My memories are very confused. There is even much doubt as to where they begin; for at times I feel appalling vistas of years stretching behind me, while at other times it seems as if the present moment were an isolated point in a grey, formless infinity. I am not even certain how I am communicating this message. While I know I am speaking, I have a vague impression that some strange and perhaps terrible mediation will be needed to bear what I say to the points where I wish to be heard. My identity, too, is bewilderingly cloudy. I seem to have suffered a great shock — perhaps from some utterly monstrous outgrowth of my cycles of unique, incredible experience. These cycles of experience, of course, all stem from that worm-riddled book. I remember when I found it — in a dimly lighted place near the black, oily river where the mists always swirl. That place was very old, and the ceiling-high shelves full of rotting volumes reached back endlessly through windowless inner rooms and alcoves. There were, besides, great formless heaps of books on the floor and in crude bins; and it was in one of these heaps that I found the thing. I never learned its title, for the early pages were missing; but it fell open toward the end and gave me a glimpse of something which sent my senses reeling. There was a formula — a sort of list of things to say and do — which I recognised as something black and forbidden; something which I had read of before in furtive paragraphs of mixed abhorrence and fascination penned by those strange ancient delvers into the universe’s guarded secrets whose decaying texts I loved to absorb. It was a key—a guide — to certain gateways and transitions of which mystics have dreamed and whispered since the race was young, and which lead to freedoms and discoveries beyond the three dimensions and realms of life and matter that we know. Not for centuries had any man recalled its vital substance or known where to find it, but this book was very old indeed. No printing-press, but the hand of some half-crazed monk, had traced these ominous Latin phrases in uncials of awesome antiquity.


There are nearly 1 million children’s books published each year. How can you make sure yours stands out?

You can hire me, a professional children’s book editor, to ensure your book is top-notch.

I’ve edited more than 1,000 children’s books, both self-published and traditionally published, and I’d love to help you.

3 Ways I Can Help

Refine the Story

Will every child end your book with a smile? I help you fine-tune the story so that kids will want to read it again and again. To do this, you have to avoid cliched stories, stoke rising action, get the pacing right, and have a climax.

Focus on Characters

Are you creating memorable characters? Do your characters have wide appeal? Do they stand apart from other characters? My advice will help you create a character that children won’t ever forget.

Focus on Language

The difference between the right word and the almost right word is like the difference between desert and dessert. The most common edit I make is condensing — most writers have extra phrases tacked on, and because children’s books are so short, every word carries enormous weight.

About Me

I’ve been an editor since 2009, and children’s books are one of my favorite books to work with. I’ve helped more than 1,000 children’s book authors achieve their dream of publication.

I am a member of SCBWI, the biggest society of children’s book authors in the world, and I’ve also taught creative writing at 4 universities in Southern California. My book, “I Will Shout Your Name,” is published by Press 53.

I also run Bookfox Press, which publishes children’s books (we make it easy for you!).

On a personal note, I have twin boys who are 7, and I read to them every night from our collection of children’s books.

Editing Steps

  • You contact me with any questions you might have, and I answer them.
  • You use the Paypal button below, and email me your manuscript in a Word/text file.
  • In 7 days I get back to you with edits within the manuscript and an essay describing what your story is doing well and where it could be improved.
  • If you have any questions about my comments, I clarify what I meant.

Do I edit multiple times?

Well, if you want me to read your revised manuscript, I can give you a thumbs up or down for free.

If you wanted a second round of feedback like the first round, with an essay and notes in the margin, I can do that for a discounted rate.

Authors I’ve Helped

This is a small sample of writers who have taken my course and/or gotten editing from me.

My Style of Editing:

I am both gentle and firm.

I make a point of telling you all the wonderful things in your story, but also gently suggest the places where it could improve.

As a writer myself, I know it’s difficult showing your work to the world, and I want to encourage you through the revision process.

If you want me to be harder or easier on you, feel free to tell me that in an email when you send your stories, and I can accommodate your needs.


