I work on both fiction and non-fiction. I have a particular affection for and deep experience in science fiction, fantasy, mysteries, thrillers, and contemporary romance. I also have considerable experience with literary, historical, and mainstream fiction. I’ve edited a wide variety of non-fiction as well, but lean toward history and memoir.

I offer two basic services, developmental editing and line editing.

Developmental editing: If you’ve written a novel and you don’t think it’s as good as it can be, I will read your manuscript and write an editorial letter, a long and thorough explanation of what’s working and what isn’t, and general suggestions about how to fix things. It will probably address plot, characters, structure, themes, pacing–all the macro issues. I follow that by citing specific instances of these problems and specific solutions, as well as specific instances of less general issues–a problem with a given scene, for example, or some bit of narrative logic that’s breaking down, or a drift in perspective. If there are issues of style that need to be addressed, bad prose habits you might have fallen into, I would discuss them as well, giving you examples, telling you what the problem is, and what you need to do to improve. (NB: These days, I tend to provide most of the notes and comments in the manuscript using Track Changes, with more general comments in the accompanying email. If you don’t use Track Changes, let me know, and I will use traditional editorial technology.)

Line editing: When you feel your book is largely in the shape you want it to be–the plot works,  the characters are fully realized, the scenery and furniture are arranged to your satisfaction–I would do the line editing. Line editing is actual hands-on editing: fixing sections that aren’t working, moving passages as necessary, cutting things that aren’t helping, reworking sentences that could be doing their job better. Most first drafts benefit from some trimming, and it often takes an outside eye to see what’s essential and what’s excess. Again, this process is done in Track Changes, but if you prefer, I can take an actual red pencil to your actual manuscript.

Ideally, a book will go through both of these stages, but lately, I’ve found many authors are looking for a combination of these two things. Working in Track Changes, I’ll go through the book doing the line editing, as above, but will also give  notes on plot and character, or any other relevant global issues that need attention. While this isn’t the most efficient approach (you’ll probably be writing new material that now needs line editing, or you might be getting rid of material that we’ve put time into reworking), it’s fine with me.

I’m also available to work with you on an ongoing basis as you write your book, if that’s what you think will help you most.


For developmental editing, I usually charge between 4 and 6 cents a word, depending on the manuscript. Line editing tends to take more time, so I charge more: between 5 and 10 cents a word. For short stories, essays, and other works under 25,000 words, the word rate might be higher. When I’ve had a chance to look at your book and see how much work is involved, I’ll be able to give you a specific price. I’m open to some negotiation, and if you already know what your budget for editing is, it’s helpful and saves time if you let me know from the start. Fees are almost always based on word count, so if I give you a price and you later deliver a manuscript of significantly greater length than the one I originally saw, it is possible that the price will go up proportionally. When it makes more sense to charge for my time, I bill at $50/hour.

You can pay me with (in order of preference) Venmo, Zelle, or Paypal, but you are responsible for any fees charged for the transaction. Checks work too.

I generally communicate by email, but we can talk on the phone if you’re more comfortable with that. If you’re not in the US, I’m available on Skype and WhatsApp.

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  1. July 8, 2019 at 4:53 pm
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