Copyediting

I generally follow the Chicago Manual of Style for copyediting; yet I’m willing to work with other house styles. Copyediting includes the following:

  • Correcting mechanics errors (capitalization, punctuation, misspelled words)
  • Correcting usage errors (examples: which or that; lie or lay; they’re, their, or there)
  • Correcting grammar errors (examples: incorrect or inconsistent verb tense, problems with subject-verb and pronoun-antecedent agreement)
  • Noting inconsistencies with elements such as abbreviations, style of numbers (example: 47 and forty-seven), and time of day (example: 3:00 p.m. and 3 o’clock)
Rate: 2.5–3.5 cents per word, depending on manuscript length
Minimum charge: $34

Substantive Editing

The goal of substantive editing is to suggest changes that will improve clarity and make the writing more dynamic. (Keep in mind that you can accept or reject any of my suggested changes.) Elements that might be marked include the following:

  • Use of a cliché
  • Unclear meaning
  • Weak or no transition
  • Text that doesn’t flow
  • Improved word choice
  • Lack of sentence variety
  • Unnecessarily wordy text
  • Lack of parallel construction
  • Dialogue that needs tightening
  • Dialogue that doesn’t sound natural
  • Concept that needs further explanation
Rate: 4–4.5 cents per word, depending on manuscript length
Minimum charge: $40

Proofreading

The objective of proofreading is to catch typos and formatting errors, as well as any elements missed during copyediting.

Rate: 1–2 cents per word, depending on manuscript length
Minimum charge: $25

Electronic vs. Hard Copy

My preferences are to use the Track Changes and New Comments tools in Microsoft Word when proofreading or copyediting, and to mark changes on the hard copy manuscript during a substantive editing. However, these are only preferences.

Fees and Rates

A per-hour or per-project rate can be discussed.

Fees are based on the word count prior to editing.

Rates for rush projects (48-hour turnaround or less) are slightly higher.

My rates are competitive, based on information provided by the Editorial Freelancers Association: http://www.the-efa.org/res/rates.php

Billing and Payment

I bill upon completion of shorter projects. For longer projects I ask for 25% of the total fee up front and invoice the remaining amount. A payment plan can be arranged.

Payments are due within 30 days of invoicing.

Methods of payment: PayPal, personal check, cashier’s check, or money order.