Frequently Asked Questions

How do you decide what final price I will be charged?

You will never be charged more than the maximum amount determined by the $/word rate for a given service. This allows you to enter into an editing arrangement with us without worrying about a surprise bill in the end.

However, we keep track of the total hours required for a given project so that we can discount you in the event the work required is less than the maximum.

For example, if you hired us for a developmental edit on your 80,000 word manuscript, the maximum amount you’d pay would be $0.020/word x 80,000 = $1,600. If it takes 29 hours to edit your book, then you will be charged $40 x 29 = $1,160, since this amount is less than the maximum amount of $1,600. If it takes 47 hours, then you will be charged $1,600, since $40 x 57 = $1,880, which is greater than $1,600.

Realistically, it’s extremely rare for the hours on an editing job to exceed the maximum amount. To avoid this, our senior editor, John Robin, assesses manuscript before work begins to ensure the editing needs for your book will match the service.

How do I know which service is best for me?

While our services cover most the types of editing common to final-stage editing for Indie / self-publishing authors, we do our best to meet the needs of any author or writer who wants to benefit from editing to improve their work.

When you contact us, our senior editor John Robin will determine the best plan of action to help you put out an awesome book. Please be sure to state:

  • how much editing has been done
  • how much editing you plan to have done afterward
  • your goal for your manuscript (i.e. self-publish, submit to agent, generally improve as a writer)
  • your strengths and weaknesses, or any other issues you’re aware of in your writing
  • budget considerations
  • time considerations, such as deadlines

What is the difference I can expect from my version to the edited version?

Editing can change a manuscript quite substantially. That said, the changes to your manuscript will be a reflection of the rewrites you employ. Our process is collaborative, meaning that, while the editor(s) working on your manuscript bring(s) experience and editorial skills to help point out issues you need to address, you have final say on how you change your manuscript.

For more information on this process, consult our samples page.

When can I expect my edits to be complete?

Turnaround times vary based on the type of service and availability of the editor(s) you will be working with. We do our best to get you connected to an editor within 1-2 weeks of manuscript submission.

Here are some general examples, using an 80,000 word novel:

  • Proofread — 2-4 days
  • Copyedit — 1-2 weeks
  • Express edit 2-3 weeks
  • Heavy express edit 3-4 weeks
  • Developmental edit 3-4 weeks
  • Editorial assessment 2-3 weeks
  • First edit (budget editing, combined editorial / developmental) 3-5 weeks
  • Second edit (budget edit, combined copyedit / proofread) 2-3 weeks

If you are using the budget editing package or the professional editing package, add the time you feel you’d need for revision between edits (typically longer times for revisions after editorial assessment / developmental edits). For services involving more than one revision, our senior editor will build a custom timeline and set deadlines for you and the editors involved.

If you are under a deadline when submitting, please be sure to mention this so we can factor that in.

Do you accept works regardless of marketability considerations?

Yes. Our role is not to judge a work based on a bias toward whether there is currently an audience for it, but rather to help every self-publishing author put out a novel that will be well-executed for its audience. Traditional publishers tend to acquire only fiction for which there is a large enough market for acquisition to make sense, and editing or suggested revisions are aimed at conversion that will make a novel land better with a specific audience. Many Indie authors who self-publish prefer instead to make their novel the best it can possibly be for their audience, however niche it is, rather than tailoring it to fit a market, and our goal is to help with that. While we do help you with marketing considerations, particularly defining your audience and anticipating your ideal audience reaction to your story, we strongly feel that you should put out a novel you are proud of for its own sake, not one you altered simply because you were persuaded to chase a given market.

I don’t have a big editing budget, can you just give it a partial edit to improve it instead of addressing everything?

We offer partial editing (see draft coaching / batch editing on the developmental editing page), mostly to help authors improve the opening chapters. The opening chapters of your book, like the cover, title, and back-of-book summary (also called jacket summary), are your point of sale. While full editing is crucial to ensuring your reader is satisfied (as this will reflect in reviews and recommendations), engaging opening chapters are important in their own right to get your reader invested in your story to begin with as you can have an excellent book but readers will never know that if they don’t make it past the opening chapters.

The best balance for authors on a budget who aren’t sure where their story needs further work is to pay for an editorial assessment where we can determine the parts of your book that need the most work. Then we will combine batch editing methods to those weakest spots, as well as the opening chapters if you wish.

Do I have to credit your team / company when I publish my book?

There is no obligation, but many authors wish to add an acknowledgements page where they credit their designers, editors, and other team members who helped produce their book because it shows their readers the steps they took to ensure the book has a professional edge.

When crediting us, you can credit Story Perfect Editing Services, along with the team members who you worked with. If you used our other services, such as copywriting, platform diagnostics, or formatting for publication, you can credit the individual team members you worked with and state their role. If you used our cover art division, Dreamscape Cover Designs, you would credit it separately. Vendors such as allow you to credit cover designer and editor, in which case you’d be able only to enter the company names.