Writing, Editing, and Self-Publishing Services


I WRITE both creative and non-fiction works.
I have written (or ghostwritten): production notes for over 30 major Hollywood films; project proposals and one-sheets for independent filmmakers; corporate biographies, web content, advertorials, brochures, and business plans; artist biographies; film and book synopses; guest blog and newspaper editorials; and even family histories. For five years I was the co-editor of the Women in Film and Video – Vancouver Newsletter, for which I also wrote editorials, features, a regular column, and interviews with industry leaders. I currently blog for the independent publishing industry. For select examples, click here.

Rates vary; please contact me to discuss your needs. Confidentiality assured.

I EDIT fiction and non-fiction writers, whether creative, commercial, or corporate. Rates are flat or per word, making it easy for you to calculate up front what your costs will be. I work with Canadian, British, or American spelling and grammatical conventions, as well as print or digital conventions, as required by the client. Editing options and rates are outlined below.

WANT TO SELF-PUBLISH but find the process too daunting? Self-publishing can be a wonderful experience and opportunity, but equally it can be full of embarrassing or expensive errors. Worse, the field is littered with con artists masquerading as vanity publishers or self-publishing gurus. I can help you separate fact from fiction, navigate the potential minefields, and successfully take your manuscript to publication in print and/or digital format (“ebook”). I can help you evaluate your various self-publishing options; ensure your book is structured to industry standards; inform you of trademarks and other legal issues; assist with the opening and managing of an ISBN account; help you set up direct-to-retail, print-on-demand, and royalty payment accounts; and assist with tax treaty paperwork.

$60.00 per hour billed in 15-minute increments. Consultations in person, by email, or Skype. Please contact me to arrange an appointment. For more details, see my Self-Publishing page.

Credentials

• Twenty years freelance experience as a writer, editor, and creative consultant
• Self-published novelist (Baby Jane, The Point Between)
• Self-published non-fiction writer (The Global Indie Author, 3 editions; To Kindle in Ten Steps)
• Writer of production notes for over thirty major Hollywood films (ghostwriting)
• Lecturer/instructor on self-publishing (various public libraries, Capilano College)
• Screenwriter of six spec and four commissioned scripts and one optioned documentary project, and the uncredited story editor on the award-winning MOW A Cooler Climate, starring Sally Field and Judy Davis
• Former editor of the Women in Film and Video – Vancouver Newsletter (1996 to 2001)
• Former editor of the Academy West Newsletter (1999 to 2005)
• Published editorialist
• Featured essayist in Writing About Literature: A Guide for the Student Critic by W. F. Garrett-Petts (both editions)
• Past winner of the annual W. W. Norton Book Prize for English at the University of Alberta
• B.A. in Women’s Studies from the University of Alberta, with a minor in Art & Design, and an unofficial minor in Religious Studies.

 

Copy Edit Level I

Copyediting (also called proofreading, line editing, mechanical editing) covers spelling and grammatical errors, sentence structure, and consistency of word usage, heading and paragraph styles, capitalization, hyphenation, use of ellipses, dashes, and italics, and so on. I will ensure your manuscript conforms to a specific style guide (such as Chicago, Oxford, corporate, or government) and/or any specific style mechanics you indicate. Errors are fixed using Word’s “Track Changes” directly in the digital manuscript you provide. Includes notes* and a style guide.**

Rates below are in CDN but clients may request a quote in USD and pay in USD. Clients outside Canada are not subject to tax. Canadian clients pay 5% GST. Reductions are available; see notes below.

• Under 1000 words: $.07 per word
• 1001 to 2000 words: flat fee of $70.00 for first 1000 words plus $.05 per word thereafter
• 2001 to 5000 words: flat fee of $120.00 for first 2000 words plus $.03 per word thereafter
• 5001 to 10,000 words: flat fee of $210.00 for first 5000 words plus $.02 per word thereafter
• 10,000 words and up: $310.00 for first 10,000 words plus $0.01/word thereafter

If you wish to see how my rates compare, look at Amazon CreateSpace’s fees: USD $0.016 per word for only corrections to spelling, grammar, and punctuation; you are not allowed to communicate directly with the editor; you have no idea of the editor’s experience; they only work in U.S. English and The Chicago Manual of Style; they do not produce a style guide specific to your manuscript; editor’s notes are restricted to a one-page explanation sheet; and post-edit re-reads are charged at full price. For a 90,000-word novel, CreateSpace would charge $1440.00 USD; by comparison, I would charge $1110.00 CDN (which is currently about $835.00 USD).

