Other Editorial Services

As I have said, I’m not a copy editor, but if you are looking for a copy editor I have a couple of people that I use for my work.

Dean C. Moore has worked on three of my four published books. He is an efficient editor and is fussy about the details, which is exactly what you want in a good copy editor. He spends a lot of time making sure my punctuation and the rest is correct and consistent. His prices are as reasonable as mine. Contact him through his web site here:  http://deancmoore.com


Sarah Brown is new on the scene, but she too is meticulous with her work and will make your manuscript look good. She is a blend of copy editor and proofreader. She worked on my soon to be released collection of horror stories Sparkles and Blood You can find her here: https://unexploredboundaries.wordpress.com/need-an-editor/

It is also true that not everyone will work well with my style, or will need something faster or focused differently. Here are a couple of fine editors who can help you polish your book.

Gail Williams is another Structural Editor. This is how she describes her services:

I can tell what a good story is, and I can help others make their stories better.  I offer competitive rates based on word count and timeframe.  Along with detailed comments, questions and suggestions in the edited manuscript, clients get a full critique document giving an overall review of the manuscript.  I specialise in crime and science fiction, and my particular penchant is for getting timelines straight, a timeline that doesn’t hold water brings me out in a veritable rash, but don’t worry I can cope with time travel so no fears there.  Because I recognise that the relationship between an author and editor is a mutual choice and needs to be natural fit, I am also prepared to offer a free sample edit of up to 3,000 words so that the author can decide if I’m the right editor for them.   For  general calculations I charge £9/$13 per 1000 words on a four-week turnaround for up to 100k words, anything else (faster time greater word count) just ask. 

Contact me if you have questions or a want a quote.

If you want to work with a editor with years of experience and who works with a publishing house, you can’t do better than Penny Freeman.

She works in all kinds of editing but here are the summaries from a couple of editing stages

Developmental Editor:

Publishing companies make use of developmental editors, particularly if they are working with known authors with whom they have contracts for a series of books. These editors help authors formulate their ideas and draw a road map for the direction they want their story to go. At pennyfreeman.com LLC, we have developed highly specialized exercises for authors in their outlining process which give them very clear direction and break up any log jams. In the creation of novels, developmental editors guide the author through the production process until the manuscript goes to print.

Copy Editor:

A copy editor focuses on the language arts: proper sentence structure, communication skills, language and punctuation. Is the writer getting their point across? Or, are the words getting in the way? If the project were a house, the developmental editor would be the builder who commissioned the structure, the author would be the general contractor, and the copy editor would be the inspector who ensures everything is up to code. The proofreader is that essential, unsung hero who brings up the rear with the broom.


A.P. Fuchs

Editing Services:

As an author of around 40 published books, as well as the editor and publisher of over 110, I’ve had extensive experience bringing a manuscript to a polished state. My mission with each book I take on is to keep the author’s voice and vision intact, while also making sure there are no grammar or spelling mistakes. I also keep an eye out for continuity and anything else the reader might find jarring. However, my main thing is to side with the creator and do my best to make their story the best it can be.

My rates are affordable and are broken down into the following categories, prices in US funds.

Short stories (1,000 – 7,000 words): 1¢ per word

Novelettes (7,001 – 15,000 words): $120

Novellas (15,001 – 40,000 words): $200

Short novels (40,001 – 60,000): $300

Novels (60,001 – 80,000 words): $375

Blockbusters (80,001 – 120,000): $425

Doorstops (120,000+): inquire for quote

As a comics writer and fan, I’m also available for comic script editing at $1US per page.

Formatting Services:

As mentioned above, I’ve had experience formatting around 150 books for print and eBook. Your paperback will be prepared to accommodate whomever you’re using as a printer. Your eBook will be formatted three ways: PDF, Kindle, and Smashwords. Once the project is complete, I’ll send you the print/eBook-ready files.

Paperback formatting – $150

eBook formatting – $100

Paperback and eBook formatting bundle – $225

Cover Services:

Coming soon.

Turn around time varies per project, but it would be within a week or two depending on where you are on the schedule.

Thanks for your interest. I hope we can work together. Please send me an email via the contact page on this site and I’ll promptly get back to you.

Editing is $300 for a 100k book

I’m planning to stay at the $300 mark for the time being. It is paying me a decent wage for the work while it remains affordable for authors. Anything much over or under the 100k, contact me and we’ll talk price. As always the first 5k for new clients is free as a test edit so you know what you are getting.

Keep in mind that I am a content editor. I work at the foundational level of your story with plot, character and tone. I do make comments about style and technical issues, but I’m not a copy editor.

If you’d like more information, just comment here, or send me an email through the link in the side menu.

