Contact me:
Content edit of adult fiction (not chick-lit, romance or hard-core crime). Price per hour (approx. 30 pages).

Content edit of children's fiction inc. YA. Price per hour (approx. 30 pages) or a whole picture book.


I am a professional and experienced editor offering structural / developmental / content editing & mentoring to authors. I work for a number of professional agencies (see below) but can also be hired independently via this site.
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  You've written a book! (No, really, that's a huge achievement in itself! Well done!)
  But is it good enough? Is it ready to be published or submitted?
  What is working well in the story and what isn't? 
  What can you do to make it better?
  ... you can get an editor!

  Do I really need an editor?

  Have you written a book that you wish other people to read and enjoy? If the answer is YES then, without a shadow of a doubt, you need an editor. 

  Every professional author in the world has an editor. Why? Because writing is such a personal labour of love that the writer is ALWAYS too close to their own work to see it from the perspective of a reader, and the reader is who you are trying to please. Friends are useful for support but when it comes to industry-level constructive criticism you need someone with knowledge and experience; you need an editor. 

  You do not want to put your time, money, effort, and love into a book only to be embarrassed by comments like: it was just too slow in places, the main character was really flat, the plot was full of holes, there were loads of typos...  

  All of which can be spotted and fixed beforehand.

  If you are still wondering whether you need an editor then I can recommend this article by Jane Friendman.

  What is editing?

 There are three different layers of editing for fiction.

  1. Structural Editing - aka Developmental, Content

  This is the first type of edit that a fiction book receives and it looks at the BIG PICTURE: the plot, the character development, the pace, the tone, the structure, target audience suitability, etc. In other words, the STORY.

  A structural editor works WITH an author, highlighting content they think needs attention and guiding the author in developing how they might make the book better. Structural editors do not change anything in the book. They act as a mentor to the author. Not only will a structural editor help make your current book better, they will help you become a better writer for future books.

  Here is a good article you may wish to read.

  2. Line Edit -  sometimes referred to as a copy-edit*

  Next comes the line edit. This assumes that the BIG PICTURE is all sorted and now we're looking at the individual sentences - the actual WRITING (the 'copy'). 

  In relation to fiction this can mean: Does it flow? Is it clear? Is it overwritten? Underwritten? Is the tense correct? The narration consistent? The characters credible? Could the action scenes be more coherent? Could the descriptions be more concise? Are thoughts complete? Does the voice always match who is talking? etc.

  Here the editor will make comments and changes on the actual manuscript (normally using basic software you already have, referred to as 'track changes') but these will always be optional. You, the author, decides whether the changes are to be accepted or rejected. It is your book after all, and you will always have the final say.

  Again this type of edit is there to help develop the current book AND the author.

  * Use of the word 'copy-edit' in fiction editing, I feel, can be confusing because people use it differently. In non-fiction copy-editing is clearly used to check facts, formatting, clarity, etc. I would argue that in fiction, where the prose is so free and lyrical, use of the word 'copy-editor' often gets confused with 'proofreader' and as such I personally prefer to use 'line edit' and 'proofreader' separately, with no 'copy-edit'. This is a personal preference.

  3. Proofreading

  This is the very last type of edit that a book receives - but it is often thought of as the only one by people new to publishing. Proofreading assumes the BIG PICTURE and the individual sentences are all sorted, the book is ready to go to print. It is completely and utterly finished

  Technically a proofreader checks THE ACTUAL PAGES of a proposed book just before they are sent off to the printers. They make sure there are no errors in the text, such as typos, grammatical issues, formatting errors, and other mistakes. 

  They will make actual changes to your text.

  The difference is a bit like getting ready for a party!

  * First you plan your whole outfit in advance (structural edit). 

  * Next you check everything is clean and ironed, shoes are shined, and that you have all the necessary accessories (line edit). 

  * And then finally, just when you're about to enter the party, you do the final brush down / hair check / jacket straightening before walking into the room and revealing yourself (proofread).

  A proofreader is not a fiction editor and vice versa. I am not a qualified proofreader. They have a level of pernickety precision word-magic that I could never achieve. If you are in need of someone like this I can heartily recommend Johanna Robinson at Ascribe Editing.

What editorial services do I offer?

  What I do is manuscript critique. This involves a mix of structural editing (looking at the STORY) and line editing (looking at your actual WRITING). 

  I can help you become a better writer by looking at your manuscript and: 

  * Pointing out corrections where I see obvious errors so that you learn to spot them too.

  * Making specific comments to query the way you have written your prose so that you can critically consider your own writing and take it to a higher level.

  * Discuss more general thoughts on how the story works overall to help you develop your story-telling skills. 

  This will not only develop your current book but also improve your ability to write fiction in general. I won't pander to a delicate ego or your desires to be 'the next big thing'; what I will do is give you honest, practical and useful advice on how to make your book and your writing as professional as possible.

  What genres I edit:

     * Picture books

     * Children's 

     * YA books

     * Adult mass market: sci-fi / fantasy / historical / paranormal. 

       (so, no romance, chick-lit, or hard-core crime...)

  Can you trust me?

  There are many people out there who claim to be able to help you with your book but sadly they are not all genuine. It can be hard to entrust your work to a random stranger on the internet but I hope you will be reassured by my credentials as well as by my 100% positive feedback - you can see independent reviews beyond my control on the PeoplePerHour website or I have my own Testimonials page which contains genuine feedback from writers I have edited.

  I can't supply actual samples of my work because I work confidentially with my authors but you can see below a few of the books I have worked on:

  Young Adult Sci-fi

And how much will this cost exactly?

  It's true, I don't work for free. A professionally qualified editor will come at a price - because they are worth it. We read your work two or three times, carefully consider what we need to convey based on our experience and training, and then craft our comments to you in such a way that you can benefit from our advice rather than just telling you how and what to change. We work with you, not for you. And all this takes a lot of time!

  You can check industry standard rates on the Society of Authors website.

  Fee structure

  A full manuscript critique consists of a detailed report and specific comments on the manuscript:

  Picture Books: Up to 1k words: £60

  Children's Books: Up to 10k: £100

  Children's Books: Up to 20k: £150

  Children's Books: Up to 50k: £300 - then £6 per additional 1k

  YA / Adult Novels: Up to 70k: £420 - then £6 per additional 1k

 However I would always recommend starting with my Reader's Report so that you can see for yourself if you are happy with the process and me as your editor before committing to anything more.

 A Reader's Report for the first 30 pages (7k words) of your book costs £50, or for a complete picture book (upto 1k) it is £60.

Professional Reader's Report on your first 30 pages (7k words).


Professional Reader's Report on your picture book (upto 1k)



  I accept PayPal and bank transfers, or if you'd rather use escrow (where the money is held by a third party) you can use PPH but there is a 25% surcharge on that sadly.

  Or if you're unsure what you need then please feel free to
 Contact me.

  I am also nice and friendly to deal with :-)

Click here to buy a professional Reader's Report on your first 30 pages (7k words).
© Kelley Townley. Awesome profile pic by the Australian artist Chris Booth and used with permission.