Did you end that sentence in a preposition? For shame!
There are grammatical rules and “rules” that aren’t really rules (like not ending a sentence with a preposition or not starting sentences with and, but, yet, or or—those things are actually okay) and matters of personal style. One of my jobs as an editor is to guard your style and fix real errors. So if you’re looking for someone to polish your manuscript or help with a blurb who’ll respect your voice, you’ve come to the right place. I offer proofreading, line edits, and back cover copy writing for an affordable price. I can also format your manuscripts for ebook and print using Vellum. I have a certificate in copyediting from the University of California San Diego Extension, and I edit 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. I also edit non-fiction of an informative nature (because I enjoy learning).
I do a free five-page sample edit for larger projects 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.
Please note that I reserve the right to refuse a project for any reason. 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.
Proofreading is the final polish before publication. The manuscript has already gone through a developmental edit (overall story and character critique) and line edit (see below), so the writing is good 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 proofread, I will mark typos, inconsistencies, inaccuracies, misspelled words, grammatical problems, and punctuation mistakes. I will also double-check formatting and accuracy. I make two passes over the manuscript for a copyedit.
My rate for proofreading is $4 per 1,000 words 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).
A line edit is the step 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. I do two passes for a line edit.
My rate for line editing is $8 per 1,000 words for manuscripts 1,000 words and up. For a 75,000-word novel, that would be $600. 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 $10 per 1,000 words. For a 75,000-word novel, that would be $750. I charge a flat fee of $10 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 $40.
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.
Ebook and Print Formatting
I have the Vellum Publishing program, which creates beautiful books, so I can also format your books for you for Kindle, Nook, and other ebook retailers, and for print.
My rates are $25 for novellas and $35 for novels.
If I have to clean up the manuscript to get it ready for formatting by Vellum (add in chapter divisions, etc.), I will charge an extra $15 per hour. The pre-formatting requirements for Vellum are simple, so if your book in is the standard manuscript format, it should be fine.
1,000 words and up: $4 per 1,000 words (example: 75,000 words is $300)
Less than 1,000 words: $5
1,000 words and up: $8 per 1,000 words (example: 75,000 words is $600)
Less than 1,000 words: $7
Heavy line editing
1,000 words and up: $10 per 1,000 words (example: 75,000 words is $750)
Less than 1,000 words: $10
Line and Learner edit (fifteen page line edit with comments designed to help author improve his or her self-editing skills): $40
Back Cover Copy
Ebook and Print Formatting
Extras: $15/hour if excessive preliminary formatting must be done
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.
What People Say about Me
“Elizabeth was delightful to work with. Her comments, edits and suggestions were spot on. Just what I needed. The one thing I appreciated above all the others is that she didn’t try to change the tone of the story or my voice. I will definitely be working with her again.” Susan J. Donetti
“I just finished going through all of your critique, and your recommendations were phenomenal. I learned a lot by going through them.” Elizabeth Newsom, Captive and Crowned