Editing Services

As a writer myself, I have a distinct appreciation for the efforts, time, and emotional upheaval writing requires. Sometimes you love your project with the intensity of a thousand burning suns; other times you want to throw your computer from the Empire State Building and never look at your words again. I completely understand.

The day eventually comes when you have read, re-read, and re-re-read your manuscript so frequently that you no longer even see the words on the screen (or page). When you’ve reached that point, you’re ready to call in some outside help, fresh eyes that can see the big picture, the small picture, and everything in between. Have you somehow missed a word, overused a word, or even used the wrong word? Did you gloss over critical details that readers need? Does the story hold together and flow as well to others as it does in your mind? These are all areas in which I can help. As an editor, I’m not just a nefarious brandisher of a red pen; I consider myself your partner and cheerleader. I want your every manuscript to be the best you’ve ever written, and I want you to succeed in reaching your publishing goals, whether they are modest or magnificent.

With twelve years of experience writing and editing everything from novels and short stories to grant and research materials to corporate and private content and blogs, I am widely familiar and proficient with many genres and the most commonly known punctuation and style guides (i.e., Chicago Manual of Style, American Psychological Association, Associated Press, etc.), and have worked with several bestselling independent and traditionally published authors. Additionally, I am a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association. You can also learn about me at LinkedIn.

Please take some time to look through the editing options I offer.

Substantive/Content/Structural Editing
Manuscript Critique/Beta Read

Proofreading | $2.50 per page

Fixing typos, missing or misspelled words, incorrectly used words, and punctuation errors, as well as ensuring consistent design and layout formatting and pagination. This option is the final step before publication and can be completed on your print layout format (such as PDF), your ebook file, your Scrivener file, or your MS Word file. Only offered for projects that have already been copyedited (not necessarily by me) and come with a complete style guide and word list.

If done in a Scrivener file, changes cannot be tracked. Short stories (under 17,500 words) are proofread at a $30 per hour (one hour minimum) rate instead of a per page rate.

Genres: All including literary fiction and nonfiction.

Copyediting | $3.25–$4.25 per page

All of the above, plus checking for grammar, overall narrative consistency (i.e., correct tense used throughout, consistent storyline facts), clarity of expressed ideas, clarity of sentence structure and word usage, and light fact-checking. A copyedit is appropriate for a finished and vetted manuscript that needs fine-tuning before you move forward to independent publishing or submitting your work to an editor, agent, or publisher. Each project I copyedit will be delivered back to you with a complete style guide and word list.

Online content (such as blog posts and website copy) is billed at a flat rate of $40 for up to 500 words and 6¢ per word thereafter. Short stories (under 17,500 words) are edited at a $40 per hour (one hour minimum) rate instead of a per page rate.

Genres: All including literary fiction and nonfiction.

Substantive/Content/Structural Editing + Editorial Letter | $3.50 per page for novella- and novel-length projects

Substantive or content editing is big picture, chapter-by-chapter, and scene-by-scene editing. Includes an analysis of the full manuscript and suggestions for reworking the following where needed to help you create the best story possible.

1) Premise/plot – What dramatic questions are being asked in the narrative? Do these dramatic questions create tension and drama? Do they drive the plot forward in a meaningful, relevant, comprehensible, complete, and consistent way? Are the dramatic questions consistent for the characters to whom they pertain? Are they resolved in ways that the reader will find engaging and satisfying? Does the storytelling fit within the genre?

2) Conflict – Is the conflict of the story clear and comprehensible? Does the central conflict develop consistently in a manner that creates dramatic tension and engages the reader? Is there an escalation of risks, stakes, and consequences to carry the narrative forward throughout the story? Are conflicts layered, and are they paced in ways that intrigue, captivate, and compel the reader to continue?

3) Character – What are the personal goals, motivations, stakes, and conflicts for each character? Is each character multidimensional and unique? Does each have his or her own voice and inner journey? Do they react to the story’s conflicts in ways that are consistent with their personalities? Are their motivations clear? Is there enough emotional exposition and movement in each character to show her or his depth and relationship to others, the plot, and the conflict?