*Without Notes: less 10%

I provide extensive commentary in the edits I perform for clients (notes such as why I changed your semicolon to a colon, for example); however, these are hugely time-consuming and necessitated that I raise my rates. Many indie authors do not desire these notes — they simply want the errors in their manuscript fixed — or they prefer a lower fee and are willing to dispense of these notes in exchange. Consequently, I offer a reduced fee for authors who prefer this option.

**Without Style Guide: less 15%

Authors who provide me with their own style guide can deduct 15% off my rates. Please note this deduction will be adjusted if I have to add to your style guide.

Copy Edit Level II

Level2EditWriters often make stylistic errors such as overusing the comma or em dash, wordiness (redundant words and phrases), or ambiguity. Although stylistic errors may be grammatically correct, they devalue the text and usually irritate the reader. A Level I edit will not fix these errors because they are not technically wrong; a Level II edit fixes these stylistic errors (or suggests how you can fix them).

In a Level II edit I will also draw your attention to any plot errors or factual inconsistencies, poor word usage, and any other weaknesses that present themselves as I work through your manuscript. A Level II edit results in a much more polished manuscript and helps you develop your skills as a writer.

The fees for a Level II edit depend on the state of your manuscript: the more polished it is and the fewer issues you have, the fewer edits I will need to perform and therefore the lower the cost to you. I will look at your manuscript and, based on how many issues I detect, will quote you a fee. Expect anywhere from 1.25 to 2 times the cost of a Level I edit (a Level II edit can result in literally thousands of edits in a full-length work), more if you lack proficiency in English.

If your text shows that you are technically proficient and you only want/need a style edit, we can negotiate a lower price. Please contact me to discuss.

Please note that, while a Level II edit is significantly more substantive than a Level I edit, and will include rearrangement of sentences within a paragraph to improve coherence, I will not rearrange whole sections; I will only suggest that you do where I believe this is warranted. I will also not rewrite your work to remove a significant percentage if you have been directed to do so by a publisher or agent; such a rewrite is a substantive edit and would have to be negotiated separately.

Deductions for notes and style guides are the same as for Level I.

Post-Edit Re-Read

If, after I have performed an initial edit and you have made changes, I will do a new pass through your document for 25% of the initial fee, provided your rewrite is not more than 25% of your original manuscript. I will discuss with you any initial edits you elected to reject so as not to repeat past work.

Story Edit

StoryeditThe term story edit is used when working on fiction but applies equally to non-fiction. A story edit deals with story structure, character analysis and development, and manuscript flow; with non-fiction I report on such things as tone, structure, argument, and flow. A story edit provides a written analysis of the manuscript’s strengths and weaknesses and includes suggestions on how you might address the latter. This edit should ideally be done prior to a copy edit, since a story edit often results in a significant rewrite. However, some authors find that a story edit done in conjunction with a Level II edit provides them with everything they need to prepare their manuscript for publication. Which direction you go depends on your confidence in your manuscript, your ability to follow the style guide and self-edit after you rewrite, and whether or not you have already received feedback on your work.

• Under 1000 words: $.05 per word
• 1001 to 10000 words: flat fee of $50.00 for first 1000 words plus $.03 per word thereafter
• 10,000 words and up: $320.00 for first 10,000 words plus $0.004/word thereafter

• Substantive edit with copy edit: as above, OR 50% of a Level I copy edit fee, whichever is less

Substantive Edit

ManuscriptDev

A substantive edit is a rewrite performed to address issues found in a story edit, or may be done without the initial story edit if all parties agree which issues need to be addressed. A substantive edit is, as the name suggests, substantially more work, and this is reflected in the cost. A fee will be negotiated after I have had the opportunity to read the manuscript and can ascertain the degree of assistance required.

Developmental Edit

I offer developmental editing services at any stage of your project from inception onward. The fee will be negotiated after discussion of the scope of your project, its current state of development, and, if a manuscript is available, a preview of the work to date.

