Barbara Brabec's Writing & Editing
 Services for Authors and Self-Publishers
Developmental and copy editing services

Affordable Book Manuscript
Editing Services for Self-Publishers


Your Two Editing Options

Basic copy editing and light content editing of short stories, eBooks, or full-length book manuscripts: begins at $.018/word.

Developmental and comprehensive line-by-line copy editing and heavy content editing of book manuscripts of any length: between $.03 and .05 cents a word.


Checking the manuscript for common writing errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, use of past and present tense and agreement between subjects and verbs and pronouns and antecedents. (See examples of these things in the linked article above.) I'll correct run-on and incomplete sentences, fix wrong-word usages, and point out the use of repetitive words, phrases, or clichés. Wrong or missing capitalization and italics will be corrected along with bad paragraphing. Brief comment notes are normally included for things the author needs to consider, rewrite, or double-check. Basic copy editing also includes:

 A Check of the Table of Contents. I'll make sure it perfectly matches text references.

 Copyright/Trademark Infringement Check. Because I have a good layman's knowledge of trademark and copyright law, I've been able to help several authors avoid legal trouble by alerting them to possible trademark and copyright infringement problems. (Hard to say how much this help could be worth to an author.)

 Subtle/Light Content Editing. I always do light content editing here and there to subtly refine the overall writing . . . to make it sing without changing the writer's style or voice. As one of my editing clients told me during the editing process, "It's amazing how moving a few words around improves the content so much." But when many sentences throughout the book need rewriting for clarity or style, that will automatically move the editing to a higher fee category, as explained below.

 Editing for Clarity, Continuity, and Flow. If I can't make sense of something, I will use comment notes to ask questions or offer suggestions for how to clarify a point. I may point out inconsistencies or details that should be double-checked to ensure accuracy, include a brief writing tip, or jot a note in anticipation of the author's question about a change I've made.

 Bibliography or Resource Chapter. Listings will be edited for style (proper formatting), punctuation, and capitalization, but it will be the author's responsibility to provide COMPLETE and accurate information for all listings; i.e., FULL titles and subtitles of books, periodical names, articles, source information, and Website names and links. Note that links in a print book should be limited to short URLs and all links in both print and eBooks need to be double-checked by the author in the last stage of the editing process.

 Christian Books with Bible Verses. My familiarity with Bible verses helps me to spot missing or wrong words and incorrect capitalization or punctuation errors—which I'll point out with highlighting and a comment note—but my basic copy editing fee does not include looking up every Bible verse to make sure each one is correct. It will be the author's responsibility to double-check the accuracy of all Bible verses during the editing process unless the author agrees to an extra fee to cover the editor's time in doing this extra work. In all cases, it will be the author's responsibility to secure any necessary permission to use verses from a particular edition of the Bible. (See for how to do this.)


This kind of editing, applicable to book manuscripts of any length, includes all of the basic copy editing above, PLUS:

Substantial rewriting of content. This would include the rewriting of all sentences that lack clarity or are just poorly written or punctuated. Improved paragraphing may be needed in some cases. In fiction, particular attention will be given to improving dialogue and fixing poor dialogue tags (said references). If I find that some content would work better in a different section of a chapter, or in a different chapter altogether, I'll make suggestions accordingly.

 Improving the book's structure and readability. Using the T/C as a guide, the book's overall structure will be considered throughout the developmental editing process. Many manuscripts would benefit from better chapter titles, and when appropriate in nonfiction writing, suggestions will also be made for the addition of subtitles to break up long blocks of content, or bullet lists, right-left indented content, or third-level headings.

Rewriting or refining front and back matter pages. I'll help the author create all the necessary pages that make a good book, from the Copyright and Dedication pages, Acknowledgments, Preface or Prologue and Foreword to the Bibliography, Author's Bio, a Promotional Website Page, or Appendices.

How a Manuscript Critique Could Cut Your Editing Costs

If you've just written your first book and think your novel or nonfiction manuscript might need substantial rewriting or better organization of content,  a manuscript critique may be the best and most affordable way to begin. With my guidance in a written critique, the author can then do most of the rewriting, reorganization of content, and some self-editing work, too, which could substantially lower the editing fee.

