Manuscript Editing

yellow book with blank coverTo get your manuscript in top form for publication, we encourage all of our authors to have their work looked over by an editor. That is essential. You need another set of eyeballs that will catch those mistakes in spelling, punctuation, and plot that will be jarring to readers. At Public Author, we may be able to help you with your editing needs.

So what kinds of editors are there and what do they do? 

1. The Copy Editor. This person will look over your manuscript to find any errors in spelling, punctuation, missed words, misused grammar, and so on. Don’t try to do this yourself, because it is simply too easy to overlook your own mistakes.

Where do you find a Copy Editor? We suggest using a a copy editor that will work for a flat fee. There are numerous editors who list their services on the internet. (Always check their references and have them do a sample chapter so that you can see the quality of their work.) You can also check to see who copyedits at your local newspaper or college press and see if you can hire that person. (We at Public Author may also be able to help you with Copy Editing- see below)

Some writers on a tight budget will use “beta readers” to review their books and mark up any mistakes. These are usually friends or family who do the work for free. It will save you money, but pick your beta readers carefully. Expect them to be slower than a hired editor and certainly not as thorough.

2. The Line Editor. This person looks for consistency in the actual words and structure of the book, looking for logic gaps and errors in plotting. Does your protagonist’s eyes change color halfway through the book? Did your getaway vehicle start as a Honda only to become a Chevy three pages later?

A Line Editor will help to make sure your story reads smoothly, without any jarring lapses or logic errors. If on a tighter budget, try to hire a Copy Editor that will also do a simple Line Edit too. If you can afford it, hire two separate people to do these two jobs. If you can only afford one or the other, go for the Copy Editor. (We at Public Author may also be able to help you with Line Editing- see below)

3. Content Editor. This person goes beyond a Line Editor and looks at the “big picture”, looking at characters, plot, themes, story structure, and more. The Content Editor is not concerned with your specific words.  A good content editor is hard to find since this person digs into the very meat-and-bones of a story- looking at its overall structure and tone. It can be a fine line between helping a story and messing up the author’s voice. (At Public Author, we do not assist with this type of editing.)

4. Book Doctor. This person will help do major revisions on a book to correct an error-filled, jumbled mess. Frankly, most cannot afford a good book doctor. Big name publishers hire them to fix celebrity books or to repair a shoddy manuscript sent in by a “best-selling” author who is now too impaired by illness or  alcoholism or age to turn in a decent book. (At Public Author, we do not assist with this type of editing either.)

 Can I hire Public Author to do my editing for me?

At Public Author, we can help edit your manuscript, but only with Copy Editing and Line Editing. Pricing varies, depending on the complexity of the project and whether it is non-fiction or fiction.

We are limited in the amount of editorial projects that we take on, so please ask about our availability.  We also reserve the right to reject any proposed project due to its complexity, failure to meet our stated standards (see our FAQ page), an over-abundance of errors, an ill-fit to our available editor(s) genre specializations, or because our schedule will not allow us to give your manuscript the attention it deserves.


How much does it Cost for Manuscript Editing?

We offer Copy Editing and Line Editing. Pricing starts at $550 for an average-length novel, but varies greatly depending on many factors, including:

1. Manuscript Length

2. Quality of Manuscript/ Level of English competence

3. Whether Fiction or Non-Fiction

4. Manuscript Formatting

We only accept manuscripts that are formatted to industry standard: in MS Word, 1″ margins, 12 pt font (Times New Roman, Calibri, or Garamond), 8.5″ x 11″ page size, double-spaced.

Quoted price may change after our initial review of the manuscript, should we find additional issues that we were unaware of.


Are you ready for us to edit your manuscript? Please contact us and tell us more about your book and we can talk about pricing, time frame for completion, and so on.

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