Editing Services

I offer manuscript evaluation, developmental editing, line editing, proofreading, and other services on a freelance basis. I am a current member of the Editorial Freelancers Association, Interstitial Arts FoundationScience Fiction Poetry Association, and SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America). You can view my resume, with over 20 years of experience, here, and a page with testimonials from my clients is here. My rates are calculated by the word so that you know up front exactly how much your project will cost, and there are no surprises. Please see the EFA’s recommended rates here for comparison.

Rates:

  • Two-part developmental package: a developmental edit followed by (after your revisions) a heavy line edit for only 4 cents per word. Includes two hours total of online chat, scheduled as necessary, at no extra charge.
  • Two-part copyediting package: a heavy line edit followed by (after your revisions) a final proof of your completed manuscript, for only 2.25 cents per word. Includes one hour total of online chat, scheduled as necessary, at no extra charge.
  • SPECIAL! Have a limited budget but plenty of time? Check out my “Pay What You Can” program here. 
  • Manuscript evaluations are $30 per 10,000 words. I will read your ms. and provide you with a detailed critique letter which discusses the plot, character development, world building, voice, and writing quality in each chapter.
  • Indexing is $35 per 10,000 words. You will receive a spreadsheet listing your cast of characters, events by chapter, historical references (backstory), and important details which you may want to reference in later books from the same series.
  • Proofreading is 1/2 cent per word. Includes checking for minor problems in page makeup, layout, color separation, or type of a print-ready document.
  • Copy (line) editing, light is 1 cent a word. Includes correcting spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, and word usage; checking for or imposing a consistent style and format.
  • Copy (line) editing, heavy is 2 cents a word. Includes correcting spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, and word usage; minor fact-checking; checking for or imposing a consistent style and format; suggestions about paragraph length, breaking or joining sections; preparing a style sheet if required; querying author as necessary during the process.
  • Developmental editing is 3 cents per word. Includes making suggestions about content, organization, and presentation; recommending changes to plot, style, narrative structure, tense, and character development; research and fact checking, as needed. Includes indexing at no extra charge. Includes one hour total of online chat, scheduled as necessary, at no extra charge.
  • If you aren’t sure which level of editing your current project needs, I will read through your entire manuscript for $100. You get an email stating what I think your novel needs, and if you choose to hire me, that $100 comes off my fee for the job, meaning you’ve paid nothing extra. (If you don’t, I’ve still been compensated for my time, so no one loses.)
  • Rush services, phone/video chat consultation, additional rounds of editing, print layout, digital book creation, research, fact checking, writing, and cover design services available as well.

Projects under $200 are payable in advance; all others require a 50% non-refundable payment* before the project begins, with the remainder due on a schedule agreed to by both parties. All manuscripts submitted for editing must be in the standard format appropriate for the material. (Shunn’s guide for fiction writers, for example, can be found here.) Please feel free to ask if you are not sure what that means for your project; manuscripts which must be formatted by me will incur a charge of $10 per 10,000 words.

I will do a sample edit of your manuscript if we have not worked together before. This is a free service, designed to show you what you’re getting when you hire me. 1 page sample edit for short stories (under 10,000 words), a 3 page sample edit for anything between 10,000 and 50,000 words, and a 5 page sample edit for anything longer.

Please contact me to discuss your needs. You can email me, here, or use the form below:

Read some of my most popular blog posts about editing:

Glossary of terms (borrowed from the EFA):

Copyediting (sometimes called line editing). Any or all of the following:

  • correcting spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, and word usage while preserving the meaning and voice of the original text
  • checking for or imposing a consistent style and format
  • preparing a style sheet that documents style and format
  • reading for overall clarity and sense on behalf of the prospective audience
  • querying the appropriate party about apparent errors or inconsistencies
  • noting permissions needed to publish copyrighted material
  • preparing a manuscript for the next stage of the publication process
  • cross-checking references, art, figures, tables, equations, and other features for consistency with their mentions in the text

Developmental Editing. Any or all of the following:

  • working with the author of a book or other document to develop a manuscript from initial concept, outline, or draft (or some combination of the three)
  • making suggestions about content, organization, and presentation, based on analysis of competing works, comments of expert reviewers, the client’s market analysis, and other appropriate references
  • noting where changes to plot, style, narrative structure, tense, and character development are recommended
  • researching, as needed, and sometimes suggesting topics or providing information about topics for consideration of authors and client

Evaluating a Manuscript. Reading and reviewing an unpublished manuscript and preparing a written report about the work that addresses the client’s specific concerns, such as competition, audience, and timeliness of topic.

Fact Checking. Verifying the accuracy of content. The scope and specific tasks involved vary depending on the type of publication.

Indexing. Providing a comprehensive guide to the contents of a work and generally involving the following:

  • reading page proofs or the equivalent to compile an alphabetical list of references to pertinent terms and concepts in the text
  • choosing, grouping, and consolidating page references under main headings, subheadings, and cross-references as a guide to specific information.

Proofreading. Comparing the latest stage of text with the preceding stage, marking discrepancies in text, and checking for minor problems in page makeup, layout, color separation, or type of a print-ready document. Proofreading may also include one or more of the following:

  • checking proof against typesetting specifications
  • querying or correcting errors or inconsistencies that may have escaped an editor or writer
  • reading for typographical errors or for sense without reading against copy
  • verifying links in online publications

Researching. Gathering and verifying information to develop all or part of a publication.

Writing. Producing an original document from notes, outline, research, interviews, experience, or general guidelines. The following two kinds of specialized writing are now commonplace:

Technical Writing. Writing about computer hardware or software or about other technical products or equipment, usually with information provided by engineers or other technical professionals and including any or all of the following:

  • working with programmers, engineers, or other technical professionals to clarify product specifications
  • organizing information to enhance ease of learning or understanding by product users
  • designing online documentation

Medical Writing. Writing about drugs or biological devices and products, usually with information provided by scientists or doctors and including any or all of the following:

  • working with scientists, doctors, or other researchers to clarify scientific data
  • ensuring that documents comply with regulatory or journal guidelines

* A note about “non-refundable”: the initial payment is non-refundable in that if you fail to complete the project on schedule, cancel for any reason, or change the scope of the project in such a way as to effectively cancel or refuse the work done to date, the payment is mine to keep, and will not be refunded to you. However, if I fail to complete the project as agreed, or cancel the project for reasons other than your actions/behavior within the context of the project, then the fee would be refundable.