Editing services

Sue is an excellent editor and writer of both educational and trade texts. She has topnotch interpersonal skills and is a delight to work with. Totally dedicated to getting your content out on time and will make sure the job is on budget and in good shape. I could not recommend her more highly.”

– Anne Farmer

Former Head of Publishing for Schools, Pearson

I offer an editorial service ranging from structural and development editing, including advice on design and illustration, to a light copy edit or proofread.

As part of an edit, I format files ready for print layout and ebook conversion (i.e. to the stage where they can be uploaded to Amazon/Kindle and/or Smashwords).

I work with both fiction and non-fiction authors, and specialise in:

  1. children’s and YA fiction

  2. genre fiction

  3. biographies and memoirs

  4. non-fiction for all ages.

You can view my portfolio here, and find out about my fees here.

Development editing

This looks at the overall structure of a book. For non-fiction, it addresses the organisation and flow of text and images, and the use of features such as breakout boxes, diagrams and activities. I can also assist with research, and with sourcing photographs and illustrations.

With fiction, development looks at length, plot, voice, characterisation, writing style, etc. (If a fiction book has already had a manuscript assessment*, and points arising from that have been addressed, then a development edit will probably be unnecessary.)

*Note: This link will take you to the New Zealand Association of Manuscript Assessors, and this one will take you to the New Zealand Society of Authors website where you can find information on their manuscript assessment programme.

Copy editing

This addresses grammar, punctuation, spelling, consistency, clarity, and so on. I draw up a style guide for each book or series, to ensure consistency across the text. Changes and corrections are highlighted in ‘track changes’ for authors/publishers to accept/reject, and queries and suggestions for improvement are included in comments boxes.


This is a final read-through after copy editing, and involves correction of mistakes only – no editing or rewriting.

Formatting for ebook and print books

For all books, I import the text into a simple template and then style it, which smooths the path to print or ebook publishing.

  1. For ebooks, I can format text into files that are ready for uploading to Amazon (Kindle) and Smashwords (includes Kobo, iBooks, and other ebook retailers).

  1. For non-complex print books (i.e. those that don’t include diagrams, photos, or multiple fonts), I can supply your book as a print-ready PDF.

Publishing packages

I’ve teamed up with one of NZ’s top book designers to offer editing-design packages, with a project management option too. Visit the Publishing Packages page of this website, or download our PDF: Pick n Mix Publishing.pdf


Until their closure in 2013, I freelanced part-time, and eventually full-time, for educational publisher Pearson. I edited more than 50 Pearson titles, mostly secondary school books, especially history, science, English, geography and social studies.

I regularly edit picture books, non-fiction titles, and junior/YA fiction for Huia Publishing.

Other NZ clients have included New Holland, Hodder Moa Becket, Random House, Pindar, and Cengage Learning.

Increasingly, I am working with self-publishing authors, particularly on children’s and YA fiction.

My background

London Zoo; The Early Times

My first job that involved writing was as a press officer at London Zoo. Having always been fascinated by wildlife this was a bit of a dream job for me. My other big love is travel, so after four years at the zoo I took some time off to see the world. While I was away I wrote a travel column for the UK children’s newspaper The Early Times, and on my return wrote a weekly wildlife column for the same paper.

Dorling Kindersley Children’s Books

After my travels I moved into publishing. My projects for Dorling Kindersley included a natural history series called Look Closer, a children’s encyclopaedia, and Children Just Like Me, which I wrote and edited. This book became a worldwide bestseller and won several awards, including The Times Educational Supplement best children’s non-fiction book.

Freelance editor

Since moving to New Zealand, I have worked as a freelance editor on books ranging from pre-school to university texts; on gardening, history, science, the environment, cookery, travel, astronomy, (you name it ...), as well as on fiction projects ranging from picture books to epic fantasy and sci-fi novels. Lucky me!

"I was thrilled with the editing. Sue is an experienced, prompt and professional editor. Highly recommended."

– Melinda Szymanik

Award-winning children’s/YA author

“Sue’s editing was exactly what I needed to give my manuscript that professional edge. She was accurate and knowledgeable, and spot on with every one of her suggested improvements. Sue was also great fun to work with -­ most important when you’re in the midst of the sometimes fraught editing process.”

– Sarah Johnson

“Sue’s work on Lily Max was sensitive and exquisite, full of understanding and good common-sense thinking. It was a model of expert literary editing and I tip my hat to her.”

Steve Braunias, Publisher,

Luncheon Sausage Books