Why You Need an Editor
Editing is an objective, critical second eye that every author, especially one who is self-publishing, needs to ensure their final product is the very best it can be. My goal is to help you get your message across to your readers. Even if you are proficient in the English language, understand all the rules of grammar and punctuation, and have a good command of industry guidelines, you are too close to your own work to view it objectively. God created our minds to be so powerful that we automatically fill in missing words and skip over simple errors without realizing it. Additionally, an unbiased editor can find logic issues and inconsistencies and give invaluable feedback to improve the overall content.
I’m planning to self-publish. Why do I need an editor?
If you’re interested in some form of independent publishing, outside editing is incredibly important. Your book needs to be as polished and professional as those coming from traditional publishers. Whether you hire a subsidiary publisher or do it all on your own, editing is of utmost importance.
Don’t skip this critical step in the publishing process. Many authors have passed it over, only to find out after printing that there were embarrassing mistakes that could have been prevented had they hired a professional editor.
I’m not going to self-publish. So if the publisher will edit my book when they receive it, why do I need a freelance editor to help me first?
It is good for a manuscript to be edited even if it will be edited by the publisher because you must first get accepted by the publisher. If the publisher sees that the manuscript requires too much work, they may decide that the manuscript is not worth the effort and expense. If you are working through an agent, the agent has to be able to sell the manuscript, and a manuscript that looks nonprofessional and has many errors is not an appealing product to purchase. Having a well-written and well-edited manuscript may make the difference between acceptance and rejection.
For all services, I will do a no-cost, no-obligation sample edit* of several pages in order to determine the level of editing required. If you agree with my evaluation and editing style and choose to proceed, I’ll provide a contract for the project. I ask for a 50% down payment before the editing begins, with the balance due at the completion of the project. I accept payments through PayPal or Stripe or by check through the mail.**
Proofreading—$.01 per word
Proofreading is the final step before a piece of content goes live. In other words, proofreading is done after a manuscript has already gone through the editing process. I check for:
- Grammatical errors
- Double words (“the the,” “and and,” etc.)
- Punctuation mistakes, including hyphenation of word breaks
- Word spacing
- Font, size, and format consistency
Copyediting (Line by Line Editing)—$.016 per word
Copyediting, also called line by line editing, is the most common edit requested. It includes the items listed in proofreading but may also add:
- Double-checking the table of contents, endnotes/footnotes, and bibliography
- Fact checking and research, including tables, references, and Bible verses
- Detecting issues with sentence structure
- Watching for paragraph lengths and word choices
- Checking for missed words
- Attention to accuracy, consistency, and overall flow
- Ensuring the work meets editorial guidelines
Sentences can be restructured and words and phrases changed. Copyediting includes only a light proofreading, which is why I highly recommended the client includes the full proofreading service in order to ensure a final polished manuscript. I will give a 10% discount for both services if chosen.
Substantive Content Editing—$.025 per word
Content editing checks for all the same items as the proofreading and copyediting services, but involves, as the name implies, checking the content.
- Style and formatting
- Contradictions and inconsistencies
- Recommendations for reorganizing, rewriting, and revising paragraphs, sentences, or sections as needed
Substantive content editing only includes a light proofreading. I highly recommend clients include the full proofreading service as well. As with copyediting, I will give a 10% discount for two or more services for the same project.
*I reserve the right to refuse any particular work which violates my Statement of Faith or contains profanity, inappropriate sexual content, is morally objectionable, criminal, or promotes anti-Christian sentiments, beliefs, or practices. I also reserve the right to define any of the mentioned reasons according to the dictates of my own conscience (or as God leads me). In addition to the reasons already given, I will refuse to edit certain manuscripts that may, infrequently, fall outside of my expertise.
**An online payment service fee of 3% will be added to the invoice for paying online with a debit or credit card. However, you may deduct the 3% online fee by submitting an electronic check through Stripe or by sending a check, payable to “Elizabeth Smith,” to the address on the emailed invoice.