Editing Service

Deatri is no longer taking clients. 

As a commercial-fiction developmental editor, I have worked with award winning authors such as Beverly Jenkins, L. A. Banks, Angie Daniels, Gwyneth Bolton and many more. My family, writing and editing are my passion. I love working with authors to help them mold their stories into the best novels they can be.

There are several types of editors (line editors, copy editors, proof readers…), and most people confuse who does what. The developmental editor is the one who helps you shape your novel (plot, characterization, consistency, voice, point of view, showing vs: telling…). I do not edit first person or present tense titles.

Developmental Editing Fee (10,000 word minimum): In order to give an accurate quote, I’d have to see a sample of the work. The base price for a first edit for most manuscripts is one cent per word. So for an 80,000 word manuscript, that’s $800. Half of the fee is due at time of acceptance of the project. The second half is due upon completion of the edit. The base price for a second edit is half a cent per word. Developmental editing is a back and forth process. Most authors go through two sets.

Timeline: It usually takes me around six weeks to complete a set of developmental edits for a full length manuscript.

Electronic Editing: Editing is done using the tracking feature on Microsoft Word. This allows the authors to accept or reject changes I make to their manuscripts.

Quote: For a price quote, please send the first five pages of your manuscript, the actual word count and the genre in a Microsoft Word document. I’ll developmentally edit the five pages, and this will show you my style. Do not ever hire an editor without obtaining a free sample of their work. For short stories, send the first three pages of your manuscript.

To find the actual word count, in Microsoft Word (previous to version 2007) from the main menu go to File–>Properties–>select the Statistics tab. Look in the statistics box, and it list how many words are in the document. In Microsoft Word 2007 the word count is usually in the bottom left corner. It depends on how you have your preferences set up.

I am also available to conduct workshops on the craft of writing and the publishing industry. I’ve been around for a while now and have a little knowledge to share. Email the details of the workshop you are interested in to make arrangements.

Click here to view a portfolio of a few of the novels I’ve edited. I have edited a few non-fiction books, such as Cotton Field of Dreams by Janis Kearney, but non-fiction is not my specialty. If you need a non-fiction editor or poetry editor, I know a few who may be able to help you out.

Please note. As a developmental editor, I give you advice on how to make your manuscript the best it can be; I do not rewrite it for you. Though I do light copy editing, grammar corrections and proof reading, my focus is on the development of your plots, characterization and such. After you complete your rewrites, you’ll want to hire a copy editor, then a proof reader. Be sure to hire a different person for each step of the process. I know a good copy editor and proof reader if you need referrals. I am also not a fact checker. If I notice something that does not sound correct to me, I will flag it, but it’s your responsibility to do your research. Hope I haven’t scared you. :-)


Become A Successful Author is used in the “How To Write That Novel” course at Chicago State because it covers everything from branding to writing to editing to formatting and uploading electronic and print books to marketing and so much more. Your time is money. Look at all the time, thus money, you’ll save by ending your search for answers: Purchase Become A Successful Author (eBook) for only $4.99 from: Amazon (US), Amazon (UK), Barnes & Noble  or print copies for only $9.99.

9 thoughts on “Editing Service

  1. Sharon Stewart

    I take issue with your advice “Do not ever hire an editor without obtaining a free sample of their work.” I’m an award-winning editor who has been editing nonfiction professionally for more than 30 years. I have never done a free edit (except for pro bono work of my choosing), and my professional colleagues discourage this practice as well. We do not ask our dentists to do a free filling or our roofer to give us 10 free rows of shingles.

    What might be a better idea, if you are so inclined, is to add the cost of your conditional free edit to the final invoice once the potential client has accepted your edit and agreed to have you continue editing the rest of the manuscript.

    Just sayin’.