Testimonial by Katy Huth Jones

Even after editing with my talented critique group, I knew my fantasy wasn’t ready for publication, but its length was prohibitive in finding an affordable editor. I heard praise for Alex McGilvery’s editing in an online writing group and decided to send him a sample. I really liked his method and hired him. It has been money well spent! Alex is thorough and professional, and he focuses equally well on the macro and the micro; he analyzes story arc, character arcs, and themes while he notes technical flaws and weak writing habits. I like that he points out what works as well as what needs overhauling or tweaking. He even helped me “choreograph” a climactic fight scene. I wholeheartedly endorse Alex McGilvery of Celticfrog Editing and hope we can work together on future projects. Thanks, Alex!

Katy Huth Jones

Testimonial by Ora Smith

I feel Alex put a lot of time and thought into the content edit of my historical fiction manuscript. His comments were thorough and helped give me the information, knowledge and understanding needed to make important changes to the story and characters. He also gave a multiple page evaluation at the end, guiding me to where I needed to make additions, deletions, how to strengthen the plot and so much more. I also really appreciate that he complimented the writing in various places throughout the manuscript. What writer doesn’t need a little praise to drive away those negative demons in our head? I would definitely have Alex edit a manuscript again. I feel like I received a lot for the price. I almost feel like I was taking advantage of him! Sorry Alex, but thanks again!

Testimonial from Valerie Howard

“My book needed some work, but I didn’t know how to fix it. I couldn’t afford $1,000 or more for the usual professional editor, so I thought I was going to have to rely on friends and family to read the story and give me their best suggestions of how to tighten up my writing. Then I found Alex McGilvery at Celtic Frog Editing. His rates were unbelievable and I’d heard excellent things about his process, so I jumped on the opportunity to hire him to edit my book. I’m so glad I did! Alex not only has the ability to pinpoint exactly what needs fixing, he can give you great suggestions and ideas on HOW to fix the problem areas that are holding your book back. He also tells you what you’re doing right so you know what not to change in your final draft. I’m indebted to him for giving my so-so book the potential to be a great book! Thank you, Alex for offering a great professional service at a fraction of the cost!”

Link to Valerie’s book Carry Me Homeon Amazon.

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Comment from Cynthia Port

I took Alex McGilvery up on his recent promotional offer of $100 to content edit an entire book. I don’t have extra cash for my writing, so this was not an easy decision, but I was feeling mired down by this manuscript (that I love) and needed a boost. He made nearly 400 separate comments on the document, plus several pages of recommendations and observations at the end!!! By the time I have finished responding to his suggestions, both the book and my skills as a writer will have significantly improved. 

I met Alex through CIR and don’t know him personally. I believe he may still have this offer. If so, and if you can possibly swing it, take advantage. He is very skilled. I can pretty much guarantee his rates will not stay this low. Here is his website, or you can contact him through CIR. 

Thanks Alex! (and thanks Lia London Author for CIR)

Endorsement by Harry Hobbs

I have been privileged to work with  Alex McGilvery over the past couple of years as I enter the final editing stages of my new novel A Circle of Roots  Alex spend a lot of time reading and critiquing my novel in depth. His comments covered everything from grammar errors, sentence or syntax problems to a great analysis of my plot and character development, and my handling of point of view. Alex asked all the tough questions and made me most accountable particularly in areas of the novel that I had “glossed over.”  He was accessible for questions and helped me work out problems that were not obvious to me or where I was looking for a difficulty when some minor editing is all that was needed.  Alex graciously agreed to read my book again after I had completed my rewrite.  He made further comments on where things were smooth now and gave advice on areas still requiring work.

I feel fortunate to have Alex as my editor and know my novel is stronger as a result.  I would recommend Alex to anyone who is looking for an editor to give critical and honest feedback.

Sincerely

Harry Hobbs

Email [email protected]

 

How to write a book.

This is a poem I wrote for National Poetry Month – April. 

How to write a book

Write
Write some more
Write until you get to the end of the story.
Do a little happy dance.
Tell people that you wrote a book.

Read your book.
Crawl under your desk and weep and bang your head against the wall until the sound makes the neighbours crazy.
Re-write the book adding some annoying neighbours.
Get pulled into the story again.
Rant and rave at your characters.
“Behave,” you say, “or I’ll kill you off.”
They laugh and run off to dance in the moonlight.
Bang your head some more.
Apologize to the neighbours, again.
Tell them you’re writing a book.

Start to wonder how any one person could have made so many mistakes in one book.
Fix mistakes, make new ones.
The book takes on a life of its own.
No longer just words on a page, this is your baby and you want it to grow up healthy and strong and maybe be a bestseller someday.

