Fees depend on the nature, complexity, and dimensions of the specific project—and on the level of required (and desired) service.
Some initial work together—some pages, perhaps, or a chapter—can provide two benefits:
- It allows me to make a more thorough assessment of the project, and then to determine a realistic fee.
- It allows you to see what you will get in terms of editing and writing expertise, and in terms of a final product.
With this approach, neither party gets "locked in" until both have had an opportunity to get acquainted and to establish an effective writer-editor relationship. I've never failed to reach an equitable agreement—one that both parties feel is fair.
Rates can vary from 2,500 to 10,000, depending on the level of editing that is required or desired. Editing services fall into three broad categories:
Level one: developmental (or content) editing
- Does the book as a whole possess a logical cohesion? Does the story hang together?
- Is the story effective in these areas—pacing, voice, tone, style, description, dialogue, narrative strategy?
- What are the themes--and sub-themes?
- Does the story bog down or become tedious at points?
- Is the chronology clear? Could the order of events be changed to increase interest?
- Are the scenes effective? Do they effectively link up and move the story along?
- Are the characters well described? Do they come alive?
- Are the chapter beginnings and endings effective?
Level two: substantive (or structural) editing
- Are the sections, chapters, and scenes effectively organized?
- Are the transitions in place?
- Is the paragraphing effective?
- Is the meaning clear?
- Does the story flow? Is it well “sliced?” Is it easily navigated?
- Is there a good blend of description, dialogue, and introspection?
- Do the scenes hang on a clear thematic “string”?
- Where is rewriting required—and how much?
Level three: stylistic (or line) editing
- Does the writing follow good usage, punctuation, grammatical, and stylistic conventions?
- Is there excessive wordiness?
- Does the writing possess sentence variety and proper sentence structure?
- Is the diction (word choice) appropriate?
- Does the writing use literary devices to best advantage?·
- Is there a good sense of rhythm to the writing? Is there a forward momentum?
- Does the writing favor strong verbs and the active voice? Does it favor the concrete over the abstract?
- Is the expression sincere—rather than slick? Does it make good use of colloquial and slang language when needed?