Book Editing

OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

Rates

The rates listed are average. Rates may be adjusted slightly (up or down) based on the condition of your manuscript and any special requests. Final rates will be agreed upon before work begins so that there are no surprises. Prices are for one round of edits (during which I typically do three passes on the manuscript) with email follow-up. Additional rounds (for example, if you greatly change your story after a developmental edit and want another round of edits) will be at a discounted rate.

Please note an additional project management fee will be added to your total. This fee is typically $50–$150 per project. I will include it in your price quote.

Program

I work in Microsoft Word using Track Changes, so you should be familiar with that program.

What shape is your manuscript in?

The prices quoted assume that your manuscript is in average shape, complete and ready for editing. If you choose to engage my editing services for your full manuscript (developmental edit, line edit, or final copy edit and proofreading) I’ll request a sample chapter from the middle of your manuscript to assess whether we’re ready to work together. (Manuscripts tend to start strong and get a little trickier in the middle. It happens to everyone! The middle gives me a good baseline reading of your manuscript’s readiness for editing.)

If your manuscript needs a more intensive edit than average, I may need to adjust my rate. (We’ll talk about that in advance so you won’t get hit with any surprises, and you can decide whether to proceed or not.) If I feel your manuscript isn’t quite ready for editing, I can give you tips on how to get it ready so that we can work together later on.

Turnaround times

Turnaround times vary based on the length and complexity of your manuscript, as well as when I can schedule your project. Please get in touch so we can discuss your work and select a due date. I look forward to helping you tell your story!

Payment

Payment will be via PayPal invoice. Payment for both “The right start” packages is due up front in full. For my other services, half of the payment is due up front, and half is due when I return the manuscript to you, unless you and I have made alternative payment arrangements.

Letter of Agreement

I use a simple and straightforward letter of agreement that clearly spells out the rights and responsibilities we both have for your project, including confidentiality of your material.

Two versions of your book page edits

Viewing all edits can make your Word document look chaotic; many editors return multiple versions to the author to make life easier. I’m a big believer in that approach. The first version contains all tracked changes and comments so you can see the edits and recommendations in full detail. The second version is a “clean” copy with all edits accepted, giving you the best feel for my recommended changes. I recommend viewing the “clean” copy first.

You may need two editors

I don’t recommend using the same person for developmental/line editing and copy editing/proofreading. A developmental/line editor will have already worked closely with your manuscript, and a copy editor/proofreader works best when they are coming to a manuscript with totally fresh eyes. If I have edited your novel, I can refer you to my highly skilled associate for copy editing/proofreading.

Formatting 

The final step in preparing your manuscript for publication is formatting. This takes place after proofreading and applies to both print books and eBooks. If you’re self-publishing, or publishing through a house that requires you to provide a ready-to-publish manuscript, you’ll need a professional. Formatting requires design skills, typesetting knowledge and specialized software. Doing your own formatting (especially in Word) can result in the “amateur” look that deters potential readers and reviewers. Additionally, eBooks need to be optimized across platforms. What looks good on one reading device may not look good on another. An expert can ensure your book looks professional on every device. 

Cover art

Cover art can convey the essence of a book and grab readers’ attention. While you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, we all do—so a great cover makes a difference. A professional graphic designer can help your book stand out.

Who to contact

I recommend Jessica Sun Lee for all your book design needs, from formatting to cover art and beyond. She can also create a fantastic website for you. Click here to learn more. 

Your book at its best

This page describes my book editing services for fiction and nonfiction authors. If you’re looking for business editing instead, click here.

Information about sample chapters, manuscript evaluations and beta reads will be added soon!

Are you writing literary fiction or hybrid fiction? Do you have a semi-autobiographical family story or a work of historical nonfiction? Is your novel scary, exciting, funny, sexy or bleak? Are you writing a compelling memoir or a brilliant self-help manual? Is your book translated from your first language and in need of a “natural English” cleanup? I love every kind of book and am well versed in most genres. (All I do is read. And edit.)

If you’re planning to self-publish, or your publisher allows you to choose me as your editor, I’ll use my gift for the written word and my finely honed sense of narrative structure to make your work the best it can be. As I guide you through the editing process, I’ll respectfully point out your book’s strengths and weaknesses, giving you clear recommendations to enhance your story and improve your manuscript.

My specialties 

I offer developmental editing, line editing and manuscript evaluations for: literary fiction, contemporary fiction, hybrid/cross-genre fiction (e.g., fictionalized memoir, literary speculative fiction, anything that doesn’t fit neatly into one category), memoir, historical nonfiction, self-help, instruction, ESL authorsand more.  If you don’t see your genre on this list, get in touch and I’ll let you know if I specialize in it! If I don’t, I’ll try to help you find an editor who does. 

I offer copy editing, proofreading and beta reads for: all genres of fiction and nonfiction (except heavily academic or extremely industry-specialized works) and ESL authors

Services 

What your book will need depends on your strengths as a writer and what stage of the editing process you have reached. My basic book editing services are described below. If you’re looking for a service that isn’t listed, please get in touch.  

