“Assisting people in expressing themselves in writing is a huge part of my life purpose. Invariably, when I work with an author, whether they’re creating a brochure or writing a book, they tell me they learn a great deal about writing, about clarity of expression, about publishing on the computer ... and we have a lot of fun!
If you are flailing in your writing process and needing a hand, or if you’re polishing your masterpiece and wanting high-level review, give me a call, and we’ll see how I can help!”
Laurie Masters, Precision Revision
Laurie Masters is a freelance editor in the San Francisco Bay Area who helps people bring their life work to the world through the printed word. Her tagline is, “I turn what you wrote into what you meant,” and many wonderful authors wholeheartedly agree!
Laurie is passionate about many topics, including earth-regenerative permaculture, ethanol ("liquid solar energy") for fueling and powering the planet, the compassionate Nonviolent Communication work of Marshall Rosenberg, and the low-fat, whole-food vegan lifestyle.
I worked in Silicon Valley as a technical editor during the 1990s at companies including Siliconix, Hitachi Internetworking, and MicroDesign Resources, where I was managing editor of the prestigious Microprocessor Report. I left corporate America in 2000 to freelance. As an independent, I have worked on both self-published and traditionally published books, most often as a copy editor, but also in developmental editing, ghostwriting, fact-checking, research, proofreading, interior book layout, and other roles.
Although my current work often tends to focus less on books and more on shorter writings, here is a description of some of my more notable book-length editing projects this decade.
1. Alcohol Can Be a Gas: Fueling an Ethanol
Revolution for the 21st Century by systems ecologist and
permaculture expert David Blume
Publisher: International Institute for Ecological Agriculture. Released August 2007 (596 pp.) Posthumous foreword by R. Buckminster Fuller.
My role: I proofread and performed a light copyedit on all 600+ pages of this how-to “bible” on ethanol production. Includes 473 endnotes and 514 photos, illustrations, and figures (2006 to 2007).
Since then, and to this day, I have served the author's nonprofit, the International Institute for Ecological Agriculture, as editor, special projects coordinator,and customer service and administrative staff member.
(From the acknowledgments page): “The book owes much of its crispness to Laurie Masters, who runs Precision Revision in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her motto is “I turn what you wrote into what you meant,” and the truth of that is evident throughout these pages. She not only made many insightful copyediting changes, she also proofread every word.”
2. The Raw Food Revolution Diet: Feast, Lose
Weight, Gain Energy, Feel Younger!
by Cherie Soria, Vesanto Melina, and Brenda Davis
Publisher: Healthy Living Publications. Released May 30, 2008 (408 pp.)
My role: I copyedited all of the recipes and several other portions of this raw-food recipe book created by Cherie Soria, renowned raw vegan chef and founder of the Living Light Culinary Arts Institute (2004 to 2008).
I also worked on Cherie's first cookbook, Angel Foods, and have regularly edited magazine articles, brochures, web content, course descriptions, and other writings for her since 2001.
3. Great Peacemakers: True Stories from Around the World by Ken Beller and Heather Chase www.GreatPeacemakers.com
Publisher: LTS Press. Released March 3, 2008 (195 pp.)
My role: I performed the copyediting and proofreading for this book, winner of The 2007 International PeaceWriting Award, and its high school/college study guides, from 2006 through 2008.
I have also edited brochures, reports, press releases, and web copy for Ken and his company, Near Bridge, since 2001.
4. The Marriage of Sex and Spirit: Relationships
at the Heart of Conscious Evolution
Geralyn Gendreau, editor http://marriageofsexandspirit.com/
Publisher: Elite Books. Released June 30, 2006 (408 pp.)
My role: In the spring of 2006, I was placed on an editorial “triage team” to get this anthology to press in time to save 1,200+ bookstore preorders. I copyedited about a dozen chapters, substantially reworked Marianne Williamson’s chapter, and transcribed some author interviews. The book was voted Best Health/Sexuality Book in the Best Books 2006 National Book Awards. Contributing authors include luminaries like Deepak Chopra, Carolyn Myss, Wayne Dyer, John Gray, and many more.
(From the acknowledgments page): “To Laurie Masters, a gem of a new friend, thorough copy editor, and brilliant mirror.”
5. The 80/10/10 Diet: Balancing Your Health,
Your Weight, and Your Life, One Luscious Bite at a Time
by Dr. Douglas N. Graham
Publisher: FoodnSport Press. Released November 2006 (348 pp.)
My role: From 2002 to 2006, I was sole developmental, substantive, and copy editor for this book. I also managed the project development, researched and wrote much of the content, checked facts, created all endnotes, and laid out the book’s interior.
I have also served on the author's staff as editor of his various writings, web content, and product literature since 2001.
