Amberley Communications offers five services directly:
Editing | Writing | Online content management | Indexing | Coaching
If your project requires additional services, such as web development, assessment of your online presence, print design, photography, book promotion, or ebook formatting, I can collaborate with colleagues in my network to assemble a package of services that meets your needs.
Sometimes editing is simply a matter of enjoying the author’s voice while correcting the occasional error. And sometimes it's a work of condensation or translation—or even transformation.
An effective editor knows which kind of editing is required for each project. The goal is always to preserve the writer’s voice while making the message clear and accessible to the audience.
I’ve edited many books for academic publishers and religious presses, and I edit the book reviews for the Christian Century. Other clients have included City Colleges of Chicago and the Environmental Law Institute. Recently much of my editing has been for authors whose first language is not English.
“Meg Cox performed magical feats of wonder with the manuscript, . . . spinning straw into something approaching gold.” —Edward J. McCaffery, author of Fair Not Flat: How to Make the Tax System Better and Simpler (University of Chicago Press)
“I’ve found Meg Cox to be among the finest editors with whom I’ve ever worked. She has a meticulous care for words that lets me trust, as a writer, that she won’t let my work go until it’s the best it can be. . . . I get the credit, and she did the work.” —Jason Byassee, senior pastor at Boone United Methodist Church and contributing editor for the Christian Century
Having spent so much time on the editor’s side of the desk, I know how much editors appreciate clean copy, delivered on time. And when the client has no editor on staff, clean, on-target copy is all the more important.
My written work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Sojourners, Prism magazine, and other print publications; I have been a regular contributor to the GiftWorks fundraising blog and the Christian Century’s Theolog; I’ve written curriculum and successful grant proposals; and I managed and wrote for the online newsletter of the Christian Community Development Association. In the years after the 2004 presidential election, I wrote a series of articles on voting rights for several magazines. One of those articles was included in two anthologies: a high school text published by Gale, and a college-level Norton anthology of writings on politics.
I’m now writing for my own business blog, Freelance Feast, and guest blogging for others in the publishing and online marketing industries.
“Meg Cox is thorough, sharp-minded, articulate, and passionate—and respects word counts and deadlines! What more can an editor ask for?”
—Kristyn Komarnicki, editor of Prism magazine
Online content management
Creative, collaborative, and missional. These were the qualities I was seeking in my professional life when I landed in my first online content management role. A software company serving nonprofits had just doubled the frequency of its e-news and needed to accelerate the pace of blog postings to have enough material to populate the newsletter. I was brought on as a contractor to edit blog posts, and soon I was planning blog content, recruiting writers, editing articles by staff and outside contributors, and writing content myself, as well as managing the company’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.
Online content management is the growing edge of my business. While continuing to serve clients in the publishing industry, I’m educating myself about inbound marketing and taking on occasional content writing and editing projects—most recently for a web developer and an academic department at a major university.
“When I was CEO of a midsize software company, Meg managed its blog and social media activity. She was proactive about generating and pursuing ideas for blog content, and she understood the style and voice I was looking for. I could trust her to take the ball and run with it.” —Mary Pat Donnellon, vice president of marketing at Blackbaud
Remember web surfing before Google? It was worse than playing 52-pickup with a library’s worth of catalog cards. I feel the same way when I search on my Kindle.
A well-written index is to a book what Google is to the internet. Even better, because a book is a finite world, and a good index is a map of the whole thing.
Subversive copy editor Carol Saller writes this about professional indexers: "Many writers who specialize in difficult topics fear that an indexer won’t have sufficient grasp of their material. Good indexers, however, are weirdly able to transcend this difficulty. A nonspecialist indexer can often produce a better index than a brilliant writer who never really understands how to index." I'd like to think that I'm as "weirdly able" as the best of them.
“The production editor said the index was one of the best she’s ever seen!”
—Rudiger Seesemann, author of The Divine Flood: Ibrahim Niasse and the Roots of a Twentieth-Century Sufi Revival (Oxford University Press)
“I think you’ve done a wonderful job of capturing the important points of the book, and will provide my readers with an excellent resource.” —Jessica Pierce, author of The Last Walk: Reflections on Our Pets at the End of Their Lives (University of Chicago Press)
Freelance business coaching
One week in late 2011, I was expecting work from seven clients. Seven. But because of a variety of delays on the clients’ end, for a whole week I had no work in the house. I hardly knew what to do with myself.
I told colleagues about my quandary, and they said, “That’s how it is. Freelancer’s feast or famine.”
“No,” I told them. “This has never happened to me. In thirteen years of freelancing, I’ve never gone without work in the house.”
They were surprised. They told me that my thirteen-year run was very unusual, and I knew they were right.
That week I finally settled on the direction for the business blog I’d been meaning to start. The blog would be called Freelance Feast. Through it and through freelance business coaching, I would help others to earn a living independently just as generous colleagues had helped me.
“During the years that Meg Cox worked at the Writers WorkSpace, I was continually impressed by the depth of her talents. She has a sound head for business coupled with strategic and visionary-level thinking. Her ability to generate new and successful ideas quickly inspired many of us, and we came to rely on her as wise counsel for business and creative projects alike.”
—Amy Davis, cofounder and director, The Writers WorkSpace