360.739.8395 info@hlcreatives.com

HL Creatives

One-stop personalized book design and editing support for beginner to expert writers.


Welcome to HL Creatives. I’m Heather Lea. 

As a magazine-turned-book editor and designer, I bring twenty-four years of experience to your book project. I’d like for us to work together to turn that rough draft manuscript into a finely-tuned book. Whether you’re looking for a careful proof-reader or a full book edit and design, I can help.

One thing I’ve discovered working in the writing and publishing industry is that words need design and design needs words. A well-written book may not attract readers simply because of a poorly-designed cover. The opposite may also be true for a beautifully-designed book; if the interior pages are crowded with tight spacing or grammatical errors, your readers will give up.

You’ve spent countless hours putting pen to paper, (or tapping away on that keyboard). Give yourself a moment to think: am I ready to publish this book right now? Or would an extra set of eyes be a good idea?

If you choose the latter, I can be there to find those nefarious redundancies and awkward writing habits (we all have them). When you’re happy with how everything reads, we can leave it at that, or move into the formatting stage—it’s up to you!


Editorial Services

Why use an editor in the first place?

If you’re serious about publishing a book, you should be serious about using an editor. A professional editor can make the author aware of writing mishaps they may no longer notice. A simple proofread may be all you need.


Book Design

Simplicity is key.

Even a well-designed cover won’t help a poorly-formatted interior design. Heavy, tight print, for example, can make the book harder to read. Well-balanced typeset is what we’re after here.

Cover Design

Judge a book by its cover.

You’ve spent a lot of time perfecting every word, but if readers don’t pick up your book because of an average-looking cover, why did you bother? Don’t skimp on your book’s first impression to its reader.

When you start working with Heather, you can immediately tell she is a professional. Her projects are delivered on time and exactly as discussed—except more creative and better than you anticipated.

~ Sarah Ramm

Managing Editor, Overland International

Package Rates

Time Estimates

Editorial Services

Every book is different. Some writers need less support than others. That said, an average time for editing a standard fiction/non-fiction manuscript is approximately 40-60 hours for a 200-page Microsoft Word document.

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Book Design

Again, this varies depending on if the book requires image placement, the book length, and how many read-throughs and revisions are necessary. The average time for standard fiction/non-fiction books is approximately 40-60 hours for 200 pages.

Cover Design

8-10 hours, depending on the complexity of the cover image, and how many revisions are needed. 

Editing Defined


It’s important to remember that proofreading assumes good writing. It is one of the last steps before publishing, not the first or middle.

While proofreading, I check for:

  • Mistakes in grammar and spelling, along with typing errors, like ‘the the’ or using ‘your’ instead of ‘you’re.’
  • Any double-spacing after full stops and if semi-colons and other punctuation are used correctly.
  • Style consistency. For example, do you prefer AP style or Chicago Manual of Style? Do you like a comma before a conjunction or not? The most important thing here is you are consistent.
Developmental revising

Here is where the writer will want to keep an open mind and trust any concerns and comments regarding structure and content. I take care to listen to my writers. If something is too important to cut, I won’t argue. But… it can be difficult for authors to see the big picture in their manuscripts. You may be emotionally tied to a must-have, but that must-have could be distracting to the reader, or mean little to them.

In a developmental edit, I will:

  • Provide an objective overall view on your project so we can get down to the business of clear, concise writing.
  • Ensure your words have focus, direction and flow.
  • Detect inconsistencies in tense and tone.
  • Eliminate redundant phrasing and repetition.
  • Free you from the task of fine-tuning your manuscript.
Line-by-line editing

This style of editing assumes at least a rough draft will be supplied by the author. Line-editing is a much more involved method of ensuring not only correct writing layers, but that there is icing on that cake. Let’s turn your book into something readers want to devour.

Along with everything that comes with a proofread, this process involves:

  • Proactive analysis of each sentence. Can we use a better word? Are there too many pleonasms?
  • Removal of excessive adverbs. Stephen King once said, “The road to Hell is paved with adverbs.” Writers have good intentions to get creative with their words but sometimes go overboard.
  • Suggestions and comments intended to improve word quality.
  • Creating succinct, impactful sentence structure.

On this site, copy-editing refers to shorter works of 3,000 words or less. Although this style of editing will be similar to proofreading, I include it to show clients that no job is too small.

As a former magazine editor, I’m proficient in editing short stories as well as long ones. Copy-editing comes in handy when you just want a second pair of eyes for something that is not book-length. I will edit something as small as a bio blurb, website page, press release, and even promotional material like brochures, flyers, and print or online newsletters.

Copy-edits include the same elements as proofreading, but with little extras for smaller works, like:

  • Developmental revisions
  • Line-by-line editing
  • Overall feedback

Heather Lea is an outstanding copy editor, content editor, book formatting specialist, and cover designer. It is unique to find someone with such attention to detail who is also able to identify the broad themes with creative suggestions. 

~ Dick Cathell, Ph.D.

Author, The Gift of Becoming


In 2005, I founded an arts and culture magazine in a Canadian resort town. Along with assigning hundreds of stories, managing a staff of eight and acting as liaison between printers and distributors, I was also the design and layout artist for the full-color publication. I loved every minute of running this quarterly magazine (except selling advertising!).

Ten years later, I was presented with an opportunity to sell everything I owned—including my publication—and ride a motorcycle around the world. Forty countries, two years and one marriage proposal later, I landed in Bellingham, Washington, where I live with my husband, Dave—a local contractor.

Our motorcycle travels were incredible, but when it was all over, I craved using my background in writing and design, so I decided to start HL Creatives and help writers become authors.

Get In Touch


(360) 739-8395



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