Services and Costs
Standard Copy Editing
Standard (light, medium) copy editing involves correcting grammar, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, syntax, and much more. For example, I ensure that verbs, pronouns, and nouns match in tense; check for the five c’s of writing: consistency, cohesion, comprehension, concision, and clarity; and do light fact checking if necessary.
I work only in American English and use the Chicago Manual of Style as a style guide unless otherwise requested.
Heavy (substantive/content/line) Editing:
Heavy copy editing, also called substantive, content, and line editing, goes deep into improving the flow of text. In a heavy edit, I suggest rewording sentences to improve clarity and flow and to eliminate repetition. I also look for clear, fluid, and pleasant reading that conveys what you intend. I watch for awkward wording; overuse of passive voice; jargon, slang, and clichés (avoid!); and poor sentence structure.
I fact check; rearrange paragraphs, sections,and chapters if necessary; rework subheadings and chapter titles as needed; and offer suggestions on structure and organization. Occasionally, an author can inadvertently be argumentative, cite personal opinions as facts, or otherwise veer away from being professional and reader friendly. I make suggestions to correct these issues.
Developmental editing is the process of helping you plan, structure, and develop your manuscript. It can be done in the early stages of writing or after you have a substantial amount written but need help organizing, cutting down, or fleshing out the manuscript. Final copy editing is a separate job and is not included in developmental editing.
An assessment looks for the weaknesses in a manuscript, brings attention to specific problem areas, and provides general suggestions for improvement. It does not include copy or line editing. Assessments are available for both nonfiction and fiction manuscripts.
An assessment provides honest feedback on what the manuscript needs to create a solid story that will keep the reader turning the page. I look for consistency in the story, development of ideas, logical order of events or information, flow, plausibility, writing style, and other broad aspects of the manuscript.
An assessment is typically done on an early draft of the manuscript, as it can lead to substantial rewriting.
The cost for a manuscript assessment is as follows:
- Manuscripts of up to 60,000 words: $350
- Manuscripts between 60,000 and 80,000 words: $450
- Manuscripts between 80,000 and 150,000 words: $600
- Rates for manuscripts over 150,000 words to be determined on case-by-case basis
I edit all manner of written material, from blog posts and magazine articles to PhD dissertations and, of course, book manuscripts. My base rate is $30 per hour for standard copy editing and $50 per hour for developmental editing. To determine an estimate for a book manuscript, I do a sample edit on a small portion of the manuscript and calculate a final estimate from that. It also helps me to see the level of copy editing your manuscript needs and allows you to get an idea of what the edited manuscript will look like. A sample edit is free, and I do not provide an estimate without first seeing an unedited sample of the manuscript.
I charge $30 per hour for copy editing smaller one-off projects, such as press releases, pamphlets, magazine articles, and single blog posts (minimum one hour, then billed in 30-minute increments).
For frequent editing work on small projects, such as blog posts and monthly articles, I charge a retainer fee of $350 up front and deduct $30 for each hour I work. This way you are not constantly billed for frequent small projects.