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Book editing and layout

John Meyer
  Editor & writer

Kathleen Beall Meyer
  Artist & Designer
Skills & experience
  Degree in journalism, deep experience in research and writing, all phases of editing and story development, plus proofreading and page layout.
Skills & experience
  Academic training in fine and commercial art and marketing, with extensive experience and proven skills in typography, illustration and design.
Other professional services:  Need a customized database or interactive website? Ad design or original artwork? GO to details.

Let us polish your prose, design and format your book for publication.
   We have made lengthy careers of helping talented writers to do their best work, and to present that work in attractive form. Submitting your book to a publisher? Or selling a self-published work at retail? Either way, we'll give it the professional finish it needs to compete in today's marketplace.
   Editing: Whether you need just a final proofreading, or in-depth assistance in shaping and organizing your manuscript, or any level of editing in between, we're good, we're quick, and we're easy to work with.
   Design and formatting: We'll put your work on the page, in attractive, readable form, and ready for print according to your publisher's or printer's specifications. We work in industry-standard Adobe InDesign software and, when required, Microsoft Word.

John Meyer

Kate Meyer

For the latest details  about our editing and design services, please see our website, GO to information.

Story development, copy editing and proofreading
By John Meyer

  In-depth editing service: An informal, results-oriented collaborative process will help you shape and organize your text, identify gaps and clarify your narrative. Starting from a sample chapter, I can offer recommendations about the level of editing your manuscript needs.

  Standard copy editing: Finding and smoothing out the rough edges of a text are a specialty. I'll help your own voice be heard, faithful to your own style, while ensuring your prose is clear, correct and compelling.

  Fact checking and original research: Ensuring absolute accuracy is essential for non-fiction. Avoiding anachronisms and factual errors is also important for a fiction writer's credibility. As a veteran news-media professional, I'll verify any aspect of your story that can be checked, and advise you on historical, cultural or technical contexts when needed.

  Basic proofreading: If you're an experienced author, confident in your skills, you may need nothing more than a careful, professional review to catch the inevitable text glitches and typos that will be invisible to your own eye.

  Writing coaching: For beginning authors who have a story to tell, but not a lot of experience in the printed word, I can help you structure your writing to make it easy for readers. In 30-plus years as an editor, I've improved the work of hundreds of talented writers, from raw beginners to seasoned professionals.

  Co-author or ghost writing: Need a pro to help you tell your story effectively? I'll work with you to master your material and shape it into a readable narrative, with or without a co-author credit, as you prefer.

Publication & cover design, typography, formatting
By Kate Meyer

  Cover designs. I'll create an attractive, effective cover for your work, with professional typography and illustrations as appropriate. Custom or stock photos or artwork can be used. I can also create original artwork, using digital or traditional media.

  Typography and page formatting. I will work with you to select the right fonts for your text, headings and other page elements, and format the pages to meet your publisher's or printer's specifications. I'm expert in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. Page layout and design are a specialty.

  Promotional materials. Need bookmarks, postcards, brochures or posters to help you sell your book? I have spent decades creating powerful, effective marketing materials, many of which have won publishing industry awards.

About rates
  We offer our services on either an hourly or a flat-rate schedule. When we are acquainted with an author's work, we are happy to commit to a flat rate, based on the book's estimated word count. For new clients whose writing style isn't familiar to us, an hourly rate may be better for both parties. This ensures that you get the necessary level of attention to your work, and that we are fairly compensated for our services.
  To assess the level of editing your manuscript needs, and to propose a rate that will be fair to you and to us, we'll be happy to review a sample chapter at no cost and with no obligation. When we have an idea of your writing style, we will make a recommendation about the scope of services and our rates.
  Cover design and page formatting will normally be done on a flat-rate basis, mainly determined by the book's size.