Allow the neighbours to read your precious child.
Gnash your teeth when they point out that the scene with the talking donkey really just doesn’t work.
You love that scene; you wept tears of happy abandon writing that scene.
Can’t they recognize brilliant writing?
Cut the scene.

Start to hate the book, again
It’s horrible, mindless drivel, but it isn’t the book’s fault.
So you keep working,
Cut more scenes that you love,
Let a few stay in,

One day think:
This whole thing may actually work out.
It isn’t going to change the world.
No one may even read it.
But it’s time.

The story has to stand on its own now.
There are still things you can do, but you don’t.
Instead, you hold your breathe and send it off with a backpack filled with sandwiches and a change of underwear.

Look, there it goes.

Isn’t it cute?

When is your novel good enough to publish?

I see variations of this question on writing boards all over the internet. It is tempting for me to read a few lines of the book and answer the question for them. “No, it isn’t ready. Go back and fix these issues.” After all that’s really what I’m doing when I’m editing for people. I’m showing them the parts of the novel that make it not ready for publication.

But that is just my opinion. I’m one person with one set of ideas about what constitutes a well written novel. One of the things I’ve learned in my years of reviewing is that there aren’t many rules that can’t be effectively broken. I probably would have sent 50 Shades of Grey back for more editing.

I’m not going to tell you if your novel is ready for publication. I will tell you what I think are the strengths and weaknesses of that novel. I will push you to polish and make it as ready as possible.

So, how do you know?

I use beta-readers. Those are people who don’t know me and have had no part in the creation of the book whom I ask to read the book and tell me what they don’t like about it. It may seem harsh to ask only what people don’t like, but I find it is a very effective way of getting the most out of my beta-readers. If they don’t like something, the chances are very good that other readers won’t like it either.

I fix what the beta-readers don’t like. If there was a lot of things they had problems with, I might find a second set of betas and turn them lose. When I start hearing that the book works well -they finished it without a struggle, they didn’t have major issues with the plot and/or characterization in the book, then I know that it is close.

I have my content editor go through the book before I send it to beta. The line editor I have look at it after. I’m not longer going to make huge changes, but just make certain that I’m consistent, that I don’t use the same word too many times (unless I have a good reason to do that).

I make the changes suggested, then I sit down one more time and read the book from cover to cover. I don’t use a pen to mark it up. I just read. I want to see if the story pulls me in. Does it evoke emotion at the right places? Do I like this book? If I hadn’t written it, would I buy it?

Now I’m ready to answer that question. Is my book ready to be published? Not only can I answer it, I can answer with confidence. That is very important when you are marketing. You need to know that you’ve put out a quality product. If you’re apologetic or uncertain about your own book, you won’t sell very much.

I’m still learning. I can see the difference in my two books and I’m working to create as big a difference in my third book. That doesn’t mean the first two weren’t ready, though I’d do things differently now. It means that I’m getting tougher on myself and raising my expectations.

That’s why you need to ask yourself that question each time you finish a book.

So you’ve finished that novel…

You accepted the challenge of National Novel Writing Month and came out of it with a novel. Everyone told you that first drafts were rough, but you didn’t believe them until you went back and read your book. The first time you read one of your first drafts is always a traumatic experience. The good news is that your novel doesn’t have to stay in that rough shape. There are ways to make it better.

The first thing I do is let the writing sit for a few months. I always have several projects on the go, so put the book on the shelf and do something else for a while. Then come back and read it. For this first read through I like to print it and use highlighters and a pen. I have a red highlighter for stuff I’m deleting. It’s terrible and it’s going. I use a green one to mark stuff that I like. I want more of that, but for now I just mark it so I know it’s there. The pen is to make notes in the margins. Comment about gaps in the plot, descriptive needs,  characterization, anything that you want to add to the novel.

When that is done, I go back to the computer and work through the draft with that marked up copy on my desk. At this point I rename the file so I’m not saving over the draft. I may need that someday. It’s a good idea to start a new version for each major revision. I delete stuff, move things around and add what I need to add. If you aren’t sure you’ve got everything at the end of the first read through. Do it again.

If you think you’ve got a decent quality draft, it is time to get someone else to do a similar process. That’s your content editor, me. I will not only focus on the good, the bad, and the missing, I will talk about structure, plotting, voice and a lot of other things.  If you pay me to look at your book and comment on it. Expect to work hard when you get the book back. You don’t want me to send it back saying “It’s great.” That doesn’t help your story improve. I may tell that parts are great, but I’ll also suggest ways and methods of making them better.

If you aren’t sure about what I can offer you. Send me a chapter and I will comment on it free of charge.