Editing Philosophy

 

I am an author and accomplished professional editor, ghostwriter, and web-designer with numerous books of literary fiction, genre fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, and non-fiction to my name.

 

What I Edit – Types of Editing & Rates – Hire Me

 

As a poet, mentor, professor, editor, and publisher, I possess an unusual editorial skill-set that I love putting to work for established authors; new voices; first-time novelists; professionals writing copy, articles, and grants; journalists; students from high school to the MFA/PhD; businesspeople building websites and applying for loans; and degreed writers struggling to find a publisher for their thesis.

“Andrew edited a comedic novel for me, which was tricky. I needed an editor that could make my manuscript more accessible - it is a satire of the game industry, which I work in, and wanted to feel authentic - but not take off the sharp insider edges that make it brutally funny at times. Andrew thread the needle perfectly. He brought clarity where it was needed, brevity where it was lacking, and gave me notes that punched up scenes that were anemic. All with alacrity.”

Mark Long, New York Times bestselling author and producer at HBO

To learn a little bit more about how I work, my personality traits, and my skill sets, please check out my Berke Pre-Employment Assessment here, my teacher ratings here, and my CV here.

“It has been a pleasure working with Andrew for our scientific editing. So far we’ve worked together on two scientific papers that have both been published in peer review journals. Andrew provided helpful feedback where our communication of our scientific concepts lacked clarity (particularly a problem with one of the papers!) and caught a lot of typos that would have annoyed our reviewers. Will definitely keep working with Andrew in the future. .”

 

Dr. Lauren Emberson, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Princeton University

After working with fellow authors, other editors, and students and clients of various levels for over fifteen years, I understand that the best editors preserve and enhance (rather than “correct” or radically alter) the voice, style, and essential nature of an author’s work while helping the client create the best product possible. Your text is your text, not mine.

That said, if you are seeking an editor who will take more control, I can certainly do that as well. Check out the various types of edits I can perform below. If you think I might be the guy for you, just send me an email or give me a call, and we can go from there.

“Andrew is a true professional and a breeze to work with. He has an expert editorial eye, meets deadlines, communicates clearly with authors, editors, and publishers, and is as practically minded as he is creative. He tookApocalypse Now: Poems and Prose from the End of Days from drawing board to eBook/paperback and helped elevate my publishing company to the next level. Our latest project, The Floodgate Poetry Series: Three Chapbooks by Three Poets in a Single Volume, promises to further elevate Upper Rubber Boot Books. Whether you are writing your first novel or prepping a manuscript for publication, I highly recommend him.”

 

Joanne Merriam, Upper Rubber Boot Books

“Andrew’s skills as writer, editor and mentor are extraordinary! He always has terrific insights that he shares with an easy sense of humor that makes him a joy to work with.”

 

Dennis Dunbar, Dennis Dunbar & Assoc.

What I Edit – Types of Editing & Rates – Hire Me
 

What I Edit

 

I edit just about any sort of writing: novels, MFA/PhD theses; short stories/collections, websites, creative-nonfiction/non-fiction, poetry, children’s books, eBooks, cover letters, journals and periodicals, resumes, scholarly articles, college admissions essays… You name it, and I’ve probably edited it. I also compose and edit grants, proposals, and web-copy, can assist and manage the design and production of books, eBooks, websites, podcasts, and periodicals, and am available for one-on-one writing coach

What I Edit – Types of Editing & Rates – Hire Me
 

Types of Editing & Rates

 

Each project and client is unique, so the rates and definitions below are flexible. I will gladly review a brief sample of the project at hand and discuss options with you. I can also provide editing samples and client references.

Writing Mentor ($100/hr)

A Writing Mentor develops a relationship with you, your style and voice, and the text you are working on. I particularly enjoy being a mentor because I get to teach you how to more powerfully express yourself one-on-one. I find great joy in watching a writer and their writing improve over time and across numerous different projects.

