Manuscript Evaluation & Editing

The descriptions below are meant to give you a general sense of how we might work together on your existing manuscript, but know that I do tailor each collaboration and contract to meet your specific needs.

For example, some manuscripts come to me needing multiple and extensive revisions, others are extraordinary, and might go straight to the Line Editing phase. In some cases, I receive books that were completed by another ghostwriter, the client is asking me for a “quick check” to ensure the book is ready for querying or publication, and I unfortunately have to shout, “Hold the presses!” (and then I get to book doctoring).

In any case, here are the services I offer, followed by the services I refer out to my trusted colleagues:

Initial Intake (“Test to Trust”)

I know how hard it can be to fork money–and your writing–over to a stranger. There are thousands of amazing writers, editors, and coaches out there too and it can be challenging to find the perfect fit. For this reason, I offer a sample edit of up to ten pages with a one-hour follow-up call.

Cost: Pre-paid $300

Manuscript Evaluation

A careful read of your manuscript, with light markup in the margins and a 6-10 page editorial letter that addresses big picture elements. This service is for the writer who has had few (if any) outside readers and wants to know what’s working, what’s not, and what’s possible. After receiving feedback on setting, pacing, themes, character development, tension, dialogue, tone, mood, and plot, this writer will usually either take the manuscript into their own hands and rework it solo for another round or two; or, they will talk with me about further coaching and/or editing services. Whatever path the writer chooses, with the ME in hand, they have solid, practical, MFA-level “nuggets” to use moving forward.

Cost: Pre-paid, ranges from $1200-1500, depending on word count. I normally do not work with manuscripts over 100,000 words/400 pages. Turnaround four weeks.

Developmental Edit

Digs deeper than the Manuscript Evaluation w/editorial letter by providing more extensive margin notes and detailed suggestions on how to improve specific passages or fix recurring issues, such as unrealistic dialogue or a secondary character that suddenly drops out or takes over the story. Writers seeking a Developmental Edit want to work intensively one-on-one through two rounds of revisions to clarify, flesh out, and tighten things up.

Cost: Pre-paid, ranges from $3500-4500 for up to 100,000 words. Turnaround three months.

Line Edit

Never to be done before a Developmental Edit, the Line Edit is the polish on the paragraph, sentence, and word choice. This pass makes your work pulse and sing!

Cost: TBD, the Line Edit is sometimes done in tandem with the second round of Developmental Editing, if copy is tight; or, it is done as a third and entirely separate round. Sometimes, too, if after an initial Manuscript Evaluation I see that the story is spectacular, I might suggest going directly to the Line Editing stage.

Copy Edit

Combs your manuscript for grammar, spelling, mechanical, and punctuation errors. Some editors distinguish copy editing from line editing–I am one of those editors. Though I technically do not offer copy editing as a separate service, as a former university English and ESL instructor, I cannot help addressing errors as I go along. If I see a misused they’re/their/there, or an instance of subject/pronoun disagreement, I’ll go right in and fix it. If any issue is consistent or pervasive, I’ll instruct the writer to use Find/Replace, or to make sure to budget for a copyeditor.


The final review of your manuscript before it goes out to agents, or to print, or is self-published. Because all editors are human, and spellcheck cannot always be trusted, proofing is crucial. Professional proofreaders catch any and all copy editing slips, as well as formatting issues. I do not offer proofreading services. See Scheduling and Referrals.

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