You’ve written a story, article, or even the Great American Novel. Now what?
The first thing to do, if you want to avoid all those nice people on Amazon who love to complain about everything to do with your book, is to have it professionally edited.
That’s where I come in. You need that extra set of eyes on your manuscript, and I can provide them. It’s easy to miss things. There are almost no perfect books, but the idea is to come as close as possible.
I provide three basic types of editing, Line Editing, ESL Editing, and Copy Editing. Each of these provides a different level of scrutiny.
This is the most basic package. For a charge of $0.0075/word, I will check your spelling, punctuation, and grammar. You may opt for either American or British spelling. I’ll also insure that your manuscript uses proper styles, which are important when you submit it for publication. Charges are based on the word count of the original manuscript. What you’ll get back will be the original manuscript, a separate Word file containing the edited version, and notes indicating where any changes were made.
This service is essentially the same as the Line Editing service, but adds some fact checking and a stronger emphasis on continuity. That is, I’ll point out if you’re using obviously anachronistic terminology, have your hero carrying a gun that wouldn’t be made until twenty years later, call him by more than one name, or have a British police detective flashing a badge instead of a proper warrant card. Again, you get back your original manuscript, a separate Word file with the edited version, and notes indicating where changes were made. The cost is $0.01/word based on the word count of the original manuscript.
This is a special editorial service for writers whose native language is something other than English, but are writing in English. For $0.02/word I will perform a Copy Edit with an emphasis on insuring that the finished work reads like it came from a native speaker. As in all these services, you may specify American or British spelling. You get back your original manuscript, a Word file with the edited version, and notes indicating changes.
Page Layout Service
If you’re planning to use a print on demand service to produce your book, I can handle layout for you at $1.25 per finished page. Layout is done with Adobe InDesign software, which gives a more professional result than ordinary word processing software.
I ask that manuscripts be submitted in Microsoft Word .doc or .docx format. This is important, as the price of the service is based on the word count on the Word document information page of the submitted manuscript.
Type of Material
Frankly, if you’re willing to write it, I’ll probably edit it. You can be as controversial as you like. I’ll just point out, though, that there’s a lot of material with a very limited market when it comes to publishing. If you’re writing about incest, bestiality, rape, or just about anything non-consensual, and you plan to self-publish on Amazon, it’s not going to matter how well written or edited it is, they won’t allow you to publish it on their platform. If you plan to have anyone younger than eighteen having sex in your story, even the places that will publish the other stuff probably won’t take it.
In other words, submitting that sort of material is probably a waste of time for both of us.
I’d also advise against trying to republish anything that’s in the public domain. Amazon will take some public domain material, but only if it’s “sufficiently differentiated” from what’s readily available elsewhere. That means you need to add a lot of notes, or new illustrations (preferably both) before they’ll let you publish it. Your own translation of a public domain foreign-language book is another matter. Those are considered to be new books, so they don’t fall under the public domain rules.
Submission and billing
You may email your manuscript to me at jtm***jtmcdaniel.com, with the subject line “Manuscript for Editing” (replace the “***” with “@,” obviously). I’ll normally try to respond the same day with the cost of the complete job. Large jobs (20,000 words or over) require a 5% deposit before work begins. Just in case you were wondering, you don’t get the edited version back until the bill is paid.
You’ll receive an emailed invoice with a link to Intuit Merchant Services/Quickbooks Merchant Services, a secure site where you may pay using a major credit card, or by direct debit from your bank account. All transactions are handled by IMS/QMS, so I’ll never see any of your financial information. I’ll also accept payment through PayPal.