The right start

Because early feedback can be vital to keeping you focused and on track, I offer two affordable sample packages, each with a different focus.

If you’ve never worked with an editor before and are unsure about the process, this is a good way to see the type of feedback an editor provides so you can determine if my services are right for you. And if you do select me for a full developmental or line edit of your manuscript after testing out “The right start,” I’ll deduct the cost of this service from your final bill. 

1) “The right start” developmental edit+

I’ll review your detailed novel synopsis/plot summary and 10 pages of your book. For an average-length novel of 60,000 to 80,000 words, the maximum length of your synopsis should be eight double-spaced pages. My developmental feedback will address your plot, story arc and themes, and my line edits will call out any obvious writing issues so you’ll know what needs work.  

What you’ll get:

  1. A written review of your detailed novel synopsis/plot summary. For an average-length novel of 60,000 to 80,000 words, the maximum length of your synopsis should be eight pages. (Developmental edit.)
  2. Analysis and guidance on dialogue, narration, characters and prose at the paragraph level for 10 pages of your book. (Line edit.)
  3. Two versions of your book page edits.
  4. Email follow-up for questions.

Price: $195

If you select me for a full developmental or line edit of your manuscript after testing out “The right start,” I’ll deduct the cost of this service from your final bill.

2) “The right start” combined edit

I’ll line edit, copy edit and proofread 10 pages of your book. You’ll get a good feel for the editing process at the paragraph, sentence and word levels. (This package does not include any developmental editing or evaluation of your plot, themes, etc.)

What you’ll get:

  1. Line edit, copy edit and proofreading of 10 pages of your book. (No developmental edit.)
  2. A written summary detailing the reasons behind my edits/advice.
  3. Two versions of your book page edits.
  4. Email follow-up for questions.

Price: $100

If you select me for a full developmental or line edit of your manuscript after testing out “The right start,” I’ll deduct the cost of this service from your final bill.

Whole manuscript review (developmental editing)

You’ve poured your heart and soul into your work—not to mention countless hours. Now it’s time for a fresh pair of eyes and an impartial review to analyze how well your book comes together. Are there plot holes? Character inconsistencies? Confusion? I’ll take an objective look at your story, plot, characters and themes. A developmental edit is not a line or copy edit. It’s all about assessing your structure, content direction and vision.

What you’ll get:

  1. Full manuscript analysis and guidance on your plot, structure, content direction, themes and characters. (No line edit, copy edit or proofreading.)
  2. A written summary detailing the reasons behind my edits/advice.
  3. Two versions of your book page edits.
  4. Email follow-up for questions.

Price: $.03/word 

Polishing your prose (line editing)

Small changes count. Going line by line, I’ll tighten your writing to make it shine and flow smoothly. I’ll untangle confusing paragraphs and sentences, remove needless word padding, fix awkward dialogue and much more. I’ll tweak and polish your prose as needed to ensure that YOUR voice is coming through the way you intend.

What you’ll get:

  1. Full manuscript analysis and guidance on dialogue, narration, characters and prose at the paragraph level. (No developmental editing.)
  2. A written summary detailing the reasons behind my edits/advice.
  3. Two versions of your book page edits.
  4. Email follow-up for questions.

Price: $.03/word 

Whole manuscript review + polishing your prose (developmental editing + line editing)

What you’ll get:

  1. Full manuscript analysis and guidance on your plot, structure, content direction, themes and characters. (Developmental edit.)
  2. Full manuscript analysis and guidance on dialogue, narration, characters and prose at the paragraph level. (Line edit.)
  3. A written summary detailing the reasons behind my edits/advice.
  4. Two versions of your book page edits.
  5. Email follow-up for questions.

Price: $.048/word. By selecting both services as a combined package, you’ll save money over purchasing them individually.

Copy editing and proofreading

Copy editing rechecks your work at the sentence level, and proofreading takes it down to the word level. They are the final steps in preparing your manuscript for layout/formatting and publication, and take place after you have addressed issues uncovered in a developmental edit and/or a line edit. If your novel has already been edited by someone else, I can copy edit and proofread it to catch grammatical and spelling errors, inconsistencies (e.g., calling a character by the wrong name) and problems such as misplaced or omitted words. 

I don’t recommend using the same person for developmental/line editing and copy editing/proofreading. A developmental/line editor will have already worked closely with your manuscript, and a copy editor/proofreader works best when they are coming to a manuscript with totally fresh eyes. If I have edited your novel, I can refer you to my highly skilled associate for copy editing/proofreading. 

What you’ll get:

  1. Full manuscript edit to address final issues with grammar, punctuation and spelling, as well as a final consistency check. (Copy edit and proofreading.)
  2. Two versions of your book page edits.
  3. Email follow-up for questions.

Price: $.012/word