Fiction Editing Services
I’m Leah, a speculative fiction author and a freelance fantasy editor with an MFA in Creative Writing and a publishing certificate from the Denver Publishing Institute. I’m also a member of the Editorial Freelancers Association and ACES: The Society for Editing. I keep my editing skills up to date by taking classes provided by the Editorial Freelancers Association, and those provided by Jane Friedman. I offer developmental editing, line editing, and copyediting services to independent authors, querying authors, and publishers. I primarily edit fantasy, dark fantasy, science-fiction, and horror, though I’m open to working on all genres of fiction. I edit novel-length works and short stories.
When you hire an editor, you’re hiring a person who will help you take your story—the one you’ve put so much time and care into—to the next level. If we’re a good fit, I promise to do everything in my power to help you create the best version of your story possible.
You could spend hours self-editing your work by picking up editing tips, getting books on editing, or even buying editing software to help you along with the task, and eventually work your way through the novel you already spent a good chunk of time writing. But after writing your novel, reading it over, and rereading it again to edit it, you probably know your story inside and out. You start skimming. You stop being careful.
And then, no matter how thorough, how careful you think you’ve been, you may miss an odd scene transition, a stray punctuation mark, an awkward shift in voice.
That’s where I come in. I’m here, offering my services so you have a fresh pair of eyes to look over your novel or short story, to catch those stray, awkward shifts you may have overlooked.
Note: I recommend waiting until your manuscript is as complete and as polished as you can make it on your own, before hiring a freelance editor.
Interested in learning more about me and the kind of energy I’ll bring to a writer-editor relationship? Sign up for my free email newsletter! You’ll also get writing and editing tips, a free PDF writing resource on relationship mapping, and a special offer.
$0.03 (USD) per word
Also known as substantive editing. I check which storytelling elements (especially character development) are effective, and which aren’t as effective, from a “big picture” perspective of the manuscript as a whole. This includes evaluating how these elements work within chapters as well.
My overall goal for developmental editing is to make sure your story has a strong narrative arc your readers will want to follow, and interesting characters they’ll want to know and care about.
$0.04 (USD) per word
My overall line editing goal is to strengthen your prose and creative content, and help your writer voice shine through. My hope is that, during our time together, you’ll gain insight into your writer voice for you to use in future projects.
Line editing is my favorite type of editing to work on with authors, because I can let my own creativity resonate with the author’s to really make the author’s language and sentences shine. I also enjoy helping authors make their POV character’s voice (or POV characters’ voices) shine through!
$0.02 (USD) per word
This type of editing is more technical, like putting your manuscript under a microscope to check the minute details.
My overall goal for copyediting is to make sure the mechanics of your writing work, such as checking for grammar and punctuation accuracy (in terms of rules) and consistency. I follow The Chicago Manual of Style guidelines.
|Editing Type||In-Manuscript Comments||Detailed Editorial Letter||Style Sheet|
- In-manuscript comments about specific strengths of the story, including storytelling elements the author uses effectively. These comments also note areas that aren’t as effective for the author’s consideration, areas to consider during revision to lessen reader confusion and to increase reader engagement. Any specific areas of interest or concern the author might have, can also be noted.
- A detailed editorial letter addressing specific examples from the in-manuscript comments, and expanding on them further as needed.
- Style Sheets:
a) Developmental editing tracking sheet: Similar to a copyediting style sheet, but focused on worldbuilding details and name consistency instead of punctuation and grammar styles and rules.
b) Copyediting style sheet: To track the consistency of punctuation, grammar, and spelling styles and rules throughout the manuscript. This will also include tracking the consistency of details such as character appearance and scene description.
- Follow-up for all services: Email communication, after the return of the edited manuscript + deliverables:
- Up to 10 (ten) follow-up emails in the 30 days after the return of the edited manuscript for support.
*Though you can choose each service individually or in combination, I don’t recommend choosing all three services at once. A developmental edit should happen as an individual service, because the changes you choose to make afterwards will most likely affect the line and/or copyediting that was also performed on your manuscript.
Types of Editing Base Pricing
|Developmental (or Substantive) Editing||Line Editing||Copyediting|
|$0.03 (USD) per word||$0.04 (USD) per word||$0.02 (USD) per word|
*Same rates apply for short story edits.
**The total price can increase based on formatting issues, how much time I think it will take for me to edit your manuscript, and how quickly you’d like or need your manuscript returned to you.
