I get it. You hate editing.

You are a creative, this kind of left-brain stuff is not your thing. Your job is to put words on the page, build worlds out of the air, and breathe life into characters. Or, even if you don’t mind editing, who has the time to go over each sentence, line-by-line, to seek out typos with a fine-toothed comb?

I know that you want your manuscript to be of the highest quality possible, because your readers deserve the best. And just because you are self-publishing doesn’t mean they will expect anything less from you than what they would get out of a publishing house.

This is where I come in.

It may well be the lamest superpower ever, but I have said it once and I will say it again: Editing seems to be my superpower. Whether you could use a fresh, trained pair of eyes to catch typos and grammar mistakes, or could use a hand weeding out overused and repetitive phrasing (it happens to all of us) I am here to help.

I’ll be honest with you.

Editors are a funny bunch. You would think that we would have what we do all neatly defined and parcelled out by now – but we don’t. When it comes to describing editorial services, everyone has a slightly different take. Each editor is unique, just as each writer is unique.

To keep from confusing the heck out of you, I have decided to bundle my services under two names: Silent Editing and Collaborative Editing.


What is a Silent Edit?

The service I am dubbing ‘Silent Editing’ is closer to the idea you may have of traditional copy-editing or proofreading. I take out my favorite grammar gremlin-slaying sword and go to town on the little beasties.

I will check that your use of grammar and punctuation rules are consistent using a neat document known as a Style Sheet. It will be unique to your story, and I use it to keep track of certain aspects of your writing style and make sure they are always used the same way. Does that make you feel like you are being X-rayed by one of those machines at the airport? Don’t worry, it isn’t that bad, promise.

I may even check that you have used certain facts or spelling correctly (to avoid embarrassments) and that you have not plagiarized from someone. But of course you wouldn’t intentionally do that, now would you?

The reason I call this type of edit ‘silent’ is not because I will ignore you, or duct-tape your characters’ mouths shut and take them all hostage (if such a thing were possible). It just means that, while I may still make comments here and there to ask a question or explain my suggestion, I won’t be examining the story or putting my paws on your writing. I will be zeroing in on the mechanical and technical side of the process, searching for those errors like a cat stalking a laser pointer.

Who is this edit for?

This type of edit is best embarked upon after your manuscript has been through extensive re-drafts, a line-edit by me or another editor, or both! It is a pass-through for errors, inconsistencies, and formatting issues that you don’t want ending up in your published manuscript! When we are done, you should have a work that is polished and may only require some formatting to be ready for market. Isn’t that a nice thought?

 

My rate for a Silent Edit is $12 – $14* per 1000 words.

*I calculate my rate case-by-case, based on a free sample edit and further discussion with you about your project.

 

What is a Collaborative Edit?

This service is closest to what other editors would call line-editing or stylistic editing. It is a fairly involved process where the editor (in this case, me) goes through the manuscript at the sentence level, and makes adjustments to improve the flow and clarity of your writing.

I look for rambling sentences, missing or misused words, cliches, and some story-specific issues. Here are a few examples of what I mean by that:

  • you have a character whose hair suddenly turns from black to blonde even though they have not left the room
  • you described how it began to rain and storm while your POV character was looking out the window, but then they step outside to a clear, beautiful day (unless your character lives in Portland, this is probably a continuity error)
  • a character’s name has been spelled one way for the first three chapters, but you decided to change it mid-chapter and then forgot to go back and update it

All these types of errors are things that editors like myself are trained to pick up on and correct. In order to keep a handle on them, you will receive a Style Guide like the one described above – only that document will also include details specific to your story, such as character and setting descriptions, and timeline notes.

With this style of editing, I am much more involved ‘in the trenches’ of your work. I will tend to make more suggestions and explain those suggestions more thoroughly. Because there is so much involved with a Collaborative Edit, they take more time and concentration than a copy-edit.

Who is this edit for?

You will need this edit if your book has never seen the light of day before, or perhaps has only been read by a few friends/beta readers. Once we are through, you should have a better sense of what some of your strengths and weaknesses are in terms of writing mechanics. One of my goals as an editor is to help you use that knowledge to your advantage!

The purpose of this in-depth edit is to not only weed out errors, but highlight areas for improvement – and guide your manuscript into a more cohesive, revised draft.

 

My rate for a Collaborative Edit is $15 – $17* per 1000 words.

*I calculate my rate case-by-case, based on a free sample edit and further discussion with you about your project.

What Can You Expect From the Editing Process?

It’s understandable to have some concerns when handing over a precious manuscript to a stranger. Even when that stranger is an editor with your book’s best interests at heart. That’s why I am completely transparent about my process. I want you to know where your work is on every step of the journey, what is happening to it, and most importantly, that you will retain complete control over the final outcome.

Rest assured, writer friend. Here is the break down:

1.  After we have ironed out the details of your project, conducted a sample edit, and gone over terms, you send your entire manuscript document to me on the agreed start date.

2.  I will conduct the edit in the same way that I did the sample: using Track Changes in either Word or Zoho docs (more on this program later). This way, you can see everything I’ve done and can choose to keep or remove it.

Note: The time to ask questions on anything about Track Changes would be during the sample edit.

3.  I will be in touch with you periodically to let you know how progress is going, and whether I have run into any issues that I want to discuss with you. For example, if I am Collaborative/line-editing for you, and I come across a timeline issue that would impact several chapters of your book, that is an urgent matter that I would bring up right away before making any changes.

However, for smaller things that I can correct without ripple effects, I will leave you a comment within the text. You will have the opportunity to respond to these comments when I return the manuscript. How often you hear from me will depend on what type of edit you chose, and the individual needs of your book.

4.  Once the edit is complete, I will let you know via e-mail and you will receive three documents: One with Tracked Changes + Comments, one with Comments Only, and one Clean copy where all changes have been accepted.

The reason for this is so you can choose how you would like to view the changes I’ve made and adapt it to your work style. I recommend going over the ‘Comments Only’ document first, so we can immediately begin addressing any issues or questions.

 

What happens after the edit?

With either of my services, you will have one free pass-through where I will address any questions or concerns you may have with my suggested edits. That includes commenting or e-mailing back and forth to discuss the edits. You will most likely get the most out of this with a Collab Edit, but you have access to my support for Silent Edits, too.

However if you would like me to go over the entire manuscript again to implement changes, or review any new sections you added after our work together, this will be counted as a new draft.

The new draft fee is 20% of your original order price.


 

Let’s Get Started: Get a Free Quote + Sample Edit!

Are you still with me? Great! I hope that means you are serious about working together, and you’re ready to take the next step. If that’s the case, here is what you’ll need to do: First, head over to my Contact page and introduce yourself. I have a handy form you can fill out to give me some general info about you and your project. (Or you can find my e-mail address listed there too, if you’d rather go that route.)

Second, I will conduct a quick sample edit (for free) of around 1000 words. This is a required step for me, because it lets us set things up in the most efficient way possible. A sample edit gives you a chance to see my work first-hand, like a free trial of my services!

The sample also lets me get a feel for your writing style and voice, and gives me an opportunity to assess how much work needs to be done. All of this helps me provide you with the most accurate rate and timeline for your project. Win-win!

Anything Else?

I know that choosing an editor can be a daunting process, especially when there seems to be conflicting information everywhere. The most important thing is to work with someone you are comfortable with. A strong rapport in the editor-author relationship is going to produce a stronger book every time. I want that for you – even if it means the editor you choose isn’t me!

I hope that this page has answered most of your questions about my services, but if there are still a few lingering doubts, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Leave a message on my Contact page.

(Or you can track me down on Twitter!)