FULL EDIT & CRITIQUE: A full edit & critique on a manuscript of 80,000 words or less usually costs between $2,000 and $2,500, although it can run less if the manuscript is especially clean or brief, or more if the manuscript is especially complicated. I ask clients to e-mail me a few pages of manuscript and the total word count, along with a one-paragraph summary of the project as a whole. I also appreciate a brief sketch of your background and goals as a writer. We then discuss needs and expectations on the phone or by email and I offer a firm quote.
This full critique entails my reading, annotating, and editing every page of your manuscript. I create margin notes and twenty to twenty-five pages (on average) of evaluative feedback, divided into these sections: Overview, Chapter Responses, and Technical Feedback. The Overview section covers narrative arc, plot issues, tension, character realization, authorial voice, pacing, emotional clarity, appropriate scene placement, dialogue efficiency, clarity of setting, character interactivity, and general comprehension. A separate document, the Chapter Responses section contains my assessment of each chapter, offering specific recommendations for that chapter. The Technical section outlines copyediting issues: grammar and usage, spelling, formatting, word choice, and language use.
READ-THROUGH EVALUATION: A read-through evaluation entails my reading through the manuscript and noting places where the manuscript could be improved. I evaluate the literary functions listed above, but mark the manuscript with fewer, more overall directives. I do minimal technical editing. I send you a ten to fifteen page response with suggestions for improving the manuscript and making it marketable. I address the problems that plague many writers, middle-of-book drag, poorly defined plot or characters, insufficient emotional or intellectual payoff, irregular point of view, too many straying plotlines. I recommend actions that will improve the manuscript. The cost for this service for a book or collection with word count below 80,000 is $1,500-$2,000 depending on length, and overall needs of manuscript.
SECOND or FOLLOW-UP EDIT & CRITIQUE: A Second or Follow-up Edit and Critique is usually a flat $1000, although it can run a little more if the manuscript is long or complex in nature.
SHORT EDITS, COACHING, PROMOTION & DETAILING: Follow-up short edits, project coaching, promotion, and detailing is billed at $50 per hour, although I work with the writer to keep these costs down, wanting clients to be successful in the long run with agents and publishers. This includes advising phone calls after-the-fact. The initial phone call to establish expectations and costs is free, as are follow-up phone calls once the manuscript has been returned to the writer with my evaluation and edits.