Hi! I’m Mikaela Pederson,

a self-proclaimed word nerd and

the mind behind A Step Up Editing.

After a wonderful freak beta-reading accident in 2011, my education and life-long passion for reading and writing culminated in my copy and line editing service for indie authors.

When I initially opened these online doors, I could think of no better way to spend my days than reading never-before-seen books—how dreamy! While working with so many amazing writers, however, I quickly found that what’s most rewarding is helping independent, self-published authors like you usher their stories into the published world, often for the first time!


Some random and relevant facts about me:

1. I’ve had bangs (fringe) ever since my hair grew long enough for them, which may very well make me part cartoon character. I’ve also never dyed my hair. 
2. I have this weird habit of propping my feet up on something. I have a footstool under my desk just for this, but I can often be seen sitting crisscross on any given chair. (I’m doing it as I write this, in fact.)
3. It’s true: I dropped out of college after three years from the University of Montana where I studied wildlife biology at Davidson Honors College. It wasn’t the right path for me, but I’ll always fight tooth and claw for our wild neighbors. Since then, I’ve directed my education to help authors create the best possible version of their book and have loved every minute of it!
4. I hope to have a working farm or ranch in the near future. Out of the city, surrounded by nature and animals with plenty of breathing room, and reading (and writing) books all day—now that sounds dreamy, doesn’t it? 
5. I like to read fantasy, dystopian, and climate fiction stories in my free time, but I especially enjoy elements of unconventional romance, a focus on nature and animals, animal or non-human perspectives, and truly anything that, as they say, makes you think.

6. I live in my beautiful Pacific Northwest hometown of Bellingham, Washington, with my dog, an orange Viking cat, and a growing collection of far too many houseplants!

7. Seven is one of my lucky numbers!

What is the #1 mistake you see first-time authors make?

The number one mistake I see first-time authors make is hiring an inexperienced editor simply for the low price. Self-published authors—especially first-timers—tend to struggle with the idea of paying high prices for editing and book covers. Just like a cover, though, readers really will judge a book by the quality of its editing.

I can’t tell you how many of my now-loyal clients came to me with the same story: they painstakingly wrote their first book, hired a cheap editor to look it over, published it, and got absolutely slaughtered by reviewers for the many remaining errors. They then did some research to find a reputable editor, came to terms with the idea of spending more money, and contacted me to help them fix their manuscript. They learned the hard way, but that doesn’t mean other new authors have to.

Good editing, just like an eye-catching cover, is an investment in the success of a book and can make or break an author’s budding career. Luckily, in writing, just as in life, we can correct our mistakes and nearly always come out the other side all the better for it.


I can’t wait to work with her again!

I was very nervous to send my “baby” to a complete stranger, but with English as my second language, I knew some work needed to be done! I contacted Mikaela to edit my first novel, Painting Sky, which would not have been published without her much-needed help. She’s an excellent professional, meets the agreed schedule, is very thorough, and communicates excellently. I already booked her to edit my second novel!

Rita Branches

Young Adult/New Adult Contemporary Romance Author