I provide extensive feedback on manuscripts, the type of big-picture feedback that will help authors improve their novel.
(If you’re looking for a copyeditor, go to my copyediting page.)
If you’re self-publishing, I’m trying to help you improve the novel so it sells more copies.
If you’re seeking traditional publishing, I’m helping you get the novel to the level where you can score an agent and get a book contract.
My developmental editing helps with these elements of fiction, among others:
Are you writing the type of character that readers will find fascinating? How do characters change over the course of your novel?
Is your novel too slow or too fast? Does it offer the emotional impact you’re hoping for?
Point of View
Whose story is this? How can you improve the way the narrator relates it?
Is your dialogue lackluster or witty? Does the dialogue develop both characters and plot?
After I finish reading your novel, I write an in-depth evaluation of its strengths and weaknesses. For a full novel, this feedback ranges from 8 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 your next 3 novels.
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 an action-item list of what you can do to improve your manuscript.
Four Things About Me
I’m John Fox, the founder of Bookfox, and I’ve spent the last decade working as a book editor.
- 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.
- I specialize in editing novels, memoir, and short story collections — basically, everything that relies heavily on story.
- I spent a decade teaching creative writing at the University of Southern California, Chapman University, and Biola University. I have an MFA in fiction from the University of Southern California and an MA in Literature from New York University.
- 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?
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
|“John provided a thoughtful analysis that pointed out many things that I’d missed. He also was kind and gentle in delivering constructive criticism, and effusive with praise where he felt it due. I am so glad that I trusted my book to Bookfox because I know that the finished product will be measurably better for it.”||– Samantha S.|
|“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.”||– 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.|
|“I was very pleased with the review that I received from Bookfox. The edit did not just say what was not right, but went on to tell me how the book could be improved, why this would help, and what could be done in the future that would make me a better writer.”||– Edward B.|
What is Your Pricing?
For novels over 70,000 words, I charge 1.6 cents per word.
Thanks to these illustrators for the use of their icons:
- Made in France
- Creative Stall
- Oliviu Stoian