Swan & Horn

Healthcare Publisher and Provider of Quality Publishing Services

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Advanced Member

Since 2000

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Member Since 2014

Support for Authors of Fiction


Most of the fiction authors who come to Swan & Horn – novices or otherwise – want their text to be expertly edited, and more often than not they want a helping hand with other aspects of getting their book published. They sometimes need their work to be proofread, an index to be compiled, or a file loaded up onto Kindle. Swan & Horn can do all these things and much more besides, and our services are personal in the truest sense of the word, tailored to your specific needs, and engagement with a highly experienced senior editor throughout. Your content will receive more focused attention than most independent service providers are able to give.

Nurturing the text ... editing and proofreading

Beautiful view

Nurturing the author ... understanding, supporting, encouraging, advising

There are many different kinds of editing, from line editing to development editing, but at Swan & Horn we blur these arbitrary boundaries, with the single aim of polishing all aspects of the text to their best, whatever that takes, and shaping the whole work from the very start, bearing in mind its the format (e.g. poetry), complicated timelines and unusual presentations, for age-specific readerships, and the intended destination (e.g. in web, ebook or printed form, or for submission to an agent or publisher). This involves engaging with the whole work as well as the tiniest details. Only an editor with the full range of publishing skills and technical knowledge can bring so much value to a text. Maria's editing includes:


  • Critical reading with the readers in mind.

  • Ensuring clarity, readability and logical flow.

  • Retaining the author's voice and style, and ensuring editing suggestions are in keeping with both.

  • Attending to  language use, phrasing, flow, grammar, spelling and consistency.

  • Tightening the text and reducing word counts.

  • Attending to style, tone, theme, plot, narrative, pace, setting, character, conflict and point of view.

  • Spotting inconsistencies, errors in continuity, out-of-character behaviours and motivations.

  • Highlighting ambiguities and gaps.

  • Identifying points when certain pieces of knowledge that are firmly entrenched within the author's mind need to be outlined more explicitly on the page.

Maria is your dependable point of reference, who navigates you smoothly through the technicalities and pitfalls of creating a book. She engages wholeheartedly and enthusiastically with you and your goals, so understandings can be built on, ideas can be changed, lifetime pressures can be accommodated.


  • You can relax because your book is in the hands of an expert who literally knows your book inside out.

  • You won't be tied to a rigid timescale.

  • You won’t face “cold starts” with a string of individuals who deal with single tasks in isolation.

  • You will never feel like you are on a conveyer belt or "depersonalinised".

  • You will receive ongoing support and constructive advice.  

  • You will be encouraged through those “I never want to look at it again” moments.

  • You will share the tiniest eureka moments and breakthroughs with someone who really cares.

  • Your manuscript does not need to be complete before editing starts.

  • You can be involved as much as you want with any aspect of the process.


This level of collaboration leads to a fruitful working relationship, in which your needs are paramount, and the text receives the highest quality attention, so that the book flourishes.

Any genre ... Any subject ...

If you are seeking the kind of editor who sticks with you from beginning to end, who knows what it takes to achieve your publishing goals, then read on.

Resolving issues with you

is a joyous experience

You get it – I’m excited

about the book again!


Proofreading is a final check of a pre-publication text, to check for errors missed during editing or revision, or errors arising due to the typesetting process.

Maria also:


  • Reviews and advises on publishing contracts.

  • Creates front matter  (copyright and pages, contents acknowledgements, prologues, forewords, prefaces).

  • Creates end matter (indexes, author bios, appendices, glossaries, back-of-the-book indexes, resources and bibliographies).

  • Creates covers and cover blurb.

  • Creates and advises on promotional information and options.

  • Creates and advises on illustrations, diagrams and "special displays".