(From the acknowledgments page): “Laurie, thank you for keeping me honest through your amazing research skills and for distilling my writing down to what I was actually trying to say. Your signature knack for “rototilling” a disjointed manuscript and turning it into a coherent book has once again proven invaluable. I am forever grateful for your steadfast commitment to me and to this project and for your tenacity in keeping its zillion details on track. Thank you in particular for your personal contributions to this book (notably Chapter 8 and Appendix D). I am convinced you are the best editor this side of the universe.”
6. You’re Not Who You Think You Are: A
Blueprint for Retrieving Your Authentic Self by Albert
Publisher: The Sedona Intensive. Released December 13, 2006 (276 pp.)
My role: I copyedited this book in the summer of 2006, written by noted Sedona psychic Albert Clayton Gaulden, a colleague and friend of James Redfield (Celestine Prophecy)
(From the acknowledgments page): “I owe heartfelt thanks to editor Laurie Masters of Precision Revision. You did a superb job to reshape the book to make it read more smoothly.”
7. Hiring the Heavens: A Practical Guide to
Developing Working Relationships with the Spirits of Creation
by Jean Slatter
Publisher: New World Library. Released March 10, 2005 (128 pp.)
My role: In 2004, Jean sent me an audiotape and typed transcript of a one-hour talk that she wanted to turn into a book. I created a mock layout and preliminary chapter titles and began populating strawman chapters with content from the transcript. From there, we worked together to develop the concept into a book-length presentation. The self-published book was picked up by New World Publishing in 2005.
(From the acknowledgments page): “I wish to thank my editors: Laurie Masters, who helped me get this project off the ground; and Judy Patton, without whose help it never would have landed.”
8. Giraffe Juice: The Magic of Making Life
Wonderful by Marci Winters and JP Allen
Publisher: Follow Your Joy Press. Released December 7, 2010. (142 pp.)
My role: I helped develop and copyedited early versions of the book throughout 2006 and 2007.
I also serve on the staff of a separate e-commerce business (www.harmonica.com) owned by Giraffe Juice author JP Allen, creating robust tracking systems, procedures manuals, and documentation for bookkeeping and administrative processes.
9. Hit the Spot: How to Tame the Currency
Market, Revised Edition by Reggie Henkart
Publisher: Family Freedom, Inc. Released in January 2010. (190 pp.)
My role: I edited and laid out the 2010 revised edition of this short book for forex traders who wish to trade in less than 15 minutes per week.
1. Pam Armstrong, author of Surviving Healthcare (http://survivinghealthcare.com/)
“Laurie, bless you. You are a gem. I got a quick chance to review your revisions, and in general I like them very much. Also, you so obviously want this to be good, and I don’t think I could find anyone else who has your level of dedication to this project. I, too, am enjoying working with you, and I really appreciate all the careful thought and reorganizing you’ve put into the book. It’s coming together well. The next challenge will be getting feedback from the medical reviewers ...”
2. Rex Bowlby, author of Plant Roots (plantrootsbook.com/about-books-plantroots.html)
“Let me say ... You have a wonderful “bookside” manner and it makes me realize you care, and only want what is best for the work. You don’t show me “what you know” by finding as many problems as you can. You take your ego out it. I appreciate that.”
“I’m like you in that regard in terms of focusing on the human side of things. I spend much time communicating with readers with no financial gain, but I believe it makes a difference in their lives, That is why you and I will never be rich. But I sure sleep well at night. Bet you do too.”
“If I were you, I think I would write an ‘introduction’ of yourself that would provide your philosophy, how you work, what you do, your top 10 priorities or pet grammar peeves, and so on, that you would provide up front. In that way people could get the ‘warm and fuzzy’ level of confidence, and then you could dispense with much of the ‘putting neurotic writers at ease’ explanations that you have had to do with me.”
“I have reviewed “About the Author.” Excellent work. I had to read the thing 10 times before I could grasp the concept of the date and it’s relationship to the meaning I intended. It’s hard to step outside of what “we say” and see it another way (what you say). It is for me anyway. It is as if you were trying to explain me (if there were no mirrors) that I have green eyes. It’s clear to you but not to me. The invention of editors was a great creation.”
“I think I get frustrated because, I have so much to say (I think) but I struggle with the words and how best to say it. But, like all humans, I go merrily along ignoring my deficits, KNOWING I communicate perfectly! Thus, when someone like you gets ahold of it, it’s the reminder that I don’t. And we humans all hate that!!! LOL!”
“You are very heady and an exceptionally elegant writer. (Think you should be writing books, not editing them.)”
“That ‘precision’ in revision surely applies. You reek of integrity. For those of us who are merely ‘human’ we don’t want to see this. LOL!”
3. Pamelah Landers, author of Your Heart Is in Your Hands (www.handsoncompany.com/products.html#books)
“For the last month I’ve worked on my book all but 5 days I think - writing, editing or designing the cover. Wish I had the funds for you to edit the new part but I just don’t. I do take into consideration things like “Is this how Laurie would edit it?” “Could I use fewer words here?” It helps. So thanks for the work you did. It is helping me with writing the rest.”
