Editing Services

/Editing Services
Editing Services2018-10-01T10:51:27+00:00

Editing Services

I’ve been a professional editor for a number of years and am now opening my services to the wider author community. I edit both fiction and non-fiction and will consider all genres.

As your editor, I have only one aim—to help you write the best darned book possible, and to that end, I’m ruthless. If you’re looking for undue praise and platitudes, you won’t find it here. If, however, you’re looking for genuine help from an experienced editor (who also happens to be a bestselling author), read on.

Initially, I can provide a fixed-price Outline Critique, to make sure you’re on the right track before you even start writing your novel. Once your novel is complete, I offer three editing packages: development, line, and copy edits. Finally, I can provide a proofreading service to check for those last pesky typos before you hit the ‘publish’ button.


If you have written a detailed, chapter-by-chapter outline for your proposed book, I can provide a fixed price Outline Critique. This will include an in-depth review and will provide advice on structure, story arc, character development, dialogue, action scenes, etc. In fact, you can consider the Outline Critique a pocket Development Edit, which will help you avoid the challenges and pitfalls that might arise during the first draft.

Development editing (also known a ‘structural’ or ‘substantive’ editing) is the most complex and detailed stage of the editorial process.

In a Development Edit, I take in the ‘big picture’ and evaluate your manuscript as a whole. I analyse the story arc and discuss how well its constituent parts contribute to the entire narrative. During a Development Edit, I ask the fundamental question, “Does this manuscript work well as a book, and if not, why not?” As I read, I’ll add comments, questions, and suggestions to improve any component I consider needs work.

In a Development Edit, I address the following aspects of the manuscript:

  • Plot—does the story arc hold together throughout? Are there any obvious gaps or holes?
    Themes—are they all relevant to the story?
  • Characterisation—are your characters consistent throughout?
  • Consistency—do your characters react in a way the reader might expect, given the way you’ve introduced and developed them?
  • Point of view (POV)—would your narration be better written in first or third person? Is the POV consistent throughout?
  • Tense – should your book be written in past or present tense? Is the tense consistent throughout the manuscript?
  • Dialogue—is it natural? Would real people speak the same way?
  • Pace and flow—does your story drag in places? Can you increase the pace in an action scene, or does it move so fast the reader can’t understand what’s happening?

Although I carry out low level editing for grammar, punctuation, and spelling as I work through a manuscript, this is not the primary objective of a Development Edit. For example, if you overuse a particular sentence structure, or make obvious grammatical errors, I’ll note them and may even suggest changes, but my focus is much broader.

My Development Edit package includes:

a) The initial Development Edit—usually completed within three weeks of receipt of the deposit and the manuscript (depending on my schedule).
b) The optional Follow-up Line Edit, completed after you have made the necessary modifications—usually completed within three weeks of receipt of the revised manuscript (depending on my schedule).
c) If more than one service is booked at the same time, I will provide it at a discounted rate. IE: development edit plus proofread = 15% discount.
d) I will make myself available to answer any questions you have during the project (via email, Facebook messenger, and, as a special value-add service, via FaceTime or Skype).


A Line Edit is a slightly less intensive Development Edit, which addresses the creative content, writing style, and language. During a Line Edit, I ask the following questions:

  • Is the writing clear, fluid, and enjoyable to read?
  • Does the writing convey a strong sense of atmosphere, emotion, and tone?
  • Have you chosen the correct the words to convey a precise meaning, or are you using broad generalisations and clichés?

During the Line Edit, I will draw your attention to issues such as:

  • Extraneous or overused words, phrases, and sentences,
  • Redundancies and over-simplification,
  • Loose dialogue or scenes in need of tightening,
  • Scenes where the action is confusing, or the meaning is unclear, and
  • Confusing narrative.

My Line Edit package includes:

a) The Line Edit—usually completed within three weeks of receipt of the deposit and the manuscript (depending on my schedule).
b) A second pass at any stage after you have made the necessary modifications on the same manuscript can be provided at a discounted rate.
c) If more than one service is booked at the same time, I will provide it at a discounted rate. IE: line edit plus proofread = 15% discount.
d) I will make myself available to answer any questions you have during the project (via email, Facebook messenger, and, as a special value-add service, via FaceTime or Skype).


A Copy Edit is a much more detailed edit, addressing the technical aspect of the writing process. Its aim is to remove typos, spelling, punctuation, and other grammatical errors. Consider a Copy Edit as a deep proofread which:

  • Corrects spelling, grammar, punctuation, and syntax,
  • Ensures consistency in spelling, hyphenation, numerals, fonts, and capitalisation,
  • Highlights ambiguous or factually incorrect statements, and
  • Monitors larger concerns like internal consistency (e.g. your characters’ eye colour and haircut, and whether they are left- or right-handed).

Copy editing comes after Development and Line Edits and is the final step before the Proofread.

My Copy Edit package includes:

a) The Copy Edit—usually completed within three weeks of receipt of the deposit and the manuscript (depending on my schedule).
b) A second pass at any stage after you have made the necessary modifications on the same manuscript can be provided at a discounted rate.
c) If more than one service is booked at the same time, I will provide it at a discounted rate. IE: copy edit plus proofread = 15% discount.
d) I will make myself available to answer any questions you have during the project (via email, Facebook messenger, and, as a special value-add service, via FaceTime or Skype).


This is the final editing process before hitting the ‘publish’ button. A proofreader looks for missing words, typos, punctuation, and formatting issues. The Proofread is a sort of backstop, the final gatekeeper.

To achieve the best results, I prefer not to proofread a manuscript if I’ve been involved in the editing process. In my opinion, a proofer needs to view the manuscript with a fresh pair of eyes. I can recommend a number of proofers that I have personally used. All are detail-oriented, very thorough, and offer excellent value for money.

 

Interested? What next?

Send me the first 1,000 words of your manuscript using the form below and I’ll provide a free sample Line Edit and return it to you as quickly as my schedule permits. The sample edit will:

a) Give you an idea of what to expect from me as your editor,
b) Show me where you are in your authorial journey,
c) Enable me to recommend the most suitable editorial package for you, and
d) Indicate whether we are a good ‘fit’ as an author/editor team.

At this stage, I have to say the editor/author relationship is hugely important to the overall success of a book and my aim is to develop a long-term partnership with all my clients.

 

Schedule of Fees *

Here is my general pricing structure:

  • Outline Critique – fixed fee of $250
  • Development Edit package – $0.02 per word
  • Line Edit package – $0.0175 per word
  • Copy Edit package – $0.015 per word
  • Proofreading – from $0.005 per word

*All currency in USD. Quotes in other currencies available on request. Prices subject to negotiation.
A 10% discount applies for manuscripts of more than 80,000 words.

 

Editing Enquiry

Reader Reviews

  • I loved it! It was gripping from the very first page and didn’t disappoint. The characters were believable and intriguing. I can’t wait for the next in the series. Smitty (Amazon)
  • On the Rocks is another Donovan winner. Plenty of action, adventure, characters you care about and ones you REALLY love to hate. This book is like every other Donovan novel I have read in that it is well-written, never gets dull or boring, the story smoothly flows from beginning to a terrific ending and leaves you anticipating the next one. Teresa Collins

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