"Working with Andrew’s commentary and line edits has been one of the most enjoyable experiences of my writing life. From precise editing for passive voice and syntax to more global commentary on character development, world building, and rhetoric, I have learned more from Andrew’s feedback than from any other piece of writing, creative or academic, I have undertaken. Like a professor in a classroom: Andrew has inspired me to revise work he has edited and to compose new work, even as he remains objective and direct in his criticism. I highly recommend him!"

Donald L. Bubenzer, Ph.D., PCC-S, Emeritus Professor Kent State University

Andrew combines an insider knowledge of presses, publishers, and agents with a keen eye for structure and style. His edits transformed my poetry manuscript from a bloated, indulgent group of poems into a tight, streamlined manuscript ready for presses and publishers. In line editing, he offers suggestions on diction and style that will make your sentences and lines their best while advancing the overall ambition of your work. By bringing knowledge in multiple genres, he can expand the possibilities of your work while helping you find your true direction.

 

Kevin McKelvey, Author & Professor

Manuscript Evaluation (2 cents per word)

 

I truly enjoy reviewing books and other types of writing projects, especially when I have the opportunity to take part in a text’s development.

In a manuscript evaluation, I will carefully read your text with your target audience in mind and will make small editorial suggestions regarding the structure/style of the text, punctuation, grammar, and flow along the way. In a page or two of commentary, I will let you know what you are doing well and what you are not doing so well and will supply you with a number of solutions to the issues I detect in your text.

I will also suggest how you might go about releasing your text into the world, be it via traditional publishing, self-publishing, a website, social media, and more.

 

The fee for a Manuscript Evaluation includes up to 1 hour of post-editing consultation via phone, videoconference, or email.

“Andrew was the editor for my first novel, Facticity Blues, and let me say that his technical expertise and general insights were critical when it came to actually getting the book published. Not only would I strongly recommend Andrew to anyone who is looking for an excellent editor, but I hope to work with him again on my next novel.”

Jake Camp, Author of Facticity Blues

“I began working with Andrew in September 2013 on my book, Discovering Ritual Meditation: Transcendental Healing and Self- Realization, when I needed to replace my existing editor. Andrew is client-focused, service-drive, and affordable. He always met our deadlines and brought a level of energy to my first book that was a great boost to my confidence as a burgeoning writer. I found Andrew to be very quick, responsive and incisive in his editorial approach and very enjoyable and surprisingly easy to work with, even when his commentary meant I had a lot of rewriting to do! I greatly enjoy Andrew’s entrepreneurial approach as well as his teaching skills; no doubt, his editorial advice took my book to the next level. I have already asked Andrew if he would work with me in the near future. Whatever happens do not skimp on the editorial process. Work with Andrew and you won´t be disappointed!”

Carlton Brown, Author of Discovering Ritual Meditation: Transcendental Healing and Self- Realization

 
 

Developmental Editing and Coordination ($150/hr)

If you have an idea for a book or project that’s begging to be written, but you don’t how to start (or you have a great start but don’t know where to go next), this is the type of edit for you.

From memoirs to short stories to marketing materials for your company website to that sci-fi epic you’ve been dying to put to paper, Developmental Editing incorporates the supervision and coordination of your project from concept to product with the incorporation and coordination of editors, designers, marketers, consultants, reviewers, and other writers who might be working on the project.

 

Substantive Editing (5 cents per word)

Substantive editors work with you once you have a full text (see above if you haven’t yet completed your book/project). As your Substantive Editor, I consider a text’s concept, intended use, content, organization, design, and style. The purpose is to make the document as powerful and as useful to its readers as possible, not just to make it “correct” and consistent.

Regardless of your project, your writing should engage your target audience’s imagination while powerfully communicating your story, argument, or message.

 

I achieve this by first evaluating the text then editing the text with a combination of a light copyedit and higher-order structural edits and commentary that address specific issues in your text, be it plot/character development in a memoir or novel; the logic and coherence of a grant proposal or research paper; the order of poems in a collection; the design and navigability of a website; and more.

