Editorial Services for Books and Screenplays



Books Edited


As a former publisher and editor, I’ve worked extensively with writers. As a writer myself, I have written two screenplays and a novel. I have edited books, screenplays and business plans.

Copy Editing

This is the most critical and obvious service many writers require. General editing is different. Development work, story advice, character analysis – while important and often needed – are for the most part regarded by writers as subjective and open to debate. Advice on this level makes many writers defensive. Copy editing, on the other hand, is generally right or wrong, black or white. Little if anything to debate or defend.

What is Copy Editing?

Copy editing is the line-by-line correction of errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar and syntax, requiring a rule-based understanding of standard American English usage that traditional editors don't have.

Why is Copy Editing Important?

Errors of the type listed above will distract a professional reader. Too many errors too soon and the manuscript or script will be discarded. If there’s a great story with well-drawn characters, the reader won’t stay with it long enough to discover its real virtues. The writer will be written off as unprofessional.

When is Copy Editing Done?

It is the last step before production or submission to publishers or producers.

What does Copy Editing Cost?

Here’s a table based on rates published by the Editorial Freelancers Association with a range of 5 to 10 pages per hour at an hourly rate between $30 and $40: 

Copy Editing
        Number of Pages
Pgs/Hr Rate/Hr Cost/Page   200 300 500
5 $40.00 $8.00 Total Cost $1,600 $2,400 $4,000
      Total Hours 40 60 100
7.5 $35.00 $4.67 Total Cost $933 $1,400 $2,333
      Total Hours 27 40 67
10 $30.00 $3.00 Total Cost $600 $900 $1,500
      Total Hours 20 30 50
Source:   Editorial Freelancers Association      

Introductory Rate

My introductory rate (highlighted in yellow) is based on the middle of the range: i.e., 7.5 pages per hour at an hourly rate of $35. You will therefore pay a per page rate of $4.67, regardless of how many hours I have to spend on your work. This is for introductory purposes only – your first manuscript or script. Thereafter, my rate will be somewhere between the middle and the top of the range. For those of you who don’t know it, a page is a firm 250 words. If the way you formatted your pages increases the word count, I will start off by getting a total word count for the manuscript and divide it by 250 to get the “official” number of pages.

Sample of My Work

Send me the first 10 pages of your manuscript (in Word) or script (Final Draft, if possible), and I will provide you with a line-by-line edit at no charge. If you like what you see and decide to proceed, your deposit is 10% of the total charge. Another 40% is due when the project is half finished. The remaining 50% is due upon completion.

What Else is Included?

If I spot inconsistencies or redundancies as I edit your work, I will point them out. In some cases, they may be intentional – possibly to illuminate character or to jog a reader’s memory; however, in most cases, you’ll appreciate the advice and will make corrections. I will also change passive voice to active voice wherever appropriate.

Special Note

Please do not submit a first draft or a work in progress. It is important that you take your work as far as you possibly can – to the point where you’re ready to submit it but have reasons to believe it needs copy editing. As Hemingway so famously said, “Writing is re-writing.” He also said, “All first drafts are shit.”

Contact Me 

If you have questions, or there’s something about copy editing you don’t understand, contact me, either by email (boblivingstone@msn.com) or phone (305-748-7611).