Services & Rates

Sometimes it’s hard to know what type of editing you need. Editors offer a wide range of services—at a wide range of prices—and there are no hard-and-fast definitions. My services and rates are described on this page. If you have any questions, please contact me.

Services

Each project is unique, and yours may not fit neatly into one of my service categories. If you have needs that bridge multiple service offerings, or if you need something that is not covered here, I can tailor my approach for you. Contact me to discuss your project and how I can help you achieve your goals.

Note that all my services except proofreading are limited to nonfiction.

Manuscript Evaluation

I will read your unpublished manuscript and prepare a written report that addresses the following topics:

  • Your specific concerns
  • The general strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript
  • Suggestions for how to improve the writing (tone, grammar, word choice, style, clarity, etc.)
  • Structure and flow of the manuscript (organization of topics, transitions, content, consistency, repetition, etc.)
  • Audience and market analysis
  • Recommended next steps

The final product is a 2- to 10-page written report, depending on the length of the manuscript.

Developmental Editing

If you have an idea for a book, article, or other publication, I can help you organize your thoughts and prepare a manuscript. We will talk about your concept and goals, then I’ll review your notes or draft and make suggestions about the following:

  • Audience analysis
  • Style and tone of the manuscript
  • How to organize the manuscript (sections, chapters, headings, front and back matter, etc.)
  • What content to include (and exclude)
  • Supplementary material to include (figures, tables, appendices, bibliographies, references, etc.)
  • Form and presentation of the final work

I will provide ongoing assessments as you develop the manuscript; or, if you prefer, I can help with writing, revisions, and research.

The final product is a manuscript that is ready for substantive editing or copyediting.

Substantive Editing

Substantive editing is often referred to as line editing, content editing, or structural editing. It includes the following tasks:

  • Identify and solve organizational problems (reorganize topics, paragraphs, and sentences)
  • Add elements to aid organization and comprehension (headings, lists, tables, sidebars, etc.)
  • Establish a consistent tone
  • Improve readability, transitions, and word choice
  • Rewrite segments of text for clarity, consistency, logic, and flow
  • Recommend content additions and deletions
  • Eliminate wordiness, jargon, contradictions, ambiguity, repetition, and passive voice
  • Check facts by using commonly available research materials
  • Query areas of concern

After I complete the first pass through the manuscript, you will review my work, provide input, answer my queries, and return the manuscript to me for a second editorial pass. I will incorporate your answers to my queries and address your input. Substantive editing is generally limited to two passes, but we can negotiate more passes as needed.

The final product is a manuscript that is ready for copyediting.

Copyediting

Copyediting is sometimes called line editing or basic editing. It includes the following general tasks, along with many others depending on the project:

  • Correct grammar, punctuation, spelling, and passive voice
  • Improve word selection, sentence structure, and transitions while maintaining the original meaning
  • Rewrite sentences and short segments for clarity, tone, and flow while preserving the author’s voice
  • Apply a specific style guide (industry style, house style, author preferences)
  • Create a project-specific style sheet
  • Spell out acronyms on first use and ensure consistent usage throughout the manuscript
  • Query problem areas (inconsistencies, ambiguous passages, formatting concerns, logic errors, etc.)
  • Flag permission and copyright issues
  • Cross-check manuscript elements with the text (table of contents, figures and tables, sidebars, references, glossary, etc.)
  • Ensure consistent numbering of elements (chapters, appendices, figures, tables, references, footnotes, endnotes, etc.)
  • Enforce parallel structure in lists
  • Check all website URLs
  • Streamline the text (eliminate repetition, jargon, wordiness, etc.)
  • Minor reorganization of content at the paragraph and sentence levels to improve the overall flow and reading comprehension
  • Check facts by using commonly available research materials
  • Format reference list, bibliography, and citations
  • Typecode the manuscript for layout

My copyediting services are further broken down into three edit levels: light, standard, and heavy copyediting. These edit levels differentiate the number of tasks and the extent of edits I make for any given project. Each edit level takes increasingly more time and effort. If a manuscript needs more work than described for heavy copyediting, I recommend substantive editing.

Light Copyediting

Light copyediting is the most basic edit level. It generally includes the following tasks, which can be customized to meet your needs:

Mechanics:

  • Ensure consistency in spelling, capitalization, punctuation, acronyms, abbreviations, and list formatting
  • Query deviations from the agreed-upon style guide

Usage:

  • Correct errors in grammar, syntax, and word choice, but ignore minor variations that may be subjective
  • Query paragraphs that seem excessively wordy or confusing
  • Ignore minor use of imprecise wording
  • Query terms that are likely to be new to readers

Content:

  • Query statements that may be incorrect
  • Query faulty organization and logic

Cross-references:

  • Check numbering of elements (chapters, appendices, figures, tables, references, footnotes, endnotes, etc.) and query inconsistencies
  • Check alphabetical order (glossary, bibliography, etc.) and query inconsistencies
  • Check table of contents against text and query inconsistencies
  • Check the content of footnotes, endnotes, figures, figure captions, tables, and table titles against text; query inconsistencies

