"Godlight" photo by D. L. Reade--used by permission (www.dlrimagery.com)

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Rick’s Editing Service

Editing is available for fiction writing of any length from short stories to novels.

My rate for a basic one-pass copy edit is five dollars ($5) per thousand words for manuscripts up to 10,000 words. Over 10,000 words, the rate is six dollars ($6) per thousand. This rate assumes you have done some basic editing, spell checking, and cleanup of the manuscript beforehand. If a piece needs significant clean-up work, excessive editing, or I feel it’s not ready for my editing services (that is, it needs major revisions), I’ll either decline to edit it and kick it back with my advice, or if you still want it edited, we can negotiate a new rate. In any case, these rates apply to the general limits of what is listed below:

  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Grammar
  • Word usage errors
  • Consistency of usage
  • Limited fact checking as feasible
  • Basic story continuity elements

I will do my best to watch for continuity errors, consistent usage and spelling of names and terms, and writing anomalies. I make no promises that I’ll catch them all. These are the author’s responsibility, but I will be alert for them. If I can correct them, I will. If not, I’ll add a comment for you to deal with them. I also pay very close attention to punctuation to ensure the manuscript reads as you intend. My goal is to make your writing clean and consistent.

I also watch for the overuse use of certain words, expressions, and techniques that call attention to the writing and distract from it. Examples include beginning too many sentences with conjunctions, overuse of parenthetical expressions, too many overlong sentences, overuse of certain punctuation (such as dashes and ellipses).

I will not correct grammar in dialogue except for obvious spelling errors. If I am unsure of something, I will note these rather than change them. I will not alter your voice or the characters’ voices.

I do not use Track Changes in MS Word because I find that can often introduce additional errors, especially if the author attempts to use it to accept or reject changes. Instead, I along with the final edited manuscript file, I provide a comparison file (done with Word’s “Compare” feature) that shows all the changes that were made.

Before I begin the actual editing, I will do some basic manuscript clean up (extra spaces, etc.). However, formatting clean-up beyond this is your job–or we can negotiate a separate fee for that. Some advice: be consistent with scene and paragraph breaks. NEVER use tabs or multiple spaces to indent paragraphs. Use first-line indent instead unless you use block formatting, but this type of formatting is generally reserved for certain nonfiction books. If you plan to produce an e-book, tabs and extra spaces will often corrupt the formatting.

If punctuation is not your strong point, I recommend Punctuation For Fiction Writers by Rick Taubold and Scott Gamboe to help improve the strength of your writing and help minimize your editing costs, especially if you use an editing service that charges by the hour.

A free sample edit of 5-10 pages (double-spaced, max. 2500 words) is available so you can see the kind of work I do. No obligation.

Turnaround time varies depending on my workload. Inquire about my current schedule.

I will do my best to catch all errors, but no editor one is perfect, and a single-pass edit won’t catch everything. If you wish a second pass through your work, I will do it at a reduced rate of two dollars per thousand words less than the above quoted rates, and I require at least a one-month break between edits so I can view it with fresh eyes on the second pass. Therefore, the cleaner your manuscript is to begin with, the greater the chance that I’ll be able to deliver a very clean manuscript on a single pass.

Payment is accepted via PayPal or physical check once the project is done.

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