Welcome to Brier Road Editing. I offer proofreading, line edits, and back cover copy writing for clean fiction and non-fiction. My experience and interests lean toward young adult and adult fantasy, historical fiction, and non-fiction (especially science or history). After several years of studying writing and grammar and participating in online writing critique groups, I realized I enjoyed editing as much as, if not more than, getting words on paper. Fixing grammatical errors, finding that perfect word, making that mediocre sentence a great one, and helping others develop a writing voice is really a lot of fun. And having been on the receiving end of such work as a writer, I know how helpful it can be (especially after getting over the unpleasant shock of discovering that my literary baby has flaws!). I’d love to help you polish up your manuscript.
After discovering my love for editing, I earned a copyediting certificate from the University of California San Diego Extension (2017). In addition, I have participated in writing critique groups and have had professional edits done on my own writing and have studied those edits. I have aided my critique partners in writing blurbs and have formatted my own stories for print and eBook. I have written children’s science articles for Odyssey and Muse and have other fiction and non-fiction publishing credits you can check out here. I am a member of The Christian PEN: Proofreaders and Editors Network.
While most of my writing and critiquing experience (and reading) is in Christian or clean fantasy, historical fiction, and classics (like Jane Austen and C.S. Lewis), I have a Master of Science in Biology and am familiar with Robert Day and Barbara Gastel’s How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper.
I edit both fiction and non-fiction (except for articles that follow AP style guidelines) according to The Chicago Manual of Style, and for Christian manuscripts, The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style. I also refer to Kathy Ide’s Proofreading Secrets of Best-Selling Authors and Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th edition.
What I Edit
My preference is for clean fantasy and historical fiction or Christian manuscripts in those genres. I also edit non-fiction of an informative nature (because I enjoy learning!).
I do a free five-page sample edit so we can see if we are a good match. After that, I can give you a cost estimate and an estimated date that I could start and complete the project.
NOTE: I do not edit manuscripts with offensive language, sex scenes, general crudeness, or excessive violence (R-rated for violence). Also, I do not, at this time, edit articles that follow AP style guidelines, as I am more familiar with book publishing and The Chicago Manual of Style.
Proofing is the final step before publication. The manuscript has already gone through a developmental edit (overall story and character critique) and a copyedit (see below), so the writing is polished and only needs a final check. In other words, I won’t “mess” with the writing itself. I can mark for your notice unclear or convoluted sentences–sentences that are grammatically correct but awkward–but I do not automatically “fix” them. In a traditional proofread, I will mark typos, inconsistencies, inaccuracies, misspelled words, grammatical problems, and punctuation mistakes. I will also double-check formatting and accuracy.
My rate for proofreading is $0.004 per word for manuscripts 1,000 words and up. For a 75,000-word novel, that would be $300. I charge a flat fee of $5 for pieces 1–3 pages in length (standard manuscript pages average 250 words per page).
Line Editing or Copyediting
A copyedit or line edit is where your writing is polished. It is a line-by-line edit of the manuscript that seeks to improve the writing itself instead of merely to catch grammatical errors and typos. These issues are addressed in a line edit: sentence clarity, redundancies, word choice, maintenance of tone and voice, consistency of style, proper citation of sources, inaccuracies, and quotations that may require permission from the copyright holder. Grammatical and punctuation issues will also be noted. In fiction manuscripts, inconsistencies in point of view and tense are also marked.
My rate for standard copyediting/line editing is $0.007 per word for manuscripts 1,000 words and up. For a 75,000-word novel, that would be $525. I charge a flat fee of $7 for pieces 1–3 pages in length.
If the manuscript has had little or no prior editing and needs a heavier edit, the rate will be $0.011/word. For a 75,000-word novel, that would be $825. I charge a flat fee of $11 for pieces 1–3 pages in length.
Line and Learner
I also do a Line and Learner edit for those who want the chance to learn from a small edit and apply it to the full manuscript before continuing. In this fifteen-page edit (standard manuscript pages averaging 250 words per page), I will do a line edit as usual, but I will spend more time explaining the changes and recommending resources for further learning and improvement. You will have the opportunity to see if you like my editing style as well as have the opportunity to improve the manuscript before submitting the rest, if you want to continue working with me. The rate for the fifteen-page Line and Learner edit is $30.
Other Notes on Editing
For all editing, I use track changes in Microsoft Word and require manuscripts be sent electronically as doc, docx, or rtf files. Please send the manuscript in standard format: 8.5 x 11 inches page size, one-inch margins, double spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font. This will give an average of 250 words per page. If you already have your manuscript formatted for print, I can work with that.
Note: It is up the author to make the recommended changes, and a professional edit does not guarantee the salable of a manuscript to a publisher.
Back Cover Copy
In addition to an excellent cover, a great back cover copy (the blurb on the back of the book) is essential to convincing readers to buy your book. Unfortunately, these are terribly difficult to write for our own books because we tend to get overwhelmed with all the wonderful details we want to share with the reader. Hence the need for outside assistance. I’d love to help you craft a captivating back cover copy for your novel.
If you send me a ½-1 page summary of your story, a desired word count, any blurbs or tag lines you already have, as well as a bit of free writing about your story, its themes, and what you love about it, I will write up to three different back cover blurbs for your story.
My rate for back cover copy is $25/hour.
1,000 words and up: $0.004 per word (example: 75,000 words is $300)
Less than 1,000 words: $5
Standard copyediting/line editing
1,000 words and up: $0.007 per word (example: 75,000 words is $525)
Less than 1,000 words: $7
Heavy copyediting/line editing
1,000 words and up: $0.011 per word (example: 75,000 words is $825)
Less than 1,000 words: $11
Line and Learner edit (fifteen page line edit with comments designed to help author improve his or her self-editing skills): $30
Back Cover Copy
I accept payment via PayPal only and, for projects over $30, I bill twice: half of the payment is due when the manuscript is delivered to me and half when the edit is complete. For other services, I require payment upfront.
Due to my work schedule and personal tastes, I am selective about which projects I take on, but if I accept your manuscript, I will give it my full attention.
If you’d interested in working with me, please contact me using the form below. Include your name and email, your genre, manuscript word count, a brief summary or statement about the work, what kind of editing you want, your plans for the piece (traditional or indie publishing, a gift for a friend, etc.) and a timeline for the edit, if you have one.