Developmental editing is the next step after you’ve taken your manuscript as far as you can with the aid of your critique group and/or beta readers (usually, the first symptom that you’ve reached this stage is that you never want to see your manuscript again). Once you hand your story over to us, we’ll match you to one of our editors and she will sit down and read the entire manuscript as if it were a published book. Only then does the editing begin. The first round involves an editorial letter analyzing the story elements, along with in-depth comments and suggested changes using the “Track Changes” feature of Microsoft Word. After you’ve had the opportunity to make revisions, the editor will print the full manuscript and edit the hard copy. Rates range from 2.8-5 cents/word. We can give a more specific quote once the sample 5-page edit (free!) has been completed.
Content editing is like using a stiff brush to polish things up, instead of the surgical scalpel utilized in a developmental edit. It includes one round of editing: checking for consistency, hunting for plot holes, some rewriting for clarity or pacing…all at the chapter to paragraph level. We also include a one-to-two page editorial letter and a style guide. 1.4-2.2 cents/word.
Proofreading is more technical than editing. Rather than evaluating the story, a proofreader serves as a fresh set of eyes to ensure there are no lingering spelling mistakes, typos, punctuation problems, capitalization errors, or awkward grammar. We won’t be making suggestions about what you wrote — just making sure you wrote what you meant to. 1.2 cents/word for fiction. Price varies for non-fiction based on level of expertise and research required for the topic of the book.
If you’re looking for a big-picture perspective on your manuscript, and you’re not ready to shell out the dough for a developmental edit, you may want to consider hiring one of our editors for a critique. The process is much the same as it is for developmental editing, but we focus more on the editorial letter and only include example comments within the manuscript to illustrate the issues discussed in the letter. Turnaround time for a critique is typically only 1-2 weeks. $150 for novellas and children’s books, $350 for full-length books under 100k words, and custom quotes for longer works. If you later decide to come back to us for editing, the cost of the critique will be deducted from your editing total.