Editing Services/Fees

Thank you for considering me as your editing partner. My goal is to help you make your book the best it can be. As a freelance article and book author, I know the pain of a red-inked manuscript coming back from an editor. I promise I’ll be kind.

I have edited a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books by first-time authors as well as experienced writers. Non-fiction topic categories I’m comfortable working with include science, biology, history, biography, business, art, craft, jewelry, and environment. I also edit conference publications, conference summaries, and conference dailies. Fiction genres I work with include suspense, mystery, urban fantasy, paranormal, romance, young adult, science fiction, and women’s fiction. If it’s not on this list, please enquire. I’ll be happy to tell you if it’s something I feel confident working with or not, though frankly, I read a lot on a wide range of topics and subjects.

Topics I’m not comfortable editing include: erotica, memoir, spirituality, religion, computer/tech, politics, plays, screenplays, and academic works. I choose not to work with manuscripts that include graphically violent scenes, such as torture, rape, or even consensual violent sex.

Different Levels of Editing

When looking for editorial help, be sure you understand just what the editor is offering. I offer copyediting and substantive or content editing.

Substantive editing

is done at the in-between stage when you think your first draft might need more work, but you have gotten too close to it to see it clearly any more. A substantive edit includes notes on:

  • Character development, plot, dialogue, pacing
  • Writing style and voice—character voice, author’s storytelling voice
  • Writing issues, such as awkward phrasing, noun/verb agreement, unnecessary repetition, telling vs showing, use of the passive voice, and inconsistencies
  • Your strengths, so you can play into those strengths as you revise

Copy editing

is a fine-toothed-comb final edit for spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization, hyphenation, and use of numbers. A copy editor also looks for inconsistencies in descriptions or names (so Jane does not become John). It does not include comments on structure, plotting, or voice.

Though I will mark suggested changes, you will be responsible for making the final changes in your document. Please be advised that revision of any kind risks introducing new errors into the manuscript. It is expected that you will have one or two proofreaders go over the final version before publication.

Fees …

  • Substantive editing:        $0.08 cents per word. Minimum charge, $100.
  • Standard copy editing $0.05 cents per word (Many changes per page.) Minimum charge, $100.
  • Light copy editing:         $2.50 per submitted page (A few changes per page.) Minimum charge, $25

I require a down payment of 30% of the fee, paid by PayPal, before I begin work. The remainder is due, via PayPal, upon completion.


When you submit your work, I request the following:

  • The work’s title
  • Its genre or topic category (mystery, romance, YA, history, biology)
  • A synopsis (for fiction) or a table of contents (for non-fiction)
  • The audience (age, gender, general audience or specific readership)
  • What type of work you want—substantive or copy editing
  • Any particular concerns you have (Authors often have a sense of what might be problematic in a manuscript—dialogue, pacing, voice. Let me know if there is anything in particular you want me to pay attention to.)
  • A double-spaced manuscript, 12-point type, either Arial or Times New Roman
  • Manuscript in Microsoft Word, with track changes turned on
  • A down payment of 30% of the fee, paid by PayPal, before I begin work
  • A signed work agreement

Allow two weeks from time of submission until the work is returned to you. If, due to the length of the manuscript, I need more time, I’ll tell you when we contract the work. We’ll work together to determine a submission date that fits your deadline.

If this is our first project together, I suggest a trial so you can see how I work. Submit the first five pages of your work, double spaced, and I’ll edit it by whichever method you choose (substantive or copy), and return it to you. I’ll also let you know if I think you might be better served by a different kind of edit from what you’ve requested. There is no charge for the trial.

I will keep your edited manuscript for eight weeks so that if you have questions as you go through your revisions and corrections, I’ll be able to answer them. For your peace of mind, however, after eight weeks, the manuscript will be deleted from my hard drive and my back up. I will keep the substantive editing summaries on file.

Thank you again for considering me as your editing partner. I look forward to working with you.