When I say “editing,” I mean any combination of manuscript critique, copyediting, line editing, and substantive editing. How extensive the editing is depends on what you are after and the state of the project when you send it to me.


Copyediting comprises a range of editing tasks, from cleaning up grammar and typos to catching repetitive or unclear passages. It can also include what is often called line editing—editing for consistency in tone, style, voice.

Substantive editing

In substantive (or developmental) editing, I start with the big-picture perspective, looking at character development, story structure, main tension, emotional engagement, world building, continuity, themes, writing style, and so on. From there, I go chapter by chapter through the manuscript, suggesting edits and providing detailed notes. This is the most hands-on intensive editing I do.


There are no hard lines to draw between the different types of editing. It’s all of a piece, which is this page is titled simply Editing. Most editing projects tend to fall somewhere between copyediting and substantive editing. We decide together how deep you would like me to go.

Manuscript Critique

Many opt for this lowest-cost step first. I read your story as any reader might, looking at what’s working, noting missed opportunities, and identifying potential problems for you will want to look at in your next rewrite. Think of this as a beta read plus—with a critical eye and a detailed report from which you can work on a new draft.

If the manuscript seems ready for editing and we agree to move forward, I apply half the critique fee toward the editing.

Areas of Specialty

When it comes to copyediting, I do for all kinds of fiction and trade nonfiction material.

For substantive editing, I will be forthright with you in advance if I am not all that familiar with your genre. My experience, expertise, and interests congregate around science fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, literary fiction, and what the industry calls women’s fiction. Non-fiction areas of experience are culture, the arts, technology, sciences, and history written for the general reader. (Note: While I flag factual errors that leap out at me, fact-checking is not part of my editing services.)

Follow-up consulting

I want you to feel comfortable with the work I do, so all booked projects include some time after the project is done to discuss my notes and your thoughts.


For critique, my rates start at $0.008 (eight tenths of a cent) per word (or $2 per standard manuscript page*).  Editing will range from $0.02/word to $0.08/word, depending upon the work involved. To avoid guesswork, I provide a fixed bid once I review the entire manuscript.

If you think we might be a good fit but you’re still not sure, I do offer a free sample edit of up to around 750 words.


* Standard manuscript formatting is approximately 250 words per page, double-spaced 12pt Times New Roman or Courier font on letter-sized or A4 pages. This count pertains to manuscripts only and does not affect how many words per page would be in the final laid-out book.