“John gave me many useful areas to think about, mostly relating to the overall structure of the story and he let me know what wasn’t working in a very professional way. He also let me know what was working and I appreciated that especially as the book got picked up by a publisher. John is very knowledgeable and honest but kind and I would recommend his services wholeheartedly.”

– Evelyn Bookless, author of “Captain Green and the Plastic Scene”

“What a pleasure it was to work with John when I was done with the first draft of my manuscript. With his expert editing input, excellent communication skill and helpful recommendations he was able to set me on the right path. My manuscript was improved and I got a good publisher to work with me on my children’s book, which I’m happy to say is now placed in many stores nationwide with global interest.”

– Brintha J. Gardner, author of “The Amazing Adventures of Little Right Sock”

“John Fox gave me such nice comments, it really meant a lot. And he educated me on the various different techniques used with poems, which was helpful. I will be back for more editing when I finalize my next book.”

– Liz Somerville, author of “Rocco the Buffalo”

“John is intensely committed to what makes a story work. He really understands the principles and he has great imagination to see ways to help strengthen my writing. With John Fox, expect the heart and soul of a true writer and artist. He is very, very good.”

– Chris Hammond, author of the “Camp Cookie Chris” series

“John Fox’s services are incomparable. He is efficient, professional, and has superior knowledge of how to significantly improve one’s writing. I was impressed by his timeliness and recommendations—they were spot-on. Everyone loves “So Many Rules.” It debuted at #2 on Amazon New Releases in Children’s Values Books. Thank you, John Fox!”

– Ollie Wheeler, author of “So Many Rules”


Pricing for Children’s Picture Books:

  • Under 500 words: $450
  • 500 – 1,000 words $525
  • 1,000 – 2,000 words: $600
  • 2,000 – 3,000 words: $675
  • 3,000 – 4,000 words: $750

Also, these prices are for a single story. Two children’s picture books under the word limit would be more (because I’m writing two feedback essays).

Contact me for pricing if you have multiple stories, and I can give you a discount.

If you need help publishing your children’s book, please look at the Bookfox Press page.

Editing Prices

After you’ve paid, email your manuscript to the email below.

Got a question? Contact me.

Children’s Book Editing

More Testimonials

“Binky The Mermaid: The Fin-Tastic Race was the first book I’ve ever written. John Fox was so easy to work with and was very responsive. He helped me condense my book without losing the story and even gave me advice on the next steps. I could not have done this without John’s help. I am in the process of working on another book and I will use no other editor but John.”

– Kamiesha Anderson-Wieder, author of “Binky the Mermaid”

“I recently got my children’s book manuscript edited by John Fox. I was very happy with the fast communication I received from him. John provided great feedback, made great changes, and also answered all my questions. I have recommended John to a few of my friends and will continue to do so. Thank you again John for making me feel confident in my manuscript.”

– Jaz Tut

“John was extremely helpful and very honest. All of his thoughtful comments made total sense. Will definitely use him again.”

– Karen Sherwood

“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.”

– Maisie Wheeler

“As an unpublished author, I wasn’t at all sure about using John’s editing service. I am very glad that I did! His edits and suggestions for my children’s story were excellent. One of the main differences was the ‘voice’ of the story. His suggestions made the ‘voice’ more clear. That is important in any story, but I think especially for children.

– Irene Walsh

“I can’t say enough about John Fox! I’ve discovered that writing a children’s book is quite different than what I’m used to, and John supplied me with information I didn’t even know to look for. His commentary was extremely thorough and eye-opening, and the time he spent analyzing my manuscript is obvious. Not only did I receive an amazing critique, but the way he explained what I was missing was educational. It’s invaluable information I can use again and again! If anyone is shopping for an editor for their children’s book, John is, hands down, my recommendation.”

– Sarah Flores

“I appreciate the detailed attention John gave my children’s book. Based on his thoughtful comments, I can tell he didn’t just gloss over it but read it thoroughly. He caught a number of inconsistencies that both I and my co-writer missed and made some very helpful suggestions for improving the work. My only regret is that I didn’t contact him sooner.”

– Nancy Bucca