Cultural Accuracy Editorial Services for Publishers

Scalable services to manage your entire book list

Why Cultural Accuracy Editorial Services?

More than ever, readers, librarians, and retailers are holding publishers accountable for misrepresentation. The vast majority of publishing employees are white, middle class, cisgender, heterosexual, and nondisabled, and too often, this has been the perspective most often represented in the books they publish.

The lack of cultural competence has led to publishers unwittingly releasing problematic and insensitive books. As they respond to calls for social justice with more diverse lists, it is incumbent on publishers to ensure those books are affirming, authentic, and accurate.

No customer should be harmed by material they read for entertainment or education. No librarian or retailer should have to worry that a book they’re carrying is participating in the spread of damaging or inaccurate ideas about already marginalized groups. No author should lose sales, face public vitriol, or have their book dropped because of problems that are easily addressed.

We’ve developed a cultural accuracy editorial service to make it as easy as possible for publishers to ensure their entire list is reviewed for issues of representation and harmful content is caught before it’s published.

It was an absolute pleasure getting to work with Kevin Anderson and his team. We reached out to them for an authenticity read and the reader we were paired with was thorough, highly attentive, and had an excellent grasp of the subject matter at hand. We’re extremely grateful to the KAA team for their professionalism and resourcefulness, and highly recommend their services.

Thea Diklich-Newell, Hachette Book Group

“I’m so happy that I moved forward with a Cultural Accuracy Reading at KAA, so my book could be more inclusive and resonate with a wide range of readers. They spent time making sure they found the best reader who could address my concerns and personal blindspots. My reader shared clear comments and provided great alternative words and phrases to explore using instead. I also loved the helpful resources and links to articles to provide me with more context and education. I not only have a better book because of a CAR, but I also feel like a better human. I have been recommending this service to my friends and clients because I truly believe all authors should have a Cultural Accuracy Reading before sharing their work with the world.”

Jadah Sellner, Bestselling author of Simple Green Smoothies (Rodale Books) and She Builds (Harper Business)

How the Services Work

Cultural accuracy editing involves vetting a manuscript for issues of (mis)representation, biases, and a range of other factors that may offend or be deemed harmful to a person or population.

Our service provides targeted reads from professional, experienced, and carefully vetted editors who specialize in recognizing potential cultural accuracy or authenticity issues. And their diversity enables us to match the right editor with the specific concerns publishers want addressed in a manuscript.

Our firm and Board of Standards reviews and manages the process so publishers have a single point of contact to deal with and can be assured that quality is high, costs are controlled, and deadlines are met.

The process is simple, similar to the legal vetting publishers give the majority of their books:


Choose Targeted Categories

Our services are adaptable to a manuscript’s specific needs. You can ask the editor to address specific questions in the manuscript or to review it with focus on one or more areas of concern:

  • Adoption/foster care
  • Ageism
  • Alcohol/substance abuse
  • Arab/Middle Eastern/North African Identity
  • Asian/Pacific/Desi identity
  • BDSM/kink/consensual fetishes
  • Black/African identity 
  • Chattel slavery
  • Chronic illnesses
  • Cognitive impairments and disabilities
  • Domestic violence
  • Fatphobia/body image/body acceptance
  • Gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, or other sexual orientations
  • Grief/trauma
  • Immigration
  • Incarceration/prison/criminal justice system
  • Latinx/Hispanic identity 
  • Mental illness
  • Military service/veterans
  • Mixed-race identity
  • Native/Indigenous/First Nations/Aboriginal identity
  • Neurodivergence/autism
  • Nonconsensual/taboo fetishes (e.g. pedophilia/grooming, necrophilia, incest)
  • Physical disabilities
  • Poverty/socioeconomic disadvantage
  • Refugees/asylum seekers
  • Religion/faith/spirituality/atheism
  • Self-harm/suicide
  • Sex work professional
  • Sexual assault/abuse
  • Trafficking/contemporary slavery
  • Transgender or nonbinary gender/two-spirit identity 
  • White supremacy

Cultural Accuracy Review

You may choose to have a single editor or several review your manuscript. Each will be an expert on reviewing the specific topic based on their portfolio of qualifications, as well as personally identifying with one or more of the categories you’ve selected.