 

These edits include (but are not limited to)

  • Reordering and/or rewriting of sentences, paragraphs, and sections of text;

  • Ensuring that the writing style, pacing, and voice match with the text’s target audience;

  • Suggesting revisions and making edits to the overall structure and flow of the text.

 

These edits, as always, are up to the author. At the end of the day, you’re the writer, and I am the editor. You can reject any changes I have suggested for your text and can of course consult with me when you have questions or concerns regarding any of my edits or commentary.

The fee for a Substantive Edit includes up to 2 hours of post-editing consultation.

Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum represents all a writer could hope for in an editor. He combines a discerning eye with a genuine desire to help you find your voice as a writer. Andrew skillfully sized up the essence of my manuscript, removing any excess that could obscure why the narrative needed to be told in the way it needed to be told.

 

Andrew’s been a delight to work with in large part because his observations and suggestions were well thought out. He did a wonderful job of explaining the prospective reader’s point of view, something all writers run the risk of losing sight of in their zeal to tell the story.

 

Andrew’s ability to substantiate his edits with solid criteria never interfered with his open-mindedness. When I came to him with legitimate reasons for keeping the status quo in a passage, Andrew was more than willing to hear me out and support me when my argument had merit. It’s truly been a blessing to collaborate with someone who loves the written word as much as writers do.

 

Julio Varela, Author & Professor

Line/Stylistic editing (7.5 cents per word)

This might be one of my favorite types of editing. Line/Stylistic Editing includes all of the components of a heavy copyedit (see below) but goes further by delving into your text, line by line, often rewriting entire sentences and paragraphs.

I particularly enjoy this sort of editing because I get to apply my experience and expertise while finding creative as well as logical ways to maintain and enhance the author’s unique voice and style. Voice and style, after all, are what makes William Faulkner William Faulkner. Where would we be if his editors had forced him to write according to their personal preferences?

The same goes for you.

As your Line/Stylistic Editor, I will help you polish and perfect your unique style and voice without bending your text to my personal tastes or altering your story or argument. I will work with you to speak most powerfully to your target audience with edits to the text’s flow, syntax, and sound, which often includes the rewriting of entire sentences, paragraphs, and sections of text, but always works to maintain your style and voice.

As in all cases, you can reject any edit I make or can revise my edits to your liking. Remember: YOU are the writer, not me.

The fee for a Line/Stylistic Edit includes up to 2 hours of post-editing consultation.

Working with Andrew has propelled my writing to whole new levels of competence and productivity. Not only did he apply smart and timely editing to my first project, but he agreed to be my writing coach as I developed a short story into a novella. That process helped me understand the depths of Andrew’s expertise and his commitment to my success.

 

Each time I sent Andrew a draft, I knew he’d return it quickly with essential questions and edits, acknowledgments of my growth, and clear indications about how to proceed. When I procrastinated, he would send funny reminders to keep me writing. When I shifted gears and wanted advice for my applications to MFA creative writing programs, Andrew was incredibly helpful! He gave me practical assistance and encouragement as I developed my essays and chose my writing excerpts. He met my deadlines and even wrote a wonderful letter of recommendation which I’m sure contributed to my acceptance in multiple programs!

 

Every step of the way, with poetry, short stories, applications, random writer questions, and now, as I undertake the writing of my first novel, Andrew provides expert advice and skills to serve my writing needs. He does it all with professional knowledge,  constructive sincerity, and a love of words that is the foundation for writers and the writing life. I’m grateful that Andrew is a part of my writing journey. I’m sure you’ll discover that too, when you hire him for your next project!

 

Doren Damico

Author & Education Specialist

Copyediting

Copyediting is concerned with grammar, spelling, punctuation, and other mechanics of language and style and the internal consistency of facts and presentation. Copyediting is performed before a text is typeset for publication and before proofreading, the final step in the editing process.

