Book EditorI provide extensive feedback on manuscripts, the type of big-picture feedback that will help authors improve their novel.

Short version: I’m a story doctor. 

If you feel like your manuscript is all ready and you’re just looking for a copyeditor to catch a few mistakes and change a few words, I’m not the right editor for you.

I specialize in developmental editing, which means I help you improve your novel in order to give pleasure to the reader.

If you’re self-publishing, I’m trying to help you improve the novel so it sells more copies. If you’re going with traditional publishing, I’m helping you get the novel to the level where you can score an agent and get a book contract.

My Process

I help with these elements of fiction, among others:

  • Characters
    • Are you writing the type of character that readers will find fascinating? How can you make them seem more like real people?
  • Plot
    • Is your novel too slow or too fast? Does it offer the emotional impact you’re hoping for? 
  • Point of View
    • Most writers don’t think they need help with point of view, but I help about 80% of my authors with POV. Who is telling your story? How can you improve the way they tell it?
  • Dialogue
    • Is your dialogue lackluster or witty? Should you include more dialogue or less?

After I finish reading your novel, I write an in-depth evaluation of its strengths and weaknesses. This feedback ranges from 8 single-spaced pages to 12 pages.

With my feedback, your novel will be better at entertaining and enthralling your readers.

Two important points:

  • It’s just as important for you to know your strengths as to know your weaknesses.
  • My goal is not just to make this novel better. My goal is to improve your skills as a writer. The techniques you learn from this feedback will serve you well during the next 3 novels you write.

best book editorMy Style

My goal is to help you create a better book. That means you need to know where you’re succeeding and where you need to improve.

I offer specific advice on how to improve the manuscript and how you can become a better writer. You will walk away with a action-item list of what you can do to improve your manuscript.

book editingFour Things About Me


I’m John Fox, the founder of Bookfox, and I’ve spent the last decade working as a professional book editor.

  1. I’m a writer, too. My book “I Will Shout Your Name” is published by Press 53, and I’ve written for The Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, PBS online, and won several writing awards such as the Shenandoah Fiction Award and the Third Coast Fiction Contest.
  2. I specialize in editing novels and short story collections
  3. As the holder of two Master’s degrees in writing, one from New York University and the other from the University of Southern California, I’ve been writing and editing for many years.
  4. My geek side is revealed by some hobbies: I love board games (Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, Dominion) and am a runner (my favorite race is a 10K). I live in Orange County California with my wife and twin boys (who are 4!).

Why Choose Me?

book editors1. I’m fast.

Some book editors line up 5 or 6 months of clients so they can feel important. Don’t fall for it. I make sure I don’t take on a client unless I can finish their book in a reasonable time period — sometimes as quickly as 2 weeks, certainly under a month. I never put you on a long waiting list.

book editor2. I have vast experience.

With more than a decade editing client manuscripts, I’ve been doing this longer than most book editors. I’ve edited every genre of writing out there, from literary to sci-fi to romance (and enjoy it all, too). Don’t hire someone who’s a greenhorn. Your writing deserves an experienced eye.

book editing3. I do much more than correct grammar and punctuation.

I’m not a book editor who marks up possessives and missed words and then quits. My specialty is developmental editing. That means I’m giving you substantial feedback on everything about your story. Think of me as a Story Doctor, not just for this story, but for all of your writing.

book editorsTestimonials:

I’ve been a Bookfox reader for some time, so I already knew he was talented. His editing services exceeded expectations. He helped me identify places to devote more attention and provided thoughtful ideas to begin implementing his feedback. I’ll be working with him again in the future. Can’t wait.”– Chris J.
John was extremely helpful and very honest. All of his thoughtful comments made total sense. Will definitely use him again.”– Karen S.
John provides just the right combination of encouragement and solid feedback that can greatly improve a piece of fiction. What I particularly like about John’s approach is his ability to understand where a writer is developmentally and speak to him or her on that level. As a teacher, he is totally approachable, clear in the points he makes and very enthusiastic. This is a huge bonus when one is contemplating returning to one’s chair to make edits and do rewrites.”– Maisie W.
John has an editor’s mind, a writer’s eye, and a teacher’s mentality. He challenged me to identify a deeper vision for my work, then cultivate my story to achieve that vision in the most compelling way possible. I’ve never revised more thoroughly, and I’ve never been more pleased with the results.”– Mason B.


book editorWhat is Your Pricing?



Developmental Editing: 1.5 cents per word

Developmental editing includes:

  • Offering suggestions for how to improve plot, characters, dialogue, etc.
  • Ideas for how to move chapters/scenes to make the story more effective
  • Pacing: where to slow it down, where to speed it up
  • An in-depth essay discussing your book’s strengths and weaknesses
  • And much, much more (whatever advice your book requires)

If you want to ensure your novel is high quality, or if you’re sick of getting rejections, hire me. 

I’ll help you take your novel to the next level.

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