Line Editing

Line editing involves a line-by-line look at your manuscript.

Sometimes known as “copy” edits, this type of editing focuses on details. All developmental/content edits should be complete before moving to line edits. There’s no need for me to tell you how to make a paragraph grammatically correct or how to make it “flow” more smoothly if there’s a possibility that paragraph will be cut from the story later. The story itself should be finished so that together we can polish its presentation one line at a time.

For a line edit, you receive the following:

• A minimum of two passes through the manuscript
• All edits completed in Track Changes (Word) with explanations
• Editing marks/queries: punctuation/grammar, continuity (no extra hands or changing eye color), independently acting body parts (pov character only), extraneous/repeated/awkward wording
• Formatting (in Word): various kinds of speech (telepathic, remembered, internal thought, etc.), consistency in chapter headings and subheadings, change of scene/pov, signage, texting, flashbacks, etc. *Formatting may be personalized for certain requirements, such as to match a known publisher’s style (a style guide must be provided by the client, and extra charges may apply)
• Spelling and hyphenation checks; etymology checks (for historical manuscripts)
• “Reader understanding” comments: queries in areas of the manuscript that, as a reader, are difficult to understand
• A style sheet for the manuscript, including: characters and descriptions, locations, miscellaneous facts/details, spelling and terms list, series information if available, formatting notes for consistency
• Editing standard: Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)
• Spelling standard: Merriam-Webster Dictionary (11th edition), with American Heritage Dictionary as backup; accommodations for British English available


Line editing is intensive work and requires many hours. Line editing fees are $0.01 per word.

50,000 – $500

100,000 – $1000

A word about historical manuscripts or manuscripts with historical elements (like time travel): Historicals require a bit more work. Why? Because I make certain to check your word usage for the correct time period. Which means that not only am I looking up possibly hundreds of words for correct spelling/hyphenation, but I’m also checking hundreds more for etymology (a service I only provide for full line-editing projects). That takes a significant amount of time. For that reason, historical projects will be priced at $0.013 per word.


Contact me for information about a line edit. For information about a sample edit, see Sample Edits.