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Editing Services

If you couldn’t tell from my introduction, my preferred genres to edit are fantasy & science fiction. I also specialize in non-fiction, particularly self-help. I have extensive experience with romance, memoir, philosophy/religion, poetry, and children’s books. But “preferred” doesn’t mean “limited to.”

Edits will be done while maintaining your unique voice and following industry standards. I supply a style sheet to help you understand the choices and maintain consistency.

Price and timeline will vary based on the state and size of the project. I provide a free sample edit (approximately 500 words) so I can give you an accurate quote and you can determine if my editing style is right for you.

Please check out the FAQ below or reach out via email:
kmcmahon@literatusediting.com

You have an idea, maybe even a draft, but you just can’t seem to get it moving beyond that. Maybe you want to write a book, but you aren’t sure about what exactly.

Let me guide you, assisting and facilitating in the creation and development of your manuscript. This is a service tailored specifically to you, your personality, your book, and your goals.

Some authors need help with the plot or character development. Others might need a cheerleader to get them past writer’s block. Brainstorming ideas, setting goals, staying organized, and navigating the publishing industry are just a few ways I can help you get a book to publication.

Coaching is intensive and a long term commitment. Prices vary.

You’ve finished your draft but have concerns about the actual content. Developmental editing ensures your story works. It’s a review of the big picture.

Does your story make sense, flow in a logical order, stay consistent in tone, meet genre expectations, and tie up any loose ends? The most sweeping changes would be made here, including restructuring, if necessary.

It is often the most difficult stage for writers. It requires putting your baby into someone else’s hands and letting them pick it apart before helping you piece it back together.

A full developmental edit consists of comments and suggestions within the document itself in addition to an editorial letter, which provides more detail, context, and the overarching plan for tackling the issues cited.

Pricing starts at $.03 per word.
If you are looking for this type of feedback but it is not in your budget, I offer a pared-down version of the letter and commentary at a reduced rate.

You’ve completed your project and now you need another eye to go over it with a fine-toothed comb. Copyediting (or mechanical editing) involves a line-by-line and word-by-word review. This stage ensures readability and clarity of the prose.

While line and copyediting are sometimes called separate stages, they are similar services, looking for inconsistencies, accuracy, and readability at the micro-level. I combine these two stages calling it copyediting, but depending on the manuscript or author, my edits might lean more toward line edits.

Copyediting looks sentence by sentence, specifically for mistakes in grammar, usage, syntax, spelling, and punctuation. A line edit looks at the paragraph level, checking for style in addition to the mechanics. It can be considered more subjective but in-depth.

You may also request a light, medium, or heavy copyedit, which refers to the amount of work you want to be performed.

Pricing starts at $.02 per word.

Your manuscript has been edited and polished to your liking. It’s formatted and styled, and you feel it’s ready to publish. This stage makes sure no errors were introduced during previous editing stages or formatting.

When the final copy is formatted and ready, this is the final light editing pass. In addition to the usual editing checklist, I will be looking for errors that could have been introduced by formatting: spacing, widows and orphans, page numbers, table of contents, etc.

Pricing starts at $.01 per word.

I offer hardcover, paperback, and ebook formatting, each as a separate service for $.02 per word, which include proofreading. In addition to the typical formatting process (headers, footers, table of contents, margins, etc.), I will help with font choices and other style options.

How do the different stages of editing compare?​

Proofreading

Copyediting

Developmental

FAQ

Most frequent questions and answers.

My rates are based on industry standards and finalized by my experience and expertise. By setting the base price as a per word rate, it is easier for a client or author to determine if my services will fit their budget without questioning how I arrived at that number.

Note that the per word rate is a starting point, and while most clients’ projects will remain at that number, some projects might require more work and therefore an additional rate.

If you prefer an hourly or project rate, that can be arranged after a sample edit.

A sample edit is done using a small section of the project, typically taken from the middle of the manuscript. Why the middle? Usually, the beginning and ending are the places an author will spend the most time perfecting. By sending the middle, the author will get a better idea of what I can provide, and I will get a better understanding of the work involved.

I will edit approximately 500 words (2 pages) based on the type of editing you request. I perform the edits using Track Changes in Word, which allows you to see the suggestions clearly. Once I send it back to you, we can have a discussion about price, timeline, and next steps.

In addition to giving each of us a better picture of the work to be done, it allows us to see how well we can work together.

No.

Consistency is near impossible to achieve if I am unable to work on the entire project. It may also mean missing a plot or character issue if I am not able to see all sections. I pride myself on my excellent relationships with my clients. It is difficult to build a relationship when I am not working on the entire project.

In addition, some parts of editing can be subjective, which is why you may find several editors whose edits vary slightly. If you use different editors for different parts of your book, it may not mesh.

I have experience editing both sexually explicit and violent material. I am able to separate art from the artist and am not bothered by most material. In fact, I  feel I am able to discern places to suggest that it might be too much (or even too little). 

Of course, just because it hasn’t happened yet, doesn’t mean it isn’t possible. That is just another reason for a sample edit and discussions with an editor about content before the editing begins.

What I do not tolerate is when the artist projects that into real life.

Editing is intrinsically a subjective process. It is within your right to not take my suggestions into consideration during the final draft of your manuscript. It is simply another reason to get a sample edit.

Rejecting or disliking my suggestions is not a basis for refusing to pay the agreed-upon fees.

Most editors, myself included, will use Microsoft Word and its Track Changes feature. This allows me to edit the document in a way that makes the changes and suggestions easily visible to you. It also makes it easier for you to accept or reject those changes.

If you do not have Microsoft Word, there is typically an open source version or Google Docs where you will be able to do the same thing.

If you have never used Track Changes, it can seem intimidating. When requesting a sample edit, you can specify that you will need some assistance in reading the edited document. I also have a document that walks you step by step through the options (and I hope to make it a blog post on the site soon).

While it is, of course, possible to edit without using Track Changes, it is not recommended unless you trust your editor completely and plan to use the edited document as the most recent draft.

I discourage authors from looking at an edited document and attempting to transcribe the changes into an old draft, as you will miss minor things, such as commas or spacing, very easily (but a reader won’t).

Unfortunately, timelines are highly subjective and dependent on the following factors:

  1. The size of your project
  2. The state of your project
  3. The requested type of editing
  4. My current workload

I will be able to give an accurate assessment and timeline after completing a sample edit.

There are two different meanings of the word “pass” when it comes to editing. There is the number of times an editor reads the book as they are editing and the number of times an editor and author will go back and forth with edits.

I will do a minimum of two passes while I am editing. Once I have handed the book over to you with my edits, I offer a short meeting or a couple of email exchanges for questions and clarifications. I do not do another round of edits unless it is worked into the original contract at an additional cost.

Editing is a process of offering advice and suggestions. While I will make every effort to identify and bring questionable material to your attention, it is not possible to guarantee error-free content.

Most editors work to meet a benchmark of 95% accuracy, which is still a much higher rate than online editing tools.

I will do check-ins as often as a client needs, within reason. If there is nothing to update, it is only wasting working time by checking in.

Typically, we will have extensive communication before editing starts. During the process, I will reach out if I have questions, otherwise, I will provide a “halfway point” check-in to let you know where things stand.

Nearly all of my communication is done via email unless a client requests a meeting. As I have had issues in the past with phone calls, it is best to set up a Zoom or Google Meet, even if there is no video. I offer one meeting before editing begins and one after.

I can ghostwrite! Reach out and we can set up a meeting to discuss your ideas and what it would entail.

And sorry, but no homework. I am not sure of the legality, plus, I have done my fair share of homework, thank you!