Book editingDevelopment editing, editorial assessment, copyediting and proofreading for non-fiction
This is when you want a second opinion on what you’ve written, usually before you publish it on the Kindle Store or other platform. When I provide editorial assessment, I read your manuscript from start to finish and provide a 2-3 page report. It typically takes about a week. I look at whether the chapters are in the most logical order, whether material should be moved, added or cut, and whether everything makes sense. I’ll look at the language and tone of voice and identify ways in which the book can better connect with its readers. And I’ll make suggest changes to the title or subtitle to help its rankings on Amazon.
If your manuscript has had an editorial assessment from me or another editor, you may not wish to make the changes yourself. If you don’t have time, or you feel you’re too close to your work to change it around, an editor can do the development editing work for you. Developmental editing is the biggest single editing task and your manuscript will be substantially different by the time it’s finished. It involves involving changing the structure, moving paragraphs, and perhaps even entire chapters, and improving pace and readability by re-writing selected sentences.
Regardless of whether or not any prior editing work has been done, every book needs copyediting. A copyedit is when an editor checks spelling and grammar, picks up typos and meticulously ensures consistency throughout the manuscript. Most authors prefer me to perform copyediting with Word’s Track Changes function turned on, so they can see what I’ve changed and whether or not to approve the amendment.
Even if you don’t have any other editing work done on your manuscript, having a fresh pair of eyes perform a thorough proofread is essential. Proofreading is when you pick up all the little slips and mistakes that creep in over the course of writing and editing. A missing full stop, for example, a missing word like ’the’, ’a’ or ’and’, double space or an extra full stop. During my career as a magazine editor, I sent over 150 individual issues to press – and proofread every single one, from cover to cover.
How much does it cost?
There are no hard and fast prices because every book is different. Longer books take longer to edit and therefore cost more, but the subject also matters. Highly technical subjects requiring a lot of fact-checking take longer than a book about entrepreneurship, for example.
Of the four types of editing, developmental editing is the most expensive because it takes the most time. Copyediting and proofreading are typically bundled together – authors typically need both and it saves finding a second editor who’s unfamiliar with the manuscript.
If I’m doing copyediting I will be familiar with the manuscript, so I usually offer a combined price for proofreading and copyediting that isn’t much more than for copyediting alone.
Editorial assessment is the cheapest service but perhaps the most valuable if you’re a first-time author. I can give you an independent perspective that will help you decide how to refine your book appeal to as many readers as possible.