Resources for writers
Frequently Asked Questions
Why should I hire an editor?Broadly speaking, an editor works to improve and polish your writing. Many different types of edits are available, depending on what type of manuscript you've written and what you are looking to get from the editorial relationship. See my Services page for a detailed explanation of the different types of editing I offer. See the Benefits page to learn how my work will add value to your manuscript. For more general information, check out the Editorial Freelancers Association Resources page, which includes a Guide for New Authors to help you determine what services you might need. Their Member Skills page lists different types of editorial skills and specialties to help you focus your search for the right editor. Also click on "What does an editor do, anyway?" in the Recommended Online Resources section below for a discussion of what editors do and don't do, and why they are an important part of the publishing process.
How do I find the right editor?Because both writing and editing are highly personal, only you can decide who is the best editorial match for you and your manuscript. Talk with potential editors to gauge their compatibility with your personality and the manuscript's requirements. The Editorial Freelancers Association Member Directory lets you search for editors and other professionals such as researchers, indexers, translators, and designers by specialty, genre, years in the field, style guide, computer compatibility, location, keyword, or any combination. The EFA Job List is a free service for advertising your project to more than 3,000 specialists, based on your specific criteria. You are likely to receive responses from many qualified candidates for any job listing.
What is a sample edit?I offer a free edit on a brief section (typically 500 to 1,000 words), after reviewing several chapters from your manuscript. The sample edit will help you decide whether I'm the right editor for you and your manuscript by establishing my expertise, giving you an idea of how I will approach your text, and demonstrating the kinds of changes you can expect to see with my services.
How much will an edit cost?Because every manuscript is unique, the cost to edit yours will depend on your writing skill, the genre, the length and complexity of the story, and what level of editing you request. To determine a cost, I review your manuscript so I can assess how much work it needs. Depending on your budget, I may offer you different services at different price points to best meet your needs. The Editorial Freelancers Association's Editorial Rates chart displays responses to a member survey on fees charged for specific projects in 2019. Note that the posted rates are not industry standards, nor are they minimum/maximum rates for specific services. But they should give you some idea of the range you might expect to pay for editing services.
Why does editing cost so much?As a collaboration between author and editor, editing is a critical part of bringing out the best in each manuscript. The edit may address many different aspects of your manuscript—concept, structure, characters, story arc, style, consistency, word choice, organization—depending on your budget. I provide a fresh outside perspective to highlight possibilities and choices that you, who know your story inside and out, might not have considered.
What' s the difference between the various types of editing?The terms developmental review, assessment, substantive edit, line edit, copy edit, and proofreading are fluid and can be confusing because different editors define them differently. But in general: - A developmental review looks at broad story concerns such as structure, organization, character development, plot progression, consistency, and genre expectations, but does not typically include any line edits. Sometimes called a manuscript assessment. - A substantive edit encompasses both developmental considerations and specific line edits in a comprehensive editing package. - A line edit focuses on polishing and refining individual words, sentences, and paragraphs to improve clarity and readability. - A copy edit is a review of essential stylistic and mechanical aspects such as clarity, precision, grammar, spelling, and consistency. - A proofread is the final check of the typeset manuscript before printing, focusing on typographical errors. See my Services page for more detail on how I define these terms.
How do I know you won't steal my story concept?My reputation and success as a professional editor depend not only on my expertise and professionalism, but also on my integrity in maintaining confidentiality for each client. In working with authors, my goal is always and only to improve and enhance their writing. Basic United States copyright law protects your story idea as soon as you write it down and put your name on it. All information you entrust to me, from your email address to your manuscript, I use solely for the purposes of communicating with you and providing you with the best editorial service I can. No one but you will ever see the edits I make in your file. I will never disclose your name, your contact information, or any of your work to an outside entity without your express written permission. I am happy to provide client references and will sign a nondisclosure agreement on request.
Information about my services
See a list of the different levels of services I offer, describing what specific type of editing is included in each.
View a redacted version of an actual client evaluation that demonstrates the breadth and depth of my work.
Fill out a brief form to help you determine what you want to achieve by hiring an editor, and how I might meet your needs.
View a Word template of specifications on style and usage issues to help you maintain consistency throughout your manuscript. Especially valuable for writing books in a series.
See a brief form that assures you confidentiality when you send me your manuscript.