Edit Nonfiction Books

The benefits of professional editing for your nonfiction book

Let’s start by addressing this common question: “What’s the difference between content editing and proofreading/copy editing?”

While still fairly young in my writing/editing career, I had one of those “lightbulb” moments. I was thinking about the difference between content editing and proofreading (aka copy editing). Here’s what I realized:

  • The proofreader (or copy editor) looks at what IS there. In other words, this person will fix typos, correct grammar, and adjust the punctuation in your manuscript. He or she may break up run-on sentences and may offer helpful suggestions.
  • The content editor looks at what is there – and what is NOT there. For example, when you make a point in your manuscript, is it clear or does it need more explanation to fully complete the thought? Alternatively, do some points get bogged down with too much unnecessary detail? And this is important: Does a clear theme or takeaway message resonate throughout your manuscript? The content editor relentlessly pursues clarity, energy, and momentum. The goal is to keep the reader engaged. Let’s keep the reader reading!

Are you writing a business book or personal memoir?
If so, do not overlook the content editing step. Content editing takes a “diamond in the rough” manuscript and polishes it into a brilliant, sparkling-clear book. And don’t worry, I won’t change your voice!

I offer decades of experience as a professional editor, with experience in a wide variety of business subjects including entrepreneurship, healthcare, high tech, insurance, law, manufacturing, nonprofit fundraising, and real estate.

Here are a few recent projects, below. CLICK HERE TO CONTACT ME to request a sample edit and your free quote.


High Risk, High Reward:

The journey of an “underdog entrepreneur” who took chances, overcame obstacles, and built a $50 million business

High Risk High RewardI worked with this first-time author to edit his business memoir. In addition to cover-to-cover content editing, I teamed with the author and other service providers to brainstorm and choose the final title and select the cover art. To enhance this business memoir, I encouraged the author to write nine substantive articles on beefy business topics. We interspersed these informative articles between chapters. This transformed a business memoir (that you would read once and then pass along to a colleague) into a robust, ongoing reference guide. (Example articles included “How to conduct in-depth due diligence when buying a business” and “How to make technology work for you and your bottom line.”) In addition, I wrote the back-cover copy and carefully proofed the interior layout before the book was published.


Ken Phillips’ Civil Society Series

Make a Better WorldKnown as a master of fundraising and organizational development, Ken Phillips has led and consulted with global nonprofit organizations and NGOs. He provides real-world advice to help fundraisers step into greater leadership roles and raise more funds, so their organizations can have a greater impact.

A prolific author backed by decades of experience, Ken’s vision is to publish a 6-book series: Civil Society Series. I am honored to have provided cover-to-cover content editing for the first 3 manuscripts in his series. I also wrote the back-cover copy and carefully proofed the interior layout before the books were published.

  • Make a Better World: A practical guide to leadership for fundraising success (currently being translated into French, Romanian, and Spanish)
  • Strategic Planning and Culture for Nonprofits: Clear and doable steps to create motivating plans and the supporting culture you need for success
  • 25 Proven Strategies for Fundraising Success: How to win the love and support of donors


Rocks in My Backpack: Tales of a Veteran Scouter

Rocks in My BackpackWith wit and inspiration, Tom Sholes recounts his entry into Boy Scouting and his escapades as a youth during World War II. Later, as an adult Scout leader, he grew in skills and knowledge to eventually become a highly successful leader of youth. Unsatisfied with easy merit badges, Tom challenged his Scouts with rugged mountains, wild rivers, and unforgiving deserts. A master storyteller, Tom recounts troop mishaps and adventures including braving fast-forming blizzards, leading an entire Troop to conquer mountain summits, and a day-long rescue of a young Scout from unyielding quicksand in a river! As content editor for Tom’s personal memoir, I ensured his stories kept a fast pace, with momentum and tantalizing drama. Also, given the number of locations mentioned in his manuscript, I conducted quite a bit of fact-checking to ensure accuracy.


To Sell or Not to Sell … Employer Retirement Plans:

The financial advisor’s roadmap to a successful retirement plans practice

To Sell or Not to Sell... Employer Retirement PlansFor this project, I was the ghostwriter for The Hartford Insurance Company’s business book “written” by two first-time authors. The Hartford provided only the book’s title and table of contents. Therefore, I based 100% of the content for this full-length guidebook on interviews with the two authors. The authors (and The Hartford) were thrilled with the streamlined process and the resulting manuscript, especially since I was able to meet a challenging deadline, which was aligned with a major promotional event for this product.


Writing a business book or personal memoir?

CLICK HERE to contact Patrice Rhoades-Baum to request a sample edit and free quote.


Here’s what one author said about teaming with Patrice Rhoades-Baum for content editing for his nonfiction business book:

“Writing a book is a daunting task. It takes a tremendous amount of time and effort to tell your story the way you want it to be told.  When I finished the initial first draft, I was pretty satisfied. But I quickly figured out that it just wasn’t good enough. Patrice and her colleagues transformed my story into a masterpiece. A brilliant editor, Patrice Rhoades-Baum took my words and was able to convert my manuscript into a real business book treasure.”

– Steve Scher, Chief Executive Officer, Acrobat Advisors

Nail Your Elevator Pitch!

Get my free book and worksheets, so you can nail your elevator speech today!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.