Clerestory Books

What’s Your Story?

To make your book the best it can be, you’ve come to the right place! As the founder of Clerestory Books, I work with a small team of experienced editors who are making the world a better place, one book at a time.

Think of me as an angel on your shoulder, one who will take your work to the polished state that you may have imagined only in your dreams.

There’s nothing I like more than settling down with a new manuscript and a cup of hot tea, making your book the center of my world by reading slowly through it, making notes as I go. Some of the questions and struggles you had while writing the book become apparent as the narrative unfolds. Given my thirty+ years as an editor, my trained eye will pick up where the messy bits are and what may need adjusting, reworking, and/or fine-tuning.

For instance, have you lost the plot once too often? I will help you find it and get it back on track! Do your characters lack conviction, complexity, or vitality? I will help you add depth to them, bringing them to life and ensuring above all else that they’re sympathetic. Or perhaps you’re looking to write a book proposal but don’t know where to start? I’m happy to do the heavy lifting to get it off the ground and give it wings to fly.

Being a writer myself, I know the challenges you may be facing and how to help you overcome them, regardless of the genre you’re working in. In the process, I become a trusted and compassionate confidante who shares with you a common goal: that of making your work the very best it can be.

Anne Dillon

About Me

I'm Anne Dillon, founder of Clerestory Books.

I am a professional editor, published author, and former film development executive with established credits and contacts, available to help you on your writer’s journey.

In terms of my background, I was an in-house editor for eight years at Inner Traditions, Bear & Company, a highly regarded niche publisher whose books are distributed by Simon & Schuster. At Inner Traditions I edited approximately twelve books a year.

In my salad days I worked in Manhattan at Random House as well as United Feature Syndicate. Following this, I was a film development executive for Fred Berner Films for six years, evaluating screenplays and novels for consideration as feature films.

Member International Association of Professional Writers & Editors

Member Editorial Freelancers Association

Are you in the midst of a current writing project and suddenly find that you can’t see the forest for the trees?

That's where I come in!


I offer a wide variety of services including book proposals (a specialty), author coaching, manuscript critique (written analysis), developmental editing, and copy editing. Given my background in the film world, I also collaborate on screenplays.

A particular forte of mine is book proposals. I have written several from scratch and/or have assisted various authors as they write their own. I will bring this expertise to bear when helping you with your own book proposal, which should be as polished and professional as possible in order to “sell” your work to an agent or publisher.

Are you stuck at a critical juncture in your work? Do you need a fresh perspective in order to break the creative logjam and move forward? Perhaps you’re feeling overwhelmed by your inability to create a working structure or aren’t sure what the right ending of your book should be. I will brainstorm creative ideas with you to bring new energy to what you are seeking to accomplish and work with you closely to help you move forward with vision and confidence.

In the case of fiction or nonfiction work, I will, for a fee, read your material and provide you with a written assessment of its strengths and weaknesses. In addition to detailing my findings, I will articulate possible solutions designed to address what isn’t working. Following that, you and I will review the critique together. In so doing, we’ll sign off on what kind of edit it needs: developmental edit, copy edit, or both in due course. We will also work out an editing schedule and a fee for the work involved. My turnaround time is quick and I pride myself on being on time and on budget.

A developmental edit is an overview edit that’s done after I review the material. In the case of nonfiction, I evaluate such big picture variables as overall structure, narrative flow, organization of ideas, pacing, clarity, and coherence of presentation. In the case of fiction and screenplays, I look at character development, voice, dialogue, point-of-view, conflict, pacing, and plot.

This is a mechanical edit wherein I correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar as necessary. At this point I will also straighten out wobbly syntax and do some streamlining (excising) of extraneous text as needed. I will do a four-page sample edit for free so that you can assess my work and determine whether or not you would like to move forward.

Note: Most books need some combination of developmental work and copy editing.

Pull up a chair and let's get started.

Welcome to my world; I look forward to working with you!