Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Now Offering Ten-Page Edits

Here on the Story Polisher, I've identified and explained dozens (almost hundreds) of errors, both large and small, to watch out for in your writing. But it's one thing to learn about these problems, and quite another to identify and correct them in your own work. That's why, in addition to all the tips here on the site, I am now offering editing services to readers: quick ten-page edits for the price of twenty-five dollars apiece. Here's the breakdown:

Length: 10 pages of size 11, Times New Roman text, with one-inch margins

Which pages? That's up to you—whatever portion of the piece you'd most like to have me look at. If you're not sure where to start, I'd recommend the first ten pages.

Does it have to be a story? No. It can be whatever you need edited, be it article, research proposal, autobiography, cook book, family history, textbook, movie script, blog post . . . if it is made up of words and you don't mind compensating me for my time, I am happy to provide my services.

What if my piece is just sliiiiightly over ten pages? Well, if you're nice to me, then that won't be a problem. Just don't push it too far—if your piece is approaching 10.5 or more pages, then I'll probably just stop at the ten page mark. 

What you get: A full substantive and copy edit of your submission

For reference, here are the editing services I typically offer:

Proofreading: This is touch-up editing. Usually, a piece that's ready for proofreading has already been through several drafts and at least a professional copy edit. "Proofreading" is just going through picking out and fixing tiny little errors—missing/incorrect punctuation, extra spaces or other characters, misspellings, etc. There will generally be no changes to the wording at this point.

Copy Editing: Editing for clarity and correctness. On a copy edit, an editor will fix errors of grammar, tense, perspective, and punctuation, suggest alternate wording where needed to avoid confusion, ensure that the story is internally consistent, and provide some basic fact-checking. Most of the errors you've read about here on the Story Polisher are the sort of things that would get fixed in a copy edit.

Substantive Editing: I've heard this sort of editing called by many names, but "substantive editing" is my personal favorite. This sort of editing goes even deeper than a copy edit, looking at overarching elements like plot, character, and setting. In a substantive edit, I might suggest you begin your story in a different spot, move a scene somewhere else, eliminate a character—big changes.

With this offer, you'll get a full copy/substantive edit. Basically, any problems I can fix, I will, and any advice I can give, I will.

But what if I just want a proofread? I can help you there, too. If you just want a proofread, I'll knock the price down to $20.

What if I don't like or agree with all of your edits? Not to worry—all of my edits will be made with Track Changes on. They'll appear as suggestions through which you can browse at your will, accepting and rejecting them as you please. However, I suggest you don't reject basic grammatical/punctuation changes; save it for matters of style, wording, or content that you particularly love.

What if I don't understand why you made an edit? I'm going to mark errors with links to my blog posts here on the Story Polisher that explain what's wrong—the whole point of this blog is to help you understand and fix those errors on your own, after all.

Price: $25 (USD)

Why twenty-five dollars? Because I'm discounting my normal editing rates. Normally, my rates run along these lines:

Proofreading: $20 – $25/hour
Copy Editing: $30 – $35/hour
Substantive Editing: $45 – $50/hour

I generally copy edit at a rate of roughly ten pages per hour, so these edits should take about an hour apiece. Since I really appreciate my readers, I'm dropping my copy editing rates down a notch for this offer, and offering extra substantive editing as a bonus.

How do I pay? I accept both Paypal and Google Wallet.

When do I pay? After I've finished the edits, I'll send you a payment request. Once the payment arrives, I'll send the edited draft to you.

Turnaround: One week or less

I hope to be able to get all edits back within one week of submission. If it's going to take longer than that, I'll let you know when you submit.

How to sign up:

Send an e-mail to with the subject "10 Page Edit: (Your Name)." Attach your submission as a .doc or .docx file with the title "tenpage(surname)." Please only send one submission at a time; once you receive your edits, you're welcome to send in another.

A reminder on formatting: your text should be size 11, Times New Roman font, with one-inch margins. If it isn't, I'll adjust it to those settings and edit to the ten page mark (or less, if the piece ends up shorter).

Quick note: I am not offering to publish your work—just to edit it and help you improve.

Questions: For questions, send an e-mail to with the subject "10 Page Question."