A detailed Editorial Letter (usually 10-12 pages) analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the big-picture elements of your manuscript; e.g., plot, structure, character arcs, worldbuilding, use of setting, and overall pacing.
$4 per page
(1.6 ¢ / word)
e.g. 80K-word novel ~ $1,280
A more in-depth version of the Manuscript Evaluation (usually 10-20 pages) PLUS annotations in the manuscript to identify specific issues and suggest revisions, scene by scene.
$8.75 per page
(3.5 ¢ per word)
e.g. 80K-word novel ~ $2,800
Developmental notes on structure, plot and character arc based on your detailed outline (5,000 words max).
Short Story Package
2 rounds! First a critique to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your story and make suggestions, followed by a detailed line edit to polish the revised draft.
(for short stories up to 5,000 words)
LINE EDITING & COPYEDITING
A detailed edit focused on the sentence level. Includes margin notes to query any potential issues and enhance your unique voice, + tracked changes to suggest repairs for awkward phrasing, inconsistencies, redundancies, and unintended repetitions.
$7.50 per page
(3 ¢ per word)
e.g. 80K-word novel ~ $2,400
Substantive Line Edit
(AKA Content Edit). This is a Line Edit PLUS extra developmental notes focused on scene-level elements such as pacing, transitions, characterization, tension, and atmosphere/mood.
$9 per page
(3.8c per word)
e.g. 80K-word novel ~ $3,040
A near-final editing pass for previously edited manuscripts almost ready for publishing. This light-handed edit focuses on grammar, syntax, consistency of details, spelling, & punctuation rather than story or style.
$6.50 per page
(2.6 ¢ / word)
e.g. 80K-word novel ~ $2,080
All Other Editing & Consultation
Short pieces, trial edits, ongoing consultation,
query letters, articles.
$50 per hour
What's the difference between editing types?
A single-pass developmental edit focused on the big-picture elements such as plot, structure, character arcs, worldbuilding, use of setting, and overall pacing.
You’ll receive your feedback in the form of an editorial letter (also known as a revision letter), usually 10-12 pages for novel-length fiction. This is a great option for early-stage manuscripts when you are preparing to make deep revisions and need a road map to help guide you. More detailed developmental annotations or line editing would not benefit you at this point, as you are still in that stage where you’re making deep revisions and whole scenes may be cut or rewritten.
(Editorial Letter + Margin Notes)
An in-depth Editorial Letter (often 10-20 pages for novel-length fiction) that includes everything described above for the Manuscript Evaluation
🔸PLUS notes on additional developmental elements such as scene-level structure, tension and suspense, characterization, timing of revelations, foreshadowing, narrative techniques, and reader experience.
🔸PLUS detailed annotations (in the form of margin comments) made directly to the manuscript to highlight examples of strengths and weaknesses, suggest revisions, and identify habitual errors or awkwardness in the writing. No changes will be made to the text itself.
This option is best for drafts that are really taking shape and may not undergo massive changes in the next drafts, yet still need scene-level revisions. Your manuscript would not benefit from a line edit (with tracked changes) yet as you are still making deep revisions and rewriting whole paragraphs or even scenes where necessary.
(Tracked Changes + Annotations)
You’ve finished editing your story, and now you’re ready to polish the prose! This is a single-pass, detail-oriented line edit focused on the style, clarity, and consistency of your prose. You’ll receive notes on readability, clarity, consistency, narrative flow, tone, choice of detail, and characterization. I’ll suggest revisions to repair unintended repetitions, redundancies, logical inconsistencies, tired cliches, awkward phrasing, or any other bugs. These suggestions are made both in the form of queries (margin comments) and Microsoft Word’s tracked changes, so you can review every change and accept, reject or modify as suits you.
Line editing is best for manuscripts that have already gone through either developmental editing or multiple rounds of critiques and beta reads, so the story is very solid and now you want to ensure that every line is creating the smoothest and best possible experience for your readers, and delivering what you intended it to say.
SUBSTANTIVE LINE EDITING
(Tracked Changes + Annotations focused on Style, Clarity, and Scene-Level Elements)
The Substantive Line Edit (or Content Edit) includes everything from the Line Edit
🔸PLUS scene-level developmental notes.
E.g. Is the scene setting working the way you intended it to? Can readers follow which characters are present and where they are. Could you use the scene setting to impact the scene better? Does the set-up have a pay-off and/or lead to a new hook? Are the characters behaving in ways that seem believable and interesting? Are there any logical inconsistencies or other glitches that could mean you start to lose readers here? Could you move a paragraph or rearrange some details to create even more dramatic tension or improve the pacing?
The focus here is on honing the story at the scene level, ensuring the writing is immersive and engaging, and doing what you intended, while also polishing the lines for style and clarity. This option is best for manuscripts where the overall story is solid and you are moving into more detailed edits, and yet you get the sense that some things just aren’t working the way you envisioned it, or you want to level up the scenes for impact along the way.
Do I really need a proofreader?
Yes! With an exception mentioned below. The proofread is your last chance to make sure your manuscript is as polished as possible for your readers. After you’ve put in all that work into refining the story and polishing the prose, you want to make sure the newly revised draft is going out with as few errors as possible.
If you are self-publishing, I highly recommend hiring a proofreader who has not worked on prior editing passes or seen the text before. Errors may be missed or even introduced during the editing and revision stages, and these errors can become invisible to anyone familiar with the text, including to your editors! This is because of the way human brains “helpfully” fill in the blanks, supplying what is expected rather than what is there in reality.
Publishing a completely error-free novel would be something of a miracle, even with a publishing house team behind you, but hiring a professional proofreader gives your manuscript its best shot. Make sure to look for someone who is experienced, trained, and familiar with style guides such as the Chicago Manual of Style (the most popular standard for fiction publishing). Proofreading is not about just reading closely or remembering some grammar “rules” from school; it’s a skill that requires a lot of knowledge (including knowledge of why the so-called rules are there and when it’s okay to break them) and a careful, light hand so your prose is not mangled through someone’s eager over-correction.
The exception is if you are submitting or querying for publication. Yes, you want the manuscript as error-free as you can possibly make it, but also your future publisher should supply you with (at minimum) a round of copyediting and proofreading to catch all the more nuanced issues and small inconsistencies, so they will not be expecting a pristine manuscript ready to publish upon submission.
How and when should I schedule my editing?
My editing queue for novel-length fiction can be anywhere from 2 to 6 months long, so reserve your editing time well in advance, before you’ve completed your final revisions on the current draft.
Having said that, sometimes bookings open up as the last minute as creative schedules can change, and I try to be flexible. I keep a waitlist of clients who’d like to be bumped up to an earlier booking if one becomes available, so make sure to ask if you’d like your name on that.
To schedule your editing, use my contact form to send me a description of the manuscript, the editing level you’d like (or any questions you have about that), your editing deadlines (if any), and the approximate total page count of the manuscript.
If we decide to work together, I’ll send you an invoice for a deposit/retainer (25% of the estimated project fee), which reserves your editing time. This amount will be credited off the final invoice for the project total. You’ll also receive a simple editorial agreement outlining the scope of the project and protecting both parties.
Once the deposit is paid and the invoice is signed, consider your editing time booked!
Now you can go ahead and make any last changes to the manuscript before our start date.