So, the big 'EDIT' word; the dread of most writers and authors. The large well established publishing houses do it all for you of course, but for the author looking to self publish or who has a 'deal' with a small local publishing house, then perhaps the edit process will be down to you! There are four recognized editing services available to the author with a finished manuscript. These are proofreading, copy editing, line editing, and developmental editing. It's difficult to edit your own work especially if you have a reasonable command of the English language and can produce a manuscript that is pretty well sorted in terms or grammar and spelling. So, were do we go from here?
If you have a good grasp of the technical side of writing and are un-phased by some serious computer work then there are programmes/apps available for a few dollars that will provide you with an extensive list of manuscript editing services such as ProWritingAid, Autocrit and Reedsy etc. You can expect such programmes to help with edit functions such as: Style and Grammar, Overused Words, Readability, Cliches, Sticky Sentences, Diction, Repeats, Echoes, Structure, Sentence Length, Dialogue, Pacing and much more. Confused already? Well, you have every right to be.
What you can do of course is look around for a professional editor, someone who will edit other writer's work for a living. This service will not be cheap and you may well be unable to create a good working relationship with the first one you try. However, if you do find one ... and you consider them to be good, then you may have discovered the elusive 'crock of gold' at the end of that 'oh so elusive' writers rainbow. So, what would you expect to pay for such a service. Well, everyone will have a slightly different idea about what level of editing expertise could be on offer for any particular fee, and the financial spread is therefore wide. Depending on the what is being provided, a freelance editor could charge around £7.00 or £8.00 per thousand words for a low end edit through to around £14.00 to £15.00 (or more) per thousand words for a particularly detailed and more bespoke service. Others will want to work and charge by the hour. This is becoming more common and can range from around £25.00 to as high as £60.00 per hour ... or more!
To help you in your search for an editor, someone with a track record and based in the north or north east, there are two names listed below with web addresses. At the time of writing, these individuals each offer a specific service and one you will need to study carefully. There is also a link to the Society of Editors and Proofreaders where you will find a directory of approved members in your area, so hopefully this will be a good start.
Karen Atkinson based in Keswick, Lake District. https://www.karenatkinsoneditorial.co.uk
Stephen Murray based in Durham, Co. Durham. https://northeastproofreading.co.uk
Society for Editors and Proofreaders. https://sfep.org.uk/directory
Mecurian Standard Manuscript Lengths
Standard average manuscript lengths for submission are as follows:
Flash Fiction - 2K words or less.
Short Story - 5K to 10K words.
Novella - 20K to 52K words.
Full length novel - 60K to 110K words.
Commercial fiction of any genre - 80K to 100K words.