Looking for a skilled editor who truly understands the full lifespan of a manuscript from inception to publication? Then I'm your guy.

Not every editor out there can honestly say that.

During my twenty-plus years in the publishing industry, I've worn a lot of different hats: from managing editor to prepress production manager to line editor to publicity and marketing associate. I've worked for major houses where I've needed to interact with a number of different departments to assure a book's success, and I've been the director of a noted editorial service where I helped independent authors craft their highly personal stories. But no matter the role or which publisher I was working for, my goal always remained the same:
to collaborate with the creator(s) to make sure the project was the best it could possibly be.

So...how can I help you?

Manuscript
Editing

Whether you need a story sounding board, a copy editor, or a final set of eyes on your manuscript, WVS is ready to be your editorial partner.

Book
Production

From eBook conversion to printing an upscale, four-color coffee table book, WVS has the know-how and connections to get the job done right.

Comic Book
Editing

Comic books, graphic novels, and manga need editorial care and guidance too, and WVS can provide the specialized attention your comic needs.

Game
Editing

With experience in RPG, CCG, and board game development, WVS understands how to apply traditional editing to this non-traditional industry.

It all starts with your story.

 

And the key word here is your.

The most important thing you should know about me and how I edit books is that it's a collaborative process. That means I'll be your partner in this journey, not a backseat writer looking to change your story into something that's not true to your original vision. Again, this is your story. I'm just here to help you hone your manuscript into the best it can be and smoothly guide it through the steps needed to realize your dreams of publication, whatever those may be.

Equally as important is that I give all of my client authors the same high-quality level of service. Doesn't matter if it's a book for a major publishing house or a tale to be shared only with family and friends—each and every manuscript always gets my professional best.


“I’ve worked with Jim on two novels so far, and look forward to getting his insight on my third. He’s careful to point out where prose falters and where consistency slips, and he does it all like a pro. Every suggestion he made strengthened my stories and made the characters brighter and more vivid on the page. Thanks, Jim!”
— AJ Sikes, author of Gods of Chicago and the upcoming Gods of New Orleans

I work in (and enjoy) a lot of different genres—from traditional fiction for both adult and young readers to self-help and from romances to historical thrillers—but I do have an admitted sweet spot for sci-fi & fantasy, action & adventure, suspense, and related genres.

The primary editorial services I offer are developmental editing (a comprehensive edit that addresses strengths and weaknesses in structure, plot, character arcs, and continuity, while also pointing out any mechanical concerns), copyediting (a more targeted editorial pass that focuses on grammar and spelling issues, as well as any big-picture problems), and proofreading (intended to be a final polish to catch any lingering errors in spelling and grammar). Reduced price packages combining two or all three services are available. And these services aren't just limited to prose manuscripts; if your story is a movie screenplay or a script for a TV pilot, I have experience with them and their unique format.

But regardless of the kind of story you've written, I look forward to helping you transform your idea from words on a page to a finished work.

 
 

Finishing the manuscript is only half of the job.

 

One of the ways Working Vacation Studios is different from other independent editors is that I'm truly a full-service publishing consultant, able to share with you not only my book editing expertise, but also my command of the process that transforms a manuscript into the physical product your readers will enjoy.

Combining hands-on experience in publishing project management (which was gained by working for houses such as Warner Books/Hachette Book Group and Vendome Press) with a network of highly skilled partners in prepress production and printing, WVS offers supervisory services in the following areas:

Publication Design

Cover and Jacket Design

Color Separation and Proofing

eBook Conversion

Offset and Digital Printing


Jim Spivey/Working Vacation Studios has been an active partner in Vendome’s success. We rely on Jim to control all aspects of Vendome’s highly complex production, from checking and archiving photography files to coordinating between freelance designers, editors, foreign printers, American and UK distributors, and European publishing partners. Vendome deals with highly talented and demanding authors: Jim has been great at smoothing their easily ruffled feathers while masterminding the schedules of our prepress suppliers in Italy and North America. Jim is responsible for the annual production of literally thousands of pages, which he has done under the most extremely time sensitive deadlines. Not only is Jim highly efficient and reliable in all aspects of book production, but he is an original multi-tasker, simultaneously juggling the conflicting demands of a half-dozen books while planning the following season’s releases. In short, I can’t recommend Jim Spivey and Working Vacation Studios more highly.
— Mark Magowan, publisher of The Vendome Press

No form of publication is too big or too small. So whether it's converting your manuscript into an eBook, or creating a short-run gift edition of a previously published work, or supervising a print run of fifty to fifty thousand copies of an original novel, I know how to deliver a book any reader will want on his or her shelf.

 

Comics, graphic novels, and manga are real books, too.

 

I've known this for years.
I started my publishing career working in "funny books" (as my grandmother called them), and they still hold a very special place in my heart. And as a former editor for DC Comics and the first managing editor for top-tier manga publisher Yen Press, I'm able to combine that genuine love with the practical know-how needed to aid comic creators in bringing their visions to four-color life.

Working Vacation Studios is here to help with:

Script Development and Editing

Visual Storytelling and Art Direction

Proper Balloon Placement and Page Proofreading


“Working Vacation Studios has been a boon to my project. Jim’s experience in editing and in comics proved to be just what I needed to make my story more professional. There are other people who can copyedit, but there is no one else who can copyedit, build a better context for your work, and will stay with your project until it reaches completion.”
— Dimitrios Fragiskatos, writer/creator of Millennials

Also, if you need a letterer or a colorist, I can hook you up with the perfect pro from my extensive network of comic book professionals.
And, did you know that WVS can manage the physical printing of your project, too?

 
 

Playing games is serious business.

 

Thanks to Kickstarter, game development is on the rise, providing more opportunities for independent designers to bring their creations to a dedicated community of players.
Including an editor in the development process—particularly one who is versed in traditional editing resources and who knows his games—will add the polish that can set your game apart from all the others in the growing landscape.

This is where I come in.

In addition to being a book editor, I've also had the opportunity to work on collectible card games (such as DC OverPower), role-playing games (the DC Universe Role Playing Game from West End Games), and board games (Heroes Wanted and others from Action Phase Games; Gloomhaven from Cephalofair Games; the rules compendium for Heroes of Normandie; the new edition of Fury of Dracula for WizKids).


Let me tell you a story... Our last Kickstarter campaign was going well, that is until we released a PDF version of a compendium gathering every rule published across our multiple products. English-speaking people fell upon us, punching the translation and complaining about its quality. We were in deep trouble, having spent a lot of money on this translation, and as French speakers, we couldn’t figure out if it was good or not. Jim sent us a message, offering his services. We weren’t sure if we would have to pay for a new translation, or if we should trust this guy who is a Heroes of Normandie fan. We ended up trusting Jim, and it was the best move we’d made so far. He did a fantastic job! Here in France, one of our friends edits our French texts; she’s a well-known editor here, and is famous for her job quality. What Jim did for us was as good, if not better, than what she does. So, if you need a wonderful editor, ask Jim. But please, don’t send him too much work, as we will need him again and again and again…
— Clément (Clem) Seurat, co-creator of Heroes of Normandie and co-founder of Devil Pig Games

So whether you're looking for someone to proofread the rulebook, to aid with play-testing, or to actually play a part in the creative development of your game (such as crafting the story or drafting scenario text), WVS stands ready to help bring your game to the table.