Substantive Edit or Final Proofread?

Something in between? Bit of each? Not Sure?

Carolyn is indispensible to my writing! ~ Amy Vansant

Carolyn is indispensable to my writing! ~ Amy Vansant

Contact Carolyn for advice, a free sample and a quote for your writing project.

Carolyn cut her editing teeth in England in a time before computers. Back then editors, copy editors and proofreaders all used different coloured pens; there were squiggles in margins, and mistakes in galleys were costly to change.

She edited for academic, fiction and non-fiction publishers and accidentally fell in to specialising in proofreading accountancy exams.

Since the advent of brilliant things like Word’s Track Changes and independent publishing it’s all become quicker, cheaper and easier…and everyone calls themselves an editor. But then, everyone needs an editor too, and Carolyn’s advice is to shop around a bit. It’s not unlike looking for a therapist: you have to feel heard, safe and a tiny bit challenged, if your voice is going to be polished to perfection while remaining your voice.

Carolyn has developed services for authors and academics on both sides of the Atlantic, will work in British, Canadian or US English and to your preferred style guide if you have one. She will even use the Oxford comma if you insist.

In short, she makes my stories better. ~ Pete Barber

In short, she makes my stories better. ~ Pete Barber

Services offered:

~ full content edit
~ line-by-line copy edit
~ final proofread
~ formatting for print, mobi and epub files.

Instead of placing a price on each service, Carolyn charges an hourly rate of $28 and will tell you in advance how many hours your project will take.

Now that most books aren’t crawling through a hierarchy of editing staff, all with different remits (and a different coloured pen) every piece of work requires a slightly different level of input. Carolyn will work on a short free sample for you, let you know how much work your text requires and how long it will take. Here are a few ball park guides:

I found a gem of an editor when I discovered Carolyn Steele. ~ Jackie Weger

I found a gem of an editor when I discovered Carolyn Steele. ~ Jackie Weger

~ An hour of light copy editing:

approximates to 3000 words. A book extending to 75000 words would cost $700

~ Formatting:

this can take 2-5 hours depending on the quality of your Word file: $50 – $150

~ A full-service content edit:

This can require an hour for each 1000 words, depending on the issues.

If a manuscript needs a lot of work, Carolyn will try to save you money by suggesting ‘things to fix’ before she takes on the project. These might be author tics such as passive voice, head hopping or over/underused dialogue tags. This not only keeps your costs down, it can help your eye for next time.


My finished product was significantly better for having worked with Carolyn. ~ Nick Tory

Carolyn will always ask you for a sample to edit free of charge. Your first chapter, or 3000-5000 words, whichever you think best represents your voice.

She will use ‘track changes’ for basic errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation and margin comments to ask questions about issues of style, flow and comprehension.

She will return the sample to you with a firm quotation based on the level of input your writing requires. At that point you are completely free to love her and give her your money or move on to someone you feel more comfortable with.

You keep all notes with her compliments and everybody stays friends.

Read full testimonials…