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Editing Services

Cost as Factor and Editing Rates

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We all know nothing comes cheap. However, we all want and deserve value for money. I am as passionate about editing as you are about turning your manuscript into a book. Considering our individual passions, and taking financial situations into account, I provide a choice of editing options. My Rates are based on the depth of attention a manuscript needs.

So, let’s get to the nitty gritty, first.


All prices are in Australian Dollars.

Rates are set on a per page basis. One page is calculated as being A4, double-spaced and 250 words.

Please note: An extra fee of $30.00 applies to File Submissions (email attachment or CD) for the printing of the manuscript into hardcopy for editing purposes, and return postage.

I do not undertake on-screen editing (using Track Changes in the document file). I have found most writers find this method too confusing, making the process difficult rather than helpful.

Copyediting and Substantive Editing

All prices are in Australian Dollars.

Minimum and maximum prices are given below for both Copyediting and Substantive Editing. The cost of these edits can only be set after a sample of the manuscript has been viewed, to assess the depth of editing required.

Copyediting Rates

For when you are unsure about grammatical correctness, if there are typos you have missed, and word usage is appropriate, etc.

Minimum - Per Page $3.75
Maximum - Per Page $6.25

Substantive Editing Rates

For when you want every aspect of your manuscript checked, including the overall flow and clarity.

Minimum - Per Page $8.00
Maximum - Per Page $11.25


Half the price agreed upon is payable at the time of submitting your manuscript for editing. The balance is required by the date set out down in the Agreement of Service and payable prior to the return of your edited manuscript.

Payment may be made by Money Order, Cheque or through Paypal.

If you wish to discuss payment options for large projects please contact me.

Enlisting My Services

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Include a covering letter with your contact details, the title and genre of your manuscript and the word count.

I then read the beginning of your book and return my comments regarding the level of editing your manuscript needs. I will also give you a firm price for editing, and send an Agreement of Service.

If you wish to proceed:
  • Return the signed Agreement of Service, along with
  • The rest of your manuscript, and,
  • The part-payment agreed upon.

I will then begin editing your manuscript.

If you do not wish to proceed, let me know and I will either return your partial manuscript or shred it, depending on your wishes.

Why Hire an Editor?

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Enlisting an editor's objective and meticulous eye for detail helps increase the odds for a viable and successful manuscript.

It is an editor's job to minimise mistakes and endeavour to eliminate them entirely. As an editor I work with writers on the journey towards their dream - having their words and ideas understood, savoured and appreciated by large or small readerships.

With stiff competition in obtaining the next ‘bestseller’ and the deluge of manuscripts from eager authors appearing in their mailboxes each week, publishers can pick and choose. A polished manuscript is capable of leaping from the 'slush pile' onto the publisher's desk.

As writers, we have all received ‘thanks, but no thanks’ type rejections from publishers. No explanation is given about why your manuscript was rejected. Editors employed by publishing houses do not have time to offer critiques. They also, reasonably or not, expect authors to know the mechanics and technicalities of writing and presentation.

Although having your manuscript professionally edited does not guarantee publication, it does give you an edge over those manuscripts not given a professional degree of attention.

I can’t vouch for every editing service. In this field, as in any area of business, there are those with fewer scruples than the rest of us. I urge you to research your options, check out various editing service providers, and choose the one best suited to you and your manuscript.

Working with Me

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One: Your manuscript and you as its creator are cared about.

Two: I read your manuscript, keeping in mind your requirements. Depending on what type of editing you choose, this may entail strict attention to every single word, comma and full stop, or concentration on structure and coherence. Or, it can include all aspects.

Three: I mark-up your manuscript with comments and suggestions and highlight grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors (if that is what you wanted from the edit).

Four: I read your manuscript again. By now, I have a good feel for your individual writing style and ‘voice’ and make sure nothing has been missed.

Five: I return your manuscript by whichever means you have requested with my very best hopes for your work.

The marked-up copy is yours, now. It is up to you to implement the changes.

You don’t have to agree with every change or suggestion. However, it is pointless to pay an editor what can amount to a sizable number of dollars to edit your manuscript, and then ignore every correction and suggestion.

