Professional Services

Whether you’re writing a novel and want some initial feedback, or you’ve completed your book and need it fully edited, I can help bring your story one step closer to publication. Below is a list of professional services I provide along with pricing.

Alpha and Beta Reading

Cost: $50 for every 50K words

An alpha read can be done at any time. Whether your manuscript is a rough draft, or you only have a few chapters written, an alpha read is an initial critique of your work. A beta read, on the other hand, is typically done when your manuscript is finalized. I’ll let you know whether things like plot, characterization, description, setting, dialogue, or flow are lacking, and I’ll point out any problems readers may have in comprehending or believing your story.


Many people can find alpha and beta readers through writing groups or by using family and friends, and that’s absolutely fine to do. You don’t need to pay for these services. However, keep in mind that engaging volunteers versus using paid reviewers may mean they don’t meet your deadlines or provide you with underwhelming feedback. Paid alpha and beta readers are working for you and have the background and knowledge to deliver you back a quality product.


NOTE: Alpha and beta reads are NOT edits. While I will point out any overarching grammatical issues, those corrections will need to be made by you, or you can utilize my editing services.

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Proofreading

Cost: $0.01 per word
(e.g., $500 for 50,000 words)

Do you have a piece of work that needs a final set of eyes? A proofread checks for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and formatting issues and includes basic line and copy edits. I’ll make sure your quotes are in the right place, your tense is on point, and your chosen words make sense (and aren’t repeated too often!).

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Comprehensive Editing

Cost: $.014 per word
(e.g., $700 for a 50,000-word novel)

A comprehensive edit is a full review of your manuscript to pinpoint its shortcomings. It includes copy and line edits along with a set of developmental and educational notes. Lots of editors will make changes to books, but they won’t explain the reasons behind those changes. That’s not my philosophy. Editing should be both a collaborative and learning process so as you write more, you’re better at it! I’ll give you notes on everything from plot holes to word choice and deliver your manuscript back to you so it’s ready to self-publish or seek traditional publication.

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FAQs

1. What style guide do you use when editing?

I use the Chicago Manual of Style as my style guide, which is preferred by the fiction and nonfiction publishing industries.

2. What genres do you edit?

While I don’t limit the genres I work in, I do have a few favorites. I tend to gravitate toward romance, contemporary fiction, horror/thriller/crime, mystery, young adult, and fantasy.


3. Do you edit novels with profanity, sex, or other triggers?

Yes. I don’t have any restrictions on the types of projects I will accept.


4. What’s your background, and how do I know you’re qualified to edit my book?

I began my career in the nonprofit arena, raising funds for various causes for more than twenty years. In that capacity, I authored and edited numerous fundraising appeals, foundation proposals, articles, annual reports, donor spotlights, social media campaigns, and e-blasts. In 2021, I left that sector and began doing freelance writing and editing. I’ve done content and entertainment writing for several firms, and I’m a deputy editor for Write My Wrongs, LLC, where I edit books for authors hoping to self-publish. In addition to my professional career, I’m also finishing up my own contemporary fiction novel, so I know what it’s like to be a writer, handing off your baby to a stranger and not knowing what to expect. You can rest assured I’ll handle your manuscript much like I would my own—with love, care, and integrity.


5. Will you do a sample edit so I can decide if I want to hire you?

Yes. I will do a 1,000-word editing sample upon request. Typically, I prefer the very beginning of your novel, but any 1,000 words will do. Hopefully, I can earn your business. Please see my above pricing BEFORE sending me your sample so there are no surprises. I will only do sample edits for customers legitimately interested in engaging my services.


6. Do I have to sign a contract?

Yes. The contract protects both you and me. It will lay out due dates, payment terms, scope of work, cancellation policies, etc. I will not begin work until your contract is signed and deposit made.


7. What types of payment do you accept?

My preferred method of payment is Paypal. However, I will also accept payments via Venmo or check. If you pay by check, please allow processing time since I must ensure your check clears.


8. Do you only edit books, or do you do other types of jobs as well?

I’m a freelancer, so I’m definitely interested in other writing and editing jobs. Feel free to contact me to discuss your project and custom pricing.


9. I have some additional questions. How do I contact you?

Click on Contact at the top of the page or email me at elizabethmerckauthor@gmail.com.