Since 2013, when I opened my full-time editing business, I've edited over 300 books for more than 60 first-time authors, multi-published authors, and NYT, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal best-selling authors. I also have over 20 years of experience as a professional writer within multiple industries.
I have a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies from the University of Maryland, graduating magna cum laude, a master's degree in English from East Carolina University, as well as graduate-level certification in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL).
The Editorial Freelancers Association, Copyediting.com, Association of Independent Publishing Professionals, Erotic Authors Guild, Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, American Name Society, Linguistic Society of America, Society for Technical Communication
Genre fiction: romance, erotica, fantasy, action/adventure, horror, paranormal, dystopian, psychological, thriller, suspense, mystery, as well as literary fiction, non-fiction, and academic (medical)
PLEASE NOTE: My calendar is currently fully booked approximately six months in advance. I do have clients reschedule projects from time to time, so please feel free to still send an inquiry if you need something sooner than six months, but please be aware that I might not be able to fit it into my schedule. I will try my best to accommodate you but might not be able to due to my scheduling limitations.
I offer three levels of editing services, including proofreading, comprehensive line and copy editing with annotation, and full developmental editing. All editing is done electronically in MS Word using the “track changes” feature, which allows authors to accept, modify, or reject all suggested edits.
PROOFREADING – $0.007/word* (increasing to $0.0105 as of 1/1/17)
∙ question or correct errors or inconsistencies that may have escaped the copyediting phase
∙ read for typographical or usage errors
COPY/LINE EDITING WITH ANNOTATION – $0.009/word* (increasing to $0.0125 as of 1/1/17)
∙ correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, and word usage
∙ impose a consistent style and format
∙ read for overall clarity and sense on behalf of the prospective audience
∙ check for factual errors or inconsistencies
∙ make suggestions to help bring out the best in your narrative voice and style
DEVELOPMENTAL EDITING – $0.012/word* (increasing to $0.0155 as of 1/1/17)
∙ assist the author in developing a manuscript from initial concept, outline, or draft
∙ make suggestions about content, organization, and presentation
∙ identify and solve problems of overall clarity or accuracy
∙ reorganize paragraphs, sections, or chapters to improve the order of presented text
∙ make suggestions for rewriting segments of text to improve readability, flow and pacing
Think of developmental editing as rough-draft editing. You send me your rough story, and I give it back to you with annotations of every single possible problem I can find, along with paragraphs of written suggestions and advice for making your story the best that it can be. This process is entirely story-centric and usually implies a significant deal of rewriting.
* All prices quoted are for genre fiction only and are subject to change without notice. Final project quotes will be sent once the manuscript is received.
What genres will you accept?
I accept all genres of fiction, including erotica and horror, as well as literary fiction and non-fiction.
What rates do you charge?
Please see above, under SERVICES.
Do you offer payment plans?
Yes, I offer payment plans on a case-by-case basis. Contact me for more information or to discuss your pricing concerns. In general, I am able to offer non-interest-bearing monthly payment plans of up to 12 months, payable in ADVANCE of your scheduled edit. This means that by the time your editing date arrives, your project must be paid in full.
Do you edit short stories?
Yes, I am happy to! However, they must be scheduled, and therefore fall under the same scheduling limitations as any other editing project.
Do you provide sample edits?
Yes. I will provide free sample edits of up to 1,500 words and can usually return them within 24 hours. However, I am only able to provide sample edits to clients who understand my scheduling limitations. If you request a sample edit from me, that means you understand and are OK with waiting six months for a place on my calendar.
When is your next availability?
Please contact me to inquire about availability. I am generally booked six months in advance, but sometimes have postponements that open up my schedule.
Do you accept rush jobs?
As of September 27, 2016, I am no longer accepting rush jobs. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. If you need something done right away, please contact me and I will help you find an available editor. I have lots of connections within the editing industry and am happy to connect you with another editor who can help you with your project.
Do you require a deposit?
A non-refundable 25% deposit is required on all projects, which also acts as a scheduling fee. This deposit will be credited against the final bill at the time of completion. PLEASE NOTE: I cannot add your project to my calendar until I receive this deposit.
