The most basic level of service, the Evaluation includes a full read of your manuscript and a 7-10 page Evaluation Report breaking down the most notable aspects of your project. This read through is very similar to the coverage provided by first readers for agents and publishers and will help you quickly assess your book’s viability and identify your strengths as well as those areas ripest for improvement.
This type of edit looks at the core substance of your book. It is a comprehensive edit that includes several passes focused on strengthening pivotal areas such as:
- Concept & Development
- Plot & Structure
- Character Development & Arcs
- Conflict & Tension
- Chapter & Scene Breaks
- Clarity & Consistency
- Showing vs Telling
- Genre & Age Appropriateness
- Marketability & Comps
In addition to your marked manuscript you will receive an Extensive Editorial Report which highlights your strengths and weaknesses in the above categories (along with any others that I may find are particularly relevant to your writing) and offers examples and suggestions for improvement at specific places in the manuscript along with instruction on why what you are doing is or isn’t working.
My Extensive Editorial Reports are comprehensive and can run between 10-30 pages. Although it is NOT a comprehensive Line or Copy Edit, I do generally catch and mark glaring spelling & grammar mistakes that would bring down the quality of a manuscript significantly and include some examples of instructional Line Edits in areas that could use particular improvement or where I see repetitive mistakes. However, because of the nature of a developmental edit, and sometimes extensive re-writing that may occur by the author afterwards, I don’t find it helpful to do a comprehensive edit in these areas at this stage.
All Developmental Edits include a free 90-minute Brainstorming Session with me via Skype after you have had a chance to read and absorb your report and edits. Additional Brainstorming Sessions may be purchased in 30-120 minute intervals if desired.
Pricing: $.03 per manuscript word
*This is the type of editing most often recommended to my clients, as well as the type of editing I consider my specialty.
A Line Edit looks at the language of your book. It is focused on strengthening your word choice, sentence structure, voice and style, literally line by line. This will address deeper issues of conciseness, active vs passive voice, flowery prose, segment fragments, cliché’s, overused words, adverb (or adjective) abuse, awkward description or anything else that is holding back your voice.
For this type of edit, I use track changes in Microsoft Word and include extensive margin notes teaching and explaining why I am making the changes that I am suggesting. I believe in empowering my clients to be better writers. For that reason, I recommend this type of line edit if you prefer to keep your voice strong by making suggested and implied changes yourself. If you simply want to have someone make all the changes, re-writing as they go, and be done with it, we recommend Book Doctoring services. Although editing can be termed a subjective art, I’m always glad to walk you through my thought process on any suggested changes.
A Line Edit does not focus comprehensively on grammar, punctuation, spelling, etc., as a full Copy Edit does, but I do often catch and correct most glaring mechanical mistakes that would seriously hinder a manuscript from acceptance by an agent, or publisher, for instance at this stage. It is also NOT a Developmental Edit. Although I may point out small inconsistencies or plot holes as I notice them, while reading at this micro level, I am focused much more on the language flow and the relationships of sentences and paragraphs than larger components. If I feel there are major issues in this area, and the book is in need of a Developmental Edit, I will stop and contact you to see how you would like to proceed, as it is always preferable to do a Developmental Edit before Line Edits.
Pricing: $.04 per manuscript word
The Copy Edit focuses on the mechanics or rules of writing. This is the edit that focuses exclusively on Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling, etc. This can also include fact checking things such as historical names and dates, and checking internal consistency; i.e. your protagonist has brown eyes on page three and blue eyes on page ninety-three. Manuscripts (US) should conform to the Chicago Manual of Style.
At this level of editing, the book should be in its final form, and we are not focused on making any changes to the content of the text. This edit is about polishing and correcting errors and no longer about strengthening the story or the prose. For this reason, I highly suggest a Manuscript Evaluation or Developmental Edit and/or Line Edit BEFORE a Copy Edit.
The Copy Edit is done using track changes in Microsoft Word, with some notations in the margins explaining the changes on lesser known rules or repeat offense errors.
Copy Editing is not always a completely separate skill from Line Editing. The level of Copy Edit I offer is Light to Medium. This is more than sufficient to produce a clean copy for self-publishing or submission to agents or publishers, provided your prose is sound. If you are seeking a particularly Heavy Copy Edit (meaning you are looking for more help with your language and rewrites to improve readability, eliminating wordiness, and improve style and clarity) this would be considered a Line Edit.
Pricing: $.02 per manuscript word
The Proofread is the final stage of editing and should ideally take place when your book has been laid out in its final form. This is edit will catch errors introduced during the layout process and anything that may have been missed by your Copy Editor (because no matter how good they are, all Copy Editors, myself included, WILL miss things). It is best performed in a minimum of two passes, one digital and one hard-copy and compared to the style-sheet provided by the Copy Editor when available.
At this level of editing, the book should be in its final form, and we are not focused on making any changes to the content of the text. This edit is about polishing and correcting errors and no longer about strengthening the story or the prose, or about deep correction of grammar and conformation of style. For assistance in those areas, you will want to consider a Developmental Edit, Line Edit and/or Copy Edit BEFORE a Proofread.
The Proofread can be done using Microsoft Word or InDesign.
If, in the course of a Proofread, I feel that your manuscript is actually in need of a full Copy Edit, I will stop and let you know, so that you may make an informed choice as to how you would wish to proceed at that point.
Pricing: $.02 per manuscript word
The Brainstorming Session is a chance for us to chat and discuss your project. You can pick my brain and ask me questions about your concept, plot, characters, setting, structure, or any aspect of your book that you are looking for help with and we can work through a solution together.
My clients find Brainstorming Sessions are particularly helpful in these scenarios:
- They have received their edits and reports and had a chance to digest them and would like some clarifications or my advice on ideas for changes they are considering implementing. NOTE: All Developmental Edits include a FREE 90-minute Brainstorming Session.
- They are at earlier stages of working through their novel; plotting, outlining, writing an early draft, etc. and are looking for someone to help with ideas or work through problems they can’t see clearly around.
- They are conceptualizing a non-fiction project, and are looking to generate ideas and save on work in the end by starting out with a marketable concept, clear focus and structure. Brainstorming Sessions take place via Skype (or other agreed upon method).
30-minutes = $30
60-minutes = $50
90-minutes = $75
120-minutes = $100
Rebekah’s insight was unique and I walked away feeling much more confident, loving my book and characters even more than I did before.
— Mercury A.