Copy Editing & Proofreading Services


Sale! I’m currently offering my editing rates at a discounted price (-50%). Prices below have been changed to reflect this.

NOTE!: I am currently in the process of moving — that being said, I am still offering editing services, so feel free to contact me! Replies and time estimates may take longer than usual though.

Are you looking for a copy editor or proofreader? If so, you have come to the right place! I am currently working towards my goal of becoming a full-time freelance copyeditor/proofreader, geared specifically towards working with independent authors of fiction books.

Though I’m an avid reader and book review blogger with years of experience behind me in both editing and writing, I am relatively new to the copy editing/proofreading field as a profession, and I’d like to change that.

If you’re looking for a reasonably priced freelance copy editor/proofreader, please take a look at my rates and of course feel free to contact me with any questions you may have—no obligation. You can find more information further on down this page. I look forward to working with you!

Copy Editor vs. Proofreader… what do I need?

There is a fine, often vague line separating what a copy editor and proofreader do. To give you a better idea of the kind of edits you may be looking to hire me for, I’d like to take a moment to explain to you what each of the skills pertains to.

A COPY EDITOR’S job is to edit, refine, and polish the bare bones of a story. They will make edits to the characters, world building, plot, and the other larger aspects of a story while ignoring the fine details like spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Think of a copy editor as your story’s best friend—it is the copy editor’s job to mold your story and your characters into the best version of themselves they can possibly be. Copy editing is generally done in the early stages of a story, often after the first draft and before it is sent ahead to the proofreader. This stage of the writing/publishing process is often extensive and may require multiple exchanges to complete as things are moved, changed, and added to the story.

*Note: Not all copy editors also do content editing, some only look for things like style and voice and leave out the beefier subjects of world building, plot, and character consistency. My personal style is heavy in both story content and quality—but I cannot speak for other editors on this matter.

A PROOFREADER’S job is to edit, refine, and polish the technical details of your story. They will make edits to sentence structure, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting. Think of a proofreader as your very annoying college professor. It is their job to catch the little mistakes left over by the re-writing process so that your story is flawless when it is published. Proofreading is often the last step in the writing/publishing process before a story is sent in to be printed and usually does not include any extensive re-writes.

There are certain aspects of a copy editor/proofreader’s job that overlap—which is why the two skill sets are often confused. A copy editor may point out a few spelling mistakes or may suggest word choice changes, but the majority of what they’re looking for centers around the plot, the characters, and the world-building of your story. A proofreader will rarely venture outside of technical edits.

Copy Editing Rates & Information

I currently charge a flat rate of $0.01/word for my copy editing services—as the process is quite extensive and takes a lot of in-depth reading and subsequent correspondence. Assuming the average fiction novel averages around 250 words a page, this works out to a flat rate of about $2.50 a page.

As a copy editor, here are some things I will be looking for/adjusting in your writing:

  • Story Structure & Plot – I will look for plot holes, make sure your story structure is arranged in a way that best suits the story you are trying to tell, and suggest changes and edits to help identify and fix weak points.
  • Characters & World Building – I will be looking for consistency in your character’s voice & dialogue, as well as identifying problems that could prevent your reader from liking or empathizing with your characters. I will help point out weak characters and suggest changes to make them more engaging and complex. I will look for inconsistencies in the world building and ask questions to prompt you into filling any holes I may find.
  • Pacing & Engagement – I will point out problems with the pacing and word choice and make suggestions to help your story become more engaging to your readers while maintaining the integrity of your narrative voice.
  • Consistency & Fact Checking – I will keep track of your objects, characters, and their choices to help maintain consistency in your story. No more disappearing objects or characters who repeatedly change their mind…. unless it’s intended.
  • And much, much more…

As your copy editor, I will be available via E-mail daily to help you in your writing endeavor. At any point, if you have a question about a re-write or a new idea you want to work into your story and you need someone to bounce it off of, I’ll be available to help you work it out. As your copy editor, you can think of me as your own personal story elf—here to help you make your story into the best version of itself that it can be, without forcing you into re-writes that don’t suit your taste.

The flat rate I charge will be calculated based on the word count of the content of your story—this does not include things like acknowledgments, headers, footers, titles, indexes, or glossaries (I don’t charge for these things as they are rarely in need of editing)—and the rate will not change if it takes 1, 2, 3, or a dozen different edits. If your story takes six rounds of edits, the price will remain the same as if you’d only needed one. My goal is to improve and tighten your story—not bleed your wallet dry.

