Sheri Graves

Writer, Editor,
Memoir Writing Instructor,
As your “developmental editor,” I will do the following:
1.     Read your entire manuscript, including the outline and/or any additional notes you may have on the project;
2.     Make suggestions on establishing direction, also known as a “story arc,” for the manuscript, regardless of       whether it is for a book, an article or an essay, and
3.     Focus on character development through description, emotion, dialogue and reaction.
As your “content editor,” I will do the following:
1.     Re-read your entire manuscript again to work on consistency and continuity;
2.     Determine not only what is missing but also what is there that shouldn’t be there;
3.     Focus on sense of time and place, geography, brand names, etc., and
4.     Deal with fact-checking, believability and other pertinent information.
As your “structure editor,” I will do the following:
1.     Re-read your entire manuscript again while restructuring as needed to grab and hold the reader’s interest, and
2.     Make your project a page-turner.
As your “style editor,” I will do the following:
1.     Re-read your entire manuscript to punch up dialogue, descriptions, visuals, emotions, reactions, and
2.     Focus on voice, point-of-view, tense and whatever else needs attention.
As your “proof-reading editor,” I will do the following:
1.     Re-read your manuscript to correct spelling, word usage, basic grammar, punctuation, and
2.     Revisit issues of sentence structure, paragraphing and chaptering.
As your “polishing editor,” I will do the following:
1.     Give the manuscript a final go-through to focus on tidal waves of excitement, crisis, tension and resolution, and
2.     Revisit transitions, segues, omens and bonus “gotchas” or humor. 


Respect – my respect for your vision (as long as you know what it is and can communicate it to me) as well as your
respect for my expertise;

Trust on both sides;

Good two-way communication
via phone and email;

Serious consideration of feedback without taking anything personally;

Minimizing unnecessary stress or tension; neither party makes unreasonable requests or demands of the other;

Focusing on the “big picture,” meaning “don’t sweat the small stuff” and “keep your eye on the prize” to get to the end of the project; and

Timeliness – keeping deadlines; doing what is promised ASAP.
Writer, ghostwriter, researcher, interviewer, editor, proof-reader, etc.

As a manuscript/story/article coach, writer, researcher, interviewer, proof-reader, polisher and editor (development,
content, structure, grammar, etc.), I advise my clients to expect the following:


I prefer working on crime fiction and thriller, both genres which describe my debut novel, “Deep Doo-Doo,”
winner of the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award for Crime Fiction. I have access to sources including physicians of
many different specialties, nurses, EMTs, attorneys, judges, psychiatrists, psychologists (including forensic
psychologists), law enforcement personnel, teachers, elected officials and other professionals who are willing to be
interviewed by me for input – providing they are credited in the published book’s acknowledgements.

I do NOT handle romance novels or those that fall into the fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal, horror, erotica, LGBT, children’s
fare, or YA genres. Nor do I write or edit for blogs or websites other than my own.  


I specialize in memoir, autobiography and biography. As a newspaper reporter, I handled a wide
range of topics, including medical, science, family life, religion, residential real estate, home decorating, obituaries,
personality profiles, travel (domestic and foreign), cultural and social trends. As a freelancer, I have done ghostwriting
in many of those arenas and also have done ghostwriting, editing and other work on autobiography and memoir

I do NOT handle stories, articles or manuscripts focusing on war/combat, romance, erotica, children’s fare, YA, blogs,
websites, or anything glamorizing drug use or alcohol use, or focusing on anorexia, LGBT issues, anti-abortion,
anti-environment industries, prosletizing of any specific religion, pornography, pedophilia (and other aberrant
behaviors), or a general “woe-is-me” philosophy. I no longer handle stories or manuscripts focusing on computers
and the tech industry.


I do NOT offer these services. Because the client’s wishes largely influence the condition of the finished product,
I make no guarantees regarding acceptance by either a literary agent or a publisher.


The contract will specify a time period for the project. The client will receive an email containing my finished product.
Yes, we will have some back and forth before the product is finished. But when I say, “It’s done,” that’s the end of it
unless the client is willing to pay for additional “tweaking.” The client must pay an hourly rate for additional
after-project work. An additional after-project  signed agreement would be required for “tweaking.”


As a ghostwriter/editor, I receive no credit. The manuscript/story/article is published under the client’s name. If I have
interviewed experts for the project, they must be credited either within the work or in acknowledgements published
with the work (as in a book or article).


Depending upon the contract language, I charge the following for my services as a writer/researcher/interviewer/editor/proof-reader, etc.:

$40.00 per hour, or

$50.00 per 2,000-word segment of the project.*

* If the project is a book and your word count is 80,000, my editing fee would be $2,000.00.

$$$$$: All fees are payable upon completion or by benchmark as the project is under way, depending on the contract
language. A client’s failure to pay shall result in client’s forfeiture of ownership of my work product until the account is
brought current. Should court proceedings become necessary to collect, client accepts costs of all legal fees on both

I am highly ethical and expect the same from my clients. In some cases, an advance payment may be required. I do
not accept credit cards. All payments will be made online through PayPal to assure actual currency behind the payment.