You’ve written a story, article, or even the Great American Novel. Now what?
The first thing to do, if you want to avoid all those nice people on Amazon who love to complain about everything to do with your book, is to have it professionally edited.
That’s where I come in. You need that extra set of eyes on your manuscript, and I can provide them. It’s easy to miss things. There are almost no perfect books, but the idea is to come as close as possible.
I provide three basic types of editing, Line Editing, ESL Editing, and Copy Editing. Each of these provides a different level of scrutiny.
Line Editing This is the most basic package. For a charge of $0.0075/word, I will check your spelling, punctuation, and grammar. You may opt for either American or British spelling. I’ll also insure that your manuscript uses proper styles, which are important when you submit it for publication. Charges are based on the word count of the original manuscript. What you’ll get back will be the original manuscript, a separate Word file containing the edited version, and notes indicating where any changes were made.
Copy Editing This service is essentially the same as the Line Editing service, but adds some fact checking and a stronger emphasis on continuity. That is, I’ll point out if you’re using obviously anachronistic terminology, have your hero carrying a gun that wouldn’t be made until twenty years later, call him by more than one name, or have a British police detective flashing a badge instead of a proper warrant card. Again, you get back your original manuscript, a separate Word file with the edited version, and notes indicating where changes were made. The cost is $0.01/word based on the word count of the original manuscript.
ESL Editing This is a special editorial service for writers whose native language is something other than English, but are writing in English. For $0.02/word I will perform a Copy Edit with an emphasis on insuring that the finished work reads like it came from a native speaker. As in all these services, you may specify American or British spelling. You get back your original manuscript, a Word file with the edited version, and notes indicating changes.
Page Layout Service If you’re planning to use a print on demand service to produce your book, I can handle layout for you at $1.25 per finished page. Layout is done with Adobe InDesign software, which gives a more professional result than ordinary word processing software.
Format I would ask that manuscripts be submitted in Microsoft Word .doc or .docx format. This is important, as the price of the service is based on the word count on the Word document information page of the submitted manuscript.
Type of Material I’m not particularly squeamish, but I’d prefer you only submit manuscripts that can be legally published. If your intended market is Amazon, and particularly if you’re writing erotica, you should be aware of what they’ll allow and, more importantly, what they won’t. Amazon bans erotica involving minors, rape, incest, bestiality, and just about anything non-consensual, so don’t bother sending anything like that.
Amazon is also not accepting public domain material that isn’t sufficiently differentiated from the original. That means, if you want them to publish anything from the public domain, you’ll have to add a fair amount of new material. This can be annotations, illustrations, lengthy forewords or afterwords, or the like. I’ll state right up front that my opinion of whether you’ve added enough and Amazon’s opinion may differ. In any case, public domain material doesn’t sell very well, so you’re better off doing something original instead. New translations of non-English public domain stories are accepted, as these are legally classified as new works and so are not actually in the public domain.
Submission and billing You may email your manuscript to me at jtm***jtmcdaniel.com, with the subject line “Manuscript for Editing” (replace the “***” with “@,” obviously. I’ll normally try to respond the same day with the cost of the complete job. Large jobs (20,000 words or over) require a 5% deposit before work begins. Just in case you were wondering, you don’t get the edited version back until the bill is paid. Invoices come from me, but all credit card and ACH transactions are processed by Intuit Merchant Services/Quickbooks Merchant Services. Payment may be made by direct bank debit, or by using a major credit card.