Want your book to be a bestseller? I can help.

I offer a full range of editorial services for your needs at each stage of the writing and editing process. From first-time aspiring novelists developing a character’s backstory, to award-winning journalists and professionals with a book proposal in need of fine-tuning prior to publication, you will find what you need here.

Your Idea

You wrote a novel, a nonfiction book proposal, or have a brilliant book concept, and you’re ready to take the next step toward publication.

Discover & Plan

We will work together to define a timeline, rates, and the appropriate services to elevate your work to a publishable level.

I, Editor

I will edit your manuscript or proposal with precision, empathy, and candor; if you prefer, I can also create content with you, hand-in-hand.

Manage & Grow

You will leave here with a clear plan of attack for cultivating, polishing, or marketing your book project to agents and publishers alike.

What they’re saying

“I sure am grateful for Jaimee. She took my words out for a spin, and when she came back, my book had received the wax, oil change, and tune-up I didn’t even realize it needed. There are very few editors out there that really take the time to empathize with the emotional connection authors have to their writing, but when she edits, Jaimee seems to live with the words, almost inside of them. She heard my voice pulsing in there, snagged it, and yanked out the best version possible. She rocks. Period.”

Buddy Wakefield, two-time Individual World Poetry Slam Champion, author of Gentleman Practice and Live For A Living (Write Bloody Publishing)

About

Photo of Jaimee Garbacik, Editor

Jaimee Garbacik is the owner and founder of Footnote Editorial. An editor, writer, and publishing consultant, she has been privileged to edit for New York Times bestselling authors, Caldecott Honor and Emmy Award recipients, and some of the world’s foremost scientists. At Footnote Editorial, she makes it her mission to enhance authors’ innate voices and to “never pummel sentences for sport.”

Her specialties include short story collections, literary fiction, YA fiction, essay collections, women’s issues and gender studies, queer theory, and interviews. She also greatly enjoys working on speculative fiction, cultural studies, music writing, food politics, LGBTQIA issues, youth advocacy, poetry, and long-form journalism.

Before launching Footnote Editorial, Jaimee cut her teeth in publishing as the acquisitions editor for The Literary Group International in New York, handling editorial development for the agency’s more than 200 clients worldwide. Jaimee graduated cumme laude from Boston University, where she studied with renowned editor and literary critic, Sir Christopher Ricks. She holds a certificate in editing from the University of Washington, and is a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association and the Northwest Independent Editors Guild. For more about Jaimee’s approach to editing, check out her interview with new crowdfunded book publisher, Inkshares.

Jaimee is also the author of Gender and Sexuality For Beginners (For Beginners, 2013), a critical examination of the sex-gender system and the evolution of gender roles, currently on curricula at more than a dozen universities. She has guest lectured at the University of Washington, Seattle University, Emerson College, and elsewhere, and has presented on gender and sexuality in bookstores, music venues, and community centers in ten cities. She is currently curating Ghosts of Seattle Past, an art installation and atlas/anthology commemorating places in Seattle lost to rapid development. When not writing and editing, she spray paints on found windows.

You can visit Jaimee’s personal site to find updates on her writing and appearances, or follow her @JaimeeG

View Jaimee’s Resume (PDF)

What they’re saying

“Jaimee has impressed me with the depth and precision of her insights. She knows what publishers want, and knows how to communicate those expectations to writers. If you’re looking for an excellent editor, look no further.”

Damon DiMarco, New York Times bestselling author of Tower Stories: An Oral History of 9/11 (Santa Monica Press) and Heart of War: Soldiers’ Voices From the Front Lines in Iraq (Citadel); coauthor of My Two Chinas: The Memoir of a Chinese Counter-Revolutionary with Baiquiao Tang (Prometheus)

Services

Developmental Editing

Fiction

You want more than broad feedback on a manuscript’s general direction. You need someone to take your novel and dissect it. You want prescriptive advice on how to approach the next draft so that it’s stronger, tighter, and ready to sell.

