& Content Editing
story, plot, character, & structure
$7 / page
$4 / page
pacing, & prose
$6 – $7 / page
spelling & consistency
$5 / page
PLUS Line Edit
$11 / page
$10 / page
Content or Heavy Line Edit
PLUS fresh Line Edit
$13-$14 / page
$12 / page
PLUS Comprehensive Edit
$17-$18 / page
$15 / page
Light Line Edit
$11 / page
$10 / page
What is a Developmental Edit?
An in-depth report (usually 20+ pages for a novel) outlining the strengths and weakness of the entire story. This includes a scene map (a bird’s eye view outline of your whole story) plus detailed notes on structure, plot, character arcs & characterization.
The goal of this editing round is help you tighten the overall plot, deepen characterization and create a more satisfying and engaging story for your readers. Recommended for authors who are prepared to roll their sleeves up and do major rewrites (if the story needs it) and who want to work hard to create the best story possible.
What you get:
- Critique and revision guide for your current draft (usually 20+ pages).
- A personalized scene outline to give you a birds’ eye view of your novel (awesome for seeing which areas aren’t yet working and for tracking your ongoing revisions).
- Post-editing consultation via email (up to 2 hours).
What is not included:
- Line editing: Your story or non-fiction book is still under construction and you might make major changes, so it’s not ready for line editing yet.
- Ghost writing: I don’t write or rewrite any parts of your manuscript. This editorial service is about giving you perspective and inspiration for improving the story, but it remains fully your story and all decisions and rewrites are fully under your control.
- Further rounds of developmental editing: Once you start making changes to the manuscript, it’s a brand new draft and any new editorial passes will need to be scheduled as a new projects, or you can book a consultation at $45 per hour.
What is a Manuscript Evaluation?
A lighter developmental edit to look for any weaknesses in structure (choice of scenes and order of events), plot, character, and global problems such as weak dialogue, vague description, dull or redundant scenes, or another recurring issues. Identifying these problems early gives you a chance to make any major cuts or changes before investing in detailed content editing and line polishing.
What you get:
- A detailed critique of approximately 12 pages designed to illuminate macro-level problems (with page-number examples) and provide a map for revisions, with suggestions where possible.
- Post-editing consultation via email (up to 2 hours ).
What is a Content Edit?
Also known as ‘substantive editing.” These are detailed notes focused on developing your scene-level elements such as setting, pacing, timing, character conflicts, logical sequences of events, foreshadowing, atmosphere, and tension.
Second or third drafts that already have a sound structure (overall plot and character arcs) but aren’t ready for subtle fine-tuning yet. This edit is all about honing your story and engaging the audience scene by scene.
What you get
- Detailed notes in the margins dealing with story-based issues (pacing, tension, characterization, description, atmosphere, dialogue).
- Highlighted text to flag habitual problems.
- Minimal tracked changes to suggest ways to increase impact, tension, strengthen voice and style.
- Post-editing email consultation (up to 2 hours).
Approx 3-6 weeks
What is a Line Edit?
A detailed edit that focuses on voice, style, readability, and clarity at the sentence level.
This careful read-through looks for story inconsistencies, awkward phrasing, unclear descriptions, confusing transitions, repetitions and redundancies, info dumps, on-the-nose dialogue, jarring shifts in tone or perspective, logical flow of ideas, and any other bugs or glitches that could show the author’s hand or send readers stumbling out of their reading experience.
What you get
- Sentence-level repairs marked with tracked changes for your review and final decision.
- Queries and suggestions (in comments attached to the margins) to guide you in revisions.
- Detailed notes to help you hone your writing voice.
- Some light copyediting to make technical repairs to grammar and spelling (though this is not yet the main focus).
This edit does not include
- Proofreading: You’re still making changes to the text, which could create new errors. The manuscript should not be proofread until you’ve finished all your style and content revisions.
- Developmental notes: Although I will make suggestions for improving the story at the scene and paragraph level, e.g. pacing, dialogue, minor content changes, a line edit is for manuscripts that are already structurally sound, and it will be assumed the plot, character arcs and scene order (or chapter structure if nonfiction) are all exactly as you want them.
What is a Copy Edit?
A copyedit is one of the last stages in your editing process. Now that you’ve honed your story to its best possible version and polished the prose for style, flow and clarity, it’s time to zoom in and repair the sentences at a more technical level. In this editing pass, we look for any inconsistencies in detail.
