I offer a variety of editing services for fantasy and science fiction books. Please check out the options below, and please don't hesitate to shoot me a message if you have any questions.
What is a Developmental Edit?
This is the most comprehensive editing service I offer.
A developmental edit is an in-depth, big-picture look at all the major aspects of your book: characterization, plot, story, worldbuilding, pacing, structure, and so on. I will read your manuscript multiple times and provide a detailed report on all these aspects, as well as a breakdown of the book, what works, what doesn't, and recommendations on how to improve your manuscript and fix problems with it. You will also receive inline comments in the manuscript itself.
When Should I get a Developmental Edit?
When you have a completed manuscript. You might want to have it read by beta readers first so you can fix easy and obvious problems, or you may prefer to send it as soon as it is complete. A developmental edit should come before any line edits, copy edits, or proofreading, as it may lead to substantial changes to the manuscript.
How much does it cost?
The typical cost for a developmental edit is $15-$30 per thousand words, depending on how much work your manuscript requires and what exactly you want doing. For example, if you require guidance on restructuring many individual scenes within the manuscript, you would expect to pay more than if you are only interested in big-picture editorial suggestions. We will agree a cost before the edit starts.
What is an editorial report?
This is a lighter version of a developmental edit. Also known as a manuscript critique.
An editorial report, sometimes called a manuscript evaluation, is similar to a developmental edit, but it does not go into the same depth and does not usually involve inline comments on the manuscript itself. You will receive a report detailing the core aspects of your manuscript, as well as ways to improve it.
When Should I Get an Editorial Report?
An editorial report, like a developmental edit, should be requested when you have a completed manuscript, but before any line edits. Some authors prefer to have more than one round of editing, and in this case, an editorial report would be the first, giving you a chance to fix major problems before a more detailed edit.
How much does it cost?
The typical cost for an editorial report is $12 per thousand words.
What is Beta Reading?
A professional version of the traditional beta reading process.
A beta read is to check whether the key components of your book are working. In a tradional beta read, your reader will give their reactions to the book after reading it, usually including what they liked, what they didn't, where they lost interest, and so on. The service I offer is more in-depth and offers more analysis. It could also be called a simple manuscript critique.
I read your manuscript once, review it, and provide you with an overall report on the important elements of the story. This report is designed to let you know of any big problems that your manuscript might have, including problems with characters, pacing, plot, and so on. It does not usually include detailed fixes but may include more general suggestions.
When Should I get a Beta Read?
The best time for a beta read is when you have finished a draft, or when you have done your first revision, but before you have polished your book. A beta read normally comes before a developmental edit or editorial report.
How much does it cost?
The typical cost for an editorial report is $5 per thousand words.
Patrick provided a friendly, comprehensive and insightful edit that gave me a much-needed alternative perspective. I've no doubt my book's much better for his input would definitely recommend his services!
Phil Williams, author of "Dyer Street Punk Witches" and "Under Ordshaw"
I used Patrick's editing services for my sci-fi thriller novel, asking for a developmental edit. My wishes were faithfully respected and I received comprehensive and incisive analysis of the plot and characters, and well-considered comments on how to make the story more cohesive and enjoyable for my readers. All delivered on time and as promised, in a friendly, encouraging, and constructive format. Very impressed and highly recommend!
Shaun Paul Stevens, author of "Servant of the Lesser Good" and "Nether Light"
Frequently Asked Questions
What genres do you work in?
I edit most fantasy and science fiction novels. I can work with both adult and middle grade books. I don't work on paranormal romance or military SF, because I don't feel sufficiently expert on those subgenres.
What if the editing service I need isn't listed above?
Feel free to contact me explaining your exact needs, and if I can help, we can discuss details and costs.
What is the difference between developmental editing and an editorial report?
Detail. A developmental edit will go into more detail. It will also include inline comments and suggestions in the manuscript. It may be more appropriate for a newer writer.
Will you rewrite my book?
Absolutely not. An editor's job is to identify what works and what doesn't, explain why, and suggest solutions or improvements. Any changes are entirely the choice of the author.
Should I pay for a beta read?
Obviously this is up to you. Many authors prefer to get beta reads from other authors or knowledgeable readers. However, if you don't have access to these and want a professional overview of your manuscript, I am happy to provide it.
Do I need an editor if I'm submitting to an agent?
This isn't entirely straightforward. Many authors don't employ an editor before submitting to an agent. Agents are often happy to work with authors in improving their manuscripts before submission to publishers, and publishers, of course, hire their own editors.
However, getting picked up by an agent in the first place is difficult. Agents deal with dozens of manuscripts every day, sometimes hundreds, and while they are always looking for books with great potential, a book that needs significantly more work than another may be less likely to be accepted.
An experienced author would not normally get an edit before submission. A new author may or may not choose to. There is never any guarantee that even an edited manuscript will be picked up or sold, and an edit is a substantial investment.
How long does an edit take?
A developmental edit takes approximately three weeks for a manuscript of around 100,000 words. An editorial report is marginally quicker, and a beta read would take about two weeks for a similar length of manuscript. I am often booked up in advance. I also only take on one editing project per month at most.
How do you handle payment?
I require a deposit of 50% upfront when you book an editing service. The final 50% will be payable on completion of the work. The deposit is refundable if I am unable to carry out the work for any reason. However, it is not refundable if you cancel the work as I will already have put aside that time to work on your book. If you breach the terms of our agreement, the deposit may also not be refundable. Payment must be made by PayPal or direct bank transfer.
Do you edit books written with the assistance of AI (Artificial Intelligence)?
No. I am only interested in editing books wholly written by people. The service I provide is not suitable for editing books written by or with the assistance of AI. I will not edit books written by or with the assistance of AI technology (including Large Language Models). If you send a manuscript that has been written by or with the assistance of AI technology, this will considered a breach of contract and the editing service will be cancelled. Likewise, I will not use AI at any stage of the editing process.
Why should I employ you?
I have been critiquing and working on other people's books for over 20 years. My books have been traditionally published and self-published, and my short stories have appeared in a variety of magazines and anthologies. I have also undertaken accredited editing courses.
Per 1,000 words
- Report on key aspects
Per 1,000 words
- Detailed report
- Recommendations of fixes
Per 1,000 words
- Highly detailed report
- Detailed recommendations of fixes
- Inline comments and suggestions