What is content editing and when do you need it?

A content edit (sometimes referred to as a developmental or substantive edit) can help you untangle problematic plots, enliven characters who just won’t leap off the page, or brighten up settings that are stubbornly dim or dull. 

For nonfiction, a content edit can help you strengthen your argument, uncover buried themes, or bring order and clarity to your ideas.

Sometimes a content editor is like a sound engineer, showing you how to tweak elements of your story so that suddenly everything sings in harmony. Sometimes a content editor is like a structural engineer, showing you the weaknesses in your foundation and how to repair them so that your story is strong. 

You should seek out a content edit for your book if you feel stuck, if you know there is something missing but you can’t figure out what it is, if you have gotten confusing advice from your beta readers, or if you want a professional reader to analyze your book and teach you how to make it even better than it already is.

what do You get?

A four-to-five page editorial letter outlining the strengths and weaknesses of your book, with detailed advice about how to improve the weak areas.

Detailed comments throughout your manuscript, illustrating the points discussed in the editorial letter and any other matters that need attention.

A chapter-by-chapter synopsis outlining your book, as well as a list of characters and a timeline for novels.

Follow up consultations by email, phone, or Skype for as long as you are working on your book.

A 10 percent discount on other editing services for your book.


How much does it cost?

The full package: $1,000 for up to 100,000 words. This investment in your work will improve not just your current book, but all the others still to come.

The combination package: A content and copyedit in two rounds, starting at $0.015/word. This is our most popular offering. See the pricing page for more details about this option.

The opening package: $150 for your first three chapters, or up to 15,000 words. Includes editorial letter, manuscript comments, and follow up consultations. If you later opt for the full package, you can deduct the entire price of this edit. 

Plot or character analysis: $500 for up to 100,000 words. Zero in on one of the key aspects of your novel to find out what’s working and what’s not. Includes editorial letter (and sometimes charts!) but does not include comments on the manuscript.

Manuscript evaluation: Not sure what you need? For $100 we will read your first few chapters, skim the rest of your book, and advise you about what to do next. You can deduct the full price from any complete content or copyedit.