Editing Services for Indie Authors

What Exactly Does an Editor Do?

If you’ve never worked with a professional editor before, the process can seem about as clear as mud. It doesn’t help that a bunch of editing terms are thrown around willy-nilly in writing circles and everyone seems to have a slightly different understanding of what they mean. If you’re wondering what distinguishes the different types of editing, here’s the basic rundown:

Developmental editing (sometimes called substantive editing or structural editing) focuses on the content of the story. You can work with a developmental editor at any point during the initial story creation process, or have them evaluate a preliminary draft to determine what further development is necessary to complete your story. A developmental editor will provide you with line-by-line comments and suggestions to ensure that your manuscript:

  • Makes effective use of story structure and consistent POV
  • Features dimensional characters with distinct voices and satisfying arcs
  • Offers a fully-resolved primary plot and sub-plots free of holes and inconsistencies
  • Demonstrates a clear and meaningful theme
  • Presents an immersive world with consistent rules
  • Emotionally resonates with the reader and meets genre expectations
  • For non-fiction, accurately covers the topic with appropriate depth

Line editing focuses on the presentation of the story and seeks to enhance writing style while preserving the author’s unique voice. This type of editing is done after the story is finalized and the draft is ready to move into final edits. Line editing is a cosmetic polish that is intended to prepare the draft for publishing by:

  • Enhancing narrative voice and tightening dialogue
  • Improving pacing and flow
  • Eliminating overused syntactic constructions or crutch words
  • Clarifying confusing or ambiguous passages

Copyediting is a less intensive form of editing that focuses primarily on catching errors and style inconsistencies. A copyeditor performs a quality check on the manuscript with the goal of ensuring:

  • Basic readability and flow
  • Correct spelling, punctuation, and grammar
  • Consistency in style elements, such as section headings, fonts, capitalization, hyphenation, and numbers
  • For non-fiction, logical structure and content for the topic, and a consistent citation style

Proofreading is a final pass of the edited manuscript that is intended to catch any remaining typos. This is typically done by someone with fresh eyes who was not involved in the primary editing process.

So, What Type of Editing Do You Need?

Don’t worry, I don’t expect you to know the right answer. In fact, it’s kind of a trick question. The reason we need editors is because it’s nearly impossible to accurately evaluate our own work (and yes, even editors need editors when they take a turn at the writing desk). Nearly every manuscript I’ve read has needed some combination of the different classes of editing, and, to be honest, I find it difficult to limit or compartmentalize my feedback anyway. My editing process covers all of the above as part of the complete edit. If I see something, I’m going to say something.

If you’re new to publishing, I strongly suggest starting with a NOVEL CRITIQUE. This evaluation will allow us to determine how much rewriting and development is needed before the story is ready for the finer (and more time-intensive) editing passes. Starting with the big picture keeps your cost down by preventing wasted work—there’s no point in having me do a line-level edit on content that’s going to end up altered or removed altogether due to necessary structural changes. And don’t worry, if it turns out your manuscript is in great shape story-wise and doesn’t need significant development, the cost of the coverage can be applied against the price of a full edit.  You won’t be paying for an extra pass.

Process, Pricing, & Delivery

Every project is unique and quotes are based on the estimated work hours it will take to get your draft ready to launch. To ensure an accurate quote, please make sure to include genre, word count, any special considerations or requests, and a representative sample of your work—the full manuscript is ideal, but at the very least include the first chapter plus a 2000 word sample from the middle of the manuscript. Making sure we are a good fit for each other is crucial to a pleasant and effective editing process, so I will include a FREE sample edit of your first chapter (up to 500 words) with your quote to give you an idea of my style.

I typically do two passes for a complete edit. After I do the first pass (the main edit), you’ll have a chance to review the tracked changes and address any comments on the marked manuscript. Once you’ve returned the manuscript to me, I’ll do a final proofing pass to ensure the draft is clear of all editing marks and ready for formatting. If your manuscript is already in great shape when it gets to me, you may only need a single copyediting pass and pricing will reflect that.

I will consider content from all genres, including LGBT and erotica. Sci-fi, fantasy, paranormal, YA, and non-fiction are my favorites, and I particularly love character- and relationship-driven stories, regardless of genre or pairing type!

Ready to take your work to the next level?

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Bonus Offer: Like I said, even editors can be blind to their own errors. Report a typo on my site and I’ll give you $15 off your first service!