- checking for content inconsistencies (such as unintended changes to names, colors, years, or facts);
- continuity errors (timeline impossibilities, movement of objects, inexplicable shifts in character’s knowledge);
- technical repairs to grammar, spelling, punctuation, and style (capitalization, hyphenation and UK/US spelling etc.);
- checking and styling of notes, references and bibliography if non-fiction/academic.
I’m proficient editing to Chicago Manual of Style (17th), APA, MLA, and house style.
What you get
- Technical repairs at the sentence level, marked with tracked changes for your review and final decision.
- Queries and suggestions (in comments attached to the margins) to guide you in revisions and highlight possible inconsistencies.
- A manuscript copyedited to the professional standards of your preferred style manual.
What is not included
- This editing pass does not deal with more subjective matters like whether the story is being told in the best way possible via pacing, dialogue, description, etc. At this later stage, we’re now tidying up all the artifacts of that creative process.
- Fact-checking: The manuscript is checked for internal consistency and if non-fiction this often includes an online search to help make a decision, but this service does not include research or fact-checking. These are your responsibility as the author.
- Proofreading: This is a very careful copyedit that will bring your manuscript to a professional standard, but it is always recommended that you hire one or three proofreaders to check for stray typos before publishing. Any time you make changes, errors can be introduced, so this should not be considered a final pass.
Do I need proofreading?
Yes! Your 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 writing, editing, and revising, it’s definitely worth giving the final draft a last polishing pass (or two) to get it as close to perfect as possible.
I highly recommended having your manuscript checked by fresh proofreaders who haven’t seen the text before. Errors may be missed or even introduced during the intensive editing and revision stages, and these errors can become invisible to anyone familiar with the text (because of the way our brains “helpfully” fill in the blanks).
Publishing a completely error-free novel would be something of a miracle even with a publishing house team behind you, but roping in one or more fresh proofreaders gives your manuscript its best shot.
I do offer proofreading on a case-by-case basis, for both fiction and academic works. Please contact me to check availability.
Rates range between $4 (for manuscripts that are have already been professionally edited) up to $7 per page (for technical or academic works with footnotes, bibliographies and references).
How long is your waitlist and when should I book my editing?
My editing queue is usually 3-5 months long (see calendar below), so please get in touch early to reserve editing time. You can also ask to go on my waitlist in case something opens up at the last minute. This happens often as authors can easily find they need more time than expected to work on their draft.
To book your editing, let me know your preferred dates and the approximate page count of your project. Your deposit/retainer to reserve the editing time is 25% of the estimated project fee, which will be taken off the final invoice when your edits are delivered.
You’ll also receive a simple editorial agreement outlining the scope of the project and protecting both parties. Once that’s signed, your editing is booked! Now you can go ahead and make any last changes to the manuscript before our start date.
Editing Slots Available
Jan: fully booked.
Feb: fully booked.
Mar: fully booked.
Apr: fully booked.
May: fully booked.
June: fully booked
Sept: bookings available
Oct: bookings available
Nov: booking available
Dec: bookings available
Jan: bookings available
Feb: bookings available
Mar: bookings available
What will my whole editing project cost?
Your project fee depends on what editing service or package you choose, and your estimated page count. To work out your page count accurately, just divide your total wordcount by 250.
For example, an average size novel of 80,000 words would be 320 pages (80,000 / 250 = 320). That means a manuscript evaluation (at $4 per page) would cost about $1280, while an in-depth line edit or developmental edit (at $7 per page) would be about $2240.
If you’re not sure which service you need, no problem. Just use the contact form to send me a sample of the writing (the first chapter or pages), plus any relevant info (like whether the manuscript has been professionally edited for structure and plot already),and any specific concerns with the writing or budget limitations.
I’ll get back to you within three working days to chat about the best editing plan options for you.
Can I use a small font / wide margins to get more edited for less (mwa ha ha)?
No, you villain! Although I do admire your craftiness.
Sadly, your cunning plan will not work on me (or on other editors) because in the publishing industry one page is 250 words. This should roughly match your MS Word doc page count if you’re using a traditional font style and standard margins.
So feel free to swish your cape and squish your beautiful manuscript into a microscopic font if you really want to, but the pages will still be counted per 250 words.
What's your hourly rate?
For any small projects or large projects that don’t fit into my standard pricing structure, my rate is US$50 per hour. Please contact me for an estimate on your whole project, and be sure to book a few months ahead for novel-length works.
You can check my current queue in the FAQS (“How long is your waitlist?”).