I offer developmental/content editing services at $1/page. A page is calculated at 250 words. I like easy math. No hidden fees. No upcharges. No nonsense. For comparative purposes, let’s crunch some numbers:
- A 76,000 word manuscript is 304 pages of 250 words = $304.00 for a content edit.
- A 31,000 word manuscript is 124 pages of 250 words = $124.00 for a content edit.
- A 125,000 word manuscript is 500 pages of 250 words = $500.00 for a content edit.
- A 63,000 word manuscript is 252 pages of 250 words = $252.00 for a content edit.
Having an experienced set of eyes review your work can be invaluable. Even if there are no gaping holes in the story – you can move forward with more confidence in knowing that a potential agent or reader isn’t going to send you a note. Like most writers, I self-edit my own work, but I always have at least one professional editor review my final drafts. This is a step you don’t want to omit. Sometimes I swap manuscripts with experienced authors to get a different viewpoint but I still pay to have an edit completed because I believe in trying to put out the best story I can.
Why offer editing services so cheap?
‘Cause I’ve been in your shoes. My first experience in hiring an editor was disastrous. I paid nearly $6/page for a highly recommended, heavily-vetted editor who was unprofessional, sloppy, and gave me absolutely terrible advice. It almost derailed my desire to seek publication. A kind agent suggested I get a second opinion. Desperate, I contacted three additional editors at cut rates and discovered cost does not always equate with quality. Hard lesson learned. Value is relative. What matters most is that you get feedback that helps you to improve your work. There are three primary types of editing although the terms used to describe each vary somewhat and what Each type of editing entails is sometimes open to interpretation. The “types” of editing available are confusing and the discrepancies in definition are an industry-wide issue.
The big picture story structure stuff is usually called developmental or content editing. This is what I do – I look at the overall design of your story rather than the mechanical details. Copyediting – or line editing – is the type that takes an intensive evaluation of word usage, paragraph structure, and grammatical issues. Proofreading focuses on the grammar and punctuation of your manuscript – which is very important for a nice smooth readable story. In fact all of these are important but the content editing is where you want to start. Make sure the skeleton of your story can stand on its own before you dress it up all fancy and send it out the door.
What do I offer for $1/page?
There are different methodologies for editing, here’s what I do:
- I read your entire manuscript twice, making comments and notes using the Track Changes feature in Microsoft Word*
- I offer line edits as I move through your story, concentrating on consistency, readability, and solid story structure
- If anything throws me out of the story, I try to point it out, along with anything else those elements bring to mind
- I look for continuity issues, plot holes, inconsistent story threads, forgotten plot lines, slow narratives, sporadic dialogue, flawed logic, and pretty much anything else that jumps off the page
- I offer observations about character arcs, story flow, pacing, overall plot construction, story structure, and forward movement
- I also remember to comment on all the things that are working well – all that yummy stuff that grabs readers by the throat and makes them swoon
- I tell you what changes I see (if applicable) in the main characters from the beginning to the end
- I compile a summary of this information that details specific aspects of your story into an editorial report
- I make suggestions about plot, content, characterization, and setting (timeframe too if it is period piece)
All of this information gets written up in a detailed report that is usually 6-10 pages in length, as well as a chapter-by-chapter summary (unless your book is organized in an alternative manner). Once you have the edited manuscript back in your hands, you can decide what to address, accept or reject. Ultimately, you’re the only person who knows and understands the story you want to tell. Feedback may help you determine which parts of the story aren’t being conveyed in the manner you want. The editorial report provides context and reasoning behind suggestions and/or recommended changes. Again, the decision to alter your story remains yours. This is another reason having multiple sets of eyes evaluating your work is helpful. When fundamental flaws exist in the story – plot holes, inconsistencies, logical fallacies, etc. – alert readers notice. Let an editor ferret them out before you submit your novel to an agent or publish your book for the market.
Although I try to note anything that stands out to me in your manuscript:
- I do NOT proofread and polish your work
- I do NOT copyedit for word choice, paragraph arrangement, or repetition
- I do NOT ghost write, complete research, or prepare marketing materials
The type of editing you select for your work depends entirely on what you need. Some writers don’t need one type of editing as much as another. Take a critical look at your work and evaluate which of the three you think most requires assistance. I’m always happy to complete a 5-10 page sample of your work to see if we’re a good fit. That helps me determine if you’re done drafting and ready for a structural inspection. It also allows you to see if the comments and feedback I offer is of any use to you. Of course 5-10 pages doesn’t give a lot of room to evaluate but it’s better than nothing, right?
Remember, different editors catch different things. The more eyes you can get to provide critical feedback of your work, the stronger the finished story will prove. In the end, that’s what we all want – stories that knock our socks off and make us want to read more.
* Documents need to be submitted as .doc or .docx files