Written Word Services



Whether you plan to submit to an agent or publisher or self-publish, you want your manuscript to have the competitive edge over the thousands of others in the submission stacks.

Writing, editing, and revising are equal partners in producing the best possible version of a manuscript. No reputable editorial service guarantees success with a publisher or sale of self-published material. Solid editing strengthens the credibility of your work and heightens your opportunities. The majority of editing categories are the same for fiction and non-fiction. Those unique to non-fiction (NF) are tagged below.

Submissions Requirements: I accept hard copy and electronic submissions (email and thumb drives). Please make sure that all work is formatted in Microsoft Word®, Times New Roman, 12-point font, double-spaced with first line indent of 0.5, and 1-inch margins. Manuscripts submitted in other fonts/formats will be rare rejected.

Hard-copy Submission: – single or double-sided pages are accepted. Editorial Notes are made on the manuscript copy and summarized in a written report. Clients are responsible for the payment of all postage costs to and from my office.

Electronic Submissions – Manuscripts may be sent as an e-mail attachment or on a thumb drive. Electronic submissions are edited with the Microsoft Word® Track Changes feature unless other arrangements are made prior to initiating work. All changes or suggestions within the document are marked in color for easy recognition. Track Changes allows clients to accept or reject any suggestions more easily in the revision process.

Process: The general process to accept work for editing and writing includes:

1. A telephone consultation to ascertain expectations and explain editing and writing options. Afterward, I may request submission of no less than the first 50 pages of lengthy manuscripts to fully determine the type and extent of work needed. Unsolicited submissions are not opened.

2. A second telephone consultation gives feedback on my findings after the cursory review of the pages submitted. If I accept the work, the client receives a price quote based on the type and complexity of the work needed. If the client agrees to fees and submission requirements, I give an estimated completion date. For manuscripts of 75,000 pages or more, a signed agreement (statement of work) is required.

3. If manuscripts not accepted, or if the client chooses not to move forward with the project, I return all materials to the client.

4. On completion of the full edit, the client receives a detailed written analysis of the work, including strengths and weaknesses with suggestions for improvement, using industry standards for written fiction and non-fiction work.

Fees: The cost of editing depends on many factors—the length of the manuscript and the amount of work required to bring it to industry standards. Fees are based on those standards, calculating the number of pages edited/written in an hour. Fees range from $20.00 – $60.00 an hour based on the complexity and length of the work. I am willing to work with your cost constraints and budget when negotiating and will develop a payment schedule with you.

For manuscripts over 50 pages or 75,000 words or with a fee of $100, 50% of the fee is due at the start of the project with the balance due at completion. In special circumstances, I may accept an upfront percentage of the fee and monthly payments for the rest. All payments to be made in check or cash. (pay pal on the way soon)

Please complete the contact form with basic information and I will get back to you.

Substantive (or Structural) Editing:  Intensive evaluation of sections and chapters, looking at organization, tone, consistency, clarity, and closure.

Substantive editing of a manuscript is the first systematic edit of the entire manuscript. It may include a discussion of the feedback from your beta readers. I make notes throughout the manuscript, using the track changes tool in MS Word or pencil if working on a hard copy. I provide a detailed written report with the results of the evaluation and recommendations for needed changes. The substantive edit is a very detailed look at the manuscript. My substantive editing process begins with a close read of your manuscript, and by the time I’m through, I’ve read it through no less than twice and usually three times.

I write copious, detailed suggestions, which are incorporated into a typed summary document that typically ranges from 5-15 pages, depending on the manuscript length and findings. I will give you examples of how to fix recurring problems and tell you where to make revisions. This document will tell you exactly what revisions you need to make to fix the big problems in preparation for the copy editing, polishing process.

The notes include detailed instructions about revisions needed on a page-by-page basis, as well as preliminary comments about the major issues. I will highlight on the electronic manuscript those specific sentences to which I refer in my notes so that you can see exactly where the edits need to be made. Unless prior agreement is made to include ghostwriting the revisions needed, it is the writer’s responsibility to incorporate the suggested edits into the manuscript.

The Substantive Editing Process
Incorporates all aspects of Heavy Copyediting (see below), unless otherwise requested
Checks appropriateness of material for target market
Suggests reformatting to communicate the message (Non-Fiction)
Recommends rewrites and restructured text to fit the format
Recommends moving paragraphs and sentences to improve flow
Identifies inconsistent voice
Evaluates transitions from chapter to chapter, section to section, and closure of topics
Examines for understandable focus, development, organization, clarity, visual elements, consistent structure. (NF)
Identifies gaps in content, inconsistencies in style
Deletes outdated content or content that does not achieve the desired focus or tone
Makes recommendations for style and general content of illustrations and diagrams
Checks for clear, concise, comprehensible wording without run-on sentences or sentence fragments
Checks references for accuracy of links, etc. and ease in finding (NF)
Conveys authority and professionalism (NF)
Alters, if agreed in advance, content to meet the recommendations of publisher

Fractional Edits
Fractional edits are edits of a specific section of a manuscript, i.e. Chapters 1 – 5, for a specific writing art such as the opening hook for fiction or statement of purpose for non-fiction, or a complete manuscript look at chapter transitions. Fees are based on section length and the topic requested.

