Following are the writing and editing services I offer.
Editing From A to Z: There’s editing, and Then There’s Editing
People are frequently confused by the many different kinds of editing most editors perform. Following is a brief explanation.
Line Editing: Literally, going through a manuscript line by line and fixing errors in punctuation, grammar, spelling, and syntax.
Revision Editing: Same as line editing, plus: rewriting sentences and paragraphs, rearranging phrases, clauses, paragraphs, and/or sections, and making additions or deletions as editor deems necessary.
Developmental Editing: Taking revision a step further, this is usually done in consultation with the writer. Developmental editing can include adding, deleting or changing a character, plot, or entire sections of the manuscript. It can mean moving chapters around, or making significant alterations to scenes and/or dialog. It can be quite extensive. Sometimes an editor will make suggestions to the writer, who will then make the changes (or not if in disagreement). If both parties agree, the editor usually goes ahead and makes the changes.
There are even more kinds of editors, such as Acquisition Editors in publishing houses, and Desk Editors at large newspapers, but they’re irrelevant to the work I do as a freelancer.
Writing / Ghostwriting
In order for editing to take place, we obviously need an existing manuscript, no matter what shape it’s in. However, there are some people in this world who simply cannot or will not write one single word. That’s where I come in.
I’ve ghost-written full-length books of non-fiction; blog posts; catalog descriptions; academic articles; and business materials such as brochures, press releases, and e-books. Ghostwriters are usually anonymous, but sometimes given credit as co-writer (“as told to” or “with”). When I ghostwrite a book I sign a confidentiality agreement not to reveal the fact.
The Internet has given rise to a surge in entrepreneurship and motivational speaking, which in turn has led to an increased demand for ghostwriters. Entrepreneurs with specialties in high finance, nutrition, fitness, and dog training — to name just a few — are finding they need a book, or even several, to use as promotional tools. Just as I know little about entrepreneurship, these professionals frequently don’t know how to write, so they hire professionals like me to do the job.
I’ve written books on topics such as online niche dating; ethnic-based cooking and dieting; self-promotion; teaching kids about money; meeting millionaires for business or pleasure (with a co-writing credit on that one), and drama as a form of therapy, to name a few. The entrepreneurs for whom I wrote these books were too busy running their businesses to do the writing themselves. It’s common sense: People whose writing skills are at best mediocre are wise to use their time doing what they do best, and pay someone skilled at writing to do that job.
A manuscript evaluation is a detailed report of a book’s strengths and weaknesses, with specific recommendations to improve anything that doesn’t seem to be working. This kind of analysis is invaluable; even if a writer is also an experienced editor, an objective eye is essential.
Manuscript evaluation is a tender pursuit. Whereas I’m a hard-core editor when preparing work for publication, when it comes to the process of fiction or creative nonfiction I’m more inclined to be gentle, knowing that harsh, insensitive criticism can damage rather than improve a piece of writing. As I wrote in Every Writer Deserves an Editor:
I’ve been on the writing side of this process enough to know the benefits of good editing. I almost always enjoy being edited: it‘s a real privilege just to have someone pay that much attention to my work…In a world where writing is so often ignored or trivialized, such attention is deeply satisfying…I still remember my best editors and how they helped me develop as a writer.
If you’re thinking of hiring me to evaluate a manuscript, please email first with the following information: genre, length, and your specific concerns. I’ll let you know when I can do an editorial analysis and estimate how much it will cost.
Mentorship / Tutoring
While teaching creative writing classes in San Francisco, I developed a system for working with students one-on-one outside the parameters of the classroom. Using email and occasional in-person meetings, I helped those who wanted to write but lacked knowledge of the craft and/or confidence in their abilities. Some students worked on a specific project, such as a novel; others practiced various assigned exercises, using my feedback to hone their skills. Having undergone this same process as a writer, I know how to guide others to overcome the internal barriers that can prevent us from using and developing our creative instincts.
To contact me about any of the above services, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Line Editing $3.00 per page* (300 pages = $ 900)
Revision Editing $4.00 per page (300 pages = $1200)
Developmental Editing: $5.00 per page (300 pages = $1500)
*Standard page: 12-pt. font double-spaced = 250 wds.
The kind of editing I do most, and prefer to do, is Revisionary.
The above are estimates only. I ask for and edit the first ten pages gratis before finalizing my fee with a contract.
For going rates on writing and editing fees, see the Editorial Freelancers Association: