E-mail the first 3,000 words of your novel to Chase Editing. You’ll receive a free edited sample within three business days.
Novels: Is your novel ready to edit?
Not to dwell on a negative, but few professional editors work with first drafts. Unprocessed rough material sent to editors under a misconception that all mechanics can be magically fixed while still addressing details of story and style only wastes your time and money and subjects your novel to poor reader responses and damaging reviews. Turning a first draft into a marketable manuscript is a job for ghost writers who charges thousands of dollars for the task.
After your first draft, did you or at least one trusted first reader review narrative style, characterization, plot and setting, spelling, punctuation, and grammar? Are you or your alpha/beta reader satisfied with dialog and narratives? Did you weed out unintentional repeats? To the best of your abilities, did you tweak and polish your book once more?
However, if your manuscript is ready, click on CONTACT below CHASE EDITING at the top of this page and follow the prompts to establish a confidential link. We’ll maintain two-way e-mail to edit and discuss your novel’s first 3,000 words absolutely free–no obligation.
If we both agree to continue, you may attach a chapter at a time or several. For the first few chapters, I need feedback to learn your preferences. While I edit for you, you’re the boss and have daily e-mail access for questions and concerns.
Novels (beginning at 50,000 words): You pay 2/3 cent per word upon your satisfaction at agreed-upon checkpoints, usually a third, then two-thirds of the way through. You never pay any fees before approving your edited material. If not satisfied at any time, you may stop for no charges beyond the edits you have already approved and paid.
My escape clause for not continuing to edit is I reserve the option to withdraw services, and the client owes nothing for unpaid edits.
–Pricing example for novels: 60,000 words, less 3,000 free = 57,000 words at 2/3¢ each = $376.20
Every edit is unique. Only you can judge whether suggestions help your manuscript to read smoother, be more compelling. Until you approve at least the first third of your novel, you don’t risk a penny to find out.
Novellas (10,000 to 49,500 words): You pay 3/4 cent per word.
–Pricing example for novellas: 20,000 words at 3/4¢ each = $150.00
Short Stories (2,000 to 9,500 words): To pay one cent per word.
–Pricing example for short stories: 3,000 words at one penny each = $30.00
You already have e-mail access to Chase Editing. In lieu of 3,000 free words, you choose whether we work one chapter at a time, several in a block, or the entire novel at once. You set deadlines (not always possible with new clients). You choose payment schedules, usually after all edits are complete. Returning clients enjoy additional individual benefits.
My contract for editing your manuscript is simple and one-sided–in favor of you, my client. After you look over a 3,000-word free sample of your edited writing, you decide whether to proceed or not. For those who do hire me, I edit to a certain benchmark for your evaluation.
1. If you’re satisfied with edits to date, then you pay for only those words edited so far, and we continue to the next benchmark.
2. If you’re not satisfied, there is no charge, and we don’t continue. It’s that simple.
Full-service editing is much more than a single-pass copyedit to fix errors. With multiple reads involved, I edit for U.S. spelling and punctuation. Grammar in dialog and narrative is matched to characterization under your guidelines and feedback. I highlight effective repetition and flag and suggest alternatives to unintentional repeats which annoy readers and take away from good repetition. I comment on setting, style, theme and plot, helping to fill plot holes when they open. Facts are regularly checked and reported to you with documentation. Through all of this, you choose what advice to use.
Some “can do” services
For those word-processing with Microsoft Word, when I switched to all-electronic grading in the 1980s, Microsoft Word was primarily for business writing, along with its spreadsheets and PowerPoint presentations. In my college classes, most students wrote papers with WordPerfect. I graded both writing programs with [blue brackets] inserted directly into the text, the same method employed by most academic and newspaper editors for whom I submitted material.
The good news is when Microsoft Word later developed its sidebar edit feature, it was primarily for business writing, but story and novel writers liked the sidebars, so I developed grading and editing tools to accommodate so that edits with sidebar balloons now go almost as smoothly as [brackets]. Almost. However, you’re the boss. Approximately a third of my clients like MS Word’s “Review/Balloons,” and I’m happy to accommodate if that method is your choice.
Some “can’t do” items
I do not offer proofreading for manuscripts edited by anyone other than myself. I’ve tried to perform the service several times, and it turns into copyediting at minimum. In some cases, it has forced another complete full-service editing.
The service I do offer for a very small increase over my bargain basement edit fee is proofreading your revisions based on my edits. The process most favored by clients is to proof revisions a chapter or section at a time.
The not-so-good side of processing “Review/Track Changes” is it isn’t conducive to full-service editing. The track change option was developed to deal with business letters and memos going through drafts circulated among executives and secretarial staffs. It is designed for accept-or-reject decisions, not for comments, multiple choice suggestions, explanations, or professional manuscript tools and macros to speed editing. Edits using “Review/Track Changes” actually limit full service, so the feature is not one I can usually offer.
Because of full-service editing for a number of clients at the same time, I cannot possibly predict how much time it will take to edit an unseen manuscript by word-count alone. Some manuscripts having most mechanics in place with authors providing helpful feedback skim to the finish line like a catamaran before a good wind; others without such benefits can trudge along as though we’re hacking through dense green jungles.
I want your business and firmly believe you’re the boss, but writers having tight schedules to publish with short deadlines need to consider a larger editing service, perhaps one employing a staff of junior copy-editors.