The Chosen Editors

The chosen editor(s) will review the entire manuscript and give feedback on any potential issues, affirm and elucidate strengths, and provide editorial suggestions on how to amend the manuscript.


The feedback will be delivered using MS Word Track Changes comments within the manuscript itself as well as an editorial letter.

We can perform the cultural accuracy edit at any stage of a manuscript’s development and on whatever timeline you set.


Senior Editor Review

Our Senior Editor of Cultural Accuracy Editorial Services, Hannah Gómez, will be your single point of contact. She will review the feedback from a publisher’s viewpoint and provide additional insights if appropriate.

This Senior Editor will also field any questions you or the author may have for the reader(s) and facilitate a discussion, if needed, between the acquiring editor, author, and cultural accuracy expert. The process will be collaborative and collegial, with the goal being to get representations right.

The Benefits


Manuscripts are reviewed by cultural accuracy experts while the process is reviewed by our Board of Directors.


One-stop source for your entire editorial needs, fully managed to ensure your editors aren’t spending their valuable time finding, vetting, and micromanaging freelancers.


KAA has built its reputation in the publishing world by partnering with the best writers, editors, publishers, and literary agents to produce excellent books. We bring the same high standards to our cultural accuracy editorial service.


Our pricing varies per the size and complexity of the order. While the typical rate for a full-length trade book is $0.02/word, we offer bulk rates for orders of 25 manuscripts or more.

We’re also pleased to offer heavily discounted rates to first-time clients and trial services.


Our service is designed to support a high volume of manuscripts without sacrificing quality, personalization, and efficiency. We can work with you one manuscript at a time, or scale to meet your needs.

CAES Clients

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Who We Are

Kevin Anderson & Associates is an industry-leading book writing, editing, and publishing services firm headquartered in Manhattan with offices in Nashville and L.A.

Our team of former Big-5 acquisitions editors and New York Times-bestselling writers works closely with publishers and agents, providing a variety of reliable and well-managed editorial services.

CAES Process and Fees

Is this the same as sensitivity reading?

Yes, “sensitivity reading,” as well as “targeted expert reading,” “authenticity reading,” and “cultural accuracy editing” all describe the same service–analyzing a manuscript to ensure it is not perpetuating bias, harm, or stereotypes. We chose the term “cultural accuracy editing” at KAA to emphasize how extensive and professional our work is and to underscore our philosophy that this isn’t just about feelings, it’s about representing the world as it is.

Why can’t I have the cultural accuracy editor’s name and contact them directly?

Cultural accuracy editors are, in many ways, signing up to be triggered, retraumatized, or hurt on purpose. It can be draining–yet immensely gratifying–work. They also do not have final say over your manuscript, so while they offer their expertise and suggestions, it is still your choice whether or not to incorporate them into your work. In some notable incidents, some authors and publishers used cultural accuracy editors’ names to imply endorsement or to avoid responsibility for harm caused, and that negative experience led many editors to stop engaging in this work. KAA serves as the go-between for the client and the cultural accuracy editor so that both parties feel supported and safe. More often than not, editors are willing to share some identifying information (e.g. first name or initials, general biographical information), and their names often appear in the acknowledgments in books they’ve worked on because clients were so pleased with their work!

Why do you charge more than the $250 I have seen recommended in so many articles and websites?

Cultural accuracy editors are professionals taking time and drawing on years of academic, professional, and/or lived experience. They should be compensated the same way any other consultant would be paid. The $250 you are accustomed to seeing has been misquoted as a recommended flat rate when it was only ever meant as a floor for shorter works. Our fees are based on industry standards for other types of editing. A few hundred dollars for a novel-length work simply does not adequately cover the hours of work required (while all manuscripts and editors are unique, you could assume roughly 25 hours of work for a 50,000-word manuscript–at $250, that’s a paltry $10 an hour for highly skilled work!) and years of experience qualifying the editor for the work, nor KAA’s administration and quality control.

Why should I pay for this?

