Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Writer's ER Editing Service

In my last post I promised I'd return this week with news about a formatting and cover service and an expanded editing service. I'll get to the latter in a bit, but first let's talk about Donnie Light's 

Donnie specializes in eBook design, print layout, and cover design. I discovered Donnie through a friend who'd hired him to format multiple eBooks from her print series. Impressed with his work--and his reasonable rates--I hired Donnie to convert two of my backlist titles to print and eBook format. He was very easy to work with and accomplished the jobs in no time flat. My covers were designed by someone other than Donnie, but he inserted them in the appropriate CreateSpace cover templates for me, making sure the spines fit the number of pages and that there was enough bleed space around the cover edges. Again, I was very pleased with Donnie's work.

If you're looking for someone to format your print and/or eBook quickly and at a reasonable rate, you can't go wrong with Donnie Light. You can find his website at or contact him at

And now, let's talk about editing. As I wrote back in January, I once worked as an editor for a small press publishing company. That experience opened the door for me to free-lance editing jobs contracted by both new and previously published authors, as well as by post-graduate students who recognized the value of well edited research papers. I discovered I loved editing almost as much as I loved writing. Helping to pull other people's writing into shipshape condition was satisfying work that energized my own creativity.

Time, though, was a problem for me. I had my own writing to do, plus I was still working part-time as a nurse. I could only take a limited number of editing jobs if I was to have any time left for my family and outside activities.

Then in late January, a Doogie Howser look-alike doc with a high-grade Napoleon complex and a distinct dislike for female nurses entered my life. Suddenly, my work hours were cut drastically, as was my paycheck. I found myself at loose ends, unable to write due to an overload of anger aimed at you-know-who (although I did plot a great short story where a baby-faced MD winds up dead at the hands of a nurse activist!). 

What helped me get through it all was a January editing job I did for a fellow mystery writer. As I worked on her story, it occurred to me that I now had enough free time to expand my editing business.  

And so, without further ado, I'd like to present the following information for writers seeking help in polishing their manuscripts.

The Writer's ER Editing Service

A former small press editor now working freelance with private clients, Mary V. Welk has helped authors of all ages and levels of skill improve their manuscripts through careful attention to detail. As a published author of four novels, two novellas, and numerous short stories and magazine articles, Mary has experienced the editing process firsthand and can relate to writers who require help but do not want to lose their unique voice and writing style in the process.

Mary offers the following services:

Proofreading:  This service is designed for authors whose manuscripts have gone through the revision stage, are ready for publication, and only require a final reading to check for grammar, punctuation, and spelling errors; misused words; typos; and indentation issues.

The current rate for this service is U.S.$1.00/page using the industry standard of 250 words/page.

Copy/line and developmental editing:  This service includes everything mentioned under "Proofreading", plus an in-depth evaluation of plot organization; character development; descriptive narrative; pacing; internal and external conflict; dialogue, point of view; overused and weak words; show vs. tell; descriptive inconsistencies; active vs. passive verbs; use of backstory; and clarity and believability of the storyline. All comments and suggestions for change or improvement will be sent to the author in the form of chapter-by-chapter critique notes.

The current rate for this service is U.S.$2.00/page using the industry standard of 250 words/page. This rate covers the initial edits, plus edits of two revisions at no additional cost; i.e., you get three edits for the price of one.

To estimate your cost for either service, divide the total number of words in your manuscript by 250, then multiply by the rate listed for the service. Payment is expected upon completion of the project.

Please submit your manuscript electronically as an attached Word document in the standard double spaced format using 12-point Time New Roman or Courier as your font.

For questions, or to submit a manuscript, please contact Mary at 

Feel free to share both the formatting and editing information presented above with your friends and fellow writers. 

Next time at Cicero's Children: book reviews and a medical question.