Your Two Editing
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.
BASIC COPY EDITING INCLUDES:
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.
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
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;
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
BibleGateway.com for how to do this.)
DEVELOPMENTAL or COMPREHENSIVE
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
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
just written your first book and think your novel or nonfiction manuscript
might need substantial
rewriting or better organization of content, a
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
illustrate how some of my author clients have benefitted by taking this route.)
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.
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.
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
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
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