Welcome to my editing services page!
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So, why me?Two things:
- I’m passionate and informed about books, genres, and writing
- I love what I do
I hold an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. I know where character, plot, and world intersect. I find gems in the confusion of early drafts, pluck them free, and polish them to the shine of something great. At the line level, I make every sentence glimmer while preserving your voice and style (oh, and I know my way around a comma, too). Moreover, an undergraduate degree in psychology means I understand your characters, what drives them, frightens them, brings them joy. This combined with my own experience slogging through the quagmire of the publishing world means I understand you. I’ve lived the anxiety, excitement, and impatience of getting a manuscript from concept to completion. I’ll walk with you every step of the way to make it happen.
What I Work WithI specialize in fantasy (all subgenres), science fiction (the soft stuff—I leave the science to you), romance (all heat levels, all subgenres), and mysteries (more traditional mysteries than thriller) for all age ranges, chapter books through adult. I will assess my scaredy-cat ability to work with horror on a case-by-case basis.
What I OfferI have an array of services designed to help at whatever part of the process you’re in. Read on for details about each and a comprehensive breakdown of my rates. Email me to discuss packages for bundling multiple services.
Unsure what you need/want? Email me to chat. I’m also always pleased to provide a free sample edit (one per customer) of a chapter to help determine what a manuscript needs, as well as if I’m the right person for the job.
Have a polished draft and looking for “reader” feedback? With a beta read, I go through as if I’ve just picked this book up off the shelf. You’ll get a general report of my reading experience—likes, dislikes, if I was ever bored, etc. If you have a specific concern (such as if character X is likeable), I will read with that in mind, say yes or no, and give some brief feedback.
Worried my MFA beat out my individuality and has made me pompous or shortsighted? Don’t be. I’m as much a reader as I am a scholar and have consciously kept brain cells out of academia to maintain my love for the adventure of a new book. Feel free to browse reviews on Kit ‘N Kabookle to get a feel for my positive but constructive tone. After all, a beta is just an in-depth review before you pitch the book.
|Project Word Count||Turnaround Time||Price|
|20,000 or less||regular (1-2 weeks)||$20|
|20,000 or less||expedited (1 week)||$30|
|20,001-40,000||regular (1.5-3 weeks)||$30|
|20,001-40,000||expedited (1-2 weeks||$40|
|40,000 and up||regular (3 weeks)||$40 + $1/1000 words above 40,000|
|40,000 and up||expedited (2 weeks)||$50 plus $1/1000 words above 40,000|
These are the big guns, so to speak. A developmental edit focuses on big-picture items (world, characters, pacing, plot, etc.). It provides an in-depth description of issues and suggestions for fixes. You’ll get a detailed report of problem areas at both the overall and chapter levels. If there are issues with the writing itself, I will do some in-line editing to highlight recurring issues, such as passive voice or overused sentence structures, and show how to fix them.
Line edits focus on story flow at the sentence level. Are you using the right words to pack your story with the biggest punch possible? Are sentences the right length and style for the story’s tone? Here, I’ll focus on things like word choice, word order, preserving your style, etc. As it pertains to flow, I will also highlight incorrect grammar or usage of punctuation so you can see the fix.
And now for the little people. A copyedit focuses on correcting grammar, punctuation, and usage. If you’re writing in past tense but a sentence slipped out in present, I’ll point it out. These are the little details that make a big difference.
Please note: If you’re goal is to self-publish, I highly recommend getting a final proofread after the manuscript has been formatted. It’s always good to get that final pair of eyes before a book goes to print. I don’t offer proofreading services, but I know some awesome people who do and would be happy to pass along contact info when it’s time.
|Type of Editing||Turnaround Time||Base Rate (price/word)|
|Line edit||4-6 weeks||$0.0175/word|
|Developmental edit||5-7 weeks||$0.0225/word|
Not sure what type of editing you want or need a comprehensive idea of what isn’t working in your story/writing? Consider a manuscript evaluation. I like to call this development editing light. For a manuscript evaluation, I’ll present big-picture issues (plot, character, pacing), as well as a chapter-by-chapter breakdown of where and what kind of work needs to be done. If the writing itself needs attention, I’ll do a bit of in-line restructuring to show corrections for common issues (passive voice, overused constructions, etc.).
Mini Manuscript Evaluation
Contrary to the name, this is not for mini manuscripts (only time I’ll make that joke, promise). This is a less detailed manuscript evaluation and tailored for writers who want a general idea of what’s not quite working. With this, you’ll get the big-picture of the full manuscript evaluation but not the chapter-by-chapter notes or the in-line examples.
While more of a read than an evaluation, this is more in-depth than a beta, which is why it’s down here with the evaluations. With this, I read through the manuscript with an eye for one or two specific concerns you’ve communicated. Need to know if a certain character’s personality is consistent? Does that one aspect of your magic system insist on changing itself when you aren’t looking? Need someone to highlight where the manuscript is dialogue or description heavy? These are the kinds of things a concentrated read-through looks for.
|Service||Turnaround Time||Base Rate|
|Manuscript Evaluation||2-3 weeks||$2.50/page|
|Mini Evaluation||1.5-2.5 weeks||$1/page|
|Concentrated read||1-3 weeks||$3/1000 words|
Other things I can help with
|Outline||$3/page ($10 minimum)|
|Synopsis||$3.50/page ($10 minimum)|
Ready to get started? Email me at email@example.com with the following info. I look forward to working with you!
- manuscript genre
- manuscript length
- brief blurb (500 words, max)
- type of editing desired (if known)
Mary evaluated my epic fantasy, Season of Sacrifice, which wasn’t a light task at over 200k words. She clearly set the expectations up front, was extremely professional, and most importantly, delivered valuable feedback that will produce a story worth reading. I like to think that she helped me level up as a writer and hope to have her edit more of my manuscripts as I continue to produce them.-Jonathan J Michael
I met Mary in the Fall of 2019. She offered to do a read-through and evaluate my MS. Her feedback was instrumental for developing my story, and I hired her to do a full edit after her initial feedback. I now have a well polished MS, and I love where she took me and my story. She was quick with her turnaround time. I will absolutely hire her again for my next books.-Sandy Dal Santo
I always look forward to Mary's feedback on my writing. She taught me practically everything I know about structure and how to plot a story. Her edits are thorough and incisive, and always delivered with great warmth and kindness. I hope she'll be helping me find the magnificence in my messy manuscripts for years to come.-Andie Biagini – contributor to Meet Cute and Born to Love Wild
Mary was a beta reader for my Middle-Grade Fantasy book, Terrence and the Magical Sword of Courage. Not only did she give a timely turnaround but the feedback she gave me was top notch! She pointed out things that other readers hadn’t commented on and that I hadn’t even thought about. Her critiques were spot on and improved my story, helping shape it into a story that every reader has enjoyed. I give Mary 5/5 and highly recommend her for your projects.-C.R. Langille, multi-genre author
I was so lucky to find a beta-reader like Mary! She was one of the first people to read my manuscript from start to finish and she was the perfect person for the job. I read her comments and, straightaway, I understood what my story was missing. She raised issues that were bothering me on a subconscious level — issues that I couldn’t identify on my own. Without her assistance, I’m sure I would still be reading and tweaking the same sentences over and over. Thank you, Mary, for helping me create a story I’m proud to share.-Rosie Shepherd