If you’ve written a novel and need to get it edited, below we’ve featured 17 of the best freelance fiction editors.
1. Mary Kole
Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Mary Kole is a fiction editor who has a BA in English and Theatre from the Santa Clara University, as well as an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of San Francisco. After gaining years of experience in the publishing industry, she decided to pursue editorial work full-time in 2013.
Mary is mainly specialized in middle grade and young adult fiction, but she can provide services for novels of all genres. Regardless of your type of collaboration, she will send notes on the key elements of your project (such as plot or tension), sentence-level feedback, market analysis, and a few others. In terms of prices, a 100 page edit costs $2,199, a full manuscript edit costs $3,999/50.000 words, a reader report is $1.999/50.000 words, and a novel overview and feedback call start at $299. If there is any information you can’t find on the website, there’s a contact form at the bottom of the main page.
2. Jen Blood
With an MFA in Creative Writing/Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine, Jen Blood is a Maine-based bestselling mystery author. She has an experience of around 15 years as an editor and, since she is accustomed to working on fiction projects, she could definitely help you with yours.
Jen provides developmental editing ($20/1000 words), beta reading ($10/1000 words), content editing ($20/1000 words), chapter-by-chapter analysis, an elemental summary, and a revision blueprint. She places more importance on the story rather than on the style, so she can easily point out plot holes, unclear character motives, or any other inconsistencies.
If you want to reach her, you can do so here.
3. J. Thorn
J. Thorn is an author, professor, editor, and podcaster, among many others – he lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and he is one of the Top 100 Most Popular Authors in Horror, Science Fiction, Action & Adventure, and Fantasy (Amazon Author Rank).
In terms of editing, he can provide weekly mentoring for $1099/month and manuscript diagnostic for $1999/80.000 words, with extra $250 required for each additional 10.000 words. To figure out what would be best for your project, J. Thorn provides a free 20-minute conversation before getting to work. His specialties are dystopian, horror, science fiction, speculative fiction, and a few more. To contact him, click here.
4. Leslie Watts
Founded in 2013, Writership is the business of Leslie Watts, an Austin-based Story Grid Certified Editor. After working on countless stories of USA Today, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal bestselling authors, as well as after gaining experience as an editor-in-chief for the American Journal of Criminal Law, Leslie can definitely help you with your fiction project.
If your manuscript is done, you can reach her for a Story Grid Diagnostic – this involves a one-hour phone consultation, the 6 core questions analysis specific to this technique, a spreadsheet of your first five scenes, a recommendation letter, genre recommendations, and additional resources. This will cost you $1.797/80.000 words or less, $2.249/80.000-100.000 words, or $2.699/100.000-120.000 words. Larger projects are accepted as well, but the price needs to be discussed.
To learn more, click here.
Currently living in California, Victoria Mixon is an editor with over 30 years of experience in poetry, fiction, and in nonfiction. Also an author of 4 books from the Art & Craft writing series, she wrote Fiction: First Writer’s Manual.
When it comes to services, Victoria can provide full copy, line, and developmental editing, developmental editing exclusively, a developmental editing letter, and synopsis editing. The first option involves a 4-8-week period in which you will discuss a 3-act plot structure, storytelling issues, your protagonist’s story, and many others. Prices vary depending on the project.
If you have any questions for her, you can further inquire here.
Stephen Parolini is a US-based editor with over 28 years of experience in the field. Although he has worked on projects in every genre you could think of, he has a preference for fiction works, particularly for fantasy, science fiction, and for contemporary general market novels with a literary bent.
Stephen provides three main services, and each of them has an original name. For instance, The Blue Pen of Hope involves the review of the first 30 pages of your novel, after which you will receive comments, notes, and suggested edits, a general overview, marketability advice, and a few other such things. This costs $300. The Red Pen of Life and Death is an in-depth analysis starting at $1800, and The Purple Pen of Publishing Pulchritude is a comprehensive edit starting at $2600. You can reach him at email@example.com.
Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Sarah is the founder of the Kolb-Williams Writing and Editing business. Her areas of specialty are fiction (particularly science fiction) and nonfiction.
In terms of fiction services, she provides editorial assessment (starting at $450), copy editing (starting at 3¢/word), substantive editing (starting at 6¢/word), and developmental editing. If you have a science fiction manuscript, you can also opt for a comprehensive assessment ($2.100) – it involves a full-read, a separate editorial memo, feedback, structural notes, revision suggestions, and up to 1-hour of follow-up support. To make sure about her skills, you can always check her fiction portfolio.
Once you make a decision, you have to complete this contact form.
8. Jodie Renner
Living in Kelowna, British Columbia, Jodie Kenner is an award-winning author, independent editor, speaker, and blogger specializing in popular fiction, which also includes thrillers, mysteries, suspense, middle-grade and young adult fiction.
At the moment, she only accepts manuscripts under 89.000 words. Jodie can provide substantive editing, stylistic/line editing, copy editing, proofreading, critique (for the first 10-50 pages), as well as a few others. Since her schedule is always busy, she requires every writer to send a sample of their work first. Most manuscripts she edits are priced between $0.016 and $0.028 per word.
If your questions remain unanswered after checking out her website, you can ask her for more details here.
