I offer three levels of editing: developmental editing, copy editing, and proofreading.
Developmental Editing (Content Editing)
4 cents per word
This stage is the big-picture edit of a rough draft. Think of it like building a house—it’s a lot easier and more productive to start with a strong foundation than it is to tear things down later when you find underlying problems. If you’re writing fiction, I’ll address characterization, point of view, plot, resolution, voice, dialogue, and so on. If you’re writing nonfiction, I’ll focus on organization, structure, transitions, clarity of expression, strength of argument, and the like (some of these areas also apply to fiction). Developmental editing includes copy editing—after you get my notes and revise the manuscript, send it back to me and I’ll copy edit it at no extra charge.
Copy Editing (Line Editing)
3 cents per word
This stage is the kind of editing you want when your manuscript is in its final draft. You’ve written and rewritten and re-rewritten the thing, and you’ve finally whipped your text into shape. The foundation is solid. Now I’ll dig into it line by line to fix spelling, grammar, punctuation, usage, sentence structure, and other mechanical errors. I’ll make the text clear, consistent, and appealing without changing the voice that makes the writing yours. As I go, I’ll create a style sheet that shows how I handled various style issues such as numerals, capitalization, abbreviations, spellings of unusual words, and so on.
2 cents per word
This stage is the final quality check before your work is released into the wild for all to see. It takes place after your manuscript has been laid out or typeset in its final format, ready for publication. Send me a PDF file (or another format that we agree to), and I’ll proofread it thoroughly to make sure that no errors or typos have slipped through. I’ll also check the things that are important to creating a professional-looking publication, including line breaks, word stacks, word spacing, line spacing, headers, footers, placement of figures, and captions. I’d like to get the style sheet created by the copy editor (unless I was the copy editor), but if you don’t have one, no worries—I’ll just query you with any concerns.
Just multiply the number of words in your manuscript by the rate for the service you want, and you’ll know exactly how much the job will cost. If you want to see how my rates compare with the industry standard, you can check out the ranges outlined by the Editorial Freelancers Association.
I prefer payments through PayPal. I also accept checks, though they must clear before I start working. Half the total payment is due to me at the beginning of the project, and the other half is due at the end, after you receive and approve of my work.
I realize that choosing an editor can be difficult. You want someone who’s a good fit for your writing, someone who’s friendly and can communicate well—someone you feel comfortable working with. Before you commit to anything, I can edit a portion of your project for free to show you what you’d get by hiring me. (Also, I invite you to put your mind at ease by seeing what previous clients have said about me.)
Not sure what you need?
I’m always happy to look at your manuscript, notes, or outline and collaborate with you to figure out how I can best be of service. In addition, if you need help that doesn’t fall into one of the categories described above, just let me know. We’ll work it out so that you get what you want. In general, work that can’t be billed by word count costs $30 per hour.