Comprehensive Manuscript Editing

What is comprehensive manuscript editing?

Many editing services break editing into a menu of options from which you must choose and pay individually.

I provide you with all of the following for one price:

Editor Lisa Dale Norton's writing desk at her cabin in the Sandhills. Author of the bestselling book Shimmering Images: A Handy Little Guide to Writing Memoir, Norton is an expert at editing and teaching memoir writing. Her desk is covered with notecards, papers, mementoes and a collection of quartz rocks found on rambles which she uses to anchor her papers. Norton is the author of the literary memoir Hawk Flies Above: Journey to the Heart of the Sandhills compared to the writing of Annie Dillard. Both Norton's books are published by St. Martin's Press, New York.

Line Editing—ferrets out craft problems, like inconsistencies in tone, clichés, deficient descriptions, too much telling instead of showing, passive verb choices, dialogue that doesn’t work, imagery that scuttles the atmosphere of your project, and many more elements that go into making a manuscript ready for publishers.

Developmental Editing—locates deeper story problems and helps you develop the writing to fix them. Story arc/structure problems, and character development are common examples. You have strengths as a writer. It’s my job to capitalize on those strengths, and help you develop the material where it isn’t working so that your story is ready to compete in the marketplace.

Copy editing—aligns your manuscript with the style publishers use. I employ The Chicago Manual of Style and Merriam Webster, as do most book publishers. I know the rules and make sure your manuscript follows them.

Proofreading—perfects pages that are ready to go to the printer. Most writers are not at this stage, but you may be if you are self-publishing. It’s about punctuation, paragraph indents, word spacing, italics, typefaces, and the like.

How do you to begin editing with me?

Send an e-mail with your questions. Click here to contact me.

Then send your manuscript as an e-mail attachment in Word to I’ll put together an invoice for you so you can see what your fees will be.

What happens next?

I format, print, and edit your manuscript writing comments on your pages so you will have a guide for revision and growth as a writer. Your manuscript is returned digitally, or via the post office, along with an Editorial Report that identifies what works and what doesn’t work in the manuscript. I explain why problems exist and show you can fix them. Once you’ve received your manuscript and studied my comments, we arrange a consultation time and connect by phone, or Skype, to discuss the material, and plan strategies for project completion.


Comprehensive Manuscript Editing: $12/page. Returning clients receive a discount to $10/page.

(A page is measured by the industry standard of 250 words/page.)

Consultation: A one-hour consultation is built into the Comprehensive Manuscript Editing package. It is billed at $150.

Office expenses: Printing and copying of manuscripts at $.17/page, and the cost of return mailing. (Short manuscripts can be returned digitally.) Standard mailing fee is $10.00. Larger manuscripts incur higher fees.

Billing: New clients pay one-half of the total editing fee at the beginning of the editorial process. The remainder is due upon delivery of the completed manuscript. Payment is via PayPal where you have the option to use credit and debit cards. On-going clients may pay with check. Payment plans are available. Inquire.

Ask your questions: click here.