What qualifies you to be an editor?
Proper education and training are key. I have a bachelor’s degree in mass communication with an emphasis in print journalism. I specialized in editing in undergrad and loved every minute of it. It’s crucial to keep learning, so I also finished a respected university-level continuing-education editing program and have taken additional editing courses since then. Also, in 2020 I completed my master’s degree in publishing with an editorial emphasis.
At the beginning of my career, I gained experience in publishing and journalism. Additionally, I worked as a technical editor in the oil and gas field for a few years, and then I started Editor Amy in 2013. I’ve since edited numerous books and other documents of every type and have also worked as an editor and proofreader for multiple independent publishers. I also have technical-editing experience in the learning-consulting field and IT field, as well as medical-editing experience. All in all, I’ve worked as a professional editor and proofreader for fifteen years.
Finally, I’m a member of the American Copy Editors Society, Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), International Society of Managing and Technical Editors, Houston Writers Guild, and Houston Writers House, and I’m the president of the EFA’s Houston chapter.
I already looked over my work and used spell check (or a relative). Why do I need an editor?
It’s certainly important to check your own work; you want to be sure you covered everything you set out to. Unfortunately, you’re very likely to overlook many errors that a professional (key word!) third party would catch. You know what you meant to say, so you’re going to read it as if it’s there, even if you actually left out a crucial word or used the wrong form of one. (Programs’ spell checks only catch obvious spelling errors, not accidents like typing “through” instead of “thorough.”) It’s like reading with blinders on. This writer’s blog post discusses more on the subject.
Plus, there are many, many guidelines and rules a knowledgeable editor will consider when editing. Proper editing goes far beyond the basic grammar rules taught in English classes. A great editor also has an ear for language and can hear weak and awkward spots in sentences—and know how to repair them.
On another note, a great editor is a lover of words and a master of mechanics, and that editor should always help make sure a writer’s work can be easily understood and that the writer’s voice remains intact. My promise: I will only enhance and never take away from your work. (See my Testimonials page for reviews.)
What will you edit, and how is it processed?
(To view the editorial services I offer, check out my Services page.)
What: Really, almost anything, though books make up the bulk of my work. Common examples of what I edit include books, short stories, query letters, medical literature, technical documents, journal articles, chapters to be sent to literary agents, websites, résumés, newsletters, and so on. Just ask!
How: I can edit a Microsoft Word document and turn on Track Changes beforehand to let you see all of my proposed changes and then accept them yourself, plus make revisions as necessary (strongly recommended), or I can send you back a clean Word doc with the corrections already integrated. Also, I send all my clients a short guide I wrote about using Track Changes and incorporating my preferred settings, so even if you’re not already familiar with it, you’re covered.
What do you charge?
To start with, it depends on the service(s) and the project.
- Books/documents at or over 30,000 words cost generally 1.12 to 3.5 cents per word, depending on the type of editing requested (e.g., developmental editing, copyediting, proofreading), condition the writing is in (for me to determine), word count, deadline, and whether a discount applies. Books/documents under 30,000 words are priced hourly, at $40 to $50, depending on the type of editing. (STEM rates usually differ some, so please inquire about those.)
- Note: I offer discounts for combining services!
- Please be aware that this is only an approximate representation of rates I use. Trying to calculate a project’s cost yourself will not give you an accurate price. Please contact me to receive an actual price estimate.
- Manuscript evaluations typically range from $450 to $800, depending on book length.
- Query letter coaching is $50 per hour.
- Finally, my writing rate is $50 to $60 per hour, depending on the type of writing (e.g., PR, STEM).
Rest assured that all of my rates are fair, competitive, and recommended for independent editorial professionals!
Follow the instructions on my Contact Me page to receive your own price estimate. Also, ask about my new-client discount and a free sample copyedit!