A writer produces a sequential account of events. An editor transforms the account into a story worth reading.
Literary agents demand a perfectly edited manuscript. They then shop your work to publishers who employ teams of editors.
Each imprint has specific editors. These editors will modify your work so that it is in keeping with the imprint’s specific standards.
If Stephen King’s, George Martin’s, and J.K. Rowling’s titles are all modified by editors of their individual publisher, doesn’t it stand to reason that all writers should hire an editor? If nothing else, an editor is an extra pair of eyes, a person who can objectively read your work, a person who is not in your head with the foreknowledge of your story.
Most writers mistakenly believe that an editor’s job is to correct punctuation, spelling, and grammar, but that’s far from accurate. An editor’s job is to view your work as a reader; they are an unbiased medium, and they can scrutinize your work for breaks in continuity, a lack of character depth or growth, pacing issues, poor structure, and many other problems.
You may be simply looking for someone to proof your work. Such a thing is very important.
You may be looking for someone to help with minor issues such as perspective, character interaction, emotion, or pacing. An issue regarding these items can ruin an otherwise flawless story.
You may be looking to self publish, in which case it is imperative to hire a professional to help you reorganize your entire body for a specific audience. Nothing enrages a reader more than spending their hard earned cash on a book only to find it is rife with inconsistencies, dull dialogue, uninspired characters, and poor writing.
I can do for you all of the above.
Most editors will charge you between five and seven dollars per page, but they also require you double space your work. That means you’re turning a three hundred page book into a six hundred page book. That also means that instead of paying between fifteen hundred and twenty one hundred dollars, you’re forced to pay between three thousand and forty two hundred dollars. To what end? Double spacing doesn’t help the editor. Besides, with two clicks of the mouse, they can double space your work themselves.
Some editors will allow you to submit only the first few chapters of your work. After all, chances are that whatever is wrong at the beginning of your work, if anything, is what is going to be an issue throughout the rest of your title, and that’s pretty cool, but this also limits those editors because they’ll never know if there’s an issue with your continuity, and if they don’t know, you may never know either.
Here’s what I offer:
First, you can send me as much or as little of your work as you like. However, keep in mind that I may not be able to give you my best if I don’t have your entire title.
Second, I do NOT want you to double space your work. That’s just a way to scam writers out of extra money, and I think it’s a terrible practice.
Third, I will gladly proof your work for minor errors such as incorrect homonyms, redundancies, and pacing. Plus, I’ll note anything that jumps out at me, which I’ll relay to you, such as breaks in continuity, plot holes, suspension of belief, and anything else that I feel might need your immediate attention. On top of that, I’ll also provide you with a review, which you can use if you wish. The review will be about your story and not the caliber of your writing.
For this service, which I call proofing, I will only charge you one dollar per page of your manuscript. I will only be reading through your story one time, but I’ll be reading as a reader, not a writer, and because of this, I’ll be able to pick out those little discrepancies that bother a lot of readers, and then you can fix the issues as you please.
Fourth, I offer basic editing services. With this service, I’ll be reading through your story a minimum of three times. On my first read through, I’ll really just be providing you with the proofing service, but after that, I’ll dig deeper. I’ll check to make sure your chapters begin and end in the best way possible. I’ll suggest better words, more appropriate sentence structure, I’ll observe your characters, their actions, their speech, their interactions, their reactions, and help you get the most out of your story.
For this service, basic editing, I charge three dollars per page. You’ll still get everything that I offer with the proofing service, which includes other minor suggestions and a review for you to use. Of course, this service will also require a longer turn around time.
Fifth, I offer comprehensive editing. This is where I get into the nitty-gritty of it all. I’ll be offering the first two services, and I will be reading through your story numerous times; enough times to seek out every, single, little tiny discrepancy. To better understand this service, I implore you to visit my blog posts on Journal. There, you will see how I inspect each word you use, each sentence, how each sentence complements the last one in order to form the best paragraph, and how each paragraph comes together to form a scene, and how each scene lays out the chapter.
This is an excruciatingly detailed scrutiny of your work, and the turn around time will likely be at least a month. Naturally, it will vary based on the length of your manuscript, but you get a combination of the other two services, all of my thoughts, and I will work with you throughout this entire process. I’ll be sure to keep us on the same page, and by the end, your book will be absolutely everything you want it to be.
For comprehensive editing, I charge six dollars per page. With this service, not only will we do absolutely everything together, so that you also understand the editing process—and can then apply your newfound knowledge by yourself in the future—I will also help you to format your manuscript, send you to my cover artist, and if you so wish, I’ll talk about your book on Quora, my personal blog, Medium, and LinkedIn; I can even do a review on Vocal Media if you like.
By talking about your book, not only will people learn that you exist, but they’ll know that your book is professionally edited and worth buying. You’ll gain a great deal of free exposure.
I hope to work with you, but should you decide against using an editor, beware of readers who expect top quality from a purchase; they will write a scathing review against you if they feel your work is more like a first draft than a finished title. Literary agents may not take you seriously, or perhaps, your independent press may not do as thorough a job because they’re working on numerous other projects at the same time.
Feel free to shop for other editors as well. I have worked with five editors. The first one told me I had to rewrite my whole story before rehiring them. That meant to me that they didn’t know their craft and wanted to charge me twice for no work at all. The second editor blatantly rewrote my whole story in the same vein as their own titles, thus totally eliminating my voice and completely ruining the world, plot, and characters. The second two were employed by independent presses, and they were decent as copy editors; they fixed some grammar and punctuation, but still missed a great many issues–problems I wasn’t able to grasp at that time. The fifth editor was Chuck Sambuchino, and he painstakingly helped me to understand what was wrong with my writing, how to fix it, and why his advice was beneficial.
Since working with Chuck Sambuchino, I have studied extensively the art of editing, and that’s precisely why I implore you to check out my free resources below. Start reading the first one and go from there. You’ll be shocked to learn just what a competent editor can do for you. Furthermore, my prices are about as fair as you can get, unless you want to hire someone through UpWork who charges sixty seven dollars per hour, and they can take as long as they like, and charge you all day every day.
I hope you make the right choice and hire me. In the end, you can apply as much of my advice and technique as you like, and you don’t even need to include me as the editor of your book. Take all the credit yourself. I don’t mind. You deserve it.
What I do ask of you, what I demand, and this is not up for debate, is that when you choose to hire me, you send me your manuscript as a Word document of the .doc extension. I will not accept anything else. Whether you agree or not, Microsoft Word is the perfect software, and I only accept .doc format, not .docx, not .pdf, not .anything else.
Thank you. To hire me, send me an email at dennis @ storiesbydennis . com with the subject heading: editing services. Then, in your message, tell me which service is right for you–proofing, basic editing, or comprehensive editing–how many pages require editing, and your Paypal email address. I will only accept payment through Paypal and will send the invoice via your Paypal email address. At that time, I will also ask for your manuscript. Once payment is received, I will begin working on your manuscript.
I will only work on one manuscript at a time, so this is a first come first served basis, and it might take some time for me to work with you, but I won’t send you a Paypal invoice until such a time as I am ready to work on your manuscript.
I will not copy your work. I will not steal your work. I will not sell your work. I will not show your work to anyone without your consent.
I am not trying to bilk writers of their money. I am offering quality service because I was once in your shoes. I also like to edit, so you know you’ll have my complete attention.
Finally, in the event that I have too many clients waiting in line, I will post at the top of this page that I am currently closed to submissions. Thank you.