What are typical rates for these types of services?
Other editorial service providers tend to average $30-40 per hour or more, and some require the purchase of a set number of hours as a minimum for the contract.
I paid a lot of money for feedback for two different editorial services before publication. One charged $150 for reviewing three chapters (approximately 10,000 words) and did not include grammatical notes with that feedback. The feedback was more instructional, and focused on how to develop a character bio before writing, etc., while it did not address a lot of specific issues within my own writing.
The other charged $32.50 per hour for a required purchase of 20 hours of service totaling $650, with limits on chapter lengths of 1500 words. Bear in mind those rates were from over 10 years ago. Editorial services are expensive, and the more experience a writer has in professional publishing the more they tend to charge.
What are my rates?
My rates for critique and editorial services are based on word count. Specific pricing information is provided on the pages for technical troubleshooting, manuscript first aid and creative counseling. Information about Story Chef, my personal creative writing course, will be available soon.
Why are my rates lower?
I know what it’s like to be seeking objective help with a manuscript and face steep fees to get that assistance. I work independently and have less overhead to consider.
Why is payment required before scheduling?
While I do have less overhead than a business with multiple staff and an independent website, I do have costs. Every email I receive requires time from my work day to evaluate and respond to. When I need to send requests via Paypal for payment it’s time from my work day (and instead I request clients authorize the payment to my account once I provide the amount and account name – it is not the email on this page). This time I spend that’s unpaid is the cost of doing business. Paypal fees are the cost of doing business. I’ve had inquiries that have taken up more than two hours of my time and the writer has not followed through with the editing. That’s either time I need to give up with my family, or time that another person’s services are going to be delayed, and the costs of services have to be adjusted to absorb that time. Do you want to pay for hours of time that was spent on something other than your project? Of course not. Requiring payment upfront ensures that the people who are not serious about services do not unnecessarily delay my other scheduled projects or inflate the amount of time I have to absorb into other clients’ costs or family time. I also have limited recourse for failure to pay so I deliver the services that have been paid for when they’ve been paid for. This is part of what enables me to keep my prices lower and still provide a quality service.
Why don’t you save time with generic form email responses or contracts?
Every author is an individual and not all manuscripts are the same. I try to give every inquiry the attention I would like to receive. That means that I take the time to personally respond to inquiries.
Contracts are required for ghostwriting projects because these services may not involve full payment initially, and tutorial services require a contract because there are options about what to focus on in the number of blocks chosen.
Isn’t it risky for people to send you money before they receive their service?
I suppose it’s risky to order anything online. The reality is that, as an author, I’m taking the biggest risk. I can be attacked online in a way that damages my career. People can go online and lie and attack my books or me. Since I’ve been active online over the past 11 years I’ve had someone take my photo and email and sign me up for a lesbian dating site, had personal attacks posted as reviews and been attacked on my old blog. One person tried hard to help me find Jesus and called out the ‘sinners’ who commented on my blog posts. Some of those events occurred before my first book was published, and anyone who knows the crime fiction community well knows about the sock puppet scandal from a few years ago. Authors are vulnerable to attack from within their community and without. A lot of the attacks they face aren’t valid and it’s not uncommon for negative reviews from people who haven’t even read your book to be posted by people who are jealous or just crazy. As an author you have to develop a thick skin because some of these types of attacks are just part of the reality of being an author in the internet era.
When I started out attempting to get published there were a lot of people in the industry who were hurtful. I don’t mean they critiqued my work and gave me negative feedback. I mean that they treated newcomers horribly. The people who were wonderful helped me out early on and I was determined to pay that forward. I started Spinetingler Magazine to help showcase writers by publishing short stories, reviews, interviews and articles. I can honestly say I’ve been the first person to publish short fiction by some writers who’ve gone on to tremendous success. Nothing makes me happier than for others to succeed and to know I was able to help them, even if it was in a small way. There isn’t a limited number of books that can be sold each year. The number is unlimited. When people read a great book they want to read another great book. When people read a bad book they want to go play a video game. Supporting talented writers only ensures that writers are rewarded with more great material to choose from. I’ve stayed in touch with some writers I’ve worked with over the years and many have gone on to successful publishing contracts.
I know what I’ve contributed to the community over the years. I’m attempting to keep my rates affordable and to ensure that the rewards of offering these services outweigh the risks to me as an author.
I’ve never heard of you before. Who are you?
Check out my bio page and the writing & editing services page for more information.
Please note that I do not work in the office on Sundays. Emails received after hours Friday night typically won’t receive a response until the next work week. Every now and again I do take a family vacation, and it may take longer for inquiries to receive a personal response during those times.