No editor can guarantee your work will be published, though I will do my utmost to bring your manuscript to a publishable standard.

Editing Options - Your Decision, Your Choice

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There are options to consider. Your choice depends on how much time, work and effort you are willing and able to contribute, and also your familiarity with the necessary ingredients of a polished manuscript.

A Light or Heavy Edit?
If you have an excellent grasp of the English language in written form, which differs from spoken language, know your grammatical and punctuation rules, are stringent in areas of consistency, continuity, plot, structure, characterisation, tense, and point of view, and you have devoted time to reading and rewriting your manuscript, it may only need a copyedit (also called line edit).

Alternatively, if you lack expertise and experience within any of these areas, a more intensive, substantive edit may be needed.

The following links will take you to a more detailed description of each option.

Copyediting includes proofreading and checks word-by-word, looking at grammar, word usage, sentence structure etc.

Substantive Editing considers the big picture, and the nitty gritty. This is the most intensive type of editing.

How long does it take to have a manuscript edited?

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Turnaround time is 6-12 weeks – depending on the depth and complexity of editing and on my current workload. A set timeframe will be included in the Agreement of Service.

Why does it take so long?

It is pointless for me to make promises I may not be able to keep, or do a less than professional job because of time constraints. If you want immediate turnaround, as some editing services promise, I suggest you investigate those options and make a considered choice.

If you are working to a restricted timeframe or deadline for your work, please let me know. I will do my best to fit in with you. If I have doubts about meeting your deadline I will tell you, allowing you to seek an alternative.

The Fine Print

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I respect you as a writer and the creator of the work you entrust to me. Confidentiality is assured, as is your intellectual, moral and copyright ownership.

Manuscript files are deleted two months from completion of editing unless otherwise requested by the author. I allow the two months in case you have questions or hitches as you fine-tune your manuscript.

Editing Non-Fiction

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I do not untertake editing of technical non-fiction. This is purely personal preference on my part. Non-fiction manuscripts, such as self-help, memoirs, family and organisation histories, biographies and autobiographies hold more interest for me, when spending hours and days on going over a manuscript.

Editing considerations for non-fiction include: theme and subject, tone for the intended reader, clarity of content and presentation, structure and chapter/section breaks, flow, language, terminology and jargon, and overly didactic tendencies, as well as the essentials for retaining the reader's interest. I am not a fact-checker. Accuracy of facts within your non-fiction manuscript is up to you. If I know the subject and discover any glaring mistakes, I will certainly query them. Variations of spelling (i.e. names and places) within the mansucript would be picked up during the edit, though a thorough self-edit by you, the author, will have prevented this type of mistake from slipping through.

Descriptions of Services and What They Entail

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Copyediting (Up)

This incorporates proofreading and takes several more steps towards a more 'correct' manuscript. When you have done your best in editing your own work, copyediting provides a professional assurance and picks up errors and inconsistencies that may have been missed. A style sheet is prepared to aid the writer with corrections and consistency.

Checks for:
  • Basic grammatical correctness
  • Conflicting statements
  • Sentence structure and sentence fragments
  • Awkward phrasing
  • Transitions
  • Flow problems
  • Word breaks, word choice and incorrect word usage
  • Ensuring consistency in spelling, hyphenation, numerals, fonts, and capitalisation

Substantive Editing (Up)

When the author has done the best he or she can, but knows it can be better when viewed as a whole with a fresh and experienced eye. Particularly for longer works, it is difficult for the creator to retain an objective viewpoint when so familiar with his or her own work.

Does the writing fulfil its purpose and aim? Are language, tone, pacing and style in keeping with the intended readership? Is there repetition? Does the writing flow? Do the elements of the work make sense and are they in context? What about the plot? Are characters believable?

This type of editing is involved and time-consuming.

