words!

* I work in Microsoft Word, using Track Changes for in-line editing. You’ll get lots of comments, with questions and suggestions. I’ll send you the marked-up copy upon completion, and you’ll always have the right of refusal if anything doesn’t fit your vision for your book!

* A Style Sheet of facts, names, locations, timeline tracking, etc. Anything that needs consistency will be tracked on the Style Sheet and provided to you at completion of the project. HINT: Bonus points if you can provide me with a Style Sheet that YOU kept during your writing process!

* If our project is an editorial assessment/manuscript evaluation (a super in-depth critique) or developmental edit (a deeper, more thorough edit, including in-line editing, along with higher-level story editing), you’ll get an editorial letter outlining any issues with the story that may need work.

* Prior to editing, we’ll talk about your vision and goals for your book, as well as anything you might see as weaknesses that I can keep an eye out for. It’s all about teamwork!

Whatever your needs are, don’t hesitate to ask. And, if you’re not exactly sure WHAT your needs are, let’s talk about it! I can help you determine what your next step might be and how to best go about it.

Hiring an editor is a big investment in your writing career, and I’ll do whatever I can to ensure it’s the best investment you ever make!

English (UK)
English (US)
Business & Management
Contemporary Fiction
Women's Fiction

Work experience

Freelance Copy Editor

October, 2014 – Present (over 6 years)

As a freelance copy editor, I have worked with both newer writers and previously published authors to bring their books to life. This has included working with established publishing companies, such as Tule Publishing Group, as well as indie authors. I come with the unique perspective of being a traditionally published author in the romance genre. I typically provide copy editing and proofreading...but always try to alert writers to areas where their story can be improved without diluting their voice. My specialties include romance and women's fiction genres, but I have also edited extensively in the nonfiction realm, particularly healthcare and business-related subjects.

As an alternative, I provide manuscript evaluation services (detailed critiques) to help get you started. This should be done after you've completed and polished your story...if you're not sure what to do next. My critiques are detailed and will include a thorough editorial letter pointing you in the right next direction for your manuscript. We'll cover POV, characterization, plot/story problems and anything else that needs some assistance. I provide resources for further help if needed, as well as one followup Q&A session by message/email in order to clarify anything you wish to know more about.

Medical Editor

September, 1991 – February, 2018 (over 26 years)

Medical editor working on healthcare documentation in a variety of specialties for various hospitals throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Portfolio (21 selected works)

Pencil Me In

Wodtke, Christina

Steal My Heart

O'Brian, Aimee

Shannon has 4 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

yasmine davis
I loved working with Shannon! Her edits surpassed my expectations! I enjoyed reading her comments on my manuscript as well as her suggestion. Her perspective and insight are professional yet refreshing. I am eager to work with her again for my next book.

yasmine davis, April 2021

John Crues
Shannon Cave was thorough and very insightful. Her eye for details is amazing, and she is adroit in explaining different techniques to improve the text and story line. I really believe that she was instrumental in turning my writing into a professional manuscript. I look forward to using her again.

John Crues, March 2021

Shannon Cave
Thank you so much for the kind words, John! It was wonderful working with you also, and I'm also looking forward to your next book!

Reply from Shannon Cave

gene helfman
Shannon is fantastic! I chose her over three other copy editors who responded to my inquiry. Her price was in the middle of the quotes, but her sample edit on the chapter I submitted to Reedsy was by far the best. And that sample was representative of the care and attention she gave to my entire eco-thriller novel about endangered killer whales, "Beyond the Human Realm." I've written four oth...
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gene helfman, March 2021

Jaime McCane
I thoroughly enjoyed working with Shannon, and would highly recommend her. She was very flexible with my time frame and gained my confidence from the beginning. She was thorough and encouraging throughout the editing process. I appreciated receiving feedback about my story, which was a step beyond! Lastly, I felt like she was the perfect addition to completing a manuscript that is so important...
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Jaime McCane, February 2021

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