“For thirteen years, I worked on a novel that was precious to me. I’ve written and published several books, but this particular book, Eleanor, was undeniably special to me. I wanted the final product to not only reflect that, but to be as perfect as it could possibly be. Thirteen years of work demanded a top-notch final package. So for the first time, I hired an editor to help me improve the book, and I only had one editor on my short list: David Gatewood.
I had worked with David a couple of times before—he edited some short stories that I’d submitted to a few of his anthologies—and I knew he understood my writing style, my approach, that he was able to edit in my ‘voice.’ He wields the red pen effectively and strategically, often going far beyond the task at hand to bring my attention to the implications of things I’ve written. ‘Hey, did you mean to completely contradict the thing you said fourteen pages before?’ is the kind of note I’ll often find jotted on the pages of a book.
David was razor-sharp, helped me work through difficult scenarios, and often made me laugh with his direct, snarky commentary. Editing can be a daunting process—over 4,000 changes can look really frightening when you first see them—but David made Eleanor a stronger book, drawing out themes that I had written but not fully internalized, extracting meaning from moments that I had let pass by unacknowledged. I would absolutely work with him again, and hope to many more times.”
— Jason Gurley, author of Eleanor
“David helped polish my first novel with a developmental edit then a copyedit. Both were outstanding. He is focused, effective, and just fun to work with. I found myself saying ‘great catch’ in the comments over and over. For both developmental and copyediting, I recommend David.”
— A.G. Riddle, author of The Atlantis Gene
“I hunted all over the internet for an editor, eventually coming across a few blog posts and other positive references to David Gatewood. I found his website and of course was swayed by the big names here, but I also wanted more proof. So I read a few of the novels he had listed. (I had already read a few prior to this, but this time I focused on the editing.) I was, to put it mildly, impressed. This is the person I wanted working on my novel.
I could see that David had a great deal of experience, knowledge of the latest (and best) practices, and had a proven track record. And now, having worked with him, I can add that he has a great sense of humor, truly cares about getting the most out of your words, and he’s smart. He helped clarify some of the more difficult scientific concepts I was trying to convey in my book. So, if you’re searching for an editor who can make your book the very best it can be, your search is over.”
— John McWilliams, author of Landfall
“I think there is no aspect of the writing process more important than editing. Sometimes, I wonder whether even the writing of that first draft is just a stepping stone to the moment when I sit down and begin rewriting and editing. It isn’t about catching typos, or streamlining — it’s about digging that rough diamond out of the ground, shaping it, and polishing it. A good editor can help you turn it into everything you hoped for. A great editor takes it even further and makes you see possibilities you couldn’t have seen alone. David Gatewood is one of the great ones.”
— Lucas Bale, author of the Beyond the Wall series
“Anytime someone asks me ‘What is the single most important asset to have as a writer?’ I immediately say, ‘A great editor.’ I didn’t know great editing until I met David. And the fact that he throws Star Wars quotes into the margins of my stories makes him my new bestie. David is professional, thorough, laugh-out-loud funny, and delivers just enough sugar with his medicine to lessen the sting of the editing process.”
— Heather Sunseri, author of the Mindspeak series
“I had worked with David on a number of short stories before I finally asked him to help me with my novel CTRL ALT Revolt! (nominated for a Dragon Award, Best Post-Apocalyptic Novel 2016). [Ed: It won!] My previous four books had been published, and thus edited, by HarperCollins, and this novel was my first foray back into the world of indie publishing.
The difference between Big Publishing’s editors and David Gatewood is a chasm the size of the Grand Canyon. My novels with Big Pub were treated roughly, even harshly at times, and editorial choices were presented to me with all the warmth of a Nazi commandant asking me which, exactly, of my children I wanted to shoot if I valued my contract. The innate hostility and aggressiveness at my publishing house perfectly complemented the sweatshop-type work schedule and constant unspoken threats. Sometimes, as a bonus, there were months of total silence, during which I feared my editor may have been fired. (Thankfully I found out she was on Pinterest and planning her next “vacay!” Whew… I was worried she’d been murdered or was dead in her apartment.) This, coupled with my editor’s complete lack of desire to develop the work I’d poured my life into, created a feeling that I was storming the gates of the literary world, along with ten thousand other conscripts, and I should consider myself lucky to have the little I was being given because it was expected that I would die meaninglessly anyway. A surprise hit would literally be that to my publisher: a surprise. They couldn’t have cared less. (Unless, as I found out later, you stepped on one of their sacred cows. Which I did! I stepped on it and then I kicked that beast straight through the uprights! GOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLL!)