The editor reads through the entire manuscript, to get a feel for the work and whether it is achieving your goals and aims, all the while making notes about style, structure, plot, characterisation and continuity. The manuscript is read a second time. Now, the focus is word-by-word. If your manuscript has been submitted electronically (via the Internet or on CD) it is printed (hardcopy) and read, as words on paper invariably appear different from those on a screen. Attention is given to the technicalities of a professional and well-written manuscript.

The key differences between copyedits and substantive edits are the levels of judgment and rewriting involved. In a substantive edit, the editor improves the flow of text where necessary instead of simply ensuring correct usage and grammar, and may, with the writer's understanding, rewrite passages into a new form rather than just flagging problems.

This type of editing includes all facets of Copyediting and Proofreading as well as seeking to achieve clarity of subject, logic, and consistency. Confusing and awkward writing may be reworked. Sentences are analysed for structure, flow and coherence. A style sheet is prepared.

The process checks:
  • Inappropriate figures of speech
  • Passive voice (rewritten into active voice, if requested by the writer, or flagging occurrences)
  • Ambiguous or incorrect statements
  • Repetition of phrases and words
  • Clichés
  • Appropriateness of Tone
  • Dialogue
  • Misplaced modifiers
  • Shifts in agreement
  • Point of View
  • Achieving intended objectives
  • Wordiness, triteness, tautologies and inappropriate jargon
  • Smoothing transitions and moving sentences to improve readability
  • Suggesting - and sometimes implementing in collaboration with the author - additions and deletions.

Proofreading – only one aspect of editing

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Many folk are under the impression that having their manuscript proofread will fix all the glitches in their writing. Sorry, not so. Proofreading is the very last step in the editing process. It is the final read-through. Proofreading is done with a hardcopy of the manuscript, using standard proofreading symbols and annotations in the margins of the document. The thorough word-by-word reading checks for:

The process checks:
  • Typographical errors
  • Punctuation
  • Misspellings
  • Capitalisation
  • Numbers
  • Missed words
  • Word, sentence and paragraph spacing
Proofreading does not encompass any aspects of structure, style, clarity, Point of View, dialogue, pacing, etc. Please do not mistake proofreading for a full editing process. It’s not. Having your work proofread might eliminate all typos, but if the writing itself doesn’t make sense, proofreading alone will not be enough to make it right.

Submitting a Manuscript for Editing

Format for Hardcopy Submissions

  • A4 white paper.
  • Lines double-spaced.
  • Good margins all around (3 cm is the norm for manuscripts).
  • Font to be in 12 Point Times New Roman - please, no smaller. If I need a magnifying glass to read it, your manuscript will be returned unread.
  • A Title Page, telling me the title, word count, genre (Romance, Fantasy, Biography, Self Help, etc.), your name and contact details. Pretend you're sending it to a publisher. It's good practice.
  • Pages must be numbered consecutively and each page to contain the title and author's name.
  • No staples or binding. A rubber band or ribbon does the trick.
  • The entire manuscript is sent with a completed Project Information Sheet. Or, you can send the initial 50 pages with a completed Project Information Sheet from which I can assess your manuscript's editing requirements and give you a firm price.

If in doubt about presentation, please go to my Formatting Tips

Include a Stamped Self Addressed Envelope (SSAE) of suitable size and paid postage for the return of your edited manuscript.

Payment, as agreed upon, is to be included with the manuscript. (See above for Editing Rates)

File Submissions (Email attachment or CD)

  • Due to the amount of reading, all manuscripts are edited using hardcopy. Therefore file submissions incur an additional fee of $30.00 as quoted in Editing Rates.
  • Manuscript is to be a Word (.doc) file. I do not accept .docx files, so please 'Save As' a version earlier than Word 2007.
  • The entire manuscript is sent with a completed Project Information Sheet. Alternatively, the initial 50 pages may be sent with a completed Project Information Sheet from which I can assess your manuscript's editing requirements and give you a firm price.
  • Formatting of the document is to be the same as hardcopy, as it will be printed out for editing.
  • Your printed and marked-up copy of the manuscript (plus the CD, if you have sent one) are returned to you through Australia Post.
  • NOTE: I delete all files pertaining to your work from my system eight weeks after returning the edited manuscript.


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Last updated January 2010