During my newspaper days, I served as an editor — first, I was Sports Editor for my campus newspaper, The Mace & Crown, a job that included extensive editing of stories submitted to me. Then, when I was with the Daily Press (Newport News, Va.) and HRVarsity.com, I was responsible for a small staff of freelance writers, and part of my job involved editing the content they provided.
When I was Assistant Director of Sports Information at Hampton University, every press release and publication passed through me before release or publication. Such work included line edits, spelling and grammar checks, layout tweaks, and any other changes that needed to be made. My current position, as Assistant Director for Media Relations for the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, involves a lot of the same work.
Among the novels and short stories I’ve worked on to this point:
The Only One by Mary Head
No Safe Place by Mary Head
Finding Home Again by Mary Head
Christmas With the Only One by Mary Head
Cold Spell by E.A. Copen
Perfect Storm by E.A. Copen
Loving the Heartland by Marjorie Jones
The Portal Prophecies: A Keeper’s Destiny by C.A. King
The Portal Prophecies: A Halloween’s Curse by C.A. King
The Portal Prophecies: Frost Bitten by C.A. King
The Portal Prophecies: Sleeping Sands by C.A. King
The Portal Prophecies: Deadly Perceptions by C.A. King
The Portal Prophecies: Finding Balance by C.A. King
The Portal Prophecies Volume 1 (Books 1-3) by C.A. King
The Portal Prophecies Volume 2 (Books 4-6) by C.A. King
Surviving the Sins: Answering the Call by C.A. King
Surviving the Sins: Pride by C.A. King
Surviving the Sins: Lust by C.A. King
Tomoyia’s Story: Escape to Darkness by C.A. King
Tomoyia’s Story: Collecting Tears by C.A. King
Peace Coloured Daises by C.A. King
Flower Shields: A Four Horsemen Novel by C.A. King
Drawing Strength from Words: A Four Horsemen Novel by C.A. King
Finding the Fountain of Youth by C.A. King
When Leaves Fall by C.A. King
Miracles Not Included by C.A. King
Do Not Open Until Halloween by C.A. King
Wildflowers, Part I: Allaha of the Mountain by Aurora Lee Thornton
Wildflowers, Part I: Dandy by Aurora Lee Thornton
Kore by S.L. Wideman
What I Offer
I offer multiple editing options for your needs. If you need simple line edits, I can do that for you. I can handle spelling and grammar checks for your manuscript as well — and if you need a thorough developmental edit, with heavy emphasis on plot and character and inconsistencies within, I’m your guy as well. If you decide you want more than one kind of edit handled simultaneously, we can work that out. I will work on your manuscript, whether the book has already been published or not.
In copy editing your manuscript, I will pay special attention to your formatting, style, and accuracy of text. This is different from a line edit, which focuses more on spelling and grammar; in a copy edit, I’ll make sure your manuscript is visually consistent prior to publication.
I can provide a comprehensive line edit of your manuscript, combing over it to check for spelling errors, grammar mistakes, style inconsistencies, punctuation, and word usage. Of all the editing options, a line edit is the quickest and simplest option — but perhaps the most important, particularly for indie authors.
Similar to line editing, proofreading is a last-ditch go-over of your manuscript for spelling and grammatical errors before your work goes to publication. Think of it as the last check through the hotel to make sure you pack up everything before heading home from a trip.
With a developmental edit, I look for all of the same things I look for in a copy edit — as well as checking for plot issues — such as inconsistencies, contradictions, plot holes, character issues, dialogue problems, etc. The purpose of this edit is to make your story as strong as it can be, whereas the other options focus on making your manuscript visually pleasing and grammatically correct.
What if I Need More Than One of Those Done?
I can absolutely do multiple types of edits at once. If you want all of the above options done, I can make that work as well.
How Long Does it Take?
We can negotiate that, but keep in mind that a developmental edit will take longer than the other options. Having me complete more than one type of edit simultaneously will also take more time. In general, expect one week for line edits, copy edits, and proofreading, with two weeks for developmental edits. However, keep in mind that I have my own manuscripts to work on, and there may be times where I’m editing multiple works at once. If at any point, it becomes clear that it will take me longer than promised, I will communicate as such to you.
What’s the Process?
If you’re looking for a copy edit, line edit, or proofread, and you’re not yet certain if you want my services, I’ll ask for the first chapter and provide that to you for free — so you can see what I do in editing and see if this would be a fit. For developmental edits, I’ll need the first three chapters. This will be done for free, and if you decide not to use me after that, you’re under no obligation beyond that. If, after the free period, you decide to use my services, I will complete the job in question and payment will be delivered upon completion. I prefer manuscripts to be sent via email (to the below address) in Word-compatible format (.doc or .docx), but I can work with a PDF if necessary. Again, I will not ask for payment until the job is complete.
Do You Only Work in Specific Genres?
In theory, I don’t limit myself based on genre; obviously, I have my favorites (we all do), but I won’t turn down a story simply because it’s a genre I’m not familiar with. I’m mostly partial to mysteries, urban fantasy, fantasy, thriller, and genre mashup novels, but I’d be willing to tackle genres outside of that. I do accept erotica books and books that tackle LGBT+ issues, but if you write in potentially triggering topics (i.e., rape, nonconsensually “play,” abuse, discrimination, etc.), I do reserve the right to turn down a project if I feel you haven’t handled the subject matter in an appropriate way (I am more than happy to discuss this in-depth prior to accepting or turning down a manuscript; as always, communication is key).
How Much Do You Cost?
Ah, yes, the proverbial $64,000 question (don’t worry, that’s not one of my rates)…
Copy Edit: $150
Line Edit: $200
Any Two Options: $250
These rates are for a standard manuscript up to 150,000 words. If your manuscript is more than 150,000 words, add $50 to the above prices for every 50,000 words you go over (i.e., a copy edit for a 200,000-word manuscript would be $200 instead of $150; for a 250,000-word manuscript, the rate would be $250).
I am absolutely willing to take on short stories for smaller rates; those rates can be negotiated depending on the length of your story and how quickly you want the job to be completed.
UPDATE (10/31/2016): Members of the NaNoWriMo regional group Hampton Roads (Virginia) who use my services will receive a sizable discount! To thank you all for your support over the past year — and to help support you in your efforts — please subtract $100 from each of the above prices should you decide to use my resources.
UPDATE (12/11/2016): I am also a member of the Creative Services Trading Group on Facebook (website here), so members of that group can also use my editing services through the point system established in that group instead of money. This offer is available only to members of the Creative Services Trading Group on Facebook.
How Do I Get in Touch With You?
You can reach me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.