Permissions:

  • Query any content that may require permission to reprint

Standard Copyediting

Standard copyediting is the most common edit level. It builds on light copyediting and generally includes the following tasks, which can be customized to meet your needs:

Mechanics:

  • Ensure consistency in spelling, capitalization, punctuation, acronyms, abbreviations, and list formatting
  • Make changes to the manuscript so it conforms to the agreed-upon style guide

Usage:

  • Correct errors in grammar, syntax, and word choice
  • Rewrite sentences and short passages that seem excessively wordy or confusing, or query
  • Correct imprecise word choice
  • Provide definitions of terms that are likely to be new to readers, or query

Content:

  • Use commonly available research materials to fact check statements that may be incorrect; supply suggested rewrites, or query
  • Reorganize material at the paragraph and sentence levels for clarity and logic, or query

Cross-references:

  • Check and correct numbering of elements (chapters, appendices, figures, tables, references, footnotes, endnotes, etc.)
  • Check and correct alphabetical order (glossary, bibliography, etc.)
  • Check table of contents against text and make needed corrections
  • Check the content of footnotes, endnotes, figures, figure captions, tables, and table titles against text; make needed corrections, or query

Permissions:

  • Query any content that may require permission to reprint

Heavy Copyediting

Heavy copyediting is different than standard copyediting in the number of edits I make to a manuscript. It generally includes the same tasks as standard copyediting, but I make more extensive edits:

Mechanics:

  • Ensure consistency in spelling, capitalization, punctuation, acronyms, abbreviations, and list formatting
  • Make extensive changes to the manuscript so it conforms to the agreed-upon style guide

Usage:

  • Make extensive corrections to grammar, syntax, and word choice
  • Rewrite sentences or paragraphs that seem excessively wordy or confusing, or query
  • Make extensive corrections to word choices
  • Provide definitions of terms that are likely to be new to readers, or query

Content:

  • Do extensive research to fact check statements that may be incorrect; supply suggested rewrites, or query
  • Reorganize material at the section, paragraph, and sentence levels for clarity and logic, or query

Cross-references:

  • Check and make extensive corrections to the numbering of elements (chapters, appendices, figures, tables, references, footnotes, endnotes, etc.)
  • Check and make extensive corrections to alphabetical order (glossary, bibliography, etc.)
  • Check table of contents against text and make needed corrections; or create a table of contents
  • Check the content of footnotes, endnotes, figures, figure captions, tables, and table titles against text; make extensive corrections, or query

Permissions:

  • Query any content that may require permission to reprint

If the author wants to review the first round of copyedits, I recommend the following process, but this approach can be modified to meet your needs: I will do a first pass through the entire manuscript, then I will send the manuscript to the author. After the author reviews my edits, answers my queries, and provides input, I will do the second editorial pass. I will incorporate the answers to the author’s queries and address the author’s input and any other lingering issues. Copyediting is generally limited to two editorial passes, but we can negotiate more passes as needed.

The final product is a manuscript that is ready for layout or e-book formatting.

Proofreading

Proofreading differs from editing in that it’s performed after a manuscript or other text has been laid out in its final format. Generally speaking, the goal of editing is to correct grammar, address content problems, adhere to a specific style, and make other more extensive changes. The goal of proofreading is to flag layout problems and catch any typographical mistakes or other egregious errors. The tasks included in proofreading are generally as follows:

  • Check the laid-out manuscript against design specifications (running headers and footers, heading levels, page numbers, word breaks, page breaks, art placement, fonts, paragraph and line spacing, etc.)
  • Flag typographical errors
  • Flag obvious errors that may have been missed during editing (spelling, punctuation, grammar, word usage, etc.)
  • Confirm all website URLs

I typically do not proofread a manuscript unless it has been edited, but I make exceptions for small projects. Normally I proofread electronically in Acrobat or Word, but sometimes I proofread on hard copy.

The final product is marked-up copy that is ready for corrections to be keyed.

Self-Publishing

Books are the new business cards. Market research shows that being a published author can increase your credibility by 300 percent. My self-publishing services include the range of editorial services listed above in addition to consulting about the publishing industry and how to publish your work. This service takes your manuscript beyond the editorial stage and results in a finished product. The tasks are many and varied; they may include the following, which is not a comprehensive list:

  • Manuscript review
  • Editorial services
  • ISBNs and bar codes
  • Advice about copyright, permissions, and fair use
  • Interior design and layout
  • Cover design and layout
  • Selection of a printer
  • Guidance in choosing a distributor for your book or e-book
  • Preparation of e-book files
  • Copyright registration
  • Referrals to other publishing professionals

Whatever your passion, I can guide you through the complex maze of this new frontier in publishing.

The final product is printed books or e-book files.

Rates

My hourly, page, or project rate is negotiable depending on the complexity of the project and the required turnaround time. I can provide a quote for your project based on a representative sample of the material to be edited. In keeping with industry standard, I define one page as 250 words.

Note that I do not compete based solely on price. I provide high-quality services to people who value high-quality work.

Ready to get started? Contact me and let’s talk.