Content/Substantive/Line Edits

Whatever the label, this is the first and most overarching edit of your manuscript. And it is the type of edit with which I have the most experience—over sixteen years with Bethany House. Typically it is preceded by a manuscript review (outlined elsewhere and charged separately), intended to aid your rewrite/revisions. During this step, I carefully read your manuscript, provide extensive written feedback, and if you wish, we discuss that feedback. After your rewrite is completed, I begin the first edit, mostly refining overarching story craft issues such as plot logic and continuity, character development and arcs, dialogue, story flow and pacing, POV consistency, etc.

Throughout my editing career, my motto has been First, do no harm. I work hard to understand your voice/writing style and the focus of your manuscript, and I do my best to edit without changing that foundational aspect of your story. My editing style and philosophy is to be very communicative throughout the edit process. I prefer to discuss (e-mail or phone) larger issues along the way, working with the author to devise creative solutions, rather than having surprises come up at the end of the process. It's impossible to run all changes by the author during the edit, but I do my best with authors to establish trust and confidence in my edit.

If I notice minor detail such typos, grammar/punctuation issues, wordy or confusing sentence construction, and continuity errors, I will change/correct those as well, but such things are not the focus of this first edit, so I recommend both a copy edit and at least one proofread following the first edit—by a different editor and proofreader.

Karen Schurrer is an author’s dream editor. She possesses keen insight into plot and character development, honed intuition for pacing and flow, and an instinctual grasp of what stories readers love. Her sharp eye for detail is a gift to her authors, but what I love the most is the way she edits while preserving my author voice. Karen’s encouraging spirit makes her a joy to work with and a true creative partner. She has brought out the best in my manuscripts, and I know she will do the same for you.
— Karen Witemeyer, bestselling author of No Other Will Do

Other Edits

Substantive/Line Edits—Publishers

My editing schedule is currently fairly tight, but I am happy to discuss the possibility of my working on an upcoming editing project with publishers. My almost twenty years of editorial experience has been in the Christian publishing industry, pretty much solely with fiction of almost every genre. I will consider other types of projects, but working with Christian/inspirational fiction is my focus.

So that I have a good sense of where the manuscript started and what rewrite feedback has been provided to the author, I prefer to be a part of the manuscript review process for books I am going to edit—whether simply reading the manuscript and providing feedback to the editor who will be communicating rewrite feedback to the author or compiling and communicating that feedback myself. But if the rewrites have already been finished, I can work with that.

Contact me, and we can see whether my schedule and rate expectations meet your needs. 

Copy Edits

The goal of a copy edit is to "polish" your manuscript—find and fix errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, and word choice; revise sentence structure for flow and clarity; catch plot/timeline continuity issues; and fact-check. If the first edit has already been completed, I have done plenty of copy edits, and it is certainly something we can discuss, but substantive edits generally get first priority on my schedule.


The goal of a proofread is to catch all the errors before publishing. Those errors most often include typos, word errors—such as homonyms (ex. their/there, your/you're, and it's/its)—and typesetting issues. It is often helpful if this proofread, or the last of your proofreads is done after the book is in its final paged form.