What I can offer, and my rates
Proofreading ensures correct grammar, punctuation and basic clarity, but copy-editing takes it a considerable step further. For example, I may suggest changes to paragraph length, as well as the construction and organisation of sentences and paragraphs, to aid the clarity, impact and flow of the piece.
My fee is based on the word count of your manuscript - I charge by the number of words you've written, not by the hour. My rate for proofreading and editing is £7.50 per thousand words and that includes two full passes of your work and email contact between us for feedback on suggested edits or to clarify the intended meaning of a particular phrase or section. So the cost of thoroughly editing an 80,000 word novel, as a typical example, would be £600, and there's no VAT to add.
It's worth adding that the 'minimum' rate suggested by the Society for Editors and Proofreaders for copy-editing (as of March 2017) is £27.15 an hour. For corporate work maybe that's fine, but based on that the cost of editing the average length novel would be prohibitive for most new and self-publishing authors and those looking to fully fund the publishing of their book. I recently reduced my rate in order to attract the kind of authors I like to help and enjoy working with.
I include a mentoring service by email, providing comments that may be helpful. This goes beyond the mechanics of writing to include a deeper level of editing and reorganisation of the work to aid flow, clarity, impact, consistency and overall readability. If requested, I will happily give my thoughts on alternatives to the way in which the work begins, builds and ends. It's about having someone independent to bounce ideas to and fro, as well as tackle the 'nuts and bolts' of it.
I do also take on commercial editing work such as proofreading a thesis, company report, press release, company web page or brochure work. I can provide a copy-writing service; I have experience in several commercial fields that could prove useful, notably consumer electronics (audio/video/mobile). I write promotional sales copy to help authors launching their books, including the introductory text for Amazon listings.
Non-native English writers
I make no distinction in terms of cost on whether the author is a native English speaker or non-native, even though it often requires more time, for example to clarify the intended meaning of certain passages, where the author's first language is not English. I have practical experience of working with loosely translated texts. I am an Italian speaker, having dual English/Italian parentage.
How long will it take?
How long a particular editing job will take will depend on several factors including the book's length, the quality of the original manuscript and my workload at the time. In general terms, editing an 80,000 word book will require around six to eight weeks, allowing for the feedback time that occurs between the writer and myself during the editing process.
- I ask for an advance payment, but not necessarily to cover the whole work - you may prefer to send a few chapters at a time, and in such cases the advance payment would be pro rata.
- I prefer payments to be made by Bank Transfer (BACS).
- I am no longer VAT registered, so there's no sales tax to add.
- Just to be clear, I do not ask for any earnings from future sales or to be credited by you in any way. What we agree is what you pay, nothing hidden, nothing extra unless by separate agreement.
'Manuscript to Book' service
It can be hugely rewarding to have your own novel or biography sitting proudly on a bookshelf, something of you that you leave for future generations. With printing companies now able to produce short runs of high quality hardback books, as low as a single copy, I am able to offer a manuscript to book service. I can take your manuscript, in whatever format you have it in, proofread and edit as required, and then handle the page layout, add your cover design and process the order so that you receive it as a beautifully bound hardback book. Further copies can easily be ordered at any time.