Copyediting is a separate step—one of those that you may consider hiring another to look over after a Substantive Edit. It is a cleanup edit to prepare for submission with queries or publication. It focuses on line-edits, consistency or correctness of spelling and usage, checks cross-references, or enforces parallelism in running text. Each level os copyediting adds specificity to the edit.

Light Copyediting (baseline editing): Content has met the substantive requirements for characterization, point of view consistency, setting development, plot organization, sub-plot resolution, tension development, pacing, transitions from scene to scene and chapter to chapter, and so forth. Now your manuscript attention and correction for basic English punctuation, grammar, spelling, and tense, as well as typographical errors. This is light copyediting in a nutshell:
Corrects faulty spelling, grammar such as split infinitives, and punctuation
Corrects typos, misnumbering, mislabeling
Corrects word usage (such as imminent for eminent)
Corrects tense
Checks cross-referenced materials for accuracy (for example, “As Table 10-4 shows…”)
Checks for proper sequencing (such as alphabetical order) in lists
Flagging inconsistencies in spelling, hyphenation, numerals, fonts, and capitalization
Uses the track changes or other tools to typemark the manuscript

Medium Copyediting: Includes all tasks for light copyediting in addition to more complex tasks, which is one reason to consider a second pair of eyes on the document (i.e. second editor)
Recommends text hanges and heading revisions to achieve parallel structure
Flags inappropriate figures of speech, subject-verb disagreement
Ensures key terms are handled consistently
Ensures vocabulary lists and the index meet criteria specified by the publisher
Ensures previews, summaries, and end-of-chapter questions accurately reflect content
Tracks the continuity of plot, setting, and character traits, querying the discrepancies
Recommends changes as needed from passive voice to active voice
Flags ambiguous or incorrect statements

Heavy Copyediting:  Includes all tasks for light and medium copyediting. A bare step below Substantive Editing.
Eliminate wordiness, triteness, and inappropriate jargon. Smooth transitions and move sentences to improve readability
Assign new levels to headings to achieve logical structure (NF)
Suggest additions and deletions, noting them at the sentence and paragraph level to improve the plot, pacing, transitions, character development, and settings
Ensure consistency in style, voice, and point of view

The key differences between heavy and medium copyediting are the levels of judgment and rewriting involved. In a heavy copyedit, the editor improves the flow of text and not simply ensures correct usage and grammar; suggest recast and not simply flagging problems, and may enforce a uniform level, tone, and focus as specified by the publisher.

Copyediting – Digital Media: Same as heavy copyediting plus: Length, formatting, keyword density, and SEO appropriateness

Proofreading – Basic: Similar to basic copyediting but with a lighter touch. Final check of grammar, punctuation, and typos before printing.

Checks copy for conformity to type specifications, ensures attractive typography by checking margins, word spacing, repetitive word breaks, etc.

Proofreading Galleys: Ensure it adheres to required style, marks typeset copy word for word against a printed manuscript, identifies deviations for correction, and queries editorial errors.

Unless requested, I do not change incorrect punctuation, add punctuation to delineate a restrictive clause – unless the change is needed to prevent confusion, change secondary spellings, existing footnotes, or end note systems.

Proofreading – Heavy: Document almost ready to print, needs organizational and structural work.

Includes basic proofreading, subject and verb agreement, cross references within the body of the manuscript, crosschecking text to tables, format consistency (numbering, headings, lettering, etc.), and rearranging paragraphs as needed.

Developmental Coaching – Study the overall idea and formatting of a new document or book outline.

Includes frequent phone calls, emails, and/or meetings to discuss plotting, character development, etc. Written reports summarizing our planning sessions with recommendations and scheduling of work are maintained.

Ghostwriting Information is available – plot outline, character profiles, etc. – and needs organization and includes items under developmental coaching.

Non-fiction – Client provides background information, facts, names, locations, and all relevant information to create the materials. Frequent phone consultation is required to accurately reflect the tone of voice, structure, intent, and content. Additional research requires an extra fee.

Fiction Client provides an outline of the manuscript and other background information, list of character names and settings, plot intention, and all relevant information to create a manuscript. Frequent phone consultation is required to accurately reflect tone and point of view, structure, intent, and other standard fiction requirements.

Digital Media – Assist client to develop monthly themes, article topics, formatting, calls-to-action. Develops monthly calendars for blog posts, newsletters, and e-mail blasts as appropriate.

Client provides background information, facts, names, locations, images (jpeg), and all relevant information to create posts and client lists. Writes copy for static information on websites and blogs, such as About, Bios, etc.

Book Reviews
Marketing Materials
Business Documents
Blog & Website posts, articles, tab content

Layout Formatting
Using pre-designed templates and creating templates, I format newsletters, pamphlets, flyers, manuals (including table of contents).

Handwritten manuscripts are transcribed verbatim.

Still not sure exactly what you need, complete the form below and I’ll return your email.