Copyediting does NOT include technical edits such as grammar, punctuation, formatting, and spelling. I may point out glaring errors, but my major concern is the meat of your story.

Proofreading Rates & Information

I currently charge $0.005/word for my proofreading services. The process usually doesn’t take as long as the copy editing process, but it does require a keen eye for detail. Most proofreading sessions won’t take more than 1-2 passes, and the flat rate stays the same no matter how many passes it takes—you’ll only be charged for the initial pass. Assuming the average fiction novel contains approximately 250 words per page, this works out to about $1.25/page.

As a proofreader,  here are some things I will be looking for/adjusting in your writing:

  • Sentence Structure
  • Grammar
  • Narrative Voice
  • Tense & POV Consistency
  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Basic Formatting (I will not format your entire book for multiple file types for you, but I will keep an eye out for mistakes in spacing, indentations, and consistency of capitalizations)
  • And other technical nitpicks…

Though a proofreader’s job is more technical and less personal than that of a copy editor, I will be available to you via E-mail daily should you have questions or edits that need to be addressed. As a proofreader, it is my job to help polish your work to be as flawless as possible before publication, NOT to make aggressive suggestions or changes to the content of your story.

What If I Want Both?

I would be happy to be both copy editor and proofreader for your story, but the rates remain the same regardless as the two processes are done at separate times during the writing/publishing timeline, and both can be quite intense. It would do no good to proofread and copy edit a story at the same time—as changes would inevitably be made that would lead to more proofreading down the line.

So How Do We Get Started?

If you’d like to talk about a project, you can e-mail me at cary_morton@hotmail.com. I would love to hear about your project! I accept all genres and manner of things that need editorial services (not just fiction stories), though my skills are particularly strong in the genres of Romance, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Paranormal, and Young Adult fiction. I read an array of genres, and you’re welcome to send me a project for any genre of writing that you feel comfortable sending. In the past, I have worked with authors in Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal, and Non-Fiction Self-Help books. I do not shy away from Erotica or Suspense/Horror either, in case you were hesitant to ask.

If you are interested, please send me an e-mail containing a synopsis of your story, the genre, what type of editing you are looking for, and any information you feel I may need to know about the project. Please include an estimate of the word count (I will double check the word count once the project begins and throughout all the stages of editing regardless). I will always try to be prompt in my correspondence, and you should hear from me within 48 hours (unless a delay is noted at the top of this page).

Once I receive your query, I may have some questions for you to answer and may ask you for a sample of your story. Though I will remind you, please make sure your story is saved in a format readable by Microsoft Word—as I will be using this program to comment on/edit your writing.

For first time projects, I will offer to edit the first 5% of your story (up to 6,000 words) free of charge. This will allow me to get a good idea of your skill as a writer, and you will be able to see if my style of editing suits your needs. You are under no obligation to retain me as your copy editor/proofreader should you choose not to pursue the project at that point in time. I realize that my style of edits may not suit every author.

Time Frame & Payments

Though we’ll discuss this more after you’ve e-mailed me about your project, I’d like to take a moment to address time frames and payments. I require absolutely no payment, and you are under no obligation of payment until we’ve discussed your project and agreed to terms.  Most projects (unless otherwise discussed) will be completed in stages, and payment will be required after each stage (or after so many words have been edited) this is to ensure that you can pause or stop the project at any point in time should you change your mind about the project, and so that I can ensure that I’m paid for my work as it’s completed.

Currently, I require that payments be made through PAYPAL (my PayPal information will be provided once the project is discussed), as this is the easiest and most secure way for me to ensure payment are made while still allowing you the ability to withdraw a payment if I don’t hold up my end of our agreement. Invoices will be provided.

Time frames will vary from project to project depending on the author’s skill and the type of editing to be done. I will do my best to give you estimates for each stage of the project as we work together to ensure that we remain on the same page. In the past, even with extremely rough drafts that needed both copy editing as well as proofreading, most sections have had a turnaround time of 1-2 days at most, with subsequent edits taking an hour or less. I work quickly, and 2nd passes are rarely needed.

I hope you will give me a chance as your copy editor/proofreader, and I look forward to hearing from you!

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One thought on “Copy Editing & Proofreading Services

  1. Pingback: Weekend Wrap-Up #9 | Author Unpublished

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