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Writing & Editing Services

I accept a limited number of clients in need of assistance with their projects.

Services include:

Manuscript First Aid

Technical Troubleshooting

Creative Writing Course

Academic Writing Lessons


Constructive Counseling

I started out with the intention of offering affordable services. I’ve maintained some of the most affordable rates in the business.  From the Newbie Author’s Guide:

Copyediting/Proofreading/Basic Editing

This is the simplest form of editing that goes over the basic things of a manuscript: spelling, punctuation, basic syntax, and basic facts. Most of the time this is the final touch to a manuscript after more heavy edits. Some editors and self publishing companies will include this edit with a higher editing level. Sometimes it must be purchased separately. Always check out the editor’s/publisher’s website for details or ask. If your manuscript needs a stronger edit than this and if it is included when the other edit is done, then you will come out with a better deal on your editing services. You will also save some time. Always, I repeat, always do your own readthroughs to triple check to make sure that a glaring mistake doesn’t sneak through that the editor missed (i.e. a missing period). Remember that the ideal is to be error free. It only takes a second to add a period and that is one less mistake that gets through the gauntlet. Editors are human to and they can also make small mistakes, especially if they are doing your content edits and a few of the little things might slip through on the copyedit. It’s your job to catch them! Do everything you can to make it close to error free as possible. However, if you are doing your readthroughs and you are UNSURE if a comma goes there, leave it alone. Everyone knows about the itchy comma finger. Of course, if it is an obvious place for a comma and there isn’t one, do add it.

Fair Price Range: .004 to .015 per word 

Line/Content/Stylistic/Heavy Editing

This is the most commonly used type of editing to help with story and sentence flow, plot holes, and more content related issues, and more involved facts. Since this is a heavier edit it does cost a little bit more than your regular, everyday copyedit.

Fair price range: .015-.035 per word (sometimes a copyedit is also included)

***In some cases the range can go all the way up to .25 per word….

Substantive/Structural/Publish-Ready/Developmental Editing

This is the heaviest (and most costly) form of editing. It is basically your line/content edit on steroids. The editor will do content and copyedits (sometimes) and actually move, delete, add, or rewrite entire paragraphs, chapters, and sections of the manuscript. It is almost a hybrid of ghostwriting (where someone else write your manuscript for you) and editing. The range for this type of editing is very broad. It can overlap a little with the line edit area to the very expensive. All of this depends on the editor’s price range. But whatever the case is, it is the most expensive choice of the editor’s services. Knowing the figures will help you shop around for a good editor for a good deal if you need this level.

Range: .02 up to .075 

I offer technical troubleshooting, which is essentially the first option listed here. The fair price range is 0.4 cents to 1.5 cents per word.

I charge $0.00595, or 0.595 cents per word. This is on the low end of the pricing spectrum. As a trained and published journalist and a traditionally published author I bring the experience of being edited and editing others to the table. I studied journalism, communication theory and education in college.

I also offer something comparable to the third option, although I do not do the edits or make the changes. Why? In order for a writer to learn, they should go through the revision process themselves. If I do the edits for you, I become your crutch. It’s unlikely you’ll be able to complete book 2 without paying for the same process, so you could pay as much as 7.5 cents per word and have to pay that all over again when the next book repeats the same mistakes. Ideally, this will be an informative process that will help you avoid similar issues. I call this option Manuscript First Aid.

A standard critique reviews the content for overall development of the manuscript and market readiness. Unsure of how to take your manuscript to the next level to get it ready for submission? Have you been making the rounds with editors and agents with no success? This is an ideal service for writers wondering how to take their manuscript to the next level.

I charge $0.0085, or 0.85 cents per word. That’s well below standard rates.

How can I afford to charge this? One is a conscientious choice. I make every effort to keep rates low and reasonable. I also require payment via Paypal before scheduling services. That enables me to avoid pursuing payment and investing time in clients who aren’t serious about the process.