4. Rick Gegge, author of Healing Practices to Help Kids Grow Up Easier (www.growingupeasier.org/pages/about-book.html)
“Thank you so much for your work. I am amazed and really tickled. I am so moved by the great difference ... in fact, moved to joyous tears it looks so professional .... What skill you have.”
5. Dr. Douglas Graham, author of The 80/10/10 Diet (www.foodnsport.com)
“Huge thanks, Laurie. Well done. Interesting, when I read the final version, it seems that you did so little, until I read the annotated version and actually see the changes.”
“If you want THE BEST person, bar none, it is Laurie Masters. She is thorough, quick, and extremely insightful. She will communicate with you daily. She will assuredly make your book the best that it possibly can be. You will also have to pay her for this service, most likely more than you would pay any of the others. But after any of the others are done with it, I am not convinced that you will be thrilled with it. It may take longer than you want, because Laurie may make suggestions that require a bit more effort on your part, but the finished product will be something that you will always be proud of and won’t want to redo later down the road.”
6. Cherie Soria, author of Angel Foods: Healthy Recipes for Heavenly Bodies and The Raw Food Revolution Diet (www.rawfoodchef.com/aboutUs/faculty.html)
“Hi Laurie, You are SO awesome. There are very few things I have altered, rejected or added to. I am happy with the way you are approaching this and feel it is working well for me. I also thank you for the improvement in my writing. Your tutoring has helped me a great deal, indeed. I still need you to look my work over, but I know there is less editing and rewriting required now, compared to BL (Before Laurie)! You are a gem! Love and appreciation, Cherie”
“Thanks so much! Somehow, even though you didn’t make any MAJOR changes, what you did really pulled the article together. For some reason, this was a challenging article for me to write and when I was finished, I wasn’t even sure I liked it. But after you worked your magic on it, I was proud to put my name on it!”
“Laurie Masters is a master of writing and editing. I have been using Laurie as an editor and consultant for several years in editing my books, articles, business letters, speeches, and documents. What I really appreciate about Laurie is her willingness to teach me how to write interesting comprehensive documents, rather than just making the changes for me and keeping me dependent on her to rewrite everything for me. When she makes a change, she notes why she made the change and follows with the grammatical basis for it—so next time, I write it correctly. Yet, she never chastises me for continuing to make mistakes until I “get it.” Laurie’s tutoring has made a marked improvement in my writing and given me the confidence of a seasoned author and speaker. I now need less editing and rewriting compared to BL (Before Laurie)! She is a gem and I highly recommend her to all my friends and colleagues.”
7. Geralyn Gendreau, editor of The Marriage of Sex and Spirit (http://geralyn.us/index.php)
“God, I love how thorough you are. ... Laurie, one of my primary goals in the coming months will be to make enough money to send all my stuff to you.”
8. Albert Clayton Gaulden, author of You’re Not Who You Think You Are (www.sedonaintensive.com/albert.htm)
“Dear Laurie: I will always be eternally grateful to you for your masterful edit and warm and gracious attitude. Notice the Acknowledgments closely.”
“Thank you for the good work. You are a darn good editor. LOVE AND GRATITUDE, ALBERT”
9. JP Allen, author of Giraffe Juice (www.giraffejuice.com)
“I feel proud of both of us in how we created such a mutually beneficial relationship that involved both money and friendship... I love when those two things work so smoothly together.”
“If everything in my life could be as easy as working with you....”
10. Franca Baroni, author of On Governance: Cor Publicum—The Evolution of Res Publica (http://corpublicum.us/on-governance)
“Laurie was exactly what I had hoped for. She perfectly understood the depth of proofreading I wanted and the quality of her work was impeccable. She was efficient, responsive, and thorough, and most of all she maintained the integrity of my manuscript. I chose her among other candidates not only because of her professionalism but also because of her honest, generous, and straigthforward style. I was impressed by her high level of integrity in handling the costs. I am extremely grateful to her.”
11. Marsha Red Adams, author of Blindly Suspended: Marsha Red Adams in Retrospect/1970-2010 (http://www.RedAdams.com)
(At time of hire): “Of course it’s a shot in the dark for me. I can’t really imagine what you would edit. I’ve worked so darn hard on this thing, but I know what happens when you’re so close to something like this.”
(Nine days later, after having exchanged 574 e-mail messages): “I actually projected that we would get through the editing over the weekend! You must laugh when people say things like ‘I have no idea what you will be doing?’ HA!”
“Hi Laurie—upon printout out all the revisions, & rereading, I found even more corrections that YOU would have made. I was reading it as if I were YOU—funny, but you've taught me well. Thank you for accommodating my style and way of working—without the computer savvy and organization. I'm glad you're on top of it!”