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20 thoughts on “Write, Edit, Self-Publish

  1. Michelle,
    I have written a children’s story of 1662 words. I am sure it could use both a story edit and copy edit.Do you have experience with children’s stories (ages 4 to 6 years)? My writing is reasonably sound, but we never see our own errors so I know that would benefit from your expertise. I do want input on the story but just want to make sure I have a good fit with the editor.
    (The story is a departure from my website content, although that will be undergoing a change)

    1. Hi Frances,
      I just finished the last in a series of 16 children’s books that skewed toward the age bracket of 8 to 10 years. I have not to date edited anything aimed at your age group, though the same principles apply (age-appropriate language, themes, etc). Let me know if you would like me to contact you at the email you provided.
      Michelle

  2. First time writer and I need a good editor for my book. About 85.000 words proofreading and level II editor. Not native English so I would like to make sure the book is of a high standard before I put it online. Can you help me out? Perhaps do a sample review?

  3. I have a book that I have written and would like to have it edited. Would like to be able to get a quote. Is this something that you would be interested in?

    1. Hi Crystal,

      Of course I would be interested. I will contact you directly at the email you provided.

      Michelle

  4. Hi,

    I have a novel which already has a publisher. They have made some structural suggestions and since this is my first work, I am really confused though I do agree with many of the recommendations made by the publisher’s editor.

    I am required to submit my manuscript to the publishing house for copy edit. But before I do that I am not entirely convinced enough justice has been done as an author and would like someone to have a thorough look at my manuscript.

    Among other things, I want to reduce 10k words from the current 75k words without reducing any content, this can be done merely by text edit.

    Also, some other issues which have been highlighted by others who have read the work already need to be addressed.

    Regards

  5. Hi, I am in need of an editor that would be able to take my novel and effectively cut it down in size without compromising the story. Which type of edit here would I need and can I get a price quote?

    1. Hi Courtney,

      What you are asking for is a content edit. However, the role of the editor is to make detailed recommendations as to the changes required, not to make substantial edits herself. If you want your editor to remove content, as opposed to counselling you on what and how the manuscript should be edited down by yourself, that would qualify as a rewrite. We would have to negotiate a price based on the current length of the novel and the target length. I would have to see the manuscript and discuss your objectives before I could give you a quote.

      Michelle

  6. Hello, Michelle.
    I need an editor to help me publish my work, because I write YA novels in English but I live in Scandinavia, and they do not publish books in English. Can you help me, please? Is it possible for me to get published in an English-speaking country?

    Sincerely Sara Totland

    1. Hi Sara,

      I would be happy to provide editing services to you.

      In answer to your question about publishing in an English-speaking country, if you self-publish with Kindle Direct Publishing and/or Kobo, your books will be available for purchase worldwide including the United States, the UK, Canada, and Australia, which are the key English-language markets. (If you have a Mac computer you can also contract directly with Apple, though they do not sell in as many countries as Amazon or Kobo.) Additionally, you can publish worldwide in print using a mix of CreateSpace and Ingram Spark.

      The Global Indie Author: Your Guide to the World of Self-Publishing contains all the information you need to self-publish in the United States and globally. It is available in print worldwide, and in ebook on Amazon and Kobo.

  7. Hello,
    Could you please provide me with a quote (or estimated quote) for editing a 91000 word novel using /proofreading/copyediting level two.
    Thank you

  8. Hi Michelle,
    I would like to speak with you about your editing services. I am in need of basic editing for a YA fiction novel.
    Thanks, maria

  9. Hello,
    I got your details from the Goodreads site. I am about to publish my third novel and I require copy editing services.
    I am Irish and for the purposes of accurate dialogue etc I have worked with Irish copy-editors in the past.
    This book is slightly different as there are two stories running simultaneously, one in Ireland and the other in the US. while the Irish dialogue is accurate, I think there are several inconsistencies in the American English that would need an American editor to spot.
    I have had a structural edit done already and I have rewritten aspects of the story so while I think it is fairly consistent, of course I would need a copy editor to make sure it was all working as it should.
    If you think this is something you might be interested in quoting for I’d be happy to hear from you.
    The book is approximately 105,000 words.

    Regards,

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