If you need a book editor, I will gladly help you determine if my editing approach is right for you, in part by offering a free sample edit of at least two pages. My scheduling availability varies, and I am sometimes booked several weeks to a month or more in advance; if you have pressing editing needs, I’ll try to work with you to make sure your project is polished and proofed by your deadline, though higher fees may apply.
I’ve provided the breakdown of editing services below for anyone who’s unfamiliar with exactly what each editing level entails.
- Restructuring the manuscript as needed
- Reorganizing sections of text within and between chapters for optimal flow
- Light to medium rewriting
- Marking where more information/detail/plot development/etc. is needed
Developmental editing is a good service for the writer who would like a professional editor to optimize the book at a structural level, making any changes necessary to help the manuscript fulfill its potential. Content/stylistic editing, copyediting, and proofreading can also be included.
Fee range: 4 cents – 5.5 cents/word (depending on specific needs)
Content Editing (or Stylistic Editing)
- Clarifying meaning
- Polishing language
- Increasing variety of phrasing and sentence structure
- Editing for tone (consistency, how appropriate it is to the subject matter)
- Making in-depth recommendations regarding plot and characterization
Content editing is a good choice for the writer who wants a line-by-line edit that doesn’t substantially change the basics of structure or content but focuses instead on making the existing content shine. Copyediting and proofreading can also be included.
Fee range: 2.5 cents to 3.5 cents/word (depending on specific needs)
- Parallel sentence structure
- Correct word usage
- No misplaced modifiers
- Accurate punctuation
- Consistent presentation of numbers and other stylistic elements
- Adherence to Chicago Manual of Style, AP Style, or APA style (per project needs)
Copyediting is a good service for the writer who is confident about both structure and content but wants a professional book editor to make sure the final product is grammatically sound. Proofreading can also be included.
Fee range: 1.2 cents – 1.5 cents/word (depending on specific needs)
Final check for:
- Punctuation errors
- Uneven spacing
Proofreading is a good pick for the writer who is satisfied with structure, “big picture” elements such as pacing and characterization, and grammar but would like an experienced book editor to take one last look to catch the stray errors that can remain even after a thorough copyedit. Note: if proofreading is to be included with another editing level (content editing, copyediting, etc.), it will involve a separate read-through after all changes have been accepted on the writer’s side.
Fee range: .0075 to 1 cent/word (depending on specific needs)
Manuscript Evaluation (or Professional Reading)
A manuscript evaluation, also called a professional reading, entails reading the manuscript in full, making comments in the margin, both as a reader (things like “This is interesting!” or “I love the example you use to illustrate this point!”) and as an editor (“The meaning of this concept needs to be spelled out with at least one concrete example” or “This word is beginning to stand out from repeated use; I’d recommend using xyz instead”).
This also involves writing up several pages of notes on your book’s general strengths and weaknesses, with examples from the book and “do-it-yourself” directions on how to reduce the problems and focus on the strengths.
Fee range: typically around $2.50 – $3 per normally formatted manuscript page
The Editing Process
I provide a written contract guaranteeing your edit for a given time slot, specifying the level of editing and the editing fee, and including a confidentiality clause. Before I can hold space in my calendar, I need to receive a signed copy of the contract along with a deposit equal to at least half of the total fee. All invoicing is handled through PayPal.
I edit using Microsoft Word’s “track changes” feature. Unless another style guide is requested, I edit in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition), checking spelling against Merriam-Webster Unabridged.