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How it works

What types of editing do you offer?

1. Writing coaching. You’re bursting with ideas, but you need help with fundamentals like story, characterisation, style principles, constructing an outline. We’ll agree on a set fee for a number of sessions over Zoom, Skype or phone call. The goal will be to develop your craft and writing voice, and give you the confidence to get words on the page.

2. Structural editing. (AKA developmental or content editing). I’ll assess your manuscript and write a detailed report, paying close attention to pacing, development, plot, plausibility, style and character. You can use this as a basis for a redraft, and move on to…

3. Copy editing. The close-up work which readies your manuscript for publication. I’ll recast clunky sentences, zap typos and tics, obsess over facts and figures, and polish everything for the optimum reader experience.

What genres do you edit?

I write crime and psychological thrillers, so I know my way around the tropes and commercial expectations. But I’m also good with sci-fi/speculative, horror, literary, urban fantasy, historical, military, general thriller, YA, and, if the subject fits, non-fiction.

Do you edit in US or UK English?

I’m happy with both. For a copy edit, I produce a style sheet which sets the rules of the manuscript, including country-specific spelling conventions and terms. All of this can be tailored to a set house style or agreed according to author preference.

How long does it take?

For a structural edit, I spend around two weeks on the initial manuscript assessment. You will then have the option to repeat this after your redraft, which will take another two weeks. (I usually find that one round is enough, but longer novels sometimes need a couple of iterations. We can discuss upfront and adapt accordingly.)

For a copy edit, three weeks is usually fine, unless the novel is particularly epic.

Please bear in mind that I book up several months in advance, so you’ll need to contact me well ahead of your planned publication time to reserve a spot.

How much do you charge?

It depends on the project, the state of the manuscript, and the type of edit. To give you a quote, I’ll need to see the manuscript so I can assess how many hours I will spend on the work. Generally, my fees are reflective of my experience and in line with industry standard rates.

How do I pay?

In full, at the beginning of the agreed phase of work. I accept bank transfer, BACS or PayPal.

Do you work with independent authors?

Definitely. I’m a passionate advocate of professional independent publishing, and I’m happy to advise on the latest trends, processes and pitfalls.

Can we do all of this over email?

Absolutely. The whole process usually runs smoothly over email, although I’m happy to take an initial phone call to discuss the project if it suits.

Can you help me with the accursed blurb?

Yes, I can. 🙂 I’m strong with blurbs and marketing copy, probably because of my background in magazine journalism. For obvious reasons, I prefer to work on blurbs for books I’ve edited, but I’m happy to help at all levels of the process.

How about cover letters or synopses?

I’d rather not. I prefer my involvement to end at the manuscript editing level, but I’d be open to offering advice/consultation on your own agent/publisher queries.

Can you turn my finished manuscript into an ebook?

I can – and very occasionally, I do – but I feel this is a separate area of expertise, and many independent authors are now hiring specialist formatters, or using software to do the job themself.

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