About Me

Maybe you've fantasized for years about being a published author!  I provide editing, proofreading, or ghostwriting in a wide array of genres, and I'd love to assist you with that manuscript you've dreamed about seeing in print. My name is Steve Fortosis (a good Greek name). I have a Ph.D. and have taught on the university undergrad and graduate levels.  I'm just like you--I love a good book, I'm a professional writer, and I want others to be the best they can be.

You can find my books on this website.   In addition, they're available on many commercial book websites including Amazon, Borders, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million, etc. I write children's books under the pen name: Doc McDuke.

I grew up in the Blue Ridge mountains with terrific parents, three brothers, and a sister. For many years, editing and writing have been my primary vocations. I'm married to a great lady named Debra and we have two children and five grandkids. I'm also a born again Christian and not embarrassed to say so.

To paraphrase Updike, I don't aim for the New York Times bestseller lists. I write for that gawky, young farm boy in Iowa who treasures books and finds a worn copy of one of mine on a bookshelf in a little store in Cedar Rapids.  He takes it home, spends a few evenings with it, and goes away feeling entertained, or a little better about himself, about life, and about his future.  Maybe someone like him will find and cherish your book in that way.  I hope so.

You Can Write!


I don't care if you're the rawest beginner in writing. I'm here to help you succeed! If you're not a writer I can be your ghostwriter. Or I can edit a wide array of fiction and non-fiction. I specialize in memoirs and life stories, other non-fiction genres, children's stories, short-story collections and novels. Even if English is your second language and you don't write well at all, I'll be happy to check out your manuscript.

I can't promise that you'll land a literary agent or that your book will be a best seller, but you can be a published writer!  Even accomplished authors get rejected many times, but with other alternatives available today, you can still publish your book with no rejections and for a very reasonable price. I'm rarely too busy to edit or ghostwrite a manuscript; but, if so, I may be able to refer you to another sharp, experienced editor.

    "Dr. Steve Fortosis has treated me and my manuscripts with patience and civility in a highly professional manner which exceeded my expectations. Without any reservations, I highly recommend him to anyone requiring editorial or writing assistance."                                             

-Rev. Ankoma-Amoa

     "Steve Fortosis...edited, rewrote, and labored over my book as if it were his own. I met this man through the internet, and I wasn't sure because there are so many 'editors' listed on sites. But if you want honest help and sincere appraisal, I highly recommend Dr. Steve Fortosis."          

 -Fran E. Grubb

     "Steve, I am well pleased with what you did and can't thank you enough. I am so appreciative of the foreword, which is excellent. I am going to make sure you get credit for the work you did on this book."

-Ralph Mangum

What I Offer


I offer help on six basic levels:

  • Critique/evaluation: If you've already decided you want your manuscript edited, you can choose to skip this step. This involves my reading your manuscript and giving you a brief evaluation of your strengths and weaknesses and a simple, comprehensive list of things I believe I can do to improve your project.
  • Proofreading: I correct your manuscript for spelling, punctuation, and grammar problems, but not for other potential problems.
  • Copy editing: I not only proofread, but reorganize. I may move sentences or paragraphs around and clean up awkward wording or run-on sentences, thus enabling your copy to read more easily and flow more smoothly.
  • Rewrite/development: You may need help with content editing---major aspects of overall structure, organization, character development, dialogue, pacing, conflict, storyline/plot, exposition, tightening of copy, etc. I help correct these important factors that can make a book really work. If you don't want your content to be modified or cut, then you probably don't want a rewrite.
  • Ghostwrite:  Ghostwriting can be similar in some ways to a rewrite, but I think it's sometimes more comprehensive. This process involves shaping your unorganized thoughts and experiences into a cohesive, attractive whole. Let's say that you're not a writer and may not even enjoy writing. However, you have a memoir or perhaps some truths you want to tell. You write it down roughshod and unpolished as it tumbles out of your mind. I take it from there and make it a quality, print-worthy manuscript.
  • Publishing alternatives: I can walk you through your various options for getting published. I can assist you in writing a book proposal, especially if your aim is to try to find a commercial publisher. We discuss the best ways to approach these publishers. We also look at the various options connected with self-publishing, print-on-demand, and subsidy publishing. You make a decision regarding which option would be best for you. I am not a literary agent and I don't market manuscripts, but I can help you make a publishing decision that best fits your manuscript and your aims.  While I've got your attention...if you're looking for a self-publisher right now, after reviewing many publishers, I've found that Outskirts is one of the best. Their customer service, their product, their marketing helps, their excellent array of publishing packages---everything smacks of their love for writers and the unique value they place on well written books. Click on their image below and take a look!

How do I submit my manuscript?

Well, first of all just send me a little info regarding your own manuscript in an email. I hope the following example will help:

Email address: JoeBlow@aol.com

Type of lit:  Autobiography or Memoir

Brief Description: I grew up in the crazy 1960s and almost became a hippie. But my mom would have killed me, so I got drafted and went to Vietnam instead. The only good thing that came out of my Vietnam experience is that I found I loved to travel and have since been in twenty-eight countries. Besides the horrifying memories of Nam, I have had some extraordinary adventures throughout the world and this memoir tells all about it.

Level of editing: I'm a terrible writer. I just jotted everything in rough form and need a ghostwriter to form it into a book.

Approx. number of words: 39,000 words

* Free estimates: Fees are dependent upon your manuscript and the services you desire or need. You can pay by check, money order, or see Paypal on Contact page.



My Experience

I worked as a proofreader for an organization named the Lockman Foundation and then as a copy-editor for Insight for Living beginning way back in the 1980s. Through the years, I also edited pieces and whole manuscripts for many friends and acquaintances. During the past eight years or so, I've been working full-time as a free lance ghostwriter, copy-editor, and proofreader. I am a staff editor for Outskirts Press. This is my livelihood, not a hobby, so I do charge fees. However, I think I'm quite reasonable compared to some free lance editors or ghostwriters. If I cannot assist for some reason, I may be able to help find someone who can. God bless you.