What qualifies you to be an editor?
Proper education and training are key. I have a degree in mass communication with an emphasis in print journalism. I specialized in editing in college and loved every minute of it. I also had the best internship at a small publishing company. In the beginning of my career, I was a newspaper journalist for multiple papers (so I know what it’s like to be edited).
Additionally, I worked as an international technical editor in the oil and gas field for a few years, and then I started my freelance-editing business in 2013. I’m also currently a technical editor for a learning-consulting company.
It’s crucial to keep learning, so in 2016 I completed a respected university-level continuing-education editing program and have taken additional editing courses since then. I’m a member of the American Copy Editors Society, Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), Houston Writers Guild, and Houston Writers House, and I’m the co-president of the EFA’s Houston chapter. I attend workshops and meetings about editing and writing and last year went to an editing conference in New York City, which was so much fun (though probably only so for fellow editors).
I already looked over my work and used a 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 rules a knowledgeable editor will make sure your finished work doesn’t break. Proper editing goes far beyond the 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. That work is your creation; I am a contributor who strengthens the writer–reader connection, corrects errors, and gives personalized suggestions. 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 include novels, short stories, websites, technical procedures, newsletters, résumés, cover letters, and so on. Just ask! I mainly specialize in fiction editing, but I stay available for other types of writing too to stay well-rounded.
How: I can edit a Microsoft Word document and turn on Track Changes to let you see all of the proposed changes and accept them yourself, plus make revisions as necessary (recommended), or I can send you back a clean, corrected copy. I send all my clients a personal guide to Track Changes, so even if you’re not already familiar with using it, you’re covered.
What do you charge?
To start with, it depends on the service and the project.
- Book rates are generally two to three cents per word, depending on the type of editing requested, condition the writing is in (for me to determine), word count, type of deadline, and whether a discount applies. The best deal is to get both types of editing, if applicable.
- 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.
- Note: Books under 25,000 words are priced hourly, not per word. My hourly rate for editing most non-book projects and short books is $45.
- Manuscript evaluations for novels normally range from $300 to $400, depending on book length.
- Additionally, my average writing rate is $45 per hour.
Rest assured that all of my rates are fair, competitive, and recommended for independent editors!
Follow the instructions on my Contact Me page to receive your own estimate. Also, ask about my new-client discount and a free sample copyedit!