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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 several levels of editing. The most basic, though this is also the last step in more serious editing, is proofreading. Here the idea is to look at the spelling and basic grammar, but not much else. This is why, for more serious editing, this becomes a final step. For basic proofing, the charge is $0.75 per double-spaced page. You may specify British or American spelling. (This service only, sold in 10-page blocks, as the payment processor won’t handle charges of less than 99¢.)
The next level is a more thorough copy-edit. Now, in addition to spelling and punctuation, we’re looking at grammar and sentence structure. At this level, I may suggest changes such as breaking up run-on sentences, or run-on quotations (a very common problem in fiction). I’ll check for unconscious patterns, such as always using “he said,” and perhaps suggest the odd alternative phrasing. I’ll also look for possible continuity errors, such as when you unintentional have the wrong person saying something, or confuse one character with another. At this level, service is $1.00 per double-spaced page. Still quite a bargain, believe me.
One of the things I’ve discovered that I’m good at is taking an English language manuscript written by someone who isn’t a native speaker and making it look like he is. Translating dictionaries will betray you in a heartbeat. The same word can have different meanings in context and a different word would be clearer. Naturally, with this level of editing, what you get back is your original manuscript with a separate manuscript showing the corrections. The charge for this is $2.00 for per double-spaced page.
If you’re self-publishing, here’s the service you really need. For $3.00 per double-spaced page ($4.00 including foreign English correction), I’ll do a full copy edit, proof your text, and produce a print-ready PDF of your book block, in the size you specify, that you can send to your printer. I’ll also send you a Mobi and an ePub file of the complete book. You do need to supply your own ISBNs for the print and ePub versions. The mobi is for upload to Amazon for Kindle, and doesn’t require an ISBN. You will also need to supply me with your cover so it can be embedded in the mobi and ePub files. If you want both trade paperback and hardcover versions, the bookblock is normally the same, but you do need a unique ISBN for each version. This does not include creating a cover.
I can also edit and format your play manuscript. The basic service includes checking spelling, grammar checking within character constraints (recognizing that some errors are intentional), and formatting. I’ll set up your play in either traditional or modern Dramatists Guild format, or standard Musical format. I can work with manuscripts in either Final Draft or Word formats, and will return your corrected manuscript in whichever format you submitted it in. For full manuscripts I’ll also create a PDF.
Pricing is per double-spaced, letter-size page, with one-inch margins. Print and PDF book blocks will be set in a serif font, most commonly 10 to 12 point Baskerville, Bodoni, or Georgia. Standard page sizes for printed books are 8.5” x 5.5” or 6” x 9”, but you can specify a different size if you prefer. If you’re setting up a public domain book with the intention of making it available on Amazon’s Kindle, be warned that they generally only accept these if there’s something special about them, such as heavy annotation, new illustrations, or the like.
New translations of public domain books for Kindle are allowed, and are considered to be the same as original material, as the translation is subject to copyright.
Amazon is very fussy about erotica, which can be banned due to content, or because there’s too much skin on the cover. The covers you can fix. If it’s banned for content, there’s nothing you can do about it other than appeal, and if you re-submit blocked books Amazon is likely to close your account and you’ll lose everything. I have no general objection to editing erotica, but if it looks like something Amazon is likely to ban I’ll say so before proceeding.