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Book & novel editing

The growing world of self publishing has provided us with a wealth of fantastic works, but it has also highlighted a need for professional proofreaders and editors for independent authors. The role of an editor is as an advocate for the reader: asking questions, making suggestions, and giving feedback on how the work might be experienced. I understand that you've poured your heart and soul into your writing, and my criticism is never intended to diminish the writing or the author, always to lift and enhance. I provide honest critique and insight, sensitively given.

My proofreading/editing services for authors are aimed at making sure that great creative voices really shine, unhampered by any distraction caused by error or writing that lacks readability. I endeavour to proofread and/or edit prose so that it is not only error-free and technically proficient, but retains the author's unique voice and style. I have helped a number of authors and writers fulfil their publishing dreams, by either preparing a manuscript, sample, or article for submission to an agent, magazine, or publishing house, or for self-publishing.

Hindsight can be a wonderful but also terrible thing – don’t make the mistake of submitting or self-publishing without editorial assistance!

I offer various levels of service, depending on which stage of the writing/publication process you are at and how much editorial intervention you require:

Step 1 - Developmental editing/manuscript critique: This is the starting point of editorial intervention. It considers the work as a whole, and identifies 'big picture' weaknesses in the manuscript prior to publication, e.g. relating to plot, characterisation, pacing, dialogue, structure, and length. £500.00 for a manuscript up to 90,000 words, includes an annotated manuscript plus detailed report, and a one hour follow-up call (or two half hours). 

Step 2 - Copyediting/line editing: This level of editing doesn't consider the overall shape of the work, but is a deeper level of editorial assistance than simple proofreading. It considers style, and includes edits to improve flow and readability. Edits will remove ambiguity or awkwardness, look at sentence structure and order, ensure ideas are expressed clearly, that there is a logical flow, and the reading experience is enjoyable. I will also provide comments on continuity and consistency (e.g. character hair/eye colour, passage of time, location etc.), and language choice. £15.00 per 1,000 words.

Step 3 - Proofreading: Intended for text that has already been copyedited, where no editorial intervention is required. It is primarily an error detection and correction exercise, ensuring the text is grammatically correct, capitalisation, hyphenation and so on are consistent, and there are no punctuation or spelling mistakes. £10.00 per 1,000 words.

* Steps 2 and 3 in isolation presume either that the work will be proofread or has been copyedited, respectively. I can combine multiple stages into a bespoke package for you at a discount - just get in touch for a quote!


Why do I need an editor?

It’s hard to get lost in the world that a writer has worked so hard to create when inconsistencies, flaws, and errors drag you back to reality. Often a writer will be so absorbed in their writing that their hands can’t keep up with their mind, and details they thought they had included, or that they can see clearly in their mind’s eye, haven’t been made clear enough to the reader. This is where an editor is so valuable; we can spot plot holes and missing or inconsistent detail, assess the pacing, characterisation, and describe the impression your writing makes on a reader.

Do you do sample edits?

I offer a sample edit (proofreading plus copyediting) of 1,000 words for £25. This will give you a feel for how I can help to improve your manuscript, and enable you to decide whether I am a good fit for you and your work - very important! If you decide to go ahead, I will deduct the sample fee from your invoice total. 

How will my voice be preserved?

I use Track Changes so you will see every suggested edit I make, and are free to reject or accept as you choose. I will never make edits that compromise or change your authorial voice, and preserve your creative integrity at all times. It's your story; I'll just help you to tell it in the most effective way.

How long does the editing process take?

This entirely depends on the length of your manuscript, and the stage at which you require my assistance. If booked in advance, I can typically return a manuscript critique in a week, a copyedit or proofread of a full manuscript (cc. 90k) will require at least 3 weeks.