Editorial Services and Rates

I offer respectful and thorough review for poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, and I’m happy to respond to smaller projects like a chapter, a group of poems, or a query letter. I find the cross-pollination from working in multiple genres strengthens and clarifies my approach to each.

I work with professionals as well as new writers. Frequently my work is prepping postgrad MFA projects for agent submissions in fiction and non-fiction, and for national contests in poetry.  Authors with whom I’ve collaborated, both poets and prose writers, have sold manuscripts and won prizes. (No promises, though. It’s an increasingly hard world.) Longer journalistic pieces have been subsequently published in the Los Angeles Times and Boston Globe.

I charge $85 per hour.  I try to work out the best service for the least cost, and I’m open to considering a finance plan if those costs feel out of reach. Newly, in order to enable subsequent drafts, I will be discounting my rate for followups to full edits.

The following discussion will give a general idea of how many hours your project might require, though you can always engage me for a handful of poems or a chapter—to try on the shoes before the whole trip. Or you might schedule a phone consultation about your work. I’d welcome that.

An average length work of prose, say 80,000 words with few twists and turns, minimally takes 10 to 12 hours just to read, and another several hours to formulate a detailed summary letter which would include comments on narrative architecture or plot, character, setting, point of view,  pacing, and a project’s strengths and problems. More and more, I’m including a blow-by-blow synopsis, constructed as I read, an important tool in grasping the big picture. So, say 20 hours at least for a shorter book, uncomplicated, and clean writing,  The more questions and snags, the slower the process. A closer reading of the same text, including margin comments and line editing as well as a detailed summary letter, could require 25 to 60+ hours. A densely worded literary novel will take more time; a young adult novel less–the range is broad. What best suits the circumstances will be discussed in the initial query.

A typical length poetry manuscript, 48-64 pages of average accessibility, might need 10 to 12 hours to review closely. My response would be likely to include comments on word choice, line order, line breaks, the balance of transparency and mystery, syntactical and grammatical choices, order of information, poem titles and how they impact the poem. Again, the time will depend on the amount of commentary elicited.

I can help, whether you’re struggling with narrative arc or looking to notch up the sophistication of your poetry. Send me an email about yourself and your work.  Include a writing sample of any length.   dmgordon@comcast.net

2 thoughts on “Editorial Services and Rates

  1. Diana is the editor I wish I had found years ago. I had a publisher return my book to me after almost buying it, saying that it needed developmental editing but they didn’t wish to pay for it. Diana was able to come up from underneath my writing, rather than bear down on top, to uncover the proper architecture of my story. I’m more confident than ever that once I can complete these revisions that my book will be infinitely more marketable, and more importantly, more compelling.
    Her rates are also highly reasonable and a great return on your investment! Don’t hire anyone else–start with Diana!

    –Jenn Dean

  2. I am grateful for Diana Gordon’s extensive and insightful review of my novel. Her keen editorial eye polished my manuscript, getting rid of clichés and repetition, leaving me with invaluable editing tools. Diana is a generous and gifted editor who will challenge and inspire you to bring your work to the next level, wherever you’re at.

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