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.
- 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.
- 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.