The first task is to identify what type of editing services you require. There are three main types of editing:

Proofreading: Proofreading is rules-based—a period belongs at the end of a sentence. It is about getting rid of cosmetic errors and ensuring that punctuation is consistent. It is usually the last step in the writing/editing process. It’s not meant to be comprehensive; proofreading does not involve re-working text or re-arranging content. Proofreading is about doing the last run-through to catch surface problems with the content.

Copy editing: Copy editing is also rules-based but at a higher level of intensity. It is about improving style, formatting, and accuracy. Copy editing is about making sure there aren’t inconsistencies in the internal content, and that the style flows well—in addition to being grammatically correct.

There are different levels of copy editing: light, medium, and heavy. Light copy editing consists of double-checking accuracy and taking care of most grammatical issues. Medium copy editing includes correcting flow and re-working some of the text. With heavy copy editing, the editor might re-structure some paragraphs, or heavily correct style, flow, and grammar.

Content/Substantive editing: Content/Substantive editing is analysis-based. They are similar in that both deal with the overall structure of the manuscript. With content editing, the editor might need to add things that were left out. Substantive editing goes more in-depth and may involve restructuring or rewriting part or all of a document. The writer always has the final word as to whether to accept the editor’s suggestions/rewrites.

Editing rates

By the Page

 Proofreading: $4 per page

Copy editing: $6 per page (all levels)

By the Assignment (content/substantive editing only)

100 to 200 pages: $800

201 to 300 pages: $1000

301 to 400 pages: $1200

Fact Checking (Fiction, non-fiction, creative non-fiction including memoir): $75 / hour.