I can develop a plan of attack for your manuscript with a detailed analysis of your character development, structure, voice, pacing, narrative arc, style, and point of view. I will discuss which portions of your dialogue could be more realistic and offer constructive criticism on every element of your plot’s development. You can take or leave any portion of my advice, but when I’m done, you’ll have the tools at your fingertips to overhaul your full manuscript.

Nonfiction

You have a nonfiction proposal mapped out, but you know something is missing. Maybe the comparative titles section could use some fine-tuning. Perhaps the structure feels slightly arbitrary or even disorganized. In any event, it’s not ready to be sold to a publishing house, and you are anxious to bring it up to par.

I can ensure that your concept is presented in a unique and engaging fashion. I will point out ineffective phrasing, suggest ways to improve the angling, and address the clarity and flow of ideas. We will work together closely to see that your platform is communicated properly and your sample chapter has a strong voice to reel in an editor.

Substantive and Line Editing

You are having clarity and pacing issues in your manuscript or proposal. You might be finding areas of inconsistent tone or dialogue that falls flat. Despite having all of the research necessary to make a poignant argument, your execution just isn’t enthralling and feels disorganized. At this point, you would prefer that a professional take over.

I can rework your material on the line- or even word-level. I will address your overall structure and outline to guarantee that the plot or line of reasoning keeps a firm grasp on the reader’s attention. At the same time, I will improve the readability so that it properly mirrors your vision for the project. This service can be separate or combined with a developmental edit, depending on your needs.

Consulting and Manuscript Evaluations

Fiction

You have written the Great American Novel...sort of. Ok, it’s half done, you aren’t sure about the ending, and everyone who has read it thinks that your characters’ voices sound oddly similar. Or maybe you’re a published author with a project in a new genre, and you’re not sure that it’s coming together.

I can do a thorough read and extend professional notes on potential courses of action. I can provide you with marketing angles to appeal to a publisher’s eye, or treat your work from a purely artistic standpoint, as is your preference. I am the person who will tell you if that one new scene works. The bottom line is: We can make this a better manuscript.

Nonfiction

You are a professional, a journalist, a celebrity’s manager, or a professor, and you have an idea for The Next Big Nonfiction Book of “X” Genre. You want to know what your proposal will need to stand out from the hundreds of others that pass an editor’s desk weekly.

I have helped to cultivate literally hundreds of proposals, many of which sold to major publishers. I can walk you through the process of refining what you have written so far, or advise you on turning an idea into a viable body of work that can be pitched to agents and publishers alike.

Query Letter Editing

You are too close to your work to succinctly and effectively summarize it. But in today’s market, if you want an agent or publishing deal, a carefully crafted query letter is essential.

I can take your plot summary and whip it into shape, cultivating the perfect hook line to reel in your new book contract. After working in a literary agency for years, I know precisely what it takes to separate a manuscript from the stack on a busy agent or editor’s desk.

Ghostwriting

You are a celebrity, a politician, an executive, or a successful professional, and while you have a riveting story to tell, you are far too busy to personally write a book. Or you might be a brilliant academic who isn’t used to writing for the lay person and wants to reach the general public.

Let me handle that for you. We can collaborate to pen smart, to-the-minute prose that illustrates your ideas and retains your voice so that no one would ever guess you hadn’t written it alone. Or you can give me an outline, some research, or a series of general concepts, and I will simply take it off your hands. That brilliant idea lurking in the back of your brain will finally come to fruition. I will make you look good.

What they’re saying

“Working with Jaimee Garbacik has been inspirational. More than just an editor, she has become a treasured confidant who made me rethink both my storytelling skills and writing style. Her criticisms are always insightful, constructive, and right on the money. She’s helped me sharpen my characters and plotline and rework the core meaning of my first novel to better reflect my true inner voice. Her style is strong, straightforward, and clearly conveyed in both her written notes and telephone conversations. I value her suggestions and know her editing skills will make any book oh so much better!”

