Manuscript Evaluation

A manuscript evaluation is high-level report on strengths and weaknesses of the manuscript. Your book may be complete or just halfway done, but you need someone knowledgeable to review your manuscript and tell you where the issues are (or to tell you you’ve done a great job!). Many people get a manuscript critique before proceeding to a full developmental edit.

Included: A 3-5 page editorial letter detailing high-level issues of your manuscript. Does not include inline comments or suggested fixes.

  • Children’s Books (under 2000 words): $375
  • Everything else: $.020/wd, with $500 minimum

Developmental Edit

A developmental edit is another high-level evaluation of a manuscript to assess its overall quality and effectiveness, with the addition of more detailed feedback. A developmental edit produces a longer detailed report (6-10 pages, often with chapter breakdowns) and also includes inline comments and suggestions throughout the manuscript itself.

Where a manuscript evaluation is kind of a one-and-done high-level report, the developmental edit can be more of a relationship between an author and editor.

  • Up to 50K words = $3000
  • Up to 50-75K words = $4000
  • Up to 75-100K words = $5000

Line Editing + Copy Edit

After any higher-level structural or strategic issues are worked out, the book is ready for the line/copy edit.

Line editing is concerned with content on a sentence and paragraph level. I evaluate whether the content is communicating information clearly and effectively. The line edit also aims to create good rhythm and flow in the writing. So I might combine sentences if a section has too many short and choppy sentences, or I might break apart run-on sentences.

My line edit includes a copy edit, which looks for errors (grammatical and typos) and ensures the manuscript adheres to the desired style guide (for most publishers, this is the Chicago Manual of Style).

I combine the line edit and copy edit because most private authors need more than a simple copy edit.

Price: $.055-$.065/wd, pending review of manuscript

I may do any of the following tasks to improve your manuscript/content:

  • Ensure your text has good rhythm, which might mean breaking up run-on sentences or combining short, choppy sentences
  • Smooth out any awkward sentences
  • Fix incorrect word or idiom usage
  • Convert paragraphs to bullets and/or tables to better present information
  • Make new paragraphs to break up long passages
  • Review structural consistency (headings, subheads, and bulleted lists)
  • Move sentences or paragraphs around to improve information clarity
  • Ensure transitions between paragraphs and chapters make sense, that the storylines are connected
  • Remove/consolidate repeated information
  • Remove/rewrite repeated words/phrases/content
  • Edit unclear or confusing content
  • Ensure terminology is explained
  • Ensure terminology and/or concepts is used consistently
  • Add/remove/edit headings
  • Light fact checking
  • Information consistency checks (e.g., In chapter one you said the event happened five years ago, in chapter two you said it was six years ago, which is correct?)


  • All tasks in COPY EDIT list below

Copy Edit Only

I have copy editing listed as a separate service because occasionally people want an edit that doesn’t look at writing mechanics, language issues, or content at a sentence or paragraph level. They only want me to ensure that their manuscript has no grammatical errors or typos and adheres to whichever style guide is relevant (for most publishing, it’s the Chicago Manual of Style.

(NOTE: This isn’t proofreading. Proofreading is the last step before printing, where someone checks the galleys for errors and/or formatting issues. I don’t do proofreading but I can refer you to a colleague who does.)

Price: $.042/wd, pending review of manuscript. If it needs more work than just a light copy edit, price will go up to line editing prices.

  • Fix:
    • Typos
    • Misspellings
    • Incorrect grammar (e.g., these things is incorrect)
    • Incorrect punctuation (e.g., a colon where a semicolon should be)
    • Incorrect capitalization (e.g., capitalizing “president” when not a title)
  • Ensure:
    • Verb tenses match
    • Parallel structure in bulleted lists
    • Proper capitalization in bulleted lists
    • The document has proper formatting
      • Remove extra spaces between paragraphs
      • Remove extra spaces after periods (should only be one)
      • Ensure Em and En dashes are correctly used, and there are no spaces around them (per CMOS)
  • Ensure the document conforms to the Chicago Manual of Style. This includes things like:
    • Ensure numbers and money are formatted correctly (numbers up until 101 spelled out, money amounts kept in numerals, etc)
    • Check hyphenation (compound adjectives before the noun are usually hyphenated, when used after a noun, they are usually not)
    • Ensure serial commas are used
    • Ensure books, movies and TV show names are formatted correctly

Book Doctoring | Ghost Editing | Rewriting

You know your book has issues, but you are SO DONE and want someone else to figure them out and fix them. Whether you’re an author or a ghostwriter who is stuck, fresh eyes on your manuscript are a great thing!

Price: $100/hr, but if I’ve done a developmental edit on your manuscript, you get a 25% discount if you want me to make the fixes (vs. you doing them).