If your book has already been acquired by a publisher, they should be paying. We are happy to help you make your case.

What if I’m not ready to have someone read the entire manuscript (or can’t afford it) but just want to talk out some ideas or concerns?

That’s a great approach! We can set you up with an editor who will do a phone or Zoom call with you. Our Senior Editor will also sit in on the meeting.

Is this only relevant for fiction? I write nonfiction.

No, your nonfiction manuscript can benefit from this service as well. Language choices, accurate histories, cultural appropriation, and other such issues are not fiction-specific.

I only need an editor to look at one particular side character/side plot. Can I submit just those pages of my book for a lower fee?

In a word, no. While some exceptions can be made for certain formats or subjects (e.g. one short story in a collection; textbooks that require different experts for different chapters; or revisions of work we’ve already looked at), we almost always require a full manuscript and full fee. This is partly because an extended narrative is not comprehensible if someone is only given random pages from all over the manuscript and partly because authors typically underestimate how much a side character appears or influences a story overall.

Do you only review text manuscripts?

No, we can review illustrations, cover art, video game stills, and other visual materials. We also have editors who specialize in audiobook performance assessment. We can do live consults if you’d like guidance on projects that aren’t yet or never will be books, such as IP development, game world building, museum exhibits, curricula, or toys.

General Cultural Accuracy Editing Questions

Isn’t this censorship?

No. Censorship has a legal definition and is not applicable to private enterprises or platforms. If a government imprisons you for saying something, that is censorship. If a publisher declines to distribute your book, they have made a business decision. Cultural accuracy editors are not censors because they do not have the power to keep your work from being published, nor do they have the final say over your manuscript. Like any other consultant, they are merely making suggestions, while you actually control your work.

What do you mean by “marginalized” or “oppressed?”

These words are the counterpart to “dominant” social groups. In western Anglophone society, “marginalized” typically applies to people who are nonwhite, people who are not heterosexual, people who are not cisgender, people who are disabled, immigrants/migrants/refugees, and/or people who are not Christian.

Is this the same as fact checking?

Cultural accuracy editors will note when they encounter statements that are not factual (and explain them or provide evidence), but for heavily researched or technical documents like textbooks or white papers, you should not consider this a substitute for journalistic fact checking.

But if [x] people aren’t a monolith, why should I let one person from that group speak for all of them?

Nobody speaks for everybody, but a person from a particular culture or group probably knows more about that culture than an outsider. And cultural accuracy editors have made it their job to know their subject not just as an individual but as a scholar, critic, teacher, or analyst, so they are not just speaking from personal experience.

If someone is offended by my book, that's their problem. They're too sensitive.

There’s a difference between being offended and being harmed. Marginalized groups are so called because they have routinely been disenfranchised, oppressed, discriminated against, and/or misrepresented for generations. That is real harm. “Offended” describes something more particular to a single person’s individual sensibilities, comfort, and history. Our work aims to reduce institutional harm on groups by helping authors identify and rework ingrained stereotypes, oppressive language, and unconscious bias they may not even be aware of. It is an act of social responsibility and good faith to seek input on your book. There is really no difference between engaging a cultural accuracy reader or engaging a doctor, police detective, paleontologist, or art historian to look over your manuscript. It’s all about getting feedback and guidance on specific subjects from subject experts. And by the way–we have readers with expertise in other “hot button” subjects, not just oppression and marginalization. Take a look at our website for a list!

But there’s a difference between a bigoted character and a bigoted author. I should be allowed to write about CHARACTERS who are offensive.

You are allowed. Cultural accuracy editors are professional readers, not random people off the street. They are highly qualified to analyze and assess literature, and part of their job is to help authors differentiate between unconscious bias and complex, nuanced literary content.

Talking about race is the real racism. I don’t see color (or gender or disability or ____).

No, it’s not. You’re confusing racism with prejudice. Racism is a system, not an attitude. Claiming not to “see” race or other differences may be meant as a gesture of goodwill, but it serves to erase or disregard very real experiences of discrimination and suggests you don’t believe that people experience the world differently, but of course we all do!