Do You Need an Editor?

Of Course You Do

Everyone does. Check out only a few of the Indies Unlimited articles on the subject. And that’s only one source.…is-a-developmental-editor-right-for-you

The only question is how to find one. Unless you have a very talented relative or friend (Aunt May who used to teach High School English probably won’t do; use her as a beta reader), or you know someone qualified who will trade skills with you, chances are you will have to pay someone.

I get most of my business from people who submit poorly-edited novels to me for reviews. I respond with some suggestions as to how they could improve their writing, and some of them decide to hire me. I’m very polite in my suggestions, and often I get back responses of the sort “…and my book has been edited by three professionals, so I don’t need your services, thank you very much.” At which point I tip my hat and slowly ride away, as there is no person so deaf as one who will not hear.

But if you’re interested in getting someone with good credentials to look over your work, please contact me. I have a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Masters in Dramatic Criticism, as well as numerous editing credits, 9 books of my own published, (all edited by somebody else; I have skills to trade) and 27 years of teaching school at almost all grade levels.


I am retired and on a pension, so I don’t need to ask a living wage. I calculate my time at $20 an hour. Here are some sample quotes:

Novel, 70,000 words. Developmental Edit, Line Edit, Proof-reading, formatting for Kindle and Smashwords ebooks and CreateSpace softcover: $600

Novelette: 35 pages. Line edit and proof-read: $30

Signing Up

The usual procedure is that I look at a manuscript and decide I have assistance to offer. I do a developmental and line edit of a few chapters for free, and send it to the author with a proposal and a ballpark quote of price. If the author decides to use my services, we discuss the exact parameters of the deal, sign a contract, and I start work. Usually my fee is paid in several installments, as each part of the editing is complete.

I do not offer complete publishing packages. I don’t give ISBN numbers, or sign you up for Kindle or Smashwords. I won’t design a website for you.  If you are going to become an Indie, you have to learn this stuff for yourself. But I will coach you if you’re a beginner ( I’m pretty good at WordPress websites). I don’t pretend to be a marketing expert (there are lots of posts in Indies Unlimited on that, too), but I can tell you what works for me, and aid you in getting started with a promotional campaign. I don’t charge for that sort of help. That’s the kind of thing Indies do for each other. The other minions at IU are very free with their advice as we sit around the gruel pot looking for the chewy bits.

It’s Already Too Late

That’s right. You should have hired an editor months ago. Authors always want to finish the MS off, polish it up, and then polish it again before they show it to anybody. Do not do this. Think of your book like it was an old car. If you paint it and polish it before you take the dents out, you’re making a whole lot of extra trouble for yourself. Don’t be shy. Editors are very forgiving people. They are used to seeing patients with their clothes off. (Sorry about mixing the metaphor in the middle of the paragraph.) If you’re a seat-of-the-pants writer, the developmental edit should be done before the novel is half written. If you’re a long-range planner, you could pass your outline in front of me before you even start.

Drop Me a Line – You Won’t Be Sorry

My email is

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