Editing and Proofreading
Copy-editing varies from light to heavy editing, depending on the client.
Light to medium copy-editing:
Grammar correction, spelling (more than a spell check as I also look for incorrect word usage which spell checks don’t do), punctuation, capitalisation, syntax/sentence structure
Style changes for consistency and to make your work look professional, depending on the agreed style (which can be your publisher’s house style, or if you don’t have a house style, I use the Oxford guide for the UK and the Chicago Manual of Style for US clients)
Look for inconsistencies, clarity, overuse of passive voice
Identify plot holes, character point of view issues (e.g. head-hopping), basic fact-checking
Other items as requested
Also known as substantive line editing or content editing. This is suitable for less experienced writers (e.g. those who haven’t had time to put in the hours to learn the craft), people who prefer not to do much editing or redrafting, or people who find writing and editing more challenging. This service also includes more technical work, such as academic papers, textbooks, and non-fiction. It includes:
Any of the services offered under light to medium editing (see above)
Plus some or all of these:
Rewording of sentences and correcting syntax for clarity and flow, making sure you convey your message to the reader
Checking for a variety of sentence types g. simple, compound and complex and correct punctuation of these
Correct repetitions, clunky wording, overuse of the passive voice, wordiness where you can be more concise
Rearrangement of structure
Dialogue tags, overuse of filtering, plot inconsistencies
Some rewriting where needed, e.g. to improve English where the author is not fluent
Checking of footnotes, bibliography etc.
This list is not meant to be exhaustive.
It is useful if authors who struggle with certain things are upfront about these, as it helps the editor to work more efficiently.
Fee reductions are available if I feel that the manuscript has not required much change. In the same way, I may occasionally have to ask for a raise in the fee if a work submitted for light editing actually needs more. However, I will always agree this with you first.
I can offer a sample edit of a representative sample of your work, from this I would hope to gauge the amount of editing required. This also allows you to check whether my editing style would work for you.
£8-12 per 1000 words for light to medium editing of fiction (0.008-0.012 pence per word)
£13-15 per 1000 words for heavy editing of fiction (0.013-0.015 pence per word)
£10-20 per 1000 for non-fiction (depending on how technical the job is) (0.010-0.020 pence per word)
Example: A light copy-edit of a 60,000-word novel would be from £480
With the current discount, this would be from £408
N.B. The above prices include 2 passes through your work (a third pass can be added for a modest premium). Minimum price per job: £30
This is sometimes known as structural editing.
This is usually the first stage where an editor is involved with your manuscript. It is about the macro or ‘big picture’ of your novel. Are there plot holes? Do the characters develop? Is there narrative drive, sufficient conflict, does the story work? Are the obligatory scenes there? What about the inciting incident, progressive complications, crisis and climax? Is there a resolution? Are events in the right order? Does the point of view serve the story? If there is a sub-plot, and does it deliver?
Suggestions can be given also on themes and symbolism, showing vs telling, filtering, treatment of dialogue, narrative voice, scene breakdown, how your work fits into a genre, and so on. As this may sound a lot, we can discuss which areas are most relevant to your work.
I use the principles laid down by Robert McKee, Shawn Coyne, and Christopher Vogler amongst others. This edit does not usually include copy-editing, however, that can be added to this, but would be carried out separately. A discount of 10-20% is available to the cost of further edits and proofreading of your novel if I have already worked on it.
As this kind of editing is the most challenging and in-depth, it does carry a higher per-word rating to reflect the time I have to put in. Ideally, you would have edited your novel a few times yourself and ironed out obvious problems as it saves you time and money if the work you send to the editor is something more developed than a raw first draft. Having said this, I can look at a first draft if that is what you prefer.
£9-£15 per 1000 words (0.009-0.015 pence per word)
Example: A developmental edit of a 60,000-word novel would be from £540
With the current discount, this would be from £459
For those who want a more affordable alternative, see manuscript evaluation below.
A lighter and more affordable version of developmental editing is provided through the manuscript evaluation. This involves one pass through your work (instead of the 2-3 passes with structural editing) and provides several pages of A4 summary. For a typical medium-length novel, that might entail anything from 2-5 pages of summary, focusing on areas agreed between the editor and writer. As a general rule, the following could be the focus:
How the plot hangs together, any obvious holes, areas where there’s a loss of narrative drive
Commentary on the beginning hook, middle build, and ending payoff
Comments on important scenes
How the novel is structured
Comments on point of view
Grammar, punctuation, syntax, and spelling issues
The comments can cover any of the areas mentioned in structural editing, depending on what is relevant to the work being examined. However, it will go into less detail, e.g. it would not involve a scene by scene edit, but might comment on certain scenes that work well and scenes that don’t work.
Approx £3-5 per 1000 words
10-15,000 word novella: £50 (current discounted rate: £42.50)
50,000-word novel: £195 (current discounted rate: £165.75)
80,000-word novel: £295 (current discounted rate: 250.75)
100,000-word novel: £350 (current discounted rate: £297.50)
120,000-word novel: £360 (current discounted rate: £306)
N.B. This service is available only for novellas or novels of 10k words or more and does not include editing, but would include comments on what kind of editing is needed.
This service is offered to authors who intend to self-publish, and to publishing houses. Proofreading is the final stage before publication and the manuscript should have been copy-edited previously, otherwise, I will advise that it is copy-edited instead if this has not taken place.
I accept all fiction and poetry. I can also proofread web content, non-fiction and academic papers. More technical and time-consuming work may attract a higher fee.
A discount of 10-20% is available if your work was copy-edited by me, the level of discount will depend on how polished the final version is.
£6-9 per 1000 words (0.006-0.009 pence per word) depending on how technical and polished the work is. Discounts available on work already edited by me.
Example: Proofread of a 60,000-word novel would be from £360
With the current discount, this would be from £306
Please note: I do a plagiarism check when editing and proofreading, and will advise authors if their work is similar to someone else's.
If you want to know more, please get in touch with me through my contact page.