Editing is essential for professional creative
writing. From ensuring the story with its narrative arc,
and pace is engaging and strong to perfecting word choice,
spelling, punctuation and grammar; these are processes
a novel must go through if it’s to make that vital
first impression. And yes, that goes for self-published
work too: weaknesses and errors make the work look amateur
and put off readers.
Properly edited writing, by comparison,
engages readers and leads to good reviews, recommendations
and higher sales.
It also tells prospective publishers – and self-publishing
is becoming an important route to traditional publishers – that
you take your writing seriously.
Here is an outline of the
editing process. Fiction Feedback provides any or all of
these services; you don’t
have to come to us for structural editing to benefit from
copy-editing, for example. For more information, please
This is the first stage where an editor gets involved in
a manuscript. It concerns itself not so much with the prose,
but with the story. Does the plot hang together? Are characters
credible, well-defined and interesting? Do they develop
over the course of the novel? Is there sufficient conflict?
A strong narrative arc? Is the style working well with
the story? Do events occur in the right order or could
changes improve the pace or the drama? Is the weighting
given to different parts of the novel the best possible?
Are some sections told that should be shown, and areas
of obvious exposition that need a more subtle treatment?
We go through your finished manuscript in
depth and usually supervise two sets of revisions (so we
read three drafts in total) at a set price, usually between £10
and £14 per 1,000 words.
If your manuscript is not yet finished,
and you need help with it now, then we also offer book
Again, the price will depend on the work we estimate is
us for details.
Copy-editing (and we include line-editing in this) takes
place when you’ve crafted and re-crafted your story
and are satisfied there are no further major changes to
be made. This is the stage where we look at the nuts and
bolts of the writing, such as grammar, word choice and
punctuation, and much more. We suggest where different
words can be used to better effect, where a phrase, sentence,
or paragraph is clumsy, out of place, ambiguous, anachronistic
or repetitive, and where smaller questions of plot, fact,
sequence, timeline or logic need to be addressed. It ensures
consistency in how elements such as times, numbers and
dates are formatted. It flags up and suggests changes where
tense or viewpoint is used inconsistently.
Plenty of Fiction
Feedback customers come to us for this service only. Sometimes
it’s prior to self-publishing,
and sometimes it’s to give your manuscript the best
possible chance on submission to an agent or publisher
or for a competition.
Poor grammar, spelling and punctuation
and blips in plot and logic are a major turn-off for agents
(and readers too.) Many inexperienced would-be authors
think that if their story is strong enough these things
won’t matter as they’ll be ironed out later.
Sadly, to gain acceptance in the first place has become
extremely difficult, and most agents spend only seconds reading
a manuscript before rejecting it. The only thing they can
appreciate in that time is the quality of the
prose. That’s why it’s best to impress with
professionally copy-edited work.
Your copy-edited manuscript
will be returned in Microsoft Word with all amendments
shown and with the editor’s
comments visible. This gives you the chance to go through
the manuscript and consider the editing comments. It also
means you can see what changes have been made, enabling
you to apply what you learn to future writing.
charge is usually around £10.00
per 1,000 words.
We will provide a definite quote on
sight of the work. To send in a sample of your work for
a copy-editing quote,
please email firstname.lastname@example.org
customers who have used any Fiction Feedback service within
the previous six months receive a 5% discount on
our proofreading and editing services.
Please note; we reserve
the right to say no to editing jobs where we can’t,
hand on heart, justify taking the customer’s money.
However, usually writers pay £9–£12
per 1,000 words for our service.
We’ve had excellent
feedback on our editing service. A number of our writers
have gone on to secure traditional
publishing contracts after we edited their manuscripts,
and others have successfully self-published.
If you want
to try out our copy-editing on a small extract first, we’ll
edit 500 words free. Email your first two chapters to email@example.com with
some details about the novel.
Our minimum charge for copy-editing
and proofreading is £40,
so if, for example, you should want copy-editing or proofreading
for 3,000 words the cost would be £40.
the Fiction Feedback editing service are asked to note
that payment is preferred by direct bank
transfer or cheque.
We copy-edit: fiction; biographies and
memoirs; other narrative non-fiction and also articles,
reports and proposals.
Proofreading is the very last thing that happens to your
manuscript before it goes to production, so this service
is only for those intending to self-publish. We ask that
manuscripts submitted for proofing have already been
copy-edited. If we supply the copy-edit, then the final
draft has effectively been proofed, but authors often
make small changes in view of an editor’s suggestions
and in that case we recommend a final proofread for self-publishers.
proofing rate is from £7.50 per 1,000 words for
manuscripts that are already well polished. For work coming
back to us for a final proof after our own copy-editing
this price is often lower.
We proofread: fiction;
poetry; screenplays; biographies and memoirs; other narrative
non-fiction and also articles,
manuals, reports and proposals.
We can offer a package that takes you through structural
editing, copy-editing and, if you’re self-publishing,
For those who wish to self-publish, we also
offer book cover design, website and ebook production.
See Ready to
Publish, and email
us to find out more.
How do I ask for
an editing quote?
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with
details of what stage you’re at and what service
interested in. Please remind us if you’ve used our
critique or editing service in the last six months and
if you’re claiming your 5% discount. (Please note
we can only offer one discount on any one manuscript.)
long will it take?
We will agree a schedule with you before beginning any
editing or proofing work, taking into account your requirements
and the level of work likely to be involved.
Can I post
the printed-out manuscript for editing?
No, sorry; for editing we must have digital files.
offer proofing and copy-editing for non-fiction writing?
Yes we do. For biographies, travelogues and other narrative
non-fiction manuscripts the price structure is the
same as above. For instruction manuals, academic
other writing which includes a lot of technical terms
likely to be higher. We always need sight of the
manuscript before we can confirm a quote.
Once my manuscript
is edited and proofed, can you help me with production?
We are pleased to offer an ebook production service
including book cover design. Please see our Ready
to Publish page.