The Editing Process – in a Nutshell

Editing can be a lengthy process, which often starts with a development edit where you have a complete manuscript, written and revised to the best of your ability, but you want insight and guidance on the story and structure, and advice on improving your writing style and technique. There can be a number of rounds of this, and it can be expensive – up to around £1,500, however, there are other options.

I offer a manuscript critique, which provides you with a broader analysis and general guidance on the publishable quality of your novel and where it can be improved. I’ll explain what is and isn’t working and highlight the areas that need the most attention in the form of an editorial report; you’re then left to revise the novel on your own. This could cost around £500 but wouldn’t address spelling, grammar, etc. – that comes under a copy-edit.

A line- and copy-edit is where I check:

  • Errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation.
  • Ambiguous or confusing phrasing.
  • Inconsistencies with plot, timeline and character features, for example, Mo has a black and white dog in Chapter 1, and in Chapter 6 the dog is brown and white, or she goes shopping in Sainsbury’s and comes back with a Tesco bag, that kind of thing.
  • Text-based inconsistencies, such as hyphenation, capitalisation, etc.
  • Close repetition or overuse of words and phrases and choice of wording.
  • Sentence structure.
  • Basic point-of-view issues.
  • Basic fact checking, for example, brand names, historical information, spellings, mis-placed apostrophes.
  • Standard manuscript formatting.

For 80,000 words this could be anything from £750–£900 depending on the amount of work needed, and this would be confirmed from the sample edit.

Proofreading: this is the very last thing that happens to a manuscript when it’s been written, edited and had beta readers.

If you are intending to go down the traditional publishing route, you really don’t need a full copy-edit of your manuscript as publishing houses have their own editors.

Another service that I offer is a full polish of the first 15,000 words, which is what publishers normally ask for together with a synopsis before requesting the whole manuscript. This costs £200.

I can also help by regular meetings and I charge £25 an hour.