Editing Defined

Our fees are typically 25-60% less than the industry average prices shown on this page. 

Industry averages are shown because so many authors have asked us to include them.

We are authors too, so we understand cost is a factor and will show you how to save money without sacrificing quality.

We help you determine what your manuscript needs, eliminate unnecessary editing costs, and offer pricing based on the unique condition of your document…not outdated, high priced, industry averages. Sometimes there is a light need in more than one level of editing and we can complete copy-editing (also known as line-editing) while addressing structural, developmental, or substantive needs for further savings. You’ll receive a free assessment of your document’s condition and a sample of workmanship with a proposed editing plan and timeline within 2 business days of receiving your complete Word document.

The following pricing chart shows the industry average ranges compared to our average pricing, assuming the document needs all 4 levels, which is not usually the case. Each manuscript must be priced after the assigned editor completes an assessment and free sample, and will be unique to that project.


(divide your word count by 250 to get number of pages)

Critique Service.

This service typically looks at 2-3 chapters or 30-50 pages to point out strengths and weaknesses the author can use to improve the rest of the manuscript during self-editing. Author defines the specific area of the manuscript to be critiqued, or can request a recommendation. A very experienced critique editor will provide comments and line edits in the chosen sample area for the following focus areas:

  • Grammatical, usage, and typographical errors. Will point out and correct a few examples with line edits.
  • Clichés, vague imagery, pacing/storytelling issues (over explaining, under explaining, repetition, skipping over things), etc.
  • Plot holes, inconsistent character behavior, unrealistic coincidences to propel the plot, etc.
  • Opportunities to make the writing and dialog snappier. May rewrite some sentences/paragraphs to illustrate how to sharpen your voice (if needed).

Priced case by case—depends on word count and condition of requested critique area;

Developmental/Project Editing:

Coordinating and editing a project from proposal or rough manuscript to final manuscript, incorporating input from authors, consultants, or reviewers.

  • Problem or Conflict: usually introduced early on, can be external or internal, and is evident and relatable
  • Plot or Text Structure: the rise and fall of action is the right pace and makes the reader feel and see what’s happening
  • Solution or Resolution: how the problem or conflict is solved makes sense and is believable
  • Theme: More than the topic of the story, the “message” the author is trying to send through the use of the story is evident, believable, and relatable

Substantive/Structural Editing:

Clarifying or reorganizing a manuscript for content and structure. Applies to manuscripts with an overall well written state, which may require more clarifying or structural specific work than is covered in copy editing.

Considers a document’s concept and intended use, content, organization, design, and style.

Makes the document functional for its readers, not just correct and consistent.

Fine tuning the 4 elements outlined under Developmental Editing.

Substantive editing is almost entirely analysis-based, whether at the document level or at the paragraph, sentence, or word level. Decisions require judgment, not just the application of rules, and therefore should be negotiable with the writer.

Deals with the overall structure of the publication and should answer these questions:

  • Does it all fit together into a coherent whole?
  • Is the order of presentation logical (from the target audience’s point of view)?
  • Is all the necessary information included and unnecessary information deleted?
  • Are the retrieval aids (table of contents, internal headings, index) useful? Do they contain terms that are useful to the target audience?
  • Characters: Are main characters and supporting characters well developed?
  • Setting: Is when and where the story took place clear?
  • Point of View: Is there head-hopping, or if so, is it indicated with proper breaks for changes and internal dialogue indicated with italics?

Copy Editing:

Editing for grammar, usage, spelling, punctuation, and other mechanics of style.

Checking for consistency of mechanics and for internal consistency of facts.

Inserting section levels and approximate placement of art.

Editing tables, figures, and lists.

Notifying Designer(s) of production requirements.

Strict adherence to the client’s style guide of choice guaranteed.


Checking proofs (digital Word documents) of formatted and/or edited material for technical errors in copy (such as spelling and punctuation mistakes, or small deviations from style sheet).

Strict adherence to the client’s style guide of choice guaranteed.

“Proofreading” is often loosely used to include copy editing and other tasks. It is not so used here, but is specific to checking final digital documents for technical and mechanical errors and ensuring keystroke accuracy as a final step before publishing.

Track Changes Training:

Editor provides a How to Guide and email/phone support (up to client) for you to learn how to effectively and efficiently use this feature. Included free with any editing/proofreading service.

Initial training with free sample and recap training when editing work sent back the first time is free (up to 1.5 hours total) with any paid editing or proofreading service. If additional support is required, will be billed as a consultation/training service at $35 per hour with a 1 hour minimum.


Editing is just the beginning of the publishing process. Publishing and marketing can be very confusing and time consuming. At Indie Author Publishing Services (IAPS), we can support you through the process:

  • Listen to your goals and offer suggestions to simplify the sheer volume of choices you’ll have to make. (Free 1 hour consultation for all new clients.)
  • Teach you how to do a variety of publishing and/or marketing tasks on your own.
  • Complete tasks on your behalf.

Our team of published authors want to help you realize your dream and we know everyone’s needs are different and unique to their situation.

The Pro Book Editor is a division of Indie Author Publishing Services. For information about services customized to implement the rest of your publishing plan, please visit Indie Author Publishing Services by clicking the image below:

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