Jeffrey L. Diamond, six-time Emmy Award-winning television writer and producer, journalist and creator of Dateline NBC, author of Live to Air (Greenleaf Book Group)

Authors I have worked with

Below you’ll find a partial list of authors I’ve worked with, including some of the projects they are best known for:

Elizabeth Beckwith - Raising the Perfect Child Through Guilt and Manipulation (HarperCollins)

Scott Burnstein - coauthor with Sam Giancana, Family Affair: Treachery, Greed, & Betrayal in the Chicago Mafia (Berkley/Penguin); coauthor with Philip “Crazy Phil” Leonetti, Mafia Prince: Inside America’s Most Violent Mafia Family and the Bloody Fall of La Cosa Nostra (Running Press)

Michael Carroll - Quantum Prophecy series a.k.a. The New Heroes (HarperCollins); Super Human series (Philomel); numerous Judge Dredd comics (2000AD)

Christopher Catherwood - Churchill’s Folly: How Winston Churchill Created Iraq (Carroll & Graf in the US, Constable in the UK); Winston Churchill: The Flawed Genius of World War II (Berkley); A Brief History of the Middle East (Carroll & Graf)

Dr. Sanjiv Chopra - Professor of Medicine and the Faculty Dean for Continuing Medical Education at Harvard Medical School; coauthor with Deepak Chopra, Brotherhood: Dharma, Destiny, and the American Dream (New Harvest); coauthor with Dr. Alan Lotvin, Live Better, Live Longer (St. Martin’s Griffin); Doctor Chopra Says: Medical Facts and Myths Everyone Should Know with Dr. Alan Lotvin (St. Martin’s Press); Leadership by Example with David Fisher (Thomas Dunne)

Brendan Constantine - Calamity Joe (Red Hen Press); Birthday Girl with Possum (Write Bloody Publishing); Letters To Guns (Red Hen Press)

Laura Corn - 101 Nights of Grrreat Sex (Park Avenue); The Great American Sex Diet (William Morrow), New York Times bestseller; 101 Grrreat Quickies (Park Avenue); 237 Intimate Questions Every Woman Should Ask a Man (Park Avenue); collectively more than two million copies in print

Jeffrey L. Diamond - six-time Emmy Award-winning television writer and producer, creator of Dateline NBC; Live to Air (Greenleaf Book Group)

Louis Diaz - coauthor with Neal Hirschfeld, Dancing with the Devil (Pocket Books)

Damon DiMarco - New York Times bestselling author, Tower Stories: An Oral History of 9/11 (Santa Monica Press); Heart of War: Soldiers’ Voices From the Front Lines in Iraq (Citadel); coauthor with Baiquiao Tang, My Two Chinas: The Memoir of a Chinese Counter-Revolutionary (Prometheus), forward by H.H. the Dalai Lama; coauthor with Roy Simmons, Out of Bounds (Da Capo Press)

Rod Englert - coauthor with Kathy Passero, Blood Secrets: Chronicles of a Crime Scene Reconstructionist (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press)

David Fisher - author of eighteen New York Times bestsellers, including The Pack (Ballantine), Warner Brothers film; Conversations with My Cat (Viking), recipient of France’s ‘Prix Litterature de 1,000,000 Amis’; What’s What, A Visual Dictionary of the World (Smithmark Publishing), more than one million copies sold; Up Till Now: The Autobiography of William Shatner (Thomas Dunne), New York Times bestseller; The War Magician (Weidenfeld & Nicolson), optioned by Tom Cruise

Jordana Frankel - The Ward (Katherine Tegen Books)

Tony Gonzalez - eight-time Pro Bowl, All-Pro Kansas City Chiefs tight end; The All-Pro Diet: Lose Fat, Build Muscle, and Live Like a Champion with Mitzi Dulan, RD (Rodale)

Allison Green - The Ghosts Who Travel with Me: A Literary Pilgrimage Through Brautigan's America (Ooligan); Half-Moon Scar (St. Martin’s)

Tara Hardy - founder of Bent Institute and Seattle’s 2002 Poet Populist; Bring Down The Chandeliers (Write Bloody Publishing)

Tony Hays - The Killing Way (Tor/Forge); The Beloved Dead (Tor); The Divine Sacrifice (Tor)

