WHAT IT IS. A substantive edit is a developmental edit of a manuscript that takes place on the pages of the actual manuscript. A mixture of comments and text additions and deletions are used to re-shape the manuscript and guide the reader through his or her revisions. Substantive edits are also commonly known as line edits. They usually occur when the manuscript is basically in its final structure. The substantive edit service also comes with a one to two page single-spaced editorial letter. Substantive edits will zero in on issues with continuity, prose style, transitions, and plot hiccups and holes.

MY PRACTICE. I edit forty double-spaced pages a day using Microsoft Word's Track Changes. Most of the substantive edit consists of comments in the comment bubbles, at a rate of 2-3 comments per page. I do some additions and deletions of the text as well. After I've gone through all the pages, I take a day to proof the edits. The next day, I work on the editorial letter that accompanies the substantive edit. Once the letter is done, I email the edited manuscript as a Word document and editorial letter as a pdf to my client. After the client has had the opportunity to go over the edits, he or she will contact me, and we'll arrange the follow-up phone call.


  • Your manuscript has gone through several rounds of revision already.
  • You have shopped your manuscript to agents who have told you they'll look at the manuscript with revisions.
  • You want very specific advice that will not only improve this manuscript but strengthen your writing for future projects.
  • You're confident that your manuscript does not need major structural changes.

OUR PRICES AND PAYMENT DETAILS. Our editorial letters cost .015 cents per word. Most cost between $750-$1200. We do payments half on agreement to work together and half on delivery of the letter. We prefer checks and also accept Paypal. All Paypal payments come with a 3% surcharge.

SPECIFICATIONS. We work with manuscripts that are in Microsoft Word (easy to convert to for most other formats) and are double-spaced, contain 1.5-inch margins, and are in 12-point font.

Fill out a form at the bottom of the home page, and we'll get back to you with a proposed price and timeframe within 24 hours. You can also submit the first ten pages for a free sample. Samples will be delivered within three business days.