For Want of a Nail: Writing and editing the details

Rates and Services

On this page, you will find a run-down of the current market rates (estimates obtained from the Editorial Freelancers Association), and a list of my own (often greatly reduced) rates, as well as descriptions of what you'll be getting for them. Please contact me with any questions or special requests; I am willing to discuss projects with alternative parameters to those outlined here. If in doubt, ask.


Editing fees




Current market rate— $30-$40 an hour


My rate— $25 an hour


What you get— Think of this as your basic clean-up. When I copyedit a piece, I will treat it as essentially finished, just needing fact-checking, grammar and spelling sweeps, and possibly some minor stylistic or layout adjustments. If your piece is technical or research-heavy, I’ll look over your endnotes and citations. The copyedit is a solo job, unlike the more in-depth editing services I offer. You send me a piece, I clean it up, polish it, and return it to you with a shining face and starched handkerchiefs.


Substantive editing:


Current market rate— $40-$60 an hour


My rate— $35 an hour


What you get— When I do substantive editing, I’ll be rolling up my sleeves a little more and getting involved in the writing process with you. I’ll make notes on grammar, spelling, and style, but I’ll also step back and look at the piece as a whole, point out trouble spots, suggest improvements and clarifications, and do some rewriting where necessary. Now, as a writer myself, I have incredible respect for the creative process and the author’s right to the written work, so I’ll be noting all potential changes and submitting them for your approval (unless you request otherwise). That way you get the benefit of my input without losing any control over your piece.


Developmental editing:


Current market rate— $45-$55 an hour


My rate— $45 an hour


What you get— This option surpasses copyediting and substantive editing. Rather than focus on the nuts and bolts of your piece, I’ll approach it in its entirety and evaluate it. How well is its message communicated? Does it achieve its internal goals? Is there any major restructuring necessary? I will study your piece and write an exhaustive summary of all these issues, noting where the piece succeeds and where it needs work, including ideas for improvement. The length of my developmental summary document depends on the length and nature of your piece.  

Note: In developmental editing, you are purchasing a textual summary; I won’t be making notes within the text itself. This is great for a writer wanting pointed, thorough feedback---on a deeper level than most writing groups and casual readers can give. If, however, you want me to copyedit the text as well as providing a summary document, consider purchasing the combination package below. 


Developmental and copyedit (combination package): $40 an hour 



Writing fees


Ghostwriting, all genres:


Current market rate— $50-60 an hour


My rate— $50 an hour


What you get— Ghostwriting is by nature piece-specific; in other words, what your fee includes will vary depending on the project. Autobiographies require extensive interview time; fiction often does not. Travel may be necessary, as may research. With ghostwriting, I may include time reading writers you admire or whose style you would like imitated, in order to give you control of the piece's tone. I do ghostwriting by flat rate, so all subsequent royalties will go directly to you. You also have full copyrights to the completed work and need not acknowledge me, though recommending my services is always appreciated!

Note: My rate is greatly reduced because it does not include any marketing or publishing services. I recommend you plan on hiring an agent for this next phase of getting your book to print.


Piece-writing, all genres:


Current market rate— $40-$100 an hour


My rate— $45 an hour


What you get— Piece-writing includes anything from technical writing to advertisement generation to special interest or opinion pieces, as well as works of fiction. If a piece requires interviews and research, I will include time spent thus in the overall hourly rate for the piece. If necessary, travel costs and related expenses will be included. Please contact me with specific pitches or needs.