Homer Hickam - October Sky a.k.a. Rocket Boys (Delacorte), #1 New York Times bestseller, New York Times Notable Book, Universal film; The Dinosaur Hunter (Thomas Dunne Books); coauthor with Anousheh Ansari, My Dream of Stars: From Daughter of Iran to Space Pioneer (Palgrave Macmillan); The Far Reaches (St. Martin’s); The Coalwood Way (Island Books); Sky of Stone (Dell); Red Helmet (Thomas Nelson)

Col. Christopher Holshek - Travels with Harley: Journeys in Search of Personal and National Identity (forthcoming: Inkshares)

Nya Jade - Phoebe Pope and the Year of Four (Dreamwell Publishing)

Katina Z. Jones - coauthor, The Total Cancer Wellness Guide with Kim Thiboldeaux and Mitch Golant (BenBella); I DO with Jessica Simpson (IW Press); The Everything Get Ready For Baby Book (Adams Media); coauthor with Norma Rist, Small Business Savvy: A Woman's Guide to Building a Business (Adams Media)

Joel Kelly - Scolding the Winds (Inkshares); No Greater Love Than This (Fierce Ink Press)

Michael Largo - Final Exits (HarperCollins), recipient of the Bram Stoker Award; The Portable Obituary (HarperCollins); God’s Lunatics (HarperCollins); Genius and Heroin (HarperCollins); The Big Book of Beasts (William Morrow)

Craig Larsen - Mania (Kensington), debuted at #2 on Amazon.com’s Kindle Store bestsellers list

Joe Layden - A Smile as Big as the Moon (St. Martin’s), film rights acquired by Jerry Bruckheimer Productions and Walt Disney Pictures; The Rock Says with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (HarperCollins), international bestseller; coauthor with Cary Elwes, As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride (Simon & Schuster), #1 New York Times bestseller; coauthor with Dr. Peter Salgo, Heart of the Matter (Harper); The Last Great Fight: Mike Tyson, Buster Douglas and the Day That Changed Boxing (St. Martin’s Griffin)

Arnold Mann - coauthor with the world’s foremost neurosurgeon, Keith Black, MD, Brain Surgeon: A Doctor’s Inspiring Encounters with Mortality and Miracles (Hachette); They’re Poisoning Us! From the Gulf War to the Gulf of Mexico, An Investigative Report (34th Street Press)

Cilla McCain - Murder in Baker Company: How Four American Soldiers Killed One of Their Own (Chicago Review Press)

Patricia Moreno - The IntenSati Method: The Seven Secret Principles to Thinner Peace (Simon Spotlight)

Peter Mountford - The Dismal Science (Tin House), New York Times Editors’ Choice Book; A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), winner of the Washington State Book Award, in development for television by Campanario Entertainment

Kathy Passero - Laguna Beach: The Early Years (Simon & Schuster/MTV Books), New York Times bestseller; coauthor with Rod Englert, Blood Secrets: Chronicles of a Crime Scene Reconstructionist (Thomas Dunne/St. Martin’s Press)

Mira Ptacin - Poor Your Soul (Soho Press)

Burton Rocks - coauthor, Bob Feller’s Little Black Book of Baseball Wisdom (Contemporary Books); Me and My Dad with Paul O’Neill (William Morrow), New York Times bestseller

Chudney Ross - Lone Bean (Harper Children’s)

Yann Rousselot - Dawn of the Algorithm (Inkshares)

Laura Vaccaro Seeger - Emmy Award-winning artist and animator; Green (Roaring Brook Press), a Caldecott Honor Book, New York Times bestseller; First The Egg (Roaring Brook Press), a Caldecott Honor Book and recipient of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor, New York Times bestseller, New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year; One Boy (Running Brook Press), recipient of the Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor, Publishers Weekly Book of the Year; Dog and Bear (Roaring Brook Press)

Joel Selvin - coauthor with Sammy Hagar, Red: My Uncensored Life in Rock (It Books/HarperCollins), #1 New York Times bestseller; Summer of Love: The Inside Story of LSD (Cooper Square Press); Ricky Nelson: Idol for a Generation (Contemporary Books), nominated for the Ralph J. Gleason Award as Music Book of the Year