Using MS Word’s track changes feature, your manuscript or project will come back to you with nary a comment-free page, with every paragraph, scene, and chapter evaluated in the context of the full manuscript. Additionally, I will provide an editorial letter of generally between five to ten pages describing main areas to focus on for improving and revising the manuscript. Substantive editing can be an iterative collaboration between the editor and the author or a one-time overview—the process is driven by you and your needs and goals. Keep in mind, once substantive editing is complete, a manuscript will still need to be copyedited and proofread before it will be ready to publish.

Short stories (under 17,500 words) are edited at a $45 per hour rate instead of a per page rate.

Genres: Speculative fiction, including all science fiction, fantasy, steampunk (or any punk), paranormal, horror, superhero, dystopia, etc. Suspense, thriller, and crime. Action-adventure.

Manuscript Critique/Beta Read | $2.00 per page

In a critique, I will assess big-picture manuscript strengths and weaknesses. Does the plot have legs and flow well? Are the characters well drawn with clear motivations and goals? Does the conflict drive the story forward in an exciting and engaging way? Does too much exposition and info-dumping slow down the pace? Is the tone consistent? A critique includes a three-to-five-page editorial letter highlighting the manuscript’s main opportunities for improvement. This service tends to best serve writers who are more confident in their self-editing and rewriting skills or those who are just starting out and are looking for some guidance on where to focus their efforts on improving their craft.

Short stories (under 17,500 words) are edited at a $30 per hour (one hour minimum) rate instead of a per page rate.

Genres: Speculative fiction, including all science fiction, fantasy, steampunk (or any punk), paranormal, horror, superhero, dystopia, etc. Suspense, thriller, and crime. Action-adventure.

Consulting | $45 per hour

I and many of my clients have been independently publishing for several years. Are you considering doing the same but have no idea where to start? I am happy to chat with you via Skype/Google Hangout to answer all of your questions and give you recommendations on how to get started and where to go next. Every independent publisher enjoys their own unique journey, and gathering a quiver of tools and strategies from others who are farther down the path can make for a smoother, more fulfilling adventure.

I can also assist you in reaching your publishing goals by evaluating your manuscript synopsis, book jacket blurb/description, query letter, and pitch. Contact me to discuss.


Details and Other Information


Scheduling Lead Time: I am often booked two to three months out, though I do occasionally have last-minute openings. I encourage you to contact me at least two months before you plan to have your project edited in order to ensure scheduling.

Reservations and Deposit: For projects estimated to cost $500 or greater, a deposit of 50 percent of the estimated project total is required upon scheduling to guarantee a reservation. For projects estimated to cost less than $500, the full fee is required upon scheduling to guarantee a reservation. All payments can be made through Intuit Quickbooks online invoicing, wire transfer, or check.

Page Length: The industry-standard page length is 250 words per page. All project fees will be calculated using this as the basis for determining page number.

Sample Copyedit: I am happy to provide a sample copyedit of five pages for works exceeding 5,000 words, and three pages for those under. This lets you get a feel for my editing style ahead of time to decide if you think we’ll be a good fit for each other, and allows me to determine what level of copyediting your project will require and the project rate.

What’s a Style Guide and Word List? This is a document that lists all characters’ names and their correct spellings and any germane character details that need to be tracked through the story; locations and their spellings; notes regarding timing of story events; unique or unusual words or words spelled differently than the dictionary referenced for the manuscript; style and formatting decisions that differ from Chicago Manual of Style or the style guide referenced; foreign words and phrases; and much more. Copyeditors use these to ensure consistency and continuity throughout a manuscript.

I also highly recommend visiting this article at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America to help assess your editing needs.

Ready to start a book together? Great! I am too.
Please send me an email at tammy (at) inspiredinkediting (dot) com or visit my contact page and tell me about your project.