Copy Editing Services and Rates

As an author and freelance copy editor, I’ve been on both sides of this vital editing process for years. I understand just how crucial it is to have a reliable partner that won’t add to your stress by warping your unique voice. Especially one that’s willing to sweat with you from the rough draft all the way to launch day.

With over four million e-books for sale on Amazon.com alone and an average of 3,000 new works uploaded daily, independent authors like ourselves need every edge we can get to rise above the pack. Of all the options available for investing in your publishing business, professional editing consistently proves to deliver the most bang for your buck.

Since the ultimate goal is to ensure your hard work has the best chance to succeed in this ultra-competitive marketplace, my standard service includes two separate proofs and layout formatting for one bundled price of $0.0075 a word. You’ll receive the first “deep dive” and line-by-line edited manuscript by the agreed upon date. If I fail to meet your deadline, then your order is free.

With such an extensive editing process, some “post-production” mistakes are guaranteed to pop up. That’s why, once you’ve made your changes and rewrites, I’ll perform a final proofreading to weed out any new errors. Last, but not least, I’ll return three “ready to upload” manuscripts, optimized for the Kindle and Epub ebook formats, as well as the Createspace paperback format. Full payment is due only when you have received these files and are 100% satisfied with the final product.

To make this process as transparent as possible, please read on for a detailed description of the editing process and overall workflow.

Line-by-Line Editing: What exactly does this entail? What am I paying for?

Proofreading:

  • Correct spelling, grammar, punctuation and capitalization errors.
  • Correct word usage, with a special emphasis on misused hyphenated/compound words, author-specific crutch words/phrases and those devilish homonyms.

Copy Editing:

  • Correct sentence-level syntax for clarity, consistency and readability, without twisting your unique writing style.
  • Polish overall tone and flow. This phase overlaps with “developmental editing,” but there’s no extra charge. I take pride in weeding out continuity errors, plot holes, unrealistic dialogue, inconsistent character actions and the subtle, yet confusing point-of-view shifts.

Formatting Ebook and Paperback Layout:

Within 48 hours after you approve the changes from the second proofreading pass, I’ll send you three final “ready to upload” files for Kindle, Epub and Createspace paperback formats.

This optimization covers many small steps needed to make sure your work meets the industry standards for ebooks and trade paperback layouts. In addition, the formatting I perform is applied as a template to your document. This means that if you update your content later, all necessary formatting is already there. You don’t have to rehire me in the future just because you’d like to change your front or back matter.

These files are guaranteed compatible with the following distributors and retailers:

Kindle Direct Publishing All Romance Ebooks Kobo
Draft 2 Digital (Full Distribution) Apple Ibooks NookPress (B&N)
Smashwords (Full Catalog) GooglePlay Books Oyster
Createspace (Trade Paperback) Inktera Scribd

If you receive any errors when uploading to any of these sites, I will correct the problem immediately without charge.

Free Bonus (if requested):

I will create a sample product page description or provide detailed blurb critique if you have one already.

Rates:

The standard bundled service above costs $0.0075 /word. Price is based off the MS word count and ignores front/back matter. There’s no charge for following up and asking for more detail about changes, even months down the road.

Discounts are available for returning clients and those looking to have multiple books edited at once.

Payment is due through the standard timetable of a 50% deposit upon contract assignment and the remaining balance paid when all changes have been approved and the final formatted files are delivered to the client.

Unbundled Rates:

– One-time professional proofreading: $0.0035 /word. This differs from copy-editing by focusing solely on objective mistakes, such as spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc… and ignores subjective style or syntax problems. I only recommend this option if your manuscript has already been professionally edited and/or has gone through a rigorous beta reader review system.

– Ebook plus paperback formatting & typesetting only: $30 flat-rate per manuscript, regardless of book length. You’ll receive all three formats, Kindle, Epub and Createspace paperback, as well as continued support to guarantee they upload to your distributors without error.

– Special requests. Please let me know if you have any special requests not addressed here. If I’m not qualified to assist, I can usually refer you to someone that is.

Turnaround:

While every manuscript is unique, my work schedule is predictable since I usually take on only one client per week. As a rule of thumb, I require one business day to edit every 10-15k words, or approximately six-eight workdays to complete the first proof of an 80,000-word manuscript. Once you send the initial document and I can review it, I’ll provide you with a hard completion deadline before we sign the service contract.

In general, I avoid extreme rush jobs since this is such a detail-oriented business, but I’ll do everything possible to accommodate your deadline. If requested, I can send each day’s edits so that you can approve the changes as we go and speed along the process.

Workflow:

How does this whole thing work? What’s the step-by-step process?

1) Contact me (via site form or AuthorRAPeters@gmail.com) with your goals and a 1,000-word appetizer to edit. I’ll return the sample with my suggested edits, availability and a signed Non-Disclosure Agreement to protect your intellectual property within 1-2 business days.

If you feel that I’m a good fit to help polish your work, then we can proceed whenever you’re ready. Please feel free to ask me anything or bring up any concerns you have before we get started. I aim to make this a stress-free experience.

2) When you’re ready to hire, send the manuscript in MS Word format via email or through Dropbox. Once I receive your manuscript, I’ll give it an initial inspection and provide you with a service agreement (you can sign this digitally without printing it out) that includes a hard completion date for return of the first line-by-line proof. As stated in the service agreement, if I fail to meet this deadline, for any reason, then your order is 100% free. The second proofreading and formatting deadline will be met within 48 hours after you approve the revisions from the first edit pass, however long that takes.

You’ll also receive a PayPal invoice at this time to simplify taxes and record keeping. A deposit of 50% of the total order via PayPal is required before editing can begin. The rest is due on final completion of the project.

3) Time for the fun part. Clear your head and put the manuscript out of your mind while I dive in. This’ll give you a fresh perspective to judge the corrections and suggestions I’ll send you soon. Now’s a great time to start on your next book or just take a well-deserved break. I’ll email you any questions I have and send you a list of daily edits, if requested.

4) Prior to our deadline, I’ll send the Word manuscript back with all changes and detailed explanations marked under “Track Changes.” This allows you to confirm each revision and choose whether to approve or deny them. Objective errors will be color-coded red and subjective style suggestions shaded blue.

Once I return the marked-up manuscript, the job isn’t finished. We’re not done until you’re completely satisfied and ready to bring your work to market. If any edits are unclear, please let me know and I’ll clarify. No question is small or unimportant. I’m happy to set up a chat or Skype session so that we can go through these changes in real-time. It’s crucial for my reputation that each client is 100% convinced they received their money’s worth out of this service.

5) Once you’ve made your changes and any other necessary rewrites, then send me the final manuscript and I’ll perform one last proofreading pass to weed out any “post-production” errors within 48 hours. I’ll also format the Word file and provide you with three copies, each optimized for the Kindle, Epub and Createspace paperback formats.

6) Final payment is due only when you receive the final formatted files.

Questions? Ready to saddle up?

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