Hello fellow writer!
I have been learning and writing my whole life, but seriously studying the craft of fiction since 2000. While seeking publication for my own work, I was privileged to walk alongside friend and fellow author Mary DeMuth as her novels were published. She always sought my input before turning in her manuscripts, then she graciously shared her editor’s notes with me. I believe this helped me not only to become a better writer, but a better editor as well.
I have learned from experience that process that seems to work best for me and for my clients:
First, I offer a free 5 page edit to make sure you feel I’m a good fit for you and your project. On my side, this edit allows me to better estimate the time it will take to complete your project since I charge by the hour. I will give you that estimate after the free edit. I will not charge you more than my estimate no matter how long it really takes (so I try to get as close as possible!) but I will only charge you for the hours worked if it is less than estimated.
I always prefer to start with a substantive edit, for I have found it isn’t very helpful to do a line edit on a story that has structural or character issues. A substantive or developmental edit is where I read the entire book and make notes on plot, structure, and characters in the form of a letter with a few notes scattered throughout the manuscript. This typically takes 5-10 hours for a full length (80-90,000 word) novel. If there are obvious line edit issues, I will note them in the editorial letter as well so that they can be addressed in revision.
Once the substantive issues have been addressed, I will line edit if you so desire, also noting any areas where the structural/character issues still need work or clarification. A line edit for a full length book can be as little as 8 hours or as many as 20, depending on the author’s skill level. Again, I give an estimate for this before beginning and again never charge you more than my estimate, and often less. After doing a substantive edit, I have pretty good idea of the amount of work needed.
Depending on the client’s desires, I can do a final copy edit, which usually takes much less time than the line edit, but sometimes it is better at that point to get a true copy editor who is looking for the minute points of punctuation and grammar and can see the typos I can’t see after going through the manuscript twice.
I charge $50/hr and prefer to work with clients on entire projects, however I have also had a few successful relationships with clients where I edit a prescribed amount of time per week on their current project and they pay as we go. This type of client is more a mentoring relationship where the author learns from the edits before submitting the next installment. This type of relationship has often ended with an overall edit after learning through the weekly (or bi-weekly or what ever prescribed time period) edits.
If a professional edit is something you might be interested in pursuing, use the contact form to let me know a little about your project and your time frame. After that, we can set up the free edit and progress from there.
D’Ann has edited all my novels. She has the uncanny ability to know when best to start a chapter, a scene, a book. And she has a teacher’s heart, wooing you toward your best storytelling. Insightful, encouraging, and a skillful writing coach.
I’m beyond grateful for D’Ann Mateer’s expertise as an editor on my soon to release novella. D’Ann provided detailed, thoughtful feedback. Her dedicated focus exemplified her passion for helping to improve the story. D’Ann’s grammatical revisions and overall content suggestions were phenomenal. I love how she offered insight in a way that still respected the vision and voice of the story. D’Ann’s gifted and I highly recommend her as an editor.
D’Ann Mateer is a treasure to work with, especially with something so special as your own words! She takes great care and has an excellent attention to detail. She makes the editing process a lot less intimidating!
Contact me if you would like to discuss editing consulting.