In addition to short-form materials, I’ve edited more than 350 books in my career. My clients have included private individuals, large publishing companies, small presses, self-publishing services, and entertainment companies.
I offer free sample edits of any prospective client’s work. From your perspective, you can think of a sample edit as an audition. You want me to amaze you, right? For me, the sample edit not only allows me to show off my talent but helps me decide what kind of editing you need and what level of work will go into it. And, of course, after I’ve come to understand how much work I need to do for you, I’ll offer a professional but very competitive bid. For reliable information on how editors price their services, you can take a look at the Editorial Freelancers Association’s rate card. (And I can tell you upfront that my rates are at the low end of what you’ll see there.)
Not all editing is the same. I offer copyediting, substantive editing, developmental editing, and book doctoring. What does all that mean?
Copyediting deals with grammar, syntax, punctuation, spelling, typos, and issues like wordiness and undue repetition. Copyediting is something of a left-brain activity. It does require creative judgment, but it’s more about applying rules.
Substantive editing (sometimes called content editing) is a highly creative endeavor dealing with all aspects of the craft of writing—plot, pace, characterization, dialogue, theme, symbolism, etc. In this kind of work, the might make quite a lot of notes and ask questions about some passages or issues in the manuscript. When the editing is done, the writer may have some work to do to address all the issues that come up in the edit.
Developmental editing is a rather labor intensive process used for manuscripts that need a lot of work. The editor will mark up the manuscript; the writer will revise based on that feedback then resubmit; the editor will mark up the work again. This process can go on for three or four rounds. Or more.
Book doctoring, as the term implies, is a process reserved for manuscripts that need a lot of TLC. The ideas or basic story might be fantastic, but the writing, arrangement, pace, etc., need intensive work.