Creative Development and Editing


"Editing" is a broad category with enormous ramifications to the author. At any stage of development, an editor adds value, but it is important to be clear about the state of the manuscript and your editorial requirements. If you are preparing your manuscript for submission, global suggestions about the plot are probably unwelcome. Conversely, if you are concerned about larger issues of continuity or character development (for instance), the editor correcting only grammar and spelling will leave you frustrated.


Editing should always be considered an iterative, communicative process, with final approval of every change falling to the author. For this reason, it is important for the author to understand that no editor can (or, arguably, should) "fix everything," nor is it appropriate to address all problems in one round of review. No editor should ever suggest that he or she will provide 100% accuracy; most reputable contractors will guarantee 95-98% at proofreading stage.


It is suggested the author consider contracting the same editor for at least the first two stages of review, although it is not required, and there is an argument to be made that proofreading should be done by a different professional than one who has already worked through the manuscript two or three times.


Substantive editing

— Global suggestions for strengthening plot, character, setting, organization, etc. (For technical or academic work: argument, concision, audience analysis, citation review, and readability.)

— Paragraph- and sentence-level suggestions for improvement

— Questions of continuity, consistency, and coherence

— Identification of grammatical patterns of error, but not necessarily word-level correction.

— This is not the stage to be concerned with perfect grammatical accuracy, as larger changes will require additional review.


Line or copy editing

— Sentence and word-level corrections of grammatical and spelling errors

— Identification of egregious errors of continuity, argument, consistency, and coherence

— Review and formatting of citations

— Plagiarism check, as needed

— 80-90% grammatical accuracy is expected.



— Just prior to manuscript formatting for submission or publication.

— Word- and character-level grammatical and spelling, based on either standard conventions or any given style book.

— No identification of errors in continuity, consistency, and coherence

— The least iterative stage, as at this point, the editor's role is objective, not subjective.

— 95-98% accuracy is expected. (No professional editor should guarantee 100% accuracy.)

— Not suggested until you are ready for submission, as changes require additional review.


Ancillary Writing/Review

— Book blurbs

— Book proposals

— Synopses

— Outlines

— Query letters

— Writer biographies

— Writer resumes


Formatting and Graphics

Epub/Print-on-Demand Formatting

— .epub file for most e-readers

— .mobi file for Amazon Kindle

— Smashwords, iBooks, or one other format

— HTML file for use on websites

— Microsoft Word file for print-on-demand services like CreateSpace or IngramSpark

— PDFs for print-on-demand upload

— This service assumes author-provided cover design, which will be formatted for inclusion with files.


Manuscript Formatting for Agents and Publishers

— Microsoft Word file for submission to agents and publishers, according to industry conventions

— Microsoft Word files of first chapter, first three chapters, and first 50 pages

— PDFs of Word files


"One of Mari's skills as an editor is to ask precisely the right questions to force me to delve into what I really intended to say. My books are more 'me' than they would have been without her."


Jude Knight,

Historical Romance and Suspense author.


Editing client for:


A Baron for Becky


Revealed in Mist

— Literary Fiction

— 400 MSS pages

— Three drafts

— Structural editing

— Line editing

— Cover design

— Book blurb

— Author Resume

— Web design

— E-pub and print formatting

— E-publishing at Amazon and Barnes and Noble

— POD at CreateSpace

All Content © Mari Anne Christie