Where was I? Oh yes. David Gatewood. Two words: Simply. Incredible. He cared. He cared enough to call me out on my mistakes. He cared enough to help me see why certain pages needed to be cut, or changes made. He cared enough to tell me what was terrible, and what was gold. And then he cared enough to tell me how to mine that gold. And then, unbelievably, he cared enough to invest himself in something I had invested my life in.
No. Editor. At. A. Big. Publishing. House. Ever. Did. That.
The result: that novel became a hit. And as of right now it’s nominated for one of the most prestigious awards in science fiction. People care about it. I get emails and posts from people who felt something from that book. Felt that I cared to tell a good story. I did. I poured my career into that book. I bet the house. It caused a lot of controversy. And David Gatewood… he cared enough to help me get it right. Absolutely right.
My advice: Book David Gatewood and do everything he tells you. He’s one of the last diligent people left in a world that doesn’t seem to care much anymore about what’s important. You care about your novel? Book Gatewood. He cares.”
— Nick Cole, author of the Dragon Award-winning CTRL ALT Revolt!
“I’ll write pretty someday… but until then, I am lucky to have David. After the initial shock of the sea of red on the pages of my drafts, I agree to almost all of his corrections and suggestions. But most importantly, my stories are so much better for David’s input and the care he puts into the editing of my work. Every author needs a superhero editor, and I have David Gatewood!”
— Olga Werby, author of Suddenly, Paris
“If you’re looking for a professional editor, then you’ve come to the right place. David is an excellent editor who has the eye and ear of a wordsmith. He quickly keys into a writer’s style, then suggests appropriate changes that flow perfectly within the narrative voice already established. In addition, his copyediting is fantastic. For once, thanks to David’s meticulous work, I’m confident that my manuscript is error-free. For writers looking for top-notch editing, I highly recommend David.”
— Irving Belateche, author of Einstein’s Secret
“I am an author/publisher because I want to write great stories, and I want people to feel confident buying them. I want people to pick up a Michael Bunker title with complete confidence that they are in the hands of a professional. I went to David Gatewood as my editor because I want my books and stories to look and read as well as anything else out there, and to be of the same high quality as books put out by major publishers and indie millionaires. I knew that David had done the work with Hugh Howey polishing his books to perfection, and I wanted the same attention and expertise that the best in the business gets. Working with David is a joy. He’s not at all afraid to tell me hard things that I need to know to make my story better, and when you are a strong personality like me, you need someone who is confident, strong, and willing to stand up and tell you hard things. I can tell you that my books are better than they would be without David as my editor, and the instant credibility I get for having awesome covers and top-flight editing helps me build my readership and make more money.”
— Michael Bunker, USA Today bestselling author of Pennsylvania
“After having read Hugh Howey’s glowing reports, I approached David with some apprehension. David immediately put me at ease, and although he probably doesn’t know it, gave me the confidence boost I needed at that time. It has subsequently been a pleasure working with him. Not only is he a terrific grammar stickler, with a formidable eagle eye for detail, but the guy is funny. Some of his editorial notes had me in stitches laughing, which made the whole review process that much more bearable. My dream of publishing a novel has now been realised, and I know that David played an essential role in making this happen.”
— Jo Iles, author of Jessie Slaymaker’s Non-Existent Love Life
“David Gatewood is a terrific editor. He gave me a highly professional edit, was able to help me sharpen my own voice, and taught me a heckuva lot in the process. He’s a pleasure to work with, hits his deadlines, and will even wear a funny hat while completing your edits, should you request it. I look forward to continuing to work with David on other projects into the future.”
