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Because writers love words

Good writers hold attention… GREAT writers command it.

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Developmental Editing

Overall structure, plot holes, inconsistencies, character development

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Line/ Copyediting

Sentence structure, clarity, syntax, grammar

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Typographical errors, formatting, spacing/ ensure all other revisions incorporated

Why do you need
an editor?

Your manuscript is ready.
Or is it?

Does it have plot holes, inconsistencies, or weak characters? Is the pacing off? Maybe the prose could be improved, or the grammar could use correction. Is it in the proper format for the publisher?

A professional editor can save you the frustration of improving your document, and the precious time needed for you to move on to another phase of book publishing (or to another project altogether).

There are multiple forms of editing, and sometimes even the best of writers can be unsure of the type of editing that they need.

My Services

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Developmental Editing

This is not where I change your story- it is where I change how your story is told.

Developmental editing, also referred to as substantial editing, focuses and revises the overall vision of the document. I’ll help to identify the main concepts and show you how to best present them in your draft.  I pay attention to how your ideas are organized, gain big-picture clarity, and help to strengthen character development.

I look into story logic, find inconsistencies, continuity errors, plot holes, and make sure the characters adhere to POV (point of view) guidelines. I’ll determine if the overall tone fits the intended mood and deal with pacing issues to keep your story flowing naturally. I’ll help to identify the main concepts and show you how to best present them in your draft.  

How it works

Step 1

Contact me by phone, text, or email and describe your project. During this free consultation, I will help to identify the forms of editing or other publishing services that your document may need.

Step 2

Allow me to provide a complimentary edit of your document, of 1,000 words for a manuscript, 500 words of a technical document. If not, we can dive right into the specifics of the project!

Step 3

I will send you a proposal for the project with estimated costs. Once you approve it, I’m ready to work! I’ll be keeping you constantly in the loop on the stages of the project and will make revisions at your request.

Step 4

Receive your improved document or manuscript and let me know how I’ve done. I aim to leave you as a happy, and hopefully long-term client.

What my clients are saying

“The Hope for the Future organization has been doing business with Books & Tea since 2017. She was professional and complete all tasks promptly. Books and Tea provided great customer service with follow-up and status updates throughout the process. I highly recommend Books & Tea”
-Robbie Wallace,
Hope for the Future Non-Profit Organization
“Shayla is a dedicated worker. A perfectionist. I can always count on her to deliver on time and very efficient. Her work is outstanding, and I recommend her to anyone who wants quality service.”
-Fatimah Stout
"She does an amazing job! I am a very satisfied customer her work is very professional. She is skilled in using the right words to grab the attention of my customers which helped my business grow tremendously."
-Paul Gilbert ("Paul on the Beat" Music Production")
"Shayla is a fierce editor. She quickly and thoroughly delivered more than I expected. She is driven, detailed oriented and asks important questions as well as explains her proposed revisions. She embodies all the qualities to assist in creating outstanding written work. I am thankful for her expertise and am convinced that my doctoral dissertation read better because of her. I recommend Shayla without reservation. "
-Sean Tucker,
Doctor of Ministry
shayla reading a book

Meet the founder of
Books & Tea Writing

It was during my time on Active Duty in the United States Marine Corps when I realized how valuable my childhood years of reading everything in sight and being a stickler for grammar rules were. Later I went on to serve as a technical writer and editor for the Memphis Police Department, Tennessee’s 9th Congressional District, the State of Tennessee Office of Criminal Justice Programs, and the City of Memphis.

After earning an Associate Degree in Criminal Justice, I attended the University of Memphis where I earned a Bachelor’s Degree cum laude in English with a focus on Professional Editing and Technical Writing, and a Master’s Degree in Political Science. As an undergraduate, I placed First in a Creative Writing Essay Contest, where a sample of my essay is used as a creative writing template, and as a Graduate I was awarded with funding to travel overseas to write essays on International Politics.

“I founded Books & Tea Writing Services in 2018 after realizing that my passion was to make good writing better, and better writing great.”

These combined years of serious research, writing, and editing for high government officials, and being honored for creative writing achievements allow me to provide premium writing and editing services for my clients.

And the fun part?

I really do love learning and sharing what I have learned! I use my professional blog to share industry tips and advice on publishing, polishing technical documents, how to use government writing effectively, and tools to help authors strengthen their manuscripts. I also share a personal blog where I share my perspective on fun topics such as my analysis on movies, music, cultural trends, strange phenomenon, or random, quirky thoughts that I know you’ll enjoy.

I am also the author of Nostalgia, a new epic novel for fans of 80s nostalgia and near future sci fi technology that is not as far away as we think!

I live in the beautiful state of Tennessee, and when I’m not working, I read, reminisce with retro music, and enjoy quiet, cozy evenings with my family- which includes my terribly spoiled Pitt- Lab mixes.

Can science create the ultimate afterlife?

For fans of near-future science fiction and ‘80s nostalgia

Nostalgia by shayla sullivan
Listening to my favorite ‘80s playlist one night, I decided to put on a pot of hot tea and...
Shayla Sullivan |
Jenny watched the rain pour sadly. Who is sad? Jenny or the rain?...
Shayla Sullivan |

Tea & Talk

Discover effective ways to awaken your writing and get the latest on editorial trends. Then relax with your favorite cup of tea and dive into fun, deep-thinking topics on just about anything.

Get started today with a free sample edit of your document.

Looking for clarity for your technical document? Want to see your creative writing come alive?
Let me provide you with a complimentary edit of your manuscript of 1,000 words or your technical document of 500 words.