What writers say about John Meyer's editing
  "John has a sharp eye to size up a piece of writing, improve on its strengths and fix its weaknesses. He has the uncanny ability to make your work better and do it in a way that's gentle, respectful and gets the job done."
More about the writer
about the
Kenneth R. Weiss
former environment reporter
Los Angeles Times

  "Many editors can fix copy but John goes beyond that: He improves writers. I was reminded of this recently when, many years after John last was paid to be my editor, I wrote something that betrayed ignorance on a point. He explained what was wrong and how to avoid a repeat. My ego not only stayed intact, it was boosted by the realization I had just become a wiser writer. Editors who only correct text change your voice. Look for editors like John who help you sing."
More about the writer
about the
Susan Kille
editor at large
New York Times
  News Services

  "I worked with John Meyer for five years at a daily newspaper, and was amazed at his consistent ability to report and write multiple stories each day in addition to lengthy, thoughtful pieces for the weekend papers. After he was promoted to city editor (and managing editor soon after,) I inherited his City Hall beat. I remember the city manager commenting that John was easily the best reporter to have covered the office during his tenure. John is exceptionally smart, talented, thorough, fast, tenacious and fair –- qualities that earned him the respect of editors, reporters, and even the sometime-adversaries he covered.
  "As an editor, he is able to simultaneously grasp the big picture and the small details that reveal the heart of the matter. His exceptional abilities would be an asset to any project he undertakes."
More about the writer
about the writer
Deborah Kelly
free-lance writer
Richmond, Va.

  "John’s editing skills go far beyond the commonly accepted parameters. He keeps writers on track with the narratives they propose, consulting with them rather than talking to them, guiding them through the organization of thoughts that can overwhelm those too close to their own prose to see the flaws. He sustains a seamless, rhythmic and conversational manuscript while preserving and reinforcing the writer’s voice. The result is as it should be when writer and editor collaborate: there is no evidence the editor was ever there. That is an art form."
More about the writer
about the
Charles M. Anderson
retired executive editor
Wilmington (NC) Star-News

  "John's native instincts for the proper written word translate also into his impeccable speaking ability, either public before an audience, or in dealing one-on-one. The two go together, with the end result of producing meaningful words for a comprehensible message. John senses this message and edits in a style to fit the intent for potential readers. That versatility and adaptability lets him handle light or heavy, humor or seriousness, summary conclusions or expanded details -- whatever an author wishes."
More about the writer
about the
Wilbur D. Jones, Jr.
author and military historian
Wilmington, N.C.

Editorial Freelancers Association
John Meyer is a member
of the Editorial Freelancers Association.
About Kate Meyer's design work

Microsoft Office Specialist certification
Kate Meyer is certified
as a Microsoft Excel Specialist.
Request a rate quotation
Your name: 
Phone number: 
email address: 
Type of service: 
(Check all that apply) 
 Cover design
 Typography & page formatting
 Page formatting with pictures
 In-depth editing
 Basic copy editing
 Proofreading only
 Editing: uncertain of level needed
 Co-author or ghost writing
Book length: Because book formats vary so widely, a word count is essential to calculate the time needed for editing.
Estimated word count:  (for an editing job)
Estimated page count:  (for design and formatting)
Type of book: 
Please give us a brief description of your project.

Note any special factors that may affect the scope of work needed.
  Do you have a sample chapter available?   Yes    No

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Samples of John Meyer's published writing
   "Warbirds take to skies over battleship:" World War II aircraft celebrate VJ Day's 50th anniversary
   "Pig-parting is sweet sorrow:" First-person column about a past life in the wholesale meat trade
   "Johnson attacks Rose for working against BECO refinery:" Attack and response in a hot congressional race
   "Arrests stir up old controversies:" Summarizes background of complex breaking corruption case, written on deadline
   "Commissioners learn trash incinerators practical but costly:" On the road to find solid waste solutions
   "Firm dumps raw sewage at sand pit:" Septic tank company caught in the act of polluting
   "Two arrested in dumping:" Chemical company caught in the act of pouring waste acid in river
   "Riverfront transformation begins / Beaufort's waterfront revitalization a success:" When the Riverwalk was just a dream
   "Wilmington on display: City Hall goes on tour:" City officials get muddy feet touring poor neighborhoods
   "Covering City and County in the Morning Star:" Promotional house ad about John Meyer's reporting

Contact us
   Our office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
(Eastern Time) Monday through Friday.
  By email
By telephone
  By mail
   Cape Fear Images, Inc.
   5621 Athens Lane
   Wilmington, NC 28405-3716

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