Let’s Talk About Editing Your Book
Get clarity, deepen your understanding of your writing, and strengthen your ideas with a comprehensive edit. It’s in-depth and detailed and everything you need to make your story the best possible version of itself.
Comprehensive editing costs $0.03-$0.05 per word ($300 minimum)
What You Can Expect From A Comprehensive Edit
A comprehensive edit is a unique combination of line editing, editorial comments on your manuscript, a written report, and a consultation with your editor.
A line edit is an extremely detailed edit and includes rewriting sentences and improving word choice, organization, plotting, and pacing. The purpose is to improve the readability and flow of your manuscript. Track changes in Word are used so you can easily see your editor’s changes and can accept or reject them.
Your line editor may draw your attention to:
- dialogue or paragraphs that can be tightened
- scenes where meaning is unclear or could be misunderstood
- redundancies from repeating information in different ways
- misuse or overuse of adjectives and adverbs
- passages that are weighed down by bland language
- possible changes to improve pacing
- tonal shifts and unnatural phrasing
Every manuscript is unique, so your line edits will depend on your manuscript’s needs.
Comments are made in the margins of your manuscript to point out specific scenes or passages that can be strengthened. Your editor will ask lots of questions and provide tips and recommendations.
- show how particular scenes, events, or actions don’t have the right impact, and how they can be revised
- highlight how a character’s speech or actions don’t ring true
- point out how a scene could do with more/less detail to enhance meaning and purpose
- identify unbelievable or nonsensical parts of the narrative, and how to fix them
- question the purpose of a scene, event, or character to ensure it has earned a place in the narrative
The editor’s report provides detailed feedback and insight on your manuscript. The report is similar to a manuscript critique, but the feedback is more specific because your manuscript is structurally sound.
To get a better idea of what the editor’s report looks like, please see our FAQs.
Got questions about your edit? Of course you do.
Get a 40-minute follow-up consultation with your editor after you have reviewed your edited files. Consultation can be carried out by phone, Skype, or email, depending on what suits you.
What Does A Comprehensive Edit Look Like?
QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR COMPREHENSIVE EDIT?
Is my manuscript ready for a comprehensive edit?
If your manuscript is structurally sound and your story is stable and unlikely to change, you are ready for a comprehensive edit. Because this type of editing includes a line edit, you’ll want to make sure you’re finished with all major cuts and/or revisions to the text. After all, it doesn’t make sense to line edit a paragraph that you are considering deleting.
Do I need a comprehensive edit or a copyedit?
Comprehensive edits and copyedits occur at very different times in the writing process. A copyedit should always come after a comprehensive edit, never before and never at the same time. A copyeditor is usually the last person to work on your manuscript before it is sent for typesetting/formatting.
How long will it take?
Actual time frames depend on your editor’s schedule, but on average, a comprehensive edit will take 4–7 weeks.
If you have a deadline, please let us know when you submit your form.
Will my editor fix my grammar, spelling, and punctuation?
Although there is some overlap between a comprehensive edit and a copyedit, it is not the purpose of a comprehensive edit to fix all problems with spelling, grammar, punctuation, typos, etc. This is a copyeditor’s job.
Your comprehensive editor may point out inconsistencies and technical errors when they jump out, but only because they are trying to make your writing better (and because they can’t help themselves). A copyeditor, on the other hand, will conduct a forensic review of your manuscript, correcting every wayward comma, every capital letter, and every spelling mistake they can.
Will my manuscript be ready for publishing after a comprehensive edit?
The short answer is no. At the end of the comprehensive edit, you will receive a detailed report and a manuscript with lots of tracked changes and lots of comments and suggestions. This will amount to extra work and rewriting on your part.
Can I choose my own editor?
Based on the information you provide in the form, we’ll suggest an editor with the best combination of skills and experience for you. If, however, you’d like to work with a Standout Books editor you already know, whether from a previous service or through our blog, then we’ll be happy to organize the comprehensive edit with that in mind.
Will the editor change my story?
A line edit focuses on the language you use to communicate your story. Because of this, your editor may
- trim words, phrases, or sentences that don’t contribute to your story
- tighten your dialogue and suggest words or phrases to enhance meaning
- rearrange and/or revise certain passages to improve flow and pacing
All changes are made using tracked changes in Word, so everything will be visible and easily reversible.
What if I don’t agree with the advice?
Every point your editor makes will include examples from the text and the reasoning behind their advice. The intent is to give you everything you need to make your own informed choices, and your editor will never pressure you to follow their advice. At the end of the day, it’s your manuscript and your story!
Can you tell me more about the 40-minute consultation?
The consultation is your opportunity to discuss the edit with your editor. You can ask questions, ask for further elaboration on points made, and discuss any new thoughts and ideas you may have as a result of the edit.
The consultation process is entirely flexible and can be done over email, Skype, or phone. You can arrange it directly with your editor.
If you’d like to talk for longer than 40 minutes, you can arrange an editorial consultation with your editor.
What about copyright?
Copyright protection is a common worry for authors, which is why we’re happy to guarantee that your work won’t be shared with any third parties. Your editor will use your work solely for editorial purposes and is bound by a Non-Disclosure Agreement, which is available to all clients prior to the commencement of any work.
Do you work in Google Docs?
Although our preference is to work in Microsoft Word, we can work in Google Docs upon request.