Seattle Editing's services include coaching, developmental editing, a manuscript critique, substantive editing, copy editing, line editing, and proofreading. Once I receive a sample of your manuscript, along with the word count and your publication goals and deadline, I will provide you with a sample edit and an estimate that is based on the type of editing you need, as well as the total number of hours it will take to complete the job.
Not sure which type of editing you need? The sample edit and estimate can be used to help you make up your mind.
Sometimes writers need help with a particular aspect of the writing project. Fiction writers tend to struggle with plot, point of view, pacing, or character development. Nonfiction writers often ask for help with focus, development, fact checking, and structure. Some writers come to me for a refresher course in paragraph construction or grammar basics.
Coaching usually takes place through email, Skype, or on the phone. I charge $30 per hour for coaching sessions.
Developmental Editing (aka "big picture" editing)
If you’ve completed a rough draft of your book, but haven’t figured out how to revise it, then developmental editing may be what you need. A developmental editor analyzes and evaluates a manuscript and suggests additions, deletions, and revisions. Generally, a developmental editor’s goal, particularly when working in nonfiction, is to make sure the manuscript is
- appropriate in tone, style, and format for its audience
- clear and articulate
- consistent in its approach
When you opt for a dev edit, we will read your manuscript carefully, paying careful attention to how well the parts connect to the overall theme or focus. You will receive a detailed critique letter that details the manuscript's strengths and weaknesses and suggests ways to fix any problems, a follow-up phone call (with Skype and email options), and three hours of coaching as you revise.
If the developmental edit is for a work of fiction, the critique letter addresses genre, readers, plot structure, subplots, pacing, setting, character development, dialogue, narrative style, voice, and point of view.
For nonfiction the critique letter examines focus, organization, logical flow, clarity, voice, style, and diction.
For both fiction and nonfiction, I also address the quality of writing, sentence structure and length, and any recurring grammar problems that should be addressed.
A developmental edit typically costs between $450 and $1200 dollars, depending on the length of the manuscript.
Submit your manuscript and receive a four- to six-page critique letter, sans coaching hours. A manuscript critique typically costs between $300 and $1000, depending on the length of the manuscript.
Substantive (content) Editing Vs. Copy Editing
Heavy-to-medium editing typically involves two types of editing: substantive editing and copy editing. This type of editing usually requires a couple of passes. Substantive editing addresses chapter, paragraph, and sentence-level organization, and points out places where more development or clarification may be needed. It may involve fact-checking as well. Copy editing involves identifying the following (in track changes):
- redundancies & inconsistencies
- inaccuracies (such as wrong dates)
- wordiness, inappropriate jargon, clichés
- weak sentence style
- inappropriate or inconsistent tone
- lack of transitions and signposts
- problematic word choice
- tense shifts or wrong use of tense
- grammar, usage, spelling, and punctuation
Line editing focuses on improving the sound and style of the writing. It is not a grammar check, though I will point out errors where I see them. The goal is to improve overall quality by addressing areas where the writing is unclear, wordy, lacking transitions or signposts, choppy, and generally not up to the desired standard.
Light Copyediting & Proofreading
If the manuscript has already been edited and revised, it may only need a once-over to eliminate any remaining errors, inconsistencies, ambiguities, gaps, lack of coherence, or formatting issues. Light editing also checks for proper sequencing, cross-references, consistency in spelling, punctuation, fonts, and capitalization.
Express proofreading has the fastest turn-around. Manuscripts that have been carefully copyedited and contain only mechanical errors (spelling, punctuation, typos, formatting) qualify for an express edit.