***For more than one type of editing, add the rates per word together.
Calculating Approximate Total Price: [Manuscript Word Count] x [Type(s) of Editing Price] = Approximate Total Price
Example 1: Calculating the Approximate Total Price for Line Editing + Copyediting
Approximate Total Price: [80,000 words] x [$0.04 + $0.02] = $4,800.00 (USD)
Example 2: Calculating the Approximate Total Price for Developmental Editing
Approximate Total Price: [80,000 words] x [$0.03] = $2,400.00 (USD)
Example 3: Calculating the Approximate Total Price for Line Editing
Approximate Total Price: [80,000 words] x [$0.04] = $3,200.00 (USD)
Pay in Installments
If you are unable to make the full payment upfront, we can split the payment into installments. The first payment (half of the total project price) will act as a deposit upon scheduling a start-date, and I won’t start editing your manuscript until I receive it. If needed, payment dates for additional installments can be scheduled over the course of the project. The final installment can be paid within 7 business days after you receive your editorial package (edited manuscript + editorial letter).
2nd Round of Editing
After reviewing your editorial package and revising your project, I highly recommend sending your revised manuscript back to me for a second round of editing. The approximate total price for the second round is calculated from the word count of the revised manuscript and the relevant editing service base price listed above, divided in half.
2nd Round of Editing Approximate Total Price Calculation:
Approximate Total Price: ([Revised MS word count] x [Type(s) of Editing Price]) / 2 = Approximate Total Price for 2nd Round of Editing
Calculating the Approximate Total Price for 2nd Round of Editing, based on Example 3 above*:
*Assume that the revised manuscript word count is the same.
Approximate Total Price: ([80,000 words] x [$0.04]) / 2 = ($3,200.00) / 2 = $1,600 (USD) for 2nd round of line editing
I use Track Changes in Word to make edits and comments on manuscripts. Please make sure your manuscript file is a .doc or .docx, and formatted to be double-spaced, and to have 1-inch margins, 12-point font, and page numbers.
Here’s what other writers have to say about working with me…
Leah’s editing process put me in mind of project management software like Trello. Organized, responsive, and a consummate professional.
I am so happy with the revised edition of The Foreword to Insomnia’s Istanbul. I felt like a new visitor in a story I wrote—many years ago.
The working relationship between writers and editors is a critical and necessary bifurcation. My expectation was for vigorous honesty ladled gingerly . . . I got so much more!
I enjoyed visiting the story from Leah’s [the reader’s] point of view! I saw character motivations and truths through the editor’s gaze—and Leah’s observations and recommendations made sense. We stood on the Galata Bridge—virtually. We connected dots for a story narrated by an unreliable narrator in medias res… despite my protestations. We fleshed out the characters so vigorously, by the end of the story the antagonist—a poster child for any social justice movement—is a well-developed and sympathetic villain!
Honestly, it took time to write the testimonial. I found myself writing to impress my editor. Leah is that good.
She is a writer-editor. We workshopped Istanbul. We revisited space, directions, and intentions: “Are the streetlights on?” “What direction is Asia?” and “Are the quotations meant to indicate innuendo?” It was fun! Every story deserves an editor, and writers need docents. It was an opportunity to sharpen my sword.
– E Maria Shelton Speller, Author of The Foreword to Insomnia’s Istanbul
Leah was recommended to me by a friend who spoke highly of her editing talents and professionalism. I felt at ease, and I enjoyed working with Leah from the very beginning. She asked pertinent questions to fully understand my requests and expectations.
I will reach out to Leah for all of my future editing. I absolutely recommend her to anyone looking for a creative editor. Leah was attentive by completing the project in a timely manner. Her work was detailed and meticulously executed. I have written and published two books prior to this one. I have worked with many editors and can attest to Leah being easy and a delight to work with. Above all, she goes beyond to understand the writer’s vision and style.
I highly recommend Leah for any type of editing-writing… You will not regret it.
– Zlaikha Y. Samad, Co-Author of The Unseen Blossom and The Unseen Path
Leah’s editing style provides a thorough review of your manuscript with a personal touch.
I decided to work with Leah because the sample she returned resonated on the right notes for what I was looking for in a developmental edit. The edits were personal, constructive, and comprehensive. She understood the genre, the story, the type of characters, and had a good grasp of their arcs early on.
Since I am developing a series, I wanted to work with someone who respected the time I set aside for writing and editing, who was motivating without being pushy. She provided a good mix of this support by emailing me to check up on my progress, whilst still giving me the space to work on the edits and the sequel. I was impressed by her attention to detail; she managed to spot continuity slipups which neither myself nor my several read-crits picked up on.
I look forward to working with Leah in the future!
– Rob Connah, Author
Leah is 100% reliable and very professional.
Not only did she do a great job in due time, but her attention to detail and inquisitiveness also brought valuable insight into the project.
– María Elena Alvarado, Co-Founder/Managing Editor at School Publishing Group, Inc.