How will I be billed?
You will receive an invoice from PayPal for the deposit at the time of scheduling, and another for the balance when the project is complete, both due upon receipt. Your completed project cannot be returned until the full payment has been received, and payment is expected upon receipt of the invoice. Any expected delay in making your final payment must be negotiated prior to your editing date.
What forms of payment do you accept?
Electronic payments are only accepted via PayPal, with a 4% electronic payment fee added. You may also pay by check, but the full invoice amount must clear prior to the start of your editing project.
How should I format my manuscript before sending it in?
Please follow the style guide listed here: emmadarwin.typepad.com
How soon before my scheduled edit do I need to get my manuscript to you?
I need to receive your manuscript at least 24 hours prior to 8:00 a.m. (EST) on your scheduled start date. This gives us time to review the final price, to ask questions about the process, and to finalize the expected completion date. If I do not receive your manuscript at least 24 hours in advance and I have not heard from you, your project will be canceled and you will forfeit your initial deposit. If there is a possibility you will be unable to make your date, notify me immediately so that we can discuss it.
How will we communicate during the project?
You can call me, email me, text me, send me an IM on GoogleChat, we can talk via Skype or Facetime, you can send me a message on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, you can mail me a letter (old school!), or even send smoke signals (though I can’t promise I’ll understand the smoke signals).
You can instant message with me on AOL or Google, using Ljlogsdon@aol.com, or Ljlogsdon@gmail.com. My Skype ID is Ljlogsdon.
How long will this take?
It depends on the complexity of the project and how much editing you’ve already done yourself, but in general I can copy-edit roughly 15,000 words a day once I get started on your project.
What should I do if I don’t agree with some of the changes you said I should make?
No worries! My job is simply to give you suggestions. You can pick and choose what changes you want to make. It’s your writing; you’re merely asking me to help you make it more professional and to effectively reach your target audience. I recognize that grammar is highly subjective, and I’m a firm believer in artistic license.
Can you do a second read-through?
Yes, you can schedule a second read-through (proofread) of a project I’ve already copy-edited, which will be calculated at my proofreading rate. For the best results, this second reading should take place at least a week (or more) after the original edit. Since my schedule fills up quickly, if you’re interested in a second read-through, make sure to let me know when you initially schedule so that both dates can be reserved at the same time.
What style guide do you use?
Unless otherwise requested, I use the Chicago Manual of Style and the Merriam-Webster Collegiate dictionary for American English fiction, and the New Oxford Style Manual and the Oxford Dictionary for British English fiction.
Is there a contract I have to sign?
No, I do not generally use a formal contract; however, I’m happy to send one to you upon request.
Will you write a blurb for my book?
At this time I am only able to offer blurbs for developmental editing projects. If you have scheduled a developmental edit with me and would like to add a blurb, just let me know and I will craft a highly professional blurb to use on the back cover as well as wherever you sell your book. My fee for this service is $45 and the blurb will be returned along with the developmental edit.
Will you edit my manuscript in sections, over a period of weeks or months, as I have it ready?
Unfortunately, I am not able to accept editing projects in separate pieces. In order to provide a quality edit, I require the entire project at once. I often find myself going back to earlier portions of a book to change a recommendation or delete/add one entirely, based on what I find later on in a book. Also, it’s extremely difficult to notice issues when you’re reading a book in parts, separated by many days. If a character name is “Riker” in chapter one, and then “Rider” in chapter 14, your editor is much less likely to notice the name change AND the chapter heading format change (“one” to “14”) if five weeks have passed since reading chapter one. It’s also very difficult to schedule other editing projects around small pieces taking up two days every week for over a month. Any way you look at it, editing in chunks and pieces spread over many weeks is ineffective at best, and a complete disservice to you, the author, at worst. I pride myself in providing quality editing for my clients, so I do not accept partial manuscripts.
Where’s that FREE GUIDE on working with a freelance editor that you promised me?
Here you go! Click here! 🙂