Mia St. John - WBC Super Welterweight Champion of the world; The Knockout Workout: 3 Winning Steps to Improve Your Body and Your Life with Robert Wolff (John Wiley & Sons)

Edward Stanton - Wide as the Wind (forthcoming: Open Books Press); Hemingway and Spain: A Pursuit (University of Washington Press); Road of Stars to Santiago (University Press of Kentucky)

Robert Tuchman - Young Guns: The Fearless Entrepreneur’s Guide to Chasing Your Dreams and Breaking Out on Your Own (AMACOM); The 100 Sporting Events You Must See Live: An Insider’s Guide to Creating the Sports Experience of a Lifetime (BenBella)

Julie Trimingham - Way Elsewhere (Lettered Streets Press); Mockingbird (MP Publishing)

Dr. Belisa Vranich - Get a Grip: Your Two Week Mental Makeover (Wiley); Boys Lie: How Not to Get Played (HCI); Breathe (The Breathing Class Press); The Seven Beliefs: A Step-By-Step Guide to Help Latinas Recognize and Overcome Depression (Rayo)

Buddy Wakefield - two-time Individual World Poetry Slam Champion; Gentleman Practice (Write Bloody Publishing); Live For A Living (Write Bloody Publishing); Some They Can’t Contain (The Wordsmith Press; reissued by Write Bloody Publishing)

Elissa Washuta - My Body Is a Book of Rules (Red Hen Press); Starvation Mode (Instant Future)

Testimonials

“Jaimee is a rare thing: a wonderful, meticulous editor who often replies the same day to emails. She is what every author wants, and was a dream to work with...She is fun as well as being extraordinarily efficient. Since she ventured out on her own, she is now free to use her many other talents and abilities, not just as an editor, but as a networker, thinker, encourager, and all-around friend to creative people everywhere. There are many editors and freelancers out there, but you don’t get better than Jaimee – and indeed I would say you can’t get better than Jaimee, since she is at the very top of her profession.”

Christopher Catherwood, professor, historian, author of Churchill’s Folly: How Winston Churchill Created Iraq (Carroll & Graf in the US, Constable in the UK) and A Brief History of the Middle East (Carroll & Graf)

“Jaimee has impressed me with the depth and precision of her insights. She knows what publishers want, and knows how to communicate those expectations to writers. If you’re looking for an excellent editor, look no further.”

Damon DiMarco, New York Times bestselling author of Tower Stories: An Oral History of 9/11 (Santa Monica Press) and Heart of War: Soldiers’ Voices From the Front Lines in Iraq (Citadel); coauthor of My Two Chinas: The Memoir of a Chinese Counter-Revolutionary with Baiquiao Tang (Prometheus)

“I sure am grateful for Jaimee. She took my words out for a spin, and when she came back, my book had received the wax, oil change, and tune-up I didn’t even realize it needed. There are very few editors out there that really take the time to empathize with the emotional connection authors have to their writing, but when she edits, Jaimee seems to live with the words, almost inside of them. She heard my voice pulsing in there, snagged it, and yanked out the best version possible. She rocks. Period.”

Buddy Wakefield, two-time Individual World Poetry Slam Champion, author of Gentleman Practice and Live For A Living (Write Bloody Publishing)

“I have had the distinct pleasure of knowing and working with Jaimee for the past several years...Jaimee has proven to possess a keen eye for the production process. She is organized, dependable, efficient, and her pleasant disposition and sparkling personality make her a joy to be around. She is indeed an exceptional talent.”

Laura Vaccaro Seeger, Emmy Award-winning artist and animator, New York Times bestselling author of two Caldecott Honor Books, Green and First The Egg (Roaring Brook Press)

“Working with Jaimee Garbacik has been inspirational. More than just an editor, she has become a treasured confidant who made me rethink both my storytelling skills and writing style. Her criticisms are always insightful, constructive, and right on the money. She’s helped me sharpen my characters and plotline and rework the core meaning of my first novel to better reflect my true inner voice. Her style is strong, straightforward, and clearly conveyed in both her written notes and telephone conversations. I value her suggestions and know her editing skills will make any book oh so much better!”

