I'm Simone Ford, a freelance editor and proofreader with more than twenty-five years of experience in the Australian publishing industry.
I was an editor at Allen & Unwin and Pan Macmillan for ten years before launching into the freelance world fifteen years ago. I now work with many leading publishers, including ABC Books, Allen & Unwin, Hachette, HarperCollins, Hardie Grant, Pan Macmillan, Simon & Schuster and Ventura Press. I also love helping private clients develop their writing for submission or self-publication.
I have been a judge for the HarperCollins Varuna Awards for Manuscript Development and am a Professional Member of the Institute of Professional Editors. My expertise includes (but is certainly not limited to) young adult and children's literature, general and literary fiction, fantasy and science fiction, memoir, sport, narrative non-fiction, science and cooking.
I live and work in the beautiful Blue Mountains with two kids and a kelpie.
What I do
Whether you want to be noticed by a publisher or are looking to self-publish, I can help make your manuscript the best it can be!
Do you have a rough draft or even just a few chapters and a synopsis and need some advice? A manuscript assessment will give you professional feedback on themes, characters, story arc and other factors that are vital in creating a terrific book.
Have you written a first draft and are not sure if it's really working, or how to fix it? A structural edit might be what you need.
Or if your manuscript is tight and well structured but needs some line-by-line attention to grammar, phrasing, punctuation and spelling then it's probably a copyedit that you're after.
If you are self-publishing and have completed these editing stages then I would highly recommended booking in a final professional proofread before hitting the print button.
Written a whole or partial manuscript and not sure if you're on the right track? A manuscript assessment will give you professional feedback on both its strengths and where it could be improved. I will read your manuscript in full and provide a detailed and constructive report outlining suggestions for what to
If you have a manuscript but are feeling unsure if it is hanging together successfully, you might benefit from a structural (or developmental) edit. This is a 'big picture' assessment of plot, characterisation, voice, perspective, dialogue, pacing and other important elements. I'll provide you with a detailed and constructive report as well as making comments and queries throughout the manuscript using Word review functions.
If the structure of your manuscript is sound but the little details require some finetuning, it may be a copyedit that you need. This is a comprehensive line-by-line edit that looks at spelling, grammar, sentence structure, repetition, consistency and flow. I will mark up the entire manuscript (using the Word review function) and include comments and queries where required. A short report will also guide you though the copyedit and outline any issues.
Are you self-publishing and your manuscript has already been copyedited and designed? If so, I would highly recommended a final professional proofread before publishing. No edit will ever be perfect and there will always be errors that have been missed, no matter how many times you have read it! A professional proofread by me will bring a fresh set of eyes to your work before it is sent out into the world.
A small selection of titles I have edited or proofread
Penn Adams, author of The Malign Alliance
'Thanks so much for doing such a brilliant job. I've just read your report and have to say your thoroughness is just amazing – and so appreciated. I so often couldn't see the wood for the trees when writing and just to have a professional pair of eyes go through it is so darn helpful. The amount of work you've put in was above and beyond my hopes.'
Want to know more? I'd love to hear from you!
Tell me a little about your project (including genre, word count, what services you think you need and timeframe) and I'll get back to you soon.