I will edit your manuscript electronically, using Microsoft Word’s Track Changes feature. Every change I make will be visible to you, and you choose whether to accept or reject my changes. In addition to this inline markup, I’ll use the Comment feature to add notes in the margins of the pages. When needed, I will also provide additional comments or suggestions via e-mail, IM, or telephone.
During our initial conversations, we’ll decide together on the level of editing to be performed. These include light, moderate, and heavy copyediting . Please refer to the Sample Edits page for an example of each level.
If you’re an excellent writer, or one who frequently edits other authors’ work, your manuscript will most likely need just a light copyedit, also known as proofreading. I will check grammar, spelling, word choice, punctuation, and run-on sentences. This option is for a manuscript that is fairly complete, and is intended to be the final polish prior to publication.
If your story is solid, but contains many of the errors we all make as we capture words on paper, your manuscript most likely requires moderate copyediting (line editing). This includes all of the proofreading listed above, plus a careful review of subject-verb agreement, verb tense, continuity, and the real killer: point of view, or head-hopping. This option is intended to bring a manuscript from second-draft to publication-ready status.
Also called substantive editing, with a heavy copyedit I will evaluate your manuscript and provide notes on your opening paragraphs, voice, plot, characterization, dialogue, and mechanics. I will review the structure and pacing of your story in comparison to the expectations of your chosen genre. I will also fact-check, and point out anachronisms, paradoxes, and ambiguities. This type of review is intended to give you a fresh perspective on your writing, help you work out plot bunnies, and guide you to the level of polish a publication-ready manuscript requires.
As you probably expect, my rates vary depending on type of editing requested, and how complete a manuscript is when I receive it. Usually, I prefer not to quote before I’ve seen at least a portion of a project. I’d be happy tell you the story of why I don’t do that any more — but a competitive range would be about 0.9 to 1.3 cents per word for moderate editing. If the copy is very clean and we’re just talking polish and formatting, or if the project needs substantive editing, or any research or fact-checking, then typically, the rate would be adjusted down or up, accordingly.
Alternatively, we may negotiate a flat fee for the overall project. This usually makes good sense for projects that require heavy or developmental editing, or when the manuscript is not yet complete.
Timeframe and Payment
How long does it take? The short answer is: as long as it needs to take!
I can usually edit a full-length novel (approximately 80,000 words) in two to three weeks. Once my edit is complete, I return the document file to you for discussion and rewriting. As long as you use Track Changes during this portion of the process, when you’re done, I’ll be happy to do one last review of your manuscript. This helps ensure that the document is still publication-ready.
I use PayPal and have found it to be error-free, convenient, and very inexpensive for the sender. Other payment methods can be arranged upon request.