Melissa Jagears is an award-winning author and freelance editor. She provides developmental/content edits, mentoring, and line edits for the right projects. Consultation is free when she has time to take on a project.
Fees are decided on a case-by-case basis. If you inquire per directions below, Melissa will give you an estimate on what it’d cost for services best tailored to your needs along with a sample of an edit/mentoring critique. If you’re looking for rock bottom editing prices, she is not the way to go. She edits with the goal of making your project the absolute best it can be, and that takes more time than simply cleaning up a manuscript. The amount of pages she’ll edit/critique for this consultation is up to her and the needs of the manuscript, but will be enough to let you know how she’d approach your manuscript.
(Melissa chooses not to edit material with on page sex scenes or profanity–if your project includes such, she will not be the right editor for you.)
After editing projects, her clients have gone on to win awards, sign with agents, and been offered publishing contracts. Here are some of her happy clients:
After two years with a book agent and no publishing contract as a new, unknown author, I was introduced to Melissa Jagears in our hometown of Wichita, KS. Our initial conversations were painful as she described what would be needed to craft my novice manuscript into a top-quality book, based on her years of successful writing experience. She masterfully reorganized my original draft to create a framework for the rewriting which started off fuzzy and insecure for me, but eventually became a stronger, better version of my story.
From first to last, Melissa required my best writing efforts and drew out powerful descriptions and dialogue to keep the reader engaged and learning life lessons through each chapter which was my main goal. Her professional skills in design and layout made for a beautiful and winsome product, from the cover to each inside page.
I believe I would have finished this book project, but deeply doubt it would have been as wonderful and well-done without Melissa’s amazing editorial oversight and direction. Many readers report how professional and well-written my book is and though I worked hard, I think I worked smarter with Melissa’s guidance and high writing standards.
I highly recommend Melissa and Utmost Publishing to any dedicated author who wants a polished, boast-worthy product he/she can be proud to offer on the competitive book marketplace. ~ Gail Goolsby, award-winning author of Unveiled Truth (edited by Melissa Jagears)
I had the privileged of having Melissa Jagears edit a portion of my first novel, and like a surgeon skillfully wielding her scalpel, she dissected my writing with precision and care. With her strong story sense and brilliant eye for detail, Melissa provided me valuable feedback on the ways I could not only improve the plot, but the mechanics as well. I’ve never had a more thorough critique, nor a more competent editor! I highly recommend Melissa’s services. ~Melanie N. Brasher, Writer. (ACFW’s First Impressions 2016 winner, submission edited by Melissa Jagears)
Melissa has been helping me edit and brainstorm for years, and she is fantastic. When I had nothing but a hazy idea for a story, she helped me pinpoint a definite direction.
Beyond being a talented writer, Melissa is an editor with a sharp eye. Not only does she pick up grammatical errors, awkward wording, and typos, she helped me improve my story and characters by evaluating the manuscript as a whole. No loose ends were left after she was through, AND she’s always quick to get back to me! If you are interested in honest and helpful editing, I highly recommend Melissa. ~ Heidi Chiavaroli, Carol award-winning author of Freedom’s Ring (ACFW Carol Award 2022 Finalist for Where Grace Appears, edited by Melissa Jagears)
I am happy to recommend Melissa Jagears as a proof reader/copyeditor. She worked on my most recent novel, THE HEIRESS, and did a splendid job. She caught several significant errors in time that I was amazed I had botched so badly. She was also very attentive to the period of the novel – the Regency – and made some helpful suggestions. She would be a valuable asset to anyone who wants to produce an errorless book. ~ Joan Wolf, USA Today Bestselling Author of more than 40 novels
Melissa Jagears has worked for agency clients as a proofreader and copyeditor as well as developmental editor. She has excellent editorial skills and I am glad to recommend her to any writer who needs an editor. She is meticulous and insightful in her work. ~ Natasha Kern, Literary Agent
Melissa can be contacted at: author(at)melissajagears.com
Please include in your email to Melissa:
*Make the email subject line: “Editing Request through Utmost Publishing – YOUR NAME – YOUR PROJECT” with your name and project title inserted in the correct locations.
*What editing/help you are inquiring after
*Desired time frame for the project to be completed
*Brief synopsis describing your project and its genre
- 2-3 paragraphs if you’re inquiring after mentoring since your book does not have to be finished for this service
- 1-3 pages if you’re inquiring after editing since your book must be finished for this service (Though Melissa may suggest mentoring after viewing instead–She chooses not to edit a book if she believes a writer hasn’t sufficient knowledge of the writing craft to make paying for an edit a wise investment)
*First two chapters of the book pasted straight into the email body (No attachments)