Non-Fiction Editing

Before an editor can effectively work on an author’s behalf, there needs to be a solid understanding of the intended purpose of the piece, which always begins with the this:  who is the audience for this document and how does the author hope this information will be used?  Documents always have one or more purposes:  to inform, to define, to persuade, to entertain, or to reflect.  The author’s intent for a document determines tone and style.  Since the effective editing of a document is dependent upon these, taking on a project should begin with a conversation between the editor and author.  Please note:  memoirs and their structure are more like fiction than non-fiction; toward that end, please see Editing Services for Fiction Writers.

Editing for non-fiction documents is a combination of both content and copy editing in which the following are looked at for clarity, consistency, and conciseness.

Copy editing

  • The mechanics – grammar, punctuation, and spelling
  • Sentence structure for clarity and readability
  • Glaring inconsistences
  • Style guides are usually MLA, APA (for science and math), or Chicago Manual of Style. If an author has some other preference, that can be discussed.

Content editing

  • Logical flow of material that meets the author’s intent
  • Tone and style (does the author have a formal or less formal style, and do the word choices support the intended tone)
  • Overall structure of the document.

The Fee Structure is by quote and is based on the following after an interview with the author:

New authors may be asked to submit the first chapter of a project (or 10% of the total project) for review.  The fee is $100, and is non-refundable.  If I take on the project, the review fee is applied to the fee for the project.  If I don’t take on the project, I will provide a two to five page review and a short telephone consultation with the author.

The editing fee is 3 ½ to 5 cents per word, which is based on whether the project is primarily copy editing or requires heavy content editing.  The minimum fee is $200.00.

Turnaround time is typically 7 days per 10,000 words.  I work with authors to ensure the schedule fits with their needs.

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My privacy policy is simple:  I don’t share your information with anyone for any reason without asking for your permission first.



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