Frequently Unasked Questions
Why do I need an editor?
Errors undermine your authority as a writer, and even the best authors get too involved with their work to spot all mistakes. While editors do pay attention to errors in spelling and grammar, they also look for consistent style, clarity, and content. We locate concepts or ideas that may seem unfamiliar to the reader and offer suggestions for improving and structuring manuscripts. Editors also know how to put manuscripts into the standard book format required by many publishers. In many ways, we serve as the quality control experts of the writing and publishing industry.
How do developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading services differ?
Generally, developmental editing and copyediting involves working with manuscript drafts (copy), while proofreaders work on typeset manuscripts (proofs) before they get sent to the printer. Copyeditors work on final drafts; developmental editors usually get involved earlier in the writing process, helping authors develop their ideas and structure their writing.
Do you offer proofreading services?
Yes, I do accept proofreading work, but I don’t consider myself a professional proofreader. I prefer the more substantial editing that goes into preparing manuscripts for submission or publication.
What do you charge for your services?
Rates vary according to the size and difficulty of the project. My hourly rates range from $30 for copyediting work to $50 for developmental editing, though I generally prefer to work on a pay-by-the-project basis. A general evaluation and analysis of a 250 page manuscript might run only a few hundred dollars, while a more difficult project like editing a doctoral dissertation into a book format often starts around $1500 and goes up from there. If you have any questions about rates or would like an estimate on a project, please feel free to contact me.
I self-publish—I can’t afford an editor!
If you have already invested serious time and effort into writing a book-length manuscript, I would argue that you can afford an editor. Hiring an editor to evaluate your manuscript doesn’t cost as much as you might think, and you get valuable feedback and suggestions in return. If you want more help with your manuscript, I can give you a range of options and estimates to choose from. I’d really like to see self-published books and e-books improve in quality, so I offer flexible payment plans for those who qualify. Inquire within!
How can you edit a manuscript when you have little knowledge of the subject matter?
If you write for a specialized audience like an academic journal, you will probably want to find an editor with background in your subject. However, most publishers and authors seek to appeal to a larger, more general audience. An editor unfamiliar with the author’s area of knowledge usually has more success identifying problems with clarity or consistency, such as finding terms or concepts in the text that require more definition and development. Editors strive to make your writing easy to read and understand, increasing your readership and bringing your ideas, opinions, and conclusions to more people. Personally, I consider the opportunity to learn something new from each author one of the best perks of editing work.
How do you feel about the Oxford comma?
We have a good relationship, but we’ll never get married.
Why don’t you edit fiction?
Fiction requires a different set of editing skills, focusing on elements such as plot, dialogue, and character development. Honestly, I don’t write very good fiction, and I don’t read much fiction either, so editing fiction does not appeal to me.