“I am a UK based author and was therefore more than a little bit nervous about allowing my ‘baby’ to be tampered with by a US-based editor. What Laura Kelly did with it was nothing short of outstanding. She took my story and turned it into a book. A book that shines. The very essence of my story was its “British-ness,” the characters being eccentrically Brit to the core. Laura kept it intact. She worked quietly, efficiently, speedily, and so effectively, I would now be more nervous about not using my brilliant US editor.” Charlotte Chalmers, author of The Madness of Celia Summers
 

submissions

We request all manuscripts as a clean digital copy in Microsoft Word format. We then make our suggested changes using the "Track Changes" feature in Word, so that you can easily identify each change we have suggested.  We can edit just about anything, fiction or non-fiction.  Good writing is good writing.  We love to edit, love to teach, love to help people make their project the best it can be. 

The Pricing Process

When you query us, we'll ask how many pages are in your document/manuscript and what services you have in mind.  Most manuscripts run 200-500 pages, based on the industry standard of 250 words per page.  Page count is determined by dividing the word count on your computer by 250.  For more rates information, go to our Rates page, but for a general idea, our most requested form of editing (a substantive line editing/copyediting combination) starts at $7.50 per page, or $60 per hour.  We do negotiate a flat fee if the manuscript is several hundred pages.  That fee usually starts at $1500 for a 200-page manuscript, more if it's more pages, but never less than $1500 for a full book manuscript. 

What You Get in Return

For this, however, you get not one, but two edits.  After you have made the recommended changes, we will then read the manuscript a second time to make sure the suggested changes worked as intended.  Unless otherwise specified, it is during this second read that the proofreading and copyediting portion of our editorial services is performed.  Most of our clients prefer the two-read/edit option, as it catches those unforeseen changes that can ripple through a manuscript when any portion of the manuscript is re-written. 

If, however, you simply want one straight read-through and edit, the fee is $6.00 per page. 

If you start with the one-read/edit option, and then--after you see the changes we recommend--prefer to change to the two read/edit option, the additional fee can be paid separately, when you return the manuscript to us for the second read.

How Payment is Structured

All initially agreed upon fees are paid half up front, rendered along with the manuscript.  The remaining balance and any additional fees incurred are due when we notify you the edits are completed.  You will be asked to approve any additional editing fees well in advance of the date the balance is due.  We won’t spring any surprises on you at the last minute.

Once your payment clears, we will send out the edited manuscript. 

Our Editing Process

We are usually in touch frequently once we start editing, as we have questions and suggestions for you to think about.  We see the developmental part of editing as a 50/50 relationship between the author and editor.  Our job is to make your manuscript the best it can be within the framework of your vision for the story.  We have no intention of re-writing your story.  We only offer suggestions which you are free to accept or ignore.  But we love to brainstorm creative solutions whenever the need arises.  This may, however, involve an hourly consultation fee, which will be added to your final bill.  Again, any additional fees will be agreed upon in advance.

Deadlines

Turnaround time is no later than 45 days from the proposed start date for editing your manuscript.  Shorter manuscripts may take less time, longer manuscripts more time.  Should you go with the two- or three-pronged approach, each phase of editing will re-start the deadline clock.  Any projects with a rush deadline will involve a surcharge.  A deadline of less than thirty days will involve a 25% surcharge.  A deadline of less than 15 days will involve a 50% surcharge.

Availability

Due to fluctuating work volume, we may or may not be able to start your project right away.  We will discuss our scheduling availability prior to accepting your manuscript for editing or formatting.  This will factor into any negotiated deadlines.

We Take the Time to Do it Right

Editing is not a passive activity, like reading a book for pleasure...editing takes time and consideration--and double checking.  We don't just breeze through your manuscript once and consider it done.  It takes an average of 25 hours to edit a full manuscript (not including Track Changes), and sometimes we read it twice, if only the first three chapters.  Because once you know how a book ends--there may be things you want to go back and change/add/cut in the beginning to make it stronger.  

The beginning is the most important part of any book.  Next comes the end.  The middle gives you a little wiggle room, but not much.

A Taste of our Services

Another option is to send us the first twenty pages of your manuscript for $100, let us make our suggestions, and if you like what we suggest, we talk again.  That way, if you’re not happy with what we do, you're not out several hundred dollars.  There will also be some projects that will require too much work to bring them to publication-ready status.  Those projects we will respectfully decline.  We will also decline manuscripts we are certain we will not be able to help you with due to a lack of knowledge on our part.  If we are not positive we can earn our fees, we won’t accept your money.

To contact us, send an email to Laura Kelly.  We look forward to hearing from you!