Comprehensive Editing

(a) $0.005 per word: I'll essentially be your personal writing coach for the duration. Using track changes, you will receive one (1) round of thorough content AND copy edits, including additional comments when necessary. Depending on your level of skill and writing experience, my comments can be lengthy and in-depth. This is often very time consuming on my part, but I'd rather you understand the reasons behind my actions or suggestions, instead of simply accepting my changes without further thought. This will benefit your future projects.

(b) $0.002 per word: If your first round of comprehensive edits resulted in significant changes, you may desire a second round before you hit that "Publish" button. Available at a discounted rate, your second round of edits will be considered a high priority (once your deposit has been paid in full). I will do everything I can to help you meet any deadlines.

Copy Editing

$0.002 per word: Using track changes, this service includes one (1) round of copy edits only.

* Scroll down the page for more information on both content and copy editing.

Other Important Stuff

★ For your peace of mind, I'm offering to review and edit the first three (3) pages of your manuscript, free of charge, before you commit to placing a booking with me. This will give you the opportunity to see how I work and decide if I'm the editor for you. The Word document should have single line spacing and be in either Times New Roman, Book Antiqua or Georgia style font - 12pt size. Please note - the first three (3) pages will be included in your total word count (and invoiced accordingly) once booking is confirmed.

Word count is based on the size of the manuscript when it's received.

 Fifty percent of the total fee is due when your booking has been confirmed, and is non-refundable. The remaining balance is due when edits have been completed. Please note - edited manuscripts will only be forwarded once you've paid in full.

 PayPal is the only method of payment I accept. Fees are in US dollars. PayPal's transaction fees are the responsibility of the author and will be added to your invoice.

What does a content editor do?

Many often presume that if you can write, then you can edit. But the two are very different skills and success in one doesn't automatically guarantee ability in the other. Unfortunately, one thing many indie authors don't invest in is a quality editor, but editing should be regarded as a necessity, not an optional extra.

Is content editing something you can do yourself? In some respects, yes, but only if you know what to look for. However, you can't have an objective opinion of your own writing because you're too close to it. An editor requires a certain amount of professional distance in order to tell you what you really need to hear. And every author needs an editor, even writers who are also professional editors.

A content editor's intention is not to make your writing generic, but to allow your voice to flourish while selectively applying rules and style.

A good content editor will:

  • Be concerned with the big picture. They're looking at how characters and plot intertwine, the theme of the book, the level of suspense and tension, the writing, the dialogue, etc. This type of editing takes a very creative mind, an ability to look past any shortcomings the manuscript may have and see the book not only as it is, but how it could be.
  • Catch things like inconsistent character behaviour and speech, style issues and readability.
  • Check for factual errors, contradictions, discrepancies in the plot, character or dialogue, and whether sub-plots have been well integrated into the story line.
  • Draw your attention to words or sentences that are extraneous or overused, run-on sentences, redundancies from repeating the same information in different ways, scenes where the action is confusing or the author's meaning is unclear due to bad transitions.
  • Cull unnecessary words and assist with rewriting/rewording sections that need help.
  • Point out where you are "telling" instead of "showing" and suggest ways to strengthen those areas.
  • Eliminate filters, enabling the reader to easily slip into the minds of your characters, living the story alongside them instead of "just" reading a book.
  • Polish and refine, cutting out what doesn't fit or what is nonessential to moving the story forward, and suggest areas that would benefit from extending scenes.
  • Help improve the manuscript by focusing on story elements, plot, characterisation, dialogue, order of scenes, point of view, voice, setting, word choice, sentence structure and syntax, and pace.
  • Pick up on tonal shifts and unnatural phrasing.
  • Ensure everything makes sense, has believable dialogue and a plausible plot line.
  • Never change your writing voice, but work with you to enhance it, preserving your unique style.
  • Earn every cent you spend on their services...and then some!

The purpose of working with a content editor is not just to improve your current manuscript, but to give you the creative tools to become a better writer in ways you can carry with you to future projects. A professional edit will only make your manuscript better and is never wasted money.

If a sentence is an arrow, then the content editor ensures that it clearly hits the mark.

And remember, a content editor is not hired to tell you what to do, rather suggest changes which could be helpful. Word's Track Changes function allows you to accept or reject every change an editor makes. As the author, you hold the cards and make all final decisions. Period.

What does a copy editor do?

A lot of indie authors don't hire a copy editor because of the cost involved, and/or because they don't realise what a copy edit can do for their book. You aren't just paying for someone to correct a few typos, you are paying for a lot more than that.

It's the copy editor's job to ensure that the author's words carry the intended message. It is difficult to copy edit your own work because the message is already clear in your head. The reader, on the other hand, relies solely on your words, so they need to be the right words, organised in the right manner, if you are to communicate your message effectively.

A copy editor brings a fresh set of eyes and perspective to your work. They will check for:
  • Grammar - Many talented authors struggle with correct grammar. If you get it wrong, be prepared to receive negative reviews. It's probably the number one pet peeve of readers and they have no qualms about letting you know about it.
  • Punctuation - You would think that most punctuation is straightforward, but it's not. Comma placement is very important and there should never be running sentences that confuse the reader. A good copy editor will point out inaccuracies and make your sentences flow correctly.
  • Spelling - A copy editor doesn't just check for spelling errors that most software programs can pick up, they also check for words that are pronounced the same, but spelled differently. You may not think this is a big deal, but if you wish to appear professional with your publication it's something that should be checked for accuracy.
  • Consistency - If your hero has blue eyes on page twelve, he shouldn't suddenly have green eyes on page ninety-eight. The same goes for word usage. If you use "Okay" in Chapter Two, the rest of your book shouldn't have "OK". It's extremely easy for these types of things to slip through the cracks and go unnoticed when you are reviewing your own work.
  • Repetition/Overuse - Sometimes an author will deliberately repeat something to emphasize a point, not realising they are effectively undermining, rather than underlining. Another instance is when an author uses the same words multiple times over. It can occur within the same paragraph, page, or chapter. It comes across as lazy and the reader will pick up on it.
  • Clarity and flow, hyphenation, capitalisation, consistency, continuity, paragraph lengths, missed words and the like.
In other words, copy editing involves correcting the language of the text. A copy editor addresses flaws on a very technical level to make sure the writing that appears on the page is in accordance with industry standards. This is like an incredibly high-end proofread, not a process most BETA readers or critique partners will do with great accuracy.