I can offer you a wide range of services depending on what you feel is needed to bring your document or manuscript up to standard. The basics fall under the general categories of Structural Report, Copy-Edit, Line Edit, and Proofread. (See my Price Chart for details.)
I am happy to discuss your particular situation to help determine the level of service required. Feel free to approach me if you have editorial needs that are not covered by this list – examples may include ghost-writing your blurbs and introductions, producing material for your mailing lists, or sharpening your adverts. We can negotiate prices for these alternative services on a job-by-job basis.
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Many people find it useful to check the quality of their work with ‘beta readers’ before spending their time and energy on copy-edits. A beta reader will provide you with a mass of feedback, from general opinions and questions of clarity to highlighting particularly problematic areas that require work. The service is typically free of charge, and done out of good will.
The value of this feedback can be variable, depending on how carefully the reader has considered the piece and how well their thoughts have been communicated. Distortion will often stem from the fact that many new writers ask friends and family members to fulfil this role. Unfortunately, they may be loath to risk hurting your feelings or ill-equipped to truly judge the value of your work, let alone advise you as to how it may best be strengthened.
My Structural service takes the form of an in-depth report, covering all manner of areas from plot structure and character development to dialogue, world-building, and writing style. It is a comprehensive analysis – without bias – from a person who has lived and breathed books all his life, and who knows how to be critical in a constructive and supportive fashion.
This is a broad-strokes service designed to help bring the quality of your work up to a level that may be considered publishable. You will still ultimately need to have a copy-edit done, and to go through the line editing and proofreading stages, but your chances of publication will be greatly increased by ensuring that your foundations are solid.
Many writers comment on the surprise paths they have been led down by defiant characters and capricious muses, which can lead to all sorts of complications. The act of creation is an organic one, often rife with inconsistencies. Narrative style, in-world rules, character traits, and all manner of other details may be contradicted down the line.
My copy-editing service works like a comb, running through your work to find these knotty problems. I will provide an introductory email to give you a general overview, setting out any major issues which need to be addressed before finer details can be resolved. Then, on the manuscript itself, I will highlight and explain each issue and offer one or two suggestions as to how they may be untangled.
This is a fine-tuning service designed to get everything working well together, smoothing the kinks out and helping the author to think through a swathe of topics from the perspective of their audience. Readers have no background knowledge of the world, no extra insights into character. Have you told them everything they need to know? Do they feel what you need them to feel? Well, let’s make sure of it.
I offer a discount for combining this service with my Line Edit service.
You’ve worked hard on your project, you’ve stared at the screen until your eyeballs bled, you’ve slogged your guts out and it’s a diamond – you know it is – but you’re so familiar with it you can no longer see the imperfections. You think it’s ready to go out into the world, but is it? Is it really? What have you missed, damn it?
My line-editing service is a full, focused look at your work on a line by line basis. It can be shocking how much was missed on earlier passes, but the results will be worth it. This is the fine-toothed combing I pride myself on. I will be relentless, working with you to help make your manuscript shine. I will be challenging, I will be considerate, I will be thorough.
This is a rigorous service designed to perfect every aspect of your work. It should only be selected if you have already had your work copy-edited by somebody else, or in combination with my own copy-editing service.
The cost of printing is rarely cheap, and people often try to save money where they can. However, the cost to your reputation will be even higher if your product hits the high street full of fundamental flaws. These can include (but are not limited to) spelling mistakes, missing or incorrect words, missing or inappropriate punctuation, inconsistent typography, self-contradictions, and incorrect information.
My proofreading service is non-judgemental on the style or inherent quality of your work. It takes as its starting point the position that you are already entirely happy with the content of your project, and you merely wish to ensure that it is presented without flaw.
This is a finishing-off service designed to protect your professionalism. It should only be selected if you have already had your work copy-edited and line edited by somebody else. Why somebody else? By the time you get to the proofreading stage, your work will have been examined over and over and over again. Your line editor will be snow-blind. It is absolutely vital to have fresh eyes on the project at this stage to give you the best chance of catching those last few errors. I’m happy to be those eyes.
Prices are guaranteed until the end of March 2019.
Deposit – I do now ask clients to pay a good-faith deposit up front, which would be deducted from their final bill. The amount will vary based upon the size of the project and how our working relationship develops across subsequent jobs.
Spread the cost – I now offer a pre-payment option that is perfect for writers who are still working on those early drafts. Simply set up a Standing Order for an affordable amount each month, then get cracking on your writing. You can save up for the deposit or keep it all going to fund the job in full – whatever works for you. I will send you monthly updates on how much money you’ve accrued. Just tell me when you’re ready and we can get started on the edits. And don’t worry – if you change your mind before I’ve begun to work on your manuscript, I will refund your money in full. No questions asked.
Prices will rise in April 2019.