Fiction Editing Services
After working in acquisitions for five years at the University of North Carolina Press, I founded Ruthless Editing in 2003 as a service to provide skilled professional editing to academic writers in the humanities and social sciences. In the past decade, I have helped more than a hundred authors develop their arguments, polish their prose, and apply grammar rules and Chicago
style to their work.
In 2010, I began writing romance under the pen name Ruthie Knox, and I also initiated a shift in my professional work from nonfiction to fiction editing. Late in 2011, I took a job as Senior Editor for Entangled Publishing’s new Indulgence imprint of category romance.
As an active romance writer and part of the online romance community, I enjoy working with other writers and applying the same skills I have long relied on in my editorial work to polish a different (more entertaining) sort of prose.
To authors of romance and erotica, I offer four types of editorial help
I will read and critique your completed manuscript or your first three chapters and report back to you on their strengths and weaknesses, with attention to plot, pacing, character development, readability, and prose style. If your manuscript has major problems, I’ll help you diagnose them. If your story needs a hundred minor tweaks, I’ll tell you what to tweak and where. I can’t guarantee publication to anyone, but I can read with an editor’s eye and let you know what I see -- and, more important, how to go about solving any issues I see in your writing.
I will edit your completed manuscript line by line, correcting errors of grammar, improving prose style, and pointing out any recurring weaknesses in your writing style. When I line edit, I also make comments at every point where the story is vague, confusing, or otherwise weak, and I offer suggestions for improvement. Line editing entails two to three stages of back-and-forth work with the author, in which the author reviews tracked changes and makes revisions as desired, and I correct and clean up the edited files.
Copyediting aims to make a manuscript clear, coherent, and consistent in preparation for publication. If you are self-publishing and require copyedited files, I can provide you with them. I’ll make sure your work is in conformity with the Chicago Manual of Style
; check timelines, spellings, and other matters of consistency; and ensure that the files are in excellent shape for formatting.
If you have edited, publication-ready files, I can proofread them for errors before they go live.
For all types of editorial work, I charge a flat rate of $50 per hour. I cap total charges for fiction projects on the basis of the type of work I’m doing.
Assessment fees are capped at $100 per 100 pages, so that an assessment of a 300-page manuscript (double-spaced, Times New Roman, standard 1” margins) will not cost in excess of $300. A post-assessment consultation is included in this fee; reading and assessing revisions will incur separate charges.
Line editing is capped at a per-word rate of two cents. A line edit of a 60,000-word manuscript will thus cost no more than $1,200.
Copyediting is capped at a per-word rate of one cent. A copyedit of a 60,000-word manuscript will thus cost no more than $600.
Proofreading of print-ready manuscript files (either galley proofs from a publisher or Kindle-formatted e-book files) is capped at half a cent per word, so that a full proofreading of a 60,000-word manuscript will cost no more than $300.