Book editing is an essential service for self-publishing authors. So what are the different types of book editing services available, and what do you get?

Copy editing / Line editing…

A careful proofread, this includes for correcting errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. As well, the copy editor will check cross-references, headers and headings, and impose a standard referencing style.

Jennifer focusses on all non-fiction writing and loves to get involved in the early stages.

Unless editing for academic papers, our editing service usually consists of a more thorough edit called a ‘Line Edit’, so that your meaning comes across well.

Line Editing looks at paragraph flow, keeping to voice, sub-headings, and gives recommendations for improving the overall readability.

You may have already put in some hard yards trying to reduce errors and improve construction. This level is appropriate for those with complex prose.  (If you read a paragraph aloud and find yourself straining for breath, then this editing work will fix it!)

Your editor will include general suggestions if we see minor writing flow problems. However, if the writing is not structured to a theme or jumps book types randomly, then we may suggest the next step up… developmental editing (except we call it comprehensive editing).

If you have a ‘non-standard’ manuscript and want an estimate and sample of work, then Jennifer can advise the editor who may best suit your genre. Editors we know may charge around $50 an hour on average, which suits many authors.

The total cost of editing would depend on whether two rounds of edits are needed or just one, plus a proofread after typesetting.

Comprehensive Editing

As we analyse non-fiction books, at this level Jennifer determines your target readership, purpose of the book and placement in the larger market. The book editing service is customised; it flows from the needs of the author and the needs of the manuscript.

After seeing the manuscript, Jennifer examines whether the content is complete and appropriate and if the content will resonate with its niche target audience.  The editor will ensure that material is well-organised and backed up by evidence.  She will carry out this work in Word and may also give you audience targeting tips.

Comprehensive Editing inclusions:

  • Correction of spelling and grammar will be included in the second round, unless specified
  • Ensure consistency of voice
  • Check that illustrations, tables and bullet lists are used effectively throughout
  • Instructions for re-writing certain parts to improve the clarity, structure and flow
  • Suggestions on removal of extraneous text
  • Suggestions on creating a more persuasive argument, with examples, evidence, and comparisons — or in some cases, quotes
  • Respect for your opinion and working towards your desired outcomes

This ‘experienced eye’ looking at your work conceptually can greatly assist in creating a better book. If you want a better quality outcome, hire a freelance book editor, who works with you for a better result.

If you prefer support as you write your book, we recommend the developmental work is done as part of our themed book development coaching program. It will save on editing time and inform you on the publishing steps.

What does a review of your manuscript offer?

Initial Review (or Manuscript Assessment) is looking over your whole nonfiction book before editing, so as to advise you on what you need in terms of content flow, book structure, and audience. For example, suggesting you add an introduction, switch sections, or pointing out where you can relate better to the audience.

This awareness can add to your final book’s quality and saleability. If you go and implement these suggestions, it will save you both money and time. This is because it might save an early round of professional editing.

Receive a multi-page report, within 7 days, on your book’s strengths, weaknesses, points of improvement, some editing errors, and general saleability matters.

Please send your draft manuscript, synopsis (if written) and table of contents. An Assessment Report may cost from $210 – $500, depending on length of book.

book editor Jen Lancaster

What Personal Qualities Does Jennifer Bring as Your Book Editor?

My own books centre on marketing (for profit and efficiency) and managing your money. My favourite style of book is one where you, the reader, is learning something but there is a compelling life story running through it.

I could also co-write your book, if on self-help (mindset), personal finances, or marketing: my three favourite topics.
Co-writing is a more affordable alternative to ghost writing, which can help match your written voice or style.