From substantive edits of 200,000-word novels to everything else in between: I’ve edited newsletters, press releases, short fiction by newbies, novellas by professionals, and even legal documents. Very competitive rates and longer projects are negotiable.

Q: What is substantive editing?
A:  In short, it’s an in-depth critique with suggested structural and thematic editing that must be done before a manuscript is submitted to a publisher. It’s a deep reading with the editor and writer working as a team to improve the manuscript.

Q: What is copyediting?
A:  Copyediting is a little less drastic than substantive editing, and a little more bookish.  It’s making sure there’s consistency in the text, line by line; it’s fact-checking, error-eliminating work.

Q: What is manuscript evaluation?
A:  This is what it seems to be: a read through with comments, suggestions, a summing up of the work and how the writer has arrived there (or hasn’t yet arrived there). While the occasional typo may be noted, little correctional work is done.

Q: What does it mean when you offer a ‘teaching edit’?
A:  There are certain hallmarks of a beginning writer, but if I see real potential for quick improvement I’ll offer an intensive edit with comments aimed to teach/explain why, for example, passive voice rarely helps, or the importance of keeping to one perspective when dealing with multiple characters in the same scene. Teaching edits almost always involve working through several drafts together.

Q: Do you proofread?
A: The editing process can introduce errors due to all the manipulation of text, the cutting pasting highlighting and a proofread during the editing process isn’t smart. That said, I do correct what I encounter.  Ideally a proofread is done when the words all lay their unruly heads to rest. So yes, I thoroughly proofread when hired to do so.


Costs vary based on the amount of work a manuscript may need.  Generally,  a substantive edit of a 60,000-word novel will fall between $1000 – $1500. I take a look at the manuscript, edit a sample section, estimate the time required, and give a quote. Manuscript evaluation, on the other hand, is $1.50 per double-spaced page. On shorter projects I charge $50 per hour.

Aren’t sure what you need? Check out my Mini Edit offer.

Contact leedthompson (at), or see my Contact page.

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