— Daniel Kenney, author of The Beef Jerky Gang and Tales of a Pirate Ninja
“What a pleasant surprise to be working with an editor who brought to the project not only his editing expertise—and a terrific world of WOOL knowledge—but also a heck of a sense of humor. Finally, working through the manuscript’s changes was just a little less painful. A professional and expert, David does that little extra to help with one-off questions when I’m stuck. If you’ve got a project and are in need of a content and/or copy edit, I highly recommend David!”
— Brian Spangler, author of Silo Saga: Lottery
“I’m not going to lie. Some of my books are odd. When looking for an editor, not only did I want to find someone who could appreciate my rather eccentric views, I wanted to work with someone who could help me fully realize my vision. David was just the right person.
As an editor, David is thorough, conscientious, and knowledgeable. He is fun to work with and his jokes will leave you smiling. More importantly for any author considering his services, he cares.”
— Joseph J. Bailey, author of the Chronicles of the Fist series
“David Gatewood? The man is some kind of freaky, dual-sword-wielding ninja. You’ll just see a blur. Then blood. Oh, the blood. Blood everywhere. But as you recover, you will begin to see the precision of each cut. Not an artery has been nicked––your voice, your style has not bled out. The heart of your story is intact, pulse a bit stronger for having some excess cut away. You will soon realize that each and every slice was made deliberately, only after deep consideration. Luckily God made David hilarious, because laughter is the ultimate salve! Yes, I highly recommend working with David.”
— Mitty Walters, author of Breaking Gravity
“I hired David Gatewood because I heard he was the best. I wasn’t disappointed. Smart, professional, and a pleasure to work with! I highly recommend him.”
— Timothy Huguenin, author of When the Watcher Shakes
“David was professional, thorough, supportive, fast, affordable, and fun to work with—and he knows how to use the em dash. What more can you ask for?”
— Jennifer Ellis, author of the Derivates of Displacement series
“When I wrote my first novel, Fulcrum, I decided to source editing to friends and family, and while this was very helpful, there were still many mistakes and continuity errors that made it into the first edition. As anyone who has read books by independent authors knows, editing and writing quality can vary greatly from author to author. As a reader I find it very difficult to stay inside the author’s world when there are flagrant syntax or spelling errors. They rip me from the story, and if I find them too frequently it can cause me to put the book down altogether.
I promised myself that my book would not suffer from these mistakes. Imagine my chagrin when reviews started rolling in complaining about errors! I was terribly embarrassed and humbled by this, and it made me realize what a herculean task it is to proof and edit a book really well. The bottom line is that you can pore over your manuscript a thousand times, and even then you will still miss things.
This is where a good editor comes in. I really enjoyed working with David. He is very thorough, spots those little mistakes that your brain glosses over, and helps you smooth out strange continuity errors. One example from my story is that I had a character sitting on a cot, then moments later he pushes himself up off of the floor. David spotted that error and helped me fix it.
David will work with you and guide you through the process and help you to create the best possible version of your novel. I only wish I had hired him to edit my novel the first time around. I feel that the second edition that he edited is a rock solid product, and I can sleep better knowing that the novel will be judged based on the merits of the story and not how many times I misspelled words or had two thes in a row. I plan on using David on my next novel.”
— Doug Rickaway, author of the Adventures of Letho Ferron series
“David Gatewood is the very best. I knew I needed an editor, and I am very glad I approached him to help me out with my story. I found him to be very clear in the suggestions he made about my manuscript. With his help, he improved my novel enormously. I look forward to working with David in the future.”
— Charles Eugene Anderson, author of Auxiliary Hero Corps
“Vouching for someone is a serious thing and I don’t do it often. But when it comes to David Gatewood, I do so without reservation. He has chiseled, honed, buffed, and polished my novels until they gleamed. He’s done so with patience, professionalism, and heart. So not only can I say that his skills are worth every cent and more, I’m indebted to him.”
— Christopher Greyson, author of the Detective Jack Stratton mystery series
“If anyone is looking for the best editor around, look no further. David Gatewood has been a huge part of my last five novels, and I can’t possibly do him justice. He is a genius. And hilarious. I’ve been bugging him to open shop for a year now, but he’s wanted to remain unlisted. He finally caved. Bookmark his site, for reals.”
— Hugh Howey, New York Times bestselling author of the WOOL trilogy