Proofreading addresses errors introduced during typesetting, formatting, or file conversion of the final document and identifies any serious errors that were not caught during previous editing.
Copyediting includes mechanics—spelling, hyphenation, punctuation, etc.—correlation and consistency, and language—grammar, usage, and diction.
During a combination edit, I generally work on a few chapters at a time (on average about 30 or so pages), correcting as much as possible and helping with the overall development of the story. Content will be examined and corrected—overall structural and organizational problems as well as internal inconsistencies or discrepancies—characterization, plot/story arc, conflict/resolution, audience, etc.
During each pass, I will also mark copyediting changes. You will also have the opportunity to make changes between each pass. Basically, by the time it is complete and the manuscript is pieced back together, it is essentially ready for formatting and publication, though I do recommend a proofread or at least having several beta readers go through and point out any typos or such we might have missed following formatting of the document.
Combo editing is my preferred method because it produces the cleanest end product and we are able to build a stronger relationship while we work more closely together.
While a series bible is typically created by the author to help keep them organized, some clients prefer to collaborate. I’ve found it is easiest to include building the series bible with combo editing.
Information typically included in a series bible:
—Character names, birthdates, places of birth, physical characteristics, special powers or abilities, personality characteristics, social characteristics (politics/religion/school/work), places of residence, background information, and how they relate to other characters (mother, son, friend, husband, etc.)
***Note: Fully fleshed-out character info and backstory will require author input
—Locations (major settings and minor locations) and location characteristics (ex: Molly's living room, El Paso, TX, red leather sofa, white walls, stone fireplace)
—Character and event timelines
—Basic style guide for consistency. Hyphenated words, made-up words/names and definitions, capitalized or lowercase terms, acronyms, special gadgets or technology, etc.
—Basic POV and outline per chapter
What will I do?
I find the levels of editing tend to blur into each other. If I discover a glaring error in a manuscript, I will at least note this error, regardless of which level of editing I have been hired to perform. If, for instance, you hire me to proofread your manuscript before publication and I find there are numerous grammar and usage errors, I will stop and contact you with a sample of your manuscript showing my findings, and we can then discuss perhaps copyediting instead, which would result in a change in fee and the time involved.
I still recommend you have a proofread after a copyedit, preferably after the file has been formatted because often that introduces new errors.
I follow the current edition of Chicago Manual of Style and Merriam-Webster Unabridged, unless the author requests otherwise. I also reference several other handbooks and style guides as needed.
I am always available to answer any questions or look back over any changes you have made throughout the duration of the publication process. Please keep track changes on so your changes are easy to find.
My prices are based on word count. At any time during the process, we may adjust the price depending on how much work we are doing or if the word count is significantly increased for any reason.
To obtain an accurate quote, I ask for a seven to ten-page sample, preferably from somewhere in the middle of the manuscript. This sample allows me to show you how I do things, and I can gauge the amount of work I believe needs to be done.
Please note: Sample edits are copyrighted and modifications are the sole property of Gathering Leaves until my work is appropriately compensated. Please do not attempt to use my edits without my express written permission or until we have entered a formal editorial agreement, either through payment of invoice or signed contract.
Payments are requested through Zoho invoice (Paypal/credit card/echeck), and I ask for a 50% deposit at the time of booking and the remaining 50% upon completion of the manuscript. The deposit holds your place on my calendar and provides a good faith promise to both of us. If the project is cancelled and I have completed more than 50%, I will prorate the remaining fee owed according to any work I have completed up until that point. Deposits are nonrefundable. You may, however, reschedule and/or transfer the deposit with no penalties.
Standard Pricing for
Proofing/Copyediting: 0.005-0.015 per word
Standard Pricing for
*Combo Editing: 0.02 per word
*Combo edit is a multi-pass copyedit and content edit combined.
Standard Pricing for
Combo Edit + Series Bible: 0.025 per word
Exact rates are determined with a sample edit of 7-10 pages.
These prices are a standard estimate only. Actual fees will depend on the type of project involved.
Please let me know if you have special financial concerns. I am usually willing to work out a payment arrangement.
If you're unsure what type of work your project needs, please feel free to discuss your concerns and plans with me to see if we are a good fit. Chances are if I don't know how to do it, I can find out OR refer you to someone who can.
I am looking forward to working with all that fantastic talent out there! (That's YOU!)
Nothing hurts a great piece of writing like no editing or a poor editing job. We know you pour your heart and soul into your work, and you want the whole world to love it as much as you do! The truth is it's hard to be objectively critical of something you have spent so much blood, sweat, and tears over. That's where we come in. From a simple proofread to a more complicated copy or combo edit, we're here to help you nurture your beloved manuscript and get it ready for center stage.
Whether you are traditionally published, self-published, business professional, or student, we want to help you achieve literary success.
We assure you that your work will be in perfectly capable hands.
"Cassie is so talented. I really appreciate her work and partnership."
Phyllis Piano, author of Love Reconsidered and Hostile Takeover: A Love Story , winner of Gold in the 2017 Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) Benjamin Franklin Awards and finalist in the 13th Annual 2016 “Best Books” Awards