At this stage, your manuscript is complete, but something isn’t feeling right about the characters, plot, setting, or structure. You can’t pin down the antagonist’s motivation, the city’s culture, the story’s climax, or maybe there’s a vague malaise resting over the middle of the book.
This is where developmental editing comes in.
My process is to, first, read the existing manuscript so I can provide notes on a variety of topics specific to your wants and needs. I then create a Developmental Document, a sort of guide to your manuscript to point out places of trouble and strategies on how to fix them. This is a fairly intimate process involving examination of themes and ideas—a place where content is held above all else.
$65/hr, approx $.0125/word
After the dust of revision settles, someone needs to do a bit of sweeping. Line editing is the process of cleaning up a manuscript, not searching for typos and punctuation errors (though that does happen)—it’s a detailed look at syntax and conveyance at the sentence level. Here, darlings are killed, clichés banished, and swaths of exposition cut; here is where I can help your prose come alive with veracity of intent.
Line editing is a time-consuming process and requires more attention than any other service I offer. For this reason, it’s the most expensive, but it’s where you’re going to get the most out of an editor. Though my prices and negotiations are generally for a single round of line editing, I highly suggest two rounds, one before and after an authorial revision.
$65.00/hr, approx $.015/word
You’ve built an engaging story, identifiable characters, and a world that sucks the reader in so they can’t tell where their lives begin and the story ends. And then you have a typo that destroys it all. There are few things that can derail a story already well on its way to the station of publication or readability than a typo, and it’s a shame when such things happen. But they do. Professionally edited and amateur prose alike are strewn with misspellings, incorrect dialog tags, and dubious details in need of a fact check. Let me lend you my editorial eyes and keep those typos to the drafts.
$45.00/hr, approx $.01/word
Sometimes an author gets stuck with a project and doesn’t know where to go with it next. Maybe the manuscript is done, but you don’t know where to send it. Perhaps you’ve only got fifty pages and you’ve hit a wall. Whatever the problem is, whatever the confusion, there’s a good chance I can help you find where you need to go, what you need to do, or who you need to talk to.
I’ve started offering this service out of a demand for it. In the midst of a self-publishing zeitgeist, authors are confused as to which steps they need to take to get their manuscript in working order, which processes traditionally handled by a publisher are they responsible for, or what the pros might do.
This is a casual process more suited for those wanting to know more than those already steeped in publishing and writing experience. It never hurts to get an editor’s opinion on a piece before sending it out!
Synopses & Queries
While I acquired manuscripts for a publisher, I noticed a pattern in the queries I received: they were terrible. The first step after finishing your book—and I mean really finishing it, revisions and all—is to start selling it to agents, publishers, or directly to your readers. And while you might have a polished manuscript with fantastic prose, you still have to put in equal effort to the words surrounding the manuscript.
Whether it’s a full synopsis, a blurb on the back of the hardcover, or a query letter to an agent, you want to present yourself and your work in a way that grabs attention and doesn’t distract from the brilliant art you’ve already produced.
The Art of Selling Your Art: this service is for those with complete manuscripts looking to start the next step in the process and need their copy edited or crafted with care and charm capable of hooking and reeling in even the staunchest of potential buyers.
While much more a writing service than an editing service, I’ve decided to list it here because it’s behind-the-scenes work. Whether you want your ideas penned from scratch or taken from half-finished to publishable, I can be of assistance. Sometimes an author just isn’t interested in working on a manuscript after the first draft or would rather spend time on a new project than write the fifth book in that stale series everyone is still clamoring for.
This process is not for the faint of wallet, but if you’re up for the financial and emotional challenges of handing your work over to another person, the experience can be liberating and fulfilling in its own right.
Varies by project