I do not look at manuscripts before services are purchased. I’ve had people ask me to look at manuscripts and recommend what services are needed; I charge $85 to do that. Once the payment is cleared I’ll read a dozen pages and recommend which services you need. It isn’t discounted from your other service fees. It doesn’t include any constructive feedback. It’s simply a recommendation of services needed. Why do I charge so much for this? Honestly, this is a waste of my time and yours. You need to be ready to receive the information from a developmental edit, and if you aren’t ready for constructive feedback that could lead to rewriting or significant revisions of your project then ordering Manuscript First Aid may be a waste of your money and my time. For a lot of new writers it is exactly what they need; it’s the most informative experience I had as a new writer before being published and helped me grow to the point where I got an agent and got a publishing contract with a NY publisher.


However, it’s also like being told your baby is ugly, and if you aren’t ready to really critically assess your work to improve it and grow as a writer then you’ll be unhappy with the services and possibly feel that you wasted money paying me for information you aren’t ready to use.


I’m not here to dupe people and writers need to be self aware enough to know what information they should seek. If you order a technical overview I am not going to offer an opinion on whether or not the plot holds together or the pace is good. If you order Manuscript First Aid I’m not going to focus on whether you can use a comma properly.


While my standard rates are lower, they involve an assessment of the manuscript as provided, with inserted comments and pages of information addressing issues and explaining how to correct them. They do not involve extended discourse. For those who wish to receive more personal and extensive assistance with their revisions, they may want to consider Constructive Counseling.

Review the information about my services via the links and then contact me about the type(s) of services you may be interested in. It helps me to have the following information so that we can determine what services you need and I can offer an accurate quote for your project.


  1. What type(s) of services do you anticipate needing? (manuscript first aid, technical troubleshooting, ghostwriting, creative writing course, academic tutoring)
  2. Identify your project type. (article(s), essay(s), short story, manuscript)
  3. Are you writing fiction or non-fiction?
  4. If you have a pre-existing draft what is the word count of project?
  5. Do you have a deadline for completion?

Email me at sandramruttan@yahoo.com and let me know the answers to the five questions above and any specific questions you may have. I can provide a quote for the project costs, answer your questions and we can determine if we’re ready to proceed.


Why should you hire me? I had my first newspaper column at the age of 13 and went on to study journalism, communication theory and special education in college. My work experience has included tutoring or providing editing services to over 900 clients on a variety of projects ranging from college essays to articles to manuscripts.


I’ve also had numerous articles, short stories, interviews, reviews and manuscripts published. Although I have done some self-publishing, I have an agent and have had four novels traditionally published and available in bookstores. Two of my novels were translated into Japanese.


Why does this matter to you? I’ve worked as an editor and as a writer. I’ve been on both sides of the equation, so I understand the challenges that writers face and the focus the editors have. I’ve also worked with professional content editors, copy editors, line editors and typesetters as a writer, so I understand what their roles are and where they fit into publishing. When I work with a writer on a manuscript or as a tutor I provide first-hand information from the publishing world and can explain the process of publication, the pros and cons of finding an agent and how to develop an effective query letter.


What type of feedback have I received from clients?

I’ve had many compliments.

From Jose:

I never do this, but you have been so much help I really wanted to thank you so much! I really appreciate all the dedication you have given my work. I will start working on these suggestions. I just feel like I really needed to thank you personally. You are awesome!

From Bernice:

Thank you so much for your feedback, I will definitely consider all your advice.

From Victoria:

Thank you very much for all of the feedback and careful review. This was a very hard project to write and I wanted to do my very best in doing so. I believe this topic touches a lot of lives and I do agree that most people don’t want to openly share their experiences. For me I know I am selective about who I share my past with because I don’t want people to view me differently. Also I know that some people simply won’t understand my past. But again thank you very much for all the help.

From Krystal:

Thank you so much for your time and for really helping me!!!! You do not know how much I appreciated it! All tutors should be like you… (I) recommend you.

From Jean:

Aloha Sandra,

I would like to thank you for a very helpful critique and guide on my work. You are the best! Thank You.

From Mitch:

I have been struggling with this for months and you just put your finger right on the problem and solved it. Thank you!


See my bio page for more information about me. Also, note the following short list of some shout-outs and interviews and check out the FAQ page for more information:


James Oswald

Julia Buckley

Jeff VanderMeer

Peter Rozovsky

Out of the Gutter

The Rap Sheet

Jess Lourey

Lesa’s Book Critiques

Declan Burke

Bouchercon 2008

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