    Reply
    1. Deatri Post author

      We shall just have to disagree on this issue. Unlike a dentist who must be licensed, have a certain amount of education, follow guidelines, regulations, standards, laws and be certified in various techniques. states and countries, anyone can call themselves an editor. In dentistry the expectations for the various services are pretty standard. I’m over simplifying, but you get the picture. For example, if you go in for a cleaning, you expect more than the dental assistant breaking out the toothbrush and tooth paste and having at it. This is not the case with editing. In the dental profession, if you have a procedure done, there may be differing techniques, but the end result for the procedure is often times quite similar. With dentistry, in general the dentist does the procedure, then you recover. Now that doesn’t mean some dentist aren’t better than others, but you get the point. Your working with the dentist is minimal. You more of see the result of his work. In editing and writing, it’s a creative process that relies on team work. And since it is creative, you want to ensure the editor understands your creative style and that you understand how in-depth his/her edits will be. With editing, the differences in technique and style are major and without the editor giving you a sample of an edit on your work, you have no idea if your creativity and style meshes well with the editor. It’s a heck of a lot more expensive and time consuming for a dentist to do a free filling or a roofer to give 10 free rows of shingles than it is for an editor to take a few pages of an author’s manuscript and do a sample edit. And unlike a filling where if the dentist filled 10 people’s teeth, the process would be just about the same, that’s not true of editing fiction. Each manuscript has numerous differences and nuances to take into account. So, as I said, we shall just have to disagree on this issue.

      Reply
      1. Rick Taubold

        Deatri,

        I TOTALLY agree with you. There is no comparison between roofers/dentists and editors, although with both you can get recommendations from customers. Many services can provide warranties and fix improperly done work (redo filling that falls out or repair shingles that detach), but what warranty can an editor provide? A partial refund for missed errors? That wouldn’t help once the book is already in print. Editors have different styles. I’ve worked with a couple of good ones. One I would whole heartedly recommend; the other I felt went too far and actually changed things that shouldn’t have been changed. A writer needs to see exactly how a particular editor will work. It’s no different from commissioning work (such as a book cover). You need to know that the person you hired is both competent and in tune with your needs and desires. If an editor is unwilling to do a sample edit on a few pages (say 5-10), then I’m not interested. An alternative, of course, is to have a portfolio of before and after samples of actual work, but that’s likely impractical from a copyright standpoint.

        So I say this to Ms. Stewart: having won awards, while a nice testimonial, says little about how you would edit MY work. I’m certain that I could submit the same piece of writing to several different editors and see it come back edited differently by all of them, and not all would be of the same quality. I need to know upfront whether an editor is going to respect my style and enhance it or (as I’ve seen happen) take some of the life out of it. And, honestly, I’ve seen some allegedly good professional editing that’s an embarrassment to the editor.

        When you’re spending hundreds of dollars to have your work edited, you want to be sure the money is well spent. I have a friend who was in that position. The editor helped him some, but he certainly overspent for what he received. There is a lot more to editing than most writers think, and you need to know exactly what type of editing your editor-to-be is going to perform.

        –Rick

        Reply
        1. Deatri Post author

          Thank you, Rick, and I agree with you also. :-) There is so much of the editor’s style that goes into editing. I can’t imagine allowing an editor to edit my book without getting a sample. Our styles must complement each other.

          Happy Writing

          Reply
    1. Deatri Post author

      LOL Melvin. Sorry, can’t let you hold the grandbaby. He’s too adorable. You might steal him. And I value Sharon’s opinion. It would be a pretty boring world if we all agreed.

      Have a great rest of the weekend.

      Reply
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  3. VICKI ACQUAH

    Editing should deal with grammar and punctuation and formatting . the content and style should stay in tact,also knowing when to allow creative license. Some editors may be to strict, and others to lenient,for example using the wrong too,to, or two…I would suggest seeing an example of a before and after page of work he/she has already edited.

    Reply
    1. Deatri Post author

      I’m in 100% agreement with you. You need to have a sample of the editor’s work on your project to ensure quality but also to ensure you are on the same sheet of music. Otherwise, their suggestions may not work with your vision at all.

      Reply

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