9. C. S. Lakin
C. S. Lakin is the founder of Live Write Thrive, a California-based editing business, as well as the bestselling author of over 20 novels, among others.
In terms of services, she provides copy editing, critique, and proofreading. The first one, also known as content editing, includes the review and improvement of the passive voice, pacing, descriptions, redundancies, plot issues, word choice, and of many other aspects – this can be done over a 2-3-week period, while the proofreading usually takes 1-2 weeks. Critique services are charged by the page, while the editing services are charged by the hour. At the beginning of your collaboration, you will have to submit half of the payment.
If you want to learn more, you can contact C. S. Lakin here.
10. Katie McCoach
Katie started her developmental editing business, KM Editorial, in 2012, after moving to Los Angeles. Her clients include both traditional and self-published authors. If you want to check out her past fiction projects, you can browse her portfolio.
Her services are divided into three categories – for instance, Nurture Your Vision is a $300 package which focuses on the writer’s goals and it involves a 1-hour coaching call, professional advice, and an editing strategy report. Prune Your Story, on the other hand, is appropriate for those whose manuscripts are finished and need help with the overall story and main aspects of the book ($1200/100.000 words or less). Lastly, Repot and Sell is an in-depth editorial review which costs $3200/100.000 words or less.
If you want to request a quote, you can do so here.
11. Charlie Wilson
A UK-based editor, Charlie Wilson began her freelance career in 2005, after gaining experience in the publishing field. Up to date, she has edited over 1000 books of both fiction and nonfiction – romance, children’s fantasy, military history, and thriller are just a few genres she has dealt with so far.
Through her business, Landmark Editorial, she provides critique, developmental editing, intelligent copy editing, regular copy editing, and proofreading for books. The third service is also the most popular one, as it consists of a compromise between copy editing and developmental editing. Fees are settled depending on the length of the manuscript and on the amount of work required.
To learn more, you can contact Charlie here.
12. Carrie O’Grady
Carrie O’Grady is a UK-based editor who provides services through her business, The Hackney Fiction Doctor. Throughout her career, she has worked for the Telegraph, the Guardian, Faber & Faber, as well as for a few others.
Carrie can provide manuscript critique (£549 for a novel between 110.000 and 130.000 words), copy editing, full developmental editing, and proofreading. The last services don’t have fixed prices, as they depend on the length and work required by each fiction project.
Due to the current pandemic, she is no longer taking new clients. However, once schools reopen, she will be available. If you have anything to ask her, you can do it here.
13. Elizabeth Buege
Elizabeth Buege is an editor and writer living in Minnesota. After earning a BA in English Writing from a private college, she began her career as a teacher. However, this didn’t make her overlook her editing business, which now requires her full attention.
When it comes to fiction, she can provide manuscript critique ($0.007/word for the critique letter alone and $0.0085/word if you also opt for chapter comments), developmental editing ($0.01/word), line editing ($0.02-$0.04/word), copy editing ($0.02-$0.04/word), and proofreading ($0.01/word). A query letter edit and an in-depth line edit of the first five pages of your manuscript cost $65 altogether.
To reach Elizabeth, you can complete this form.
14. Savannah Gilbo
Specialized in fiction, Savannah Gilbo is a developmental editor and book coach based in California.
She is also a Certified Story Grid Editor, which means that her editing service consists of the Story Grid Manuscript Diagnostic. Thus, a big picture analysis, a “next steps” editorial letter, a review of the first five scenes, a coaching call, and additional resources will be provided if you choose to work with her. Prices vary depending on the length of the manuscript, so a draft of less than 40.000 words requires a fee of $497, while one of less than 120.000 words requires $1.497. To see the complete list of fees, click here.
If you have any questions you can ask them online.
15. Toby Selwyn
Living in Birmingham, UK, Toby Selwyn has a BA in Modern Languages & Literature from Oxford University and he started his freelance editing business in 2013. He is currently interested in fantasy, science fiction, horror, thriller, romance, and LBTQ fiction projects.
In terms of services, he provides proofreading and a combination between line editing and copy editing. The latter involves reviewing and improving sentence structure, dialogue, consistency, grammar, punctuation, and many others. To begin with, Toby can complete a free sample edit of 1000 words or less.
If you wish to request a quote, you will have to complete this form.
16. Kristen Hamilton
The founder of Kristen Corrects, Inc., Kristen Hamilton is an award-winning editor currently based in Nampa, Idaho.
She is specialized in fiction books and is able to provide developmental editing, line editing, proofreading, first chapter critique, and manuscript critique. Depending on her availability, most projects require a 3-4 week period of completion. A few book editing packages are also mentioned here.
Since there are no prices displayed online, you might want to contact her before making a decision.
Based in Ennis, Texas, Susan Mary Malone is an award-winning author who began her editing career at the Tarleton State University newspaper. Her business, Malone Editorial, was founded in 1993, after attending a workshop where she discovered her talent for literary devices and styles.
Specialized in both fiction and nonfiction, Susan provides a custom comprehensive developmental editing package which includes services such as coaching, copy editing, and proofreading. However, since there is no fixed price mentioned on the website, you might want to contact her using the information displayed here.
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