IF YOU'RE A FIRST-TIME NOVELIST, see this page on my book manuscript critiquing page for content issues normally found in the work of beginning novelists. In my experience, all first-time novelists and authors of a memoir will end up with a much better book if they start with a book critique or evaluation before they even think about having the manuscript edited. (These client testimonials illustrate how some of my author clients have benefitted by taking this route.)

book editing by Barbara Brabec

Requesting a Quote

QUERY ME BY EMAIL with detailed information about your book manuscript—whether it's a full-length book, short story, or mini-eBook. Give me the book's working title, subtitle, word count, and a brief description of its content. Also tell me what kind of editing you think your manuscript will need (based on the information at left), and how soon you need the editing done.

Tell me something about yourself, and include complete contact information: email, telephone number, geographic location, and website URL if you have one.

If I am interested in the job and can work it into my schedule, I'll get back to you promptly and ask you to send me a Table of Contents and a sample chapter.

Note that I do not offer free editing samples. My many satisfied clients speak for the quality of my work. Based on the sample I receive, if I'm interested in working with you, I'll give you a quote for the job based on the number of words in the manuscript.

FEE ADJUSTMENTS: At the start of the job, I'll provide the best editing estimate possible based on the sample material I've received. But if I find after getting into a manuscript that it has a problem not evident in the sample material provided for a quote, this will be discussed with the author and the editing fee may need to be adjusted higher unless the author fixes the problem.

NOTE: If the manuscript received for editing does not include all the front and back matter needed in a book, the editing and development of that content will be invoiced separately after the text editing is complete.

Let's Talk!*


Barbara Brabec is a nationally known

I CAN WORK BY EMAIL with an author in any country, but I can learn more about someone and their book in a ten-minute phone chat than I can learn in a dozen email exchanges (and vice versa). So whenever possible, I like to have a brief conversation with an author before I accept a job. There is no charge for this.

* Telephone calls can usually be done at my expense through my phone service, which covers long-distance calls to the Continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. If you live elsewhere and use Skype, we could communicate that way by appointment to find a time that works for both of us. Otherwise, the author must stand the expense of any necessary phone calls.

Business calls are accepted during my normal office hours: Monday-Friday, 9 to 5 (CST). Employed individuals who can't talk during their workday should email for an appointment on a Saturday to talk between the hours of 10 to 1.


Keep your editor and everyone else happy by following the formatting guidelines outlined in my article, Book Manuscript Formatting Tips. It explains the many formatting and "clean-up" things that must be done to a manuscript before it can be successfully converted to a .mobi or ePub file or one that will get through Smashwords' "meatgrinder" eBook converter. Ideally this kind of formatting will be done before you submit a manuscript to me for editing.

If you are unable to properly prepare a manuscript for editing or eBook conversion or just lack the time to do this, I will clean it up and format it for an additional fee before I start the editing. (The fee for this service will depend on how much formatting work the manuscript needs, and you'll know that after you read the above article.)

Other Helpful Articles

Electronic Editing—A Great Way to Learn How to Improve Your Writing. Read this article for more information on exactly how I work with my author clients. (Pay special attention to the paragraph about the "second editing go-round" that is included in the editing fee.)

Success Tips for Beginning Writers and Authors. This article discusses Barbara's writing and publishing experience, with practical tips for success.

Think you can't afford to hire an editor?

"There are only two acceptable excuses for not getting your book professionally copyedited (i.e. paying someone to do it) before you self-publish. They are:

1.You being a professional editor;
2.Your book having no words in it."

~ Catherine Ryan Howard, author of The Best of Catherine, Caffeinated: Caffeine-Infused Self-Publishing Advice [Kindle Edition]


REMEMBER: If your first book isn't well written and edited, no one will read your second.


"You said you made a 'few little modifications' to my story, but sweet lady, you took a song without notes and made it sing. I liked my story before I sent it to you for editing, but now I LOVE it. Thanks!" ~ Joe H. Bell, Jr., author of Moral Injury and the Oasis of the Heart and other short stories

A Brabec Rule:  "The better the writing, the lower the editing fee."


Payment Options

HALF THE ESTIMATED EDITING FEE will be payable in U.S. funds by PayPal before the editing begins. (Here authors have the option of drawing from their PayPal account or using a credit card of their choice.) Checks will be accepted from business professionals in the U.S. or individuals known to the editor.

At the halfway point, I will send the completed pages covered by that portion of the fee, invoice for the rest of the job, and resume editing upon receipt of balance of payment. After both sections have gone through a second editing check, I'll bring the two sections together and give the manuscript one more check before returning the final edited copy.

Your complete satisfaction is guaranteed.

Client Testimonials of Satisfaction.

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Copyright © 2016 by Barbara Brabec