If you need an editor for a novel, sports memoir, how-to book, children’s fable, short story or poem or collection of either, dissertation or thesis, personal essay, informative article, infographic, press release, fan letter, or block of copy on the back of a newly minted board game, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I’ll do what I can to help you determine if my editing approach is right for your work (I’m glad to offer a two-page sample edit for larger works). My scheduling availability varies, and I am sometimes booked several weeks to a month or more in advance, but if you have pressing editing needs, I’ll try to work with you to make sure your project is polished and proofed by your deadline.
If you’ve done the editing thing before, you probably have a good idea of the editing level you’re looking for. Some new authors, or authors who are new to the editing process, have found the following breakdown helpful.
(Feedback is included with several editing types; this in given both in comments accompanying the manuscript and in an editorial letter.)
Different Types of Editing
At this level, you’re looking at editing that clarifies or reorganizes a manuscript for content and structure. This may include some rewriting and reorganization of text. Developmental editing is a good service for projects in which the writer would like a professional to manipulate the structure of the book and the presentation of the content as needed to optimize the work as a whole. Content/stylistic editing and copyediting can also be included.
Content Editing (or Stylistic Editing)
At this level, I clarify meaning, polish language, and otherwise perform a line-by-line edit that doesn’t substantially change the basics of structure or content but focuses instead on truly making the content shine. This entails providing in-depth recommendations regarding plot, writing style (tone, flow, etc.), characterization, overall structure, and other relevant aspects of the book. Copyediting can also be included.
When you choose copyediting, I will edit your work to ensure parallel sentence structure, correct word usage, no misplaced modifiers, accurate punctuation, consistent presentation on matters such as when numbers are spelled out and when they’re presented as numerals, etc.
Proofreading is the finishing-touch level of editing. When you’re satisfied with structure, “big-picture” elements such as pacing and characterization, sentence structure, and word choice, you can opt for proofreading to make sure every little error is caught and corrected.
Please note that if proofreading is to be included with another editing level (content editing, copyediting, etc.), it will involve a separate read-through after all changes have been accepted on the writer’s side.
Manuscript Evaluation (or Professional Reading)
A full manuscript evaluation, also called a professional reading, entails reading the manuscript in full, making comments in the margin, both as a reader (things like “This is interesting!” or “I love the example you use to illustrate this point!”) and as an editor (“I think the meaning of this needs to be spelled out with at least one concrete example” or “This word is beginning to stand out from repeated use; I’d recommend using xyz instead”).
This also involves writing up several pages of notes on your book’s general strengths and weaknesses, with examples from the book and “do it yourself” directions on how to reduce the problems and focus on the strengths.
The Editing Process
I provide a written contract guaranteeing your edit for a given time slot, specifying the level of editing to be applied and the editing fee, and including a confidentiality clause. Before I can hold space in my calendar, I need to receive a signed copy of the contract along with a deposit equal to at least half of the total fee.
I invoice primarily through PayPal, but Person-to-Person bank transfers and Google Wallet payments can work as well.
I edit using Microsoft Word’s “track changes” feature. Unless another style guide is requested, I edit in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition), checking spelling against Merriam-Webster Unabridged.