If you think you have a “more-or-less” finished text that needs a keen set of eyes to check for mechanical and consistency issues, this is the edit for you.

 

There are several different levels to consider.

Light Copyediting (2.5 cents per word)

  • Correcting faulty spelling, grammar, and punctuation.

  • Correcting incorrect usage (such as can for may).

  • Checking specific cross-references (for example, “As Table 14-6 shows…”).

  • Ensuring consistency in spelling, hyphenation, numerals, fonts, and capitalization.

  • Checking for proper sequencing (such as alphabetical order) in lists and other displayed material.

  • Recording the first references to figures, tables, and other display elements.

 

A light copyedit does not involve interventions such as smoothing transitions or changing heads or text to ensure parallel structure. The editor checks content only to detect spots where copy is missing.

 

Medium Copyediting (3.25 cents per word)

  • Performing all tasks for light copyediting.

  • Changing text and headings to achieve parallel structure.

  • Flagging inappropriate figures of speech.

  • Ensuring that key terms are handled consistently and that vocabulary lists and the index contain all the terms that meet criteria specified by the publisher.

  • Ensuring that previews, summaries, and end-of-chapter questions reflect content.

  • Tracking the continuity of plot, setting, and character traits, and querying the discrepancies.

  • Enforcing consistent style and tone.

  • Changing passive voice to active voice, if requested.

  • Flagging ambiguous or incorrect statements.

  • Type marking the manuscript.

 

Heavy Copyediting (4 cents per word)

  • Performing all tasks for medium copyediting.

  • Improving the pacing and flow of the text.

  • Eliminating wordiness, triteness, and inappropriate jargon.

  • Smoothing transitions and moving sentences and paragraphs to improve readability.

  • Assigning new levels to headings to achieve logical structure.

  • Suggesting—and sometimes implementing—additions and deletions, noting them at the sentence and paragraph level.

“When I hired Andrew McFadyen-Ketchum to copyedit my novel, it was a wise decision. Not only was he meticulous about grammar, punctuation and the mechanics of writing, but his comments displayed an insight and appreciation of the characters and my vision of the story. When I rewrote, I took all his suggestions into account.”

Chelo Diaz-Ludden, Author

Proofreading (2 cents per word)

 

Proofreading is the final stage in the editorial process. Proofreaders usually see a project after the writing and design is complete and any photos or other visual elements have been added and only edits for typos and basic grammatical errors, including:

  • Correcting errors of grammar and style (e.g., verb tense, units such as ml, use of numerals and words such as “5” or “five”)

  • Correcting errors of capitalization, punctuation (e.g., the use of commas, semicolons, colons, periods, dashes, apostrophes)

  • Correcting errors of spelling and word usage (e.g., to/too, affect/effect)

  • Checking design elements such as heading and typeface styles, page numbers, and the like.
     

If your text is 100% finished and ready for publication, this is the edit for you. Even if you’ve read your text a hundred times, you must hire a proofreader before you send your work into the world. Trust me, you will regret it if you don’t, and it’s the least expensive of all my editing options.

“Andrew’s passion for poetry, his enthusiasm, his incredible work ethic, his keen reading ability, his knowledge of both our poetic ancestry and contemporary poetry, and his ability to utilize technology is incredible. He reads his peers’ and colleagues’ poetry and prose with such an unusual ability to pin point exactly what their work is trying to do and isn't yet doing. He edited my third book, HUNGER, vastly improving it. When it was accepted for publication, he built my website. I could not have asked for a more attentive editor, consultant, and friend."

Judy Jordan, Author & Professor

What I Edit – Types of Editing & Rates – Hire Me
 

How To Hire Me

If you think I might be the editor for you, please contact me here. To learn a little bit more about how I work, my personality traits, and my skill sets, please check out my Berke Pre-Employment Assessment here, my teacher ratings here, and my CV here.

 
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