Freelance Editing and Writing

I've been a professional editor and copy editor for 8 years, but have been paid to work with words and writers since I was 16 as a writing tutor and essay grader for the Oxnard School District in California. In the 16 years that have followed, I've had continuing work as a freelance editor, copy editor, writing tutor. I have experience in AP, MLA, APA, and Chicago Styles. I have a writing- and research-based Bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Humanities from Arizona State University. I worked as a media monitor for Luce Press Clippings; an editor for the world's largest news distribution service, Business Wire; and am currently a copy editor for the State of Arizona. I attended Arizona State on several writing-based scholarships and in 2007, was awarded the Arizona School Board Association's Media Award.

While working with words in every manner is both a passion and a hobby, it is also my career goal, and I handle my work seriously and professionally. Most of my expertise lies in copy editing, working with spelling and grammar, and also making sure writing is consistent in style and usage, direct in delivering its message, and through all that, still reader friendly.

There are different levels of editing to consider when deciding what service you'll need from a professional freelance editor. Below are the basic definitions for the different levels of editing:

Proofreading: A final, careful check on a document. It may include comparing the document with earlier versions to make sure certain corrections have been made, and it always involves finding spelling, grammar and formatting errors.

Copy-editing: Reviewing a document to ensure that it is free of errors, it adheres to a style guideline, references in the text are correctly cited in the bibliography, and Tables and Figures are correctly numbered. In short, copy-editing prepares a document for formatting and printing.

Substantive Editing: Also called content editing, substantive editing means making sure that a document is well organized and clearly written. Working with the author, the editor helps make the manuscript more useful and appealing for the reader. Logical flaws or unsupported statements will be identified, and the editor may also suggest organizational changes or shifts in emphasis. This level of editing helps the author transform a manuscript into the most effective document possible. (A substantive editor will often do copy-editing as well.)

Researching: Researching means gathering and verifying information to develop all or part of a publication.

Developmental Editing: Entails consultation with the author before writing begins. The editor advises on organization, approach, and style. This work may include suggestions for research, identification of useful resources, and work with the author on outlines and plans for writing.

How long an editing job takes depends on the type of editing needed and text dealt with. A standard manuscript page is 250-300 words long when it's double spaced and typed in a 12-point font. Depending on the project, an editor can edit 3-10 pages in an hour. Deadlines and type of material (technical, fiction, academic, etc.) are also factors that add to determining rates. The following list details my competitive rate range:

Estimated pace of work: 3 to 10 manuscript pages per hour
Fees: $25 to $40 per hour

Estimated pace of work: 3 to 8 manuscript pages per hour
Fees: $25 to $40 per hour

Substantive Editing
Estimated pace of work: 1-5 pages per hour
Fees: $35 to $80 per hour

Fees: $35 to $80 per hour
Developmental Editing
Estimated pace of work: 1-5 pages per hour
Fees: $35 to $80 per hour

For more information on freelance copyediting and writing jobs, please e-mail me at tanrazz-at-yahoo-dot-com.

Updated September 2007.