Jeffrey L. Diamond, six-time Emmy Award-winning television writer and producer, journalist and creator of Dateline NBC, author of Live to Air (Greenleaf Book Group)

“Jaimee pays hawk-like attention to detail and never misses a beat in her editing skills. Grammar, punctuation, spelling, cadence and tone – her work is phenomenal and turn around speedy. Jaimee’s professionalism and work ethic are formidable. Even-tempered, personable, and a cheerleader for your work like no other, she is worth her weight in gold. Thanks to her, the at times excruciating task of writing and editing can be tolerable, and yes, even fun.”

Dr. Belisa Vranich, renowned clinical psychologist and media personality, author of He’s Got Potential: a field guide to shy guys, bad boys, intellectuals, cheaters and everything in between (Wiley) and Boys Lie (HCI)

“I wouldn’t have written the most important book of my life had it not been for Jaimee Garbacik. What can you say? Jaimee ‘Gets It.’”

Arnold Mann, Time magazine contributing writer; co-author with the world’s foremost neurosurgeon, Keith Black, MD, Brain Surgeon: A Doctor’s Inspiring Encounters with Mortality and Miracles (Hachette)

“In the years that Jaimee served as Acquisitions Editor for The Literary Group International, I was continually impressed by her dedication to cultivating authors’ voices, her consistent work ethic, and her attention to detail. She has helped many of my clients to develop bare concepts into polished manuscripts and book proposals that sold to major publishers. Jaimee has the unique ability to identify potential in a very rough draft, and articulate exactly what it will need to bring an author’s work to a publishable level. Balancing professionalism with her enthusiasm about the written word, Jaimee was a tremendous asset to our agency. Now that she has forged out on her own, I greatly value Jaimee’s input as a consultant, and I look forward to working on many projects with her in the future; I have complete confidence that she will continue to serve authors with a steady hand and a skillful eye.”

Frank Weimann, Director of Operations and Senior VP, Folio Literary Management; Founder and Former President, The Literary Group International

“Many editors know grammar but few know how to suss out author intent like Jaimee. She is the fastest, foxiest force of nature that not only helps to enhance our manuscripts, but knows when to give space to our poets who want room to take creative risks.”

Derrick Brown, President, Write Bloody Publishing

“I worked with Jaimee at The Literary Group over the course of several years. She was invaluable in terms of helping me to shape my book proposals into finished products. She has a strong grasp of what’s going on in the book world and an excellent sense of what will pique a publisher’s interest.”

Kathy Passero, coauthor of Blood Secrets: A Forensic Expert Reveals How Blood Spatter Tells the Crime Scene’s Story (Thomas Dunne Books)

“I worked closely with Jaimee prior to submitting [my first novel] Mania to publishers. She was the last set of eyes to peruse it prior to submission. Jaimee’s pitch perfect insight was instrumental in fine-tuning Mania for the marketplace. Jaimee has an eye for detail and an instinctive understanding of plot and character development. She helped me to give greater dimension to the book as a piece of writing and to hone it to the expectations of publishers, who in today’s market expect a relatively finished product. I am in her debt.”

Craig Larsen, author of Mania (Kensington), debuted at #2 on Amazon.com’s Kindle Store bestsellers list

“In working with Jaimee, I’ve had many occasions to admire her good taste, good sense, and good writing skills. She’d be a valuable ally for any writer who wants to improve and market a book.”

Michaela Hamilton, Editor-in-Chief, Citadel Press; Executive Editor, Kensington Publishing Corp.

“Jaimee’s an editing rock star with chops, brains, a keen eye, and attitude. She isn’t afraid to tell you what’s working with your project, what’s not working, what’s awesome, and what blows, but she does it in a kind, constructive way... so kind and constructive, in fact, that you’ll want to take her out for ice cream.”

Alan Goldsher, journalist and ghostwriter, author of Paul Is Undead: The British Zombie Invasion (Pocket Books) and Modest Mouse: A Pretty Good Read (St. Martin’s Press)