Editing Services

Photo by Casey Cosley

I provide comprehensive editing services for short stories, novels, essays, and other works, both fiction and non-fiction. I also provide additional services in support of authors querying agents and/or submitting to publishing houses. I follow the Chicago Manual of Style (17th Edition) for all projects.

  • Manuscript evaluation - a full reading of your manuscript to evaluate form, flow of ideas, cohesion, voice (style, consistency), logic (connection of ideas), character development, world building consistency (if applicable), and any flaws. Comes with an evaluation letter. Does not include editing but may come with a suggestion for further editing.

  • Developmental editing - a substantive pass that assesses your work for the same things noted in manuscript evaluation, but with detailed inline comments and suggestions for changes. Looks at character development, story arcs, concept flow, sub plots, etc. Does not include actual editing.

  • Line editing - a heavy line-by-line edit that addresses sentence-level content and flow. This includes grammar, voice, and style but incorporates in-depth structural changes to more accurately reflect the voices of the characters and overall themes. May include some rewriting.

  • Copy editing - a traditional edit that focuses on a moderate amount of grammar, structure, word usage, and the like. This requires multiple passes. (Please note: Varying levels of copy edit exist, and the level suited to your work depends on the state of the work and the desired and/or necessary depth of editing.)

  • Proofreading - a light pass that looks for surface grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors. This is more of a polish. 

  • Pitch perfecting - a writing and editing service through which we craft and hone an elevator pitch for your work, including a short pitch that fits in a single tweet and a longer pitch that works in cover letters.

  • Query letters - a writing and editing service through which we craft and hone a full query letter for your manuscript, including personalization for specific agents and/or publishing houses. 

Which service should you choose?

If you'd like to hire me for editorial work, I will ask that you send me a sample of your project. I'll evaluate the pages, provide a sample edit, and suggest a service for you. I may reject projects if the level of service requested does not match with the manuscript's current quality level; for example, if a client requests a proofread but the manuscript is very clearly in need of heavy copy editing or even developmental editing. I may also reject projects if they are too far outside my areas of interest. This is not a reflection of you or your work but rather a safeguard for us both. If I'm not at least moderately interested in the content, I can't do my best work for you.

The Comprehensive Manuscript Editing Process

If you would like to hire me for the full book development process, I would recommend the following approach:

  • Schedule my time in advance so that I can block out the appropriate dates.

  • After you've completed the first or second draft, submit to me for a first developmental edit. I will provide you with a comprehensive evaluation and list of larger changes that can improve your manuscript (along with suggested edits commented directly in the work itself).

  • After incorporating the suggestions from the developmental edit and getting your manuscript to more of a "final" state, submit to me for a line edit or copy edit, depending on the quality of your writing and the new state of the manuscript. I will edit the work directly and provide you with comprehensive explanations of my suggestions.

    • Please note: Sometimes, if a work goes through a developmental edit and then a line edit, it may then need a copy edit before being ready for a final polish and proofread. Each work is unique.​

  • Finally, after incorporating the suggestions from the copy edit and just before submitting to the publisher or agent, submit to me for a much lighter copy edit or proofread. I will edit the work directly. I will not provide a list of suggestions; this will be a high-level pass. 

The comprehensive manuscript editing process requires a great investment of both time and money. In light of this, I offer a discounted package deal to any client who selects the full process.