I offer my services as an editor for people who have a written work they feel is ready for publication.
How I edit work:
I prefer to work with a hard copy of the writing. I like to see the work in print, to get an idea of what it will look like in its final form (assuming the author is planning on a print format and not an “e-book” format).
My first step is to read the work in its entirety, as if I had found the book in a bookstore and then read it for pleasure. This helps me get a feel for the story or subject matter.
Next, I will read it through a second time, this time focusing on grammar issues, language usage, etc. I’ll be “red-flagging” words, phrases, punctuation that don’t seem right to me, or that somehow inhibit my enjoyment of the story. The red flags will appear right on the text.
Then I’ll read it through again and will be looking for how the story “flows:” its sequencing and continuity. I’ll be earmarking what works and what doesn’t work, what’s missing and what holds the story back? I’ll make my notes right on the hard copy.
I will then prepare a document of my comments/suggestions for the author. As noted above, I’ll make notes on the work so that the author can see where I mean what I am suggesting or noticing. But, in addition, I’ll have a typewritten summary of my critique/suggestions/”gut reactions.”
The author then receives their work back with my notes/comments. At that time, s/he decides if they want to meet and have me go over my comments first, or they may want to take them home to absorb and then talk.
Fees for Editing
I charge $15.00/hour for my editing work. Using this figure can make it difficult to determine the final fees for my editing because it is hard to tell how long read-throughs will take. It also depends on the type of work I am being asked to edit. Is this a novel? A research project? Poetry? A line-by-line edit of a full-length novel takes a lot longer than a book of poems.
A good way to be able to give a more accurate fee estimate is for me to see a sample of the work. This can be a chapter of the author’s book, a section of their final paper, or a few poems from their collection. After I see that, I can get a feel for the scope of the work and how I would approach the editing of it.
I ask that the author and I agree on a fee before I begin the work and that they make a small “first installment” payment before I begin (Usually 10% of the total fees agreed upon).
"Jim is without a doubt the best editor with whom I have ever worked. His ability to improve syntax and flow is only surpassed by his keen understanding of plot and theme. He is always aware of what makes a good story even better, and sees stories from the eye of the reader. He is so easy to work with, too. He presents his opinions in an easy-to-understand and positive manner. His skills are incomparable. I would trust him with anything I have written."- Joe Abbate, Fulton
"Jim has done a tremendous job in editing my recently published book. He was thorough and professional in his methods of providing feedback and suggestions and his editing methods clearly portrayed his predominant styles of collaboration, sensitivity and mutual respect. Jim was not only exceptional in his editing skills, but he also provided me with great ideas on the format and layout of my book, potential marketing strategies and also guidance in my approach to the publication process. Throughout the entire editing process, Jim was fully committed to providing excellent service that included accuracy, timeliness and complete follow-through in meeting my needs as an author. I feel truly fortunate to have him as my editor. "
-Vince Markoswsky, LCSW-R, MS, Counselor, Author of Setting My Words Free: Inspirational Messages for Adults Who Stutter