Services: Substantive Editing

Substantive Editing

Rate begins at .025 per word

Need a more intensive line edit? My substantive editing service is popular with newer authors who require substantial guidance, revision, rewriting, and even some ghostwriting to get their manuscripts into shape. Substantive editing involves heavy line editing at the sentence and paragraph levels. It is also appropriate for authors who have had a developmental edit but are not prepared to make paragraph-level revisions themselves.

During this heavy-lifting edit, I’ll make substantial line-by-line changes in Microsoft Word’s Track Changes to improve the readability, flow, clarity, accuracy, and tone of your writing. My clear explanations will show you why certain changes are needed so that you know how to address these issues in the future. You’ll learn more about your writing craft from my edits and will gain insights to help you improve your writing.

In addition to the services provided with line editing, this heavier edit can include 1 to 3 hours (depending on rate) for us to work back and forth on major issues that may arise over the course of the edit. After you’ve incorporated all changes, a round of line editing, which includes copyediting, and proofreading can be added at a package rate.

Substantive editing focuses on the following:

  • Significant structural issues at the sentence, paragraph, and dialogue levels
  • Frequent lengthy, uninterrupted dialogue
  • Pervasive problems with flow and pacing
  • Substantial difficulties applying basic grammar rules to writing
  • Pronounced difficulties with showing vs. telling
  • Weak writing, including ineffective sentence and paragraph transitions and endings

The per-word rate listed is a starting rate. I will individualize your quote based on a manuscript assessment and brief sample edit, so I can determine how long it will take to complete your project. All editing quotes reflect my hourly rate of $50. There is a $75 minimum for all projects.

Please note: although no quality editor will guarantee completely error-free work, I’ll make every effort to return a manuscript that’s as clean as possible.

Thorough, Thoughtful Word-Prowith a
editing certificate

Line Editing

Addresses tone, flow, pacing, dialogue and narrative structure, repetition, and more at the sentence and paragraph levels. Click here for more details and rates.


Tackles story-level issues such as plot, conflict, characterization, worldbuilding, credibility, showing vs. telling, and point of view. Click here for more details and rates.


Designed for indie authors on a budget, this basic service focuses on mechanical errors in grammar, syntax, punctuation, consistency, spelling, and style. For indie fiction only. Click here for more details. Click here for more details and rates.


A final check for straggling errors, typos, missing words, and punctuation and spelling errors. Click here for more details and rates.

Other Services

Other available services include manuscript critiquing, help with your book blurb, book synopsis, query letter, or book proposal, and writer coaching. Click here for more details and rates.
My schedule fills quickly. Please book early.