You finished your book, amazing!

Now it’s time to reform and refine it so it can be released with excellence.

It Takes a Village

If writing a book is like having a baby, then editing a book is like raising your child. When your baby first comes out, others may not yet see its potential. This is where a good editor comes in.

Our editors will partner with you to grow and guide your book to maturity.

Save Time and Money with a Free Assessment

To quickly find what level of editing that’s needed, we offer a free light 10-page edit.

The assessment will reveal whether we are a good fit. If you are not ready for professional editing, we will offer some easy recommendations to save you money.

Types of Editing

Traditionally there are four levels of editing all having different names. Typically, a manuscript will travel all four levels of editing with at least seven rounds total before it’s deemed polished and ready for the reader or to be submitted to a publishing house. Whether you are self-publishing or traditional publishing, editing is critical for your books’ success. 

High-Level Editing
  • Moving content around to help with flow.
  • Developing new content
  • Fixing plot or content holes.
  • Getting out what does not belong and adding what is missing.

High level editing or “Developmental editing” is the first step in the editing process. Since freshly finished books may have been written primarily from the heart, developmental editing helps take the author’s passion and restructure it into a more presentable package. It carefully focuses on the big picture, helping with things like structure, pacing, plot holes, character inconsistencies, confusing passages, and voice while fervently focusing on keeping the author’s voice and message intact. 

With Above The Sun, the Developmental edit will be two layers for one price. The first layer will be a high level run through of the whole manuscript using the Track Changes program in Word to make structural suggestions and comments pinpointing top level issues. We will also write a revision letter to the author, explaining the issues and giving possible solutions. 

After the author does a run through, fixing as much as they can on their own, they will submit back to Above The Sun with any questions or comments they may have. We will then answer the questions and do a secondary run-through going deeper into the manuscript. After the second run-through is complete, we will send another write up of our next step suggestions. Depending on the initial level of skill, this could include a green light to move onto the Paragraph level editing, or a suggestion for another Macro Edit passthrough at a discounted base hourly rate or some developmental coaching.


Fee is based on word length and level of work involved, but is usually between 2-3 cents a word. (Much less if you worked with a developmental coach)

Paragraph-Level Editing
  • Fixing the use of too many adjectives and varying sentence length.
  • Helping vocabulary to be more suited to the intended audience.
  • Calling out when meaning is lost in too many big words or jargon.
  • Transitions from one paragraph to the next.

Paragraph level, also called stylistic or line editing, is the first big editing step after the manuscript is fully developed. This kind of editing involves recasting sentences for clarity and flow. It focuses on word choice, voice, and overall feel of each scene or section. It can also involve moving sentences around so that your meaning is clear. This type of editing always aims to preserve the author’s voice, first and foremost. Effective writing has a rhythm and pulse, and with practice, good writers learn to develop an ear for these qualities. A stylistic editor can help you hone these skills. Additionally, it is the last chance to catch any developmental issues.

When we finish, we will send the manuscript to the author, who reviews the editing and makes whatever changes they want. The author sends the manuscript back for a free clean-up and assessment. After this stage of editing, the author will have a clean edited manuscript ready for sentence level line editing. 

Cost: Fee is based on word length and level of work involved, but averages between 2-3 cents a word. (Much less if you first did a developmental edit or worked with a developmental coach)

Sentence-Level Editing
  • Grammar
  • Consistency issues
  • Clarity

Sentence level editing, also called copyediting, is the kind of editing that addresses grammar, usage and consistency issues. It is entirely understandable that an author can lose track of many small details over the course of writing a book. From how a character’s name is spelled, to the color of her eyes to her mother-in-law’s hometown to how that’s spelled, the possibilities for small errors are many. What’s more, sometimes these errors are introduced by the author himself during the revision phase. I once asked an author I was working with how it could be that her main character was entering high school that September when she had just had her 11th birthday the previous June. The author replied, “Oh, yeah. Hm. It’s because I cut a section out and reordered some events during one of my revisions. This is my fourth revision. I’d better take care of that detail!” So in addition to consistencies in spelling and punctuation (colour or color? skateboard or skate-board?), a copyeditor will find issues of continuity that don’t add up. Sort of like quality control. The Copy editing is the last step before proofreading and publication, and addresses grammatical and other sentence-level issues.


Fee is based on word length and level of work involved, but is usually between 1-2 cents a word.

Word-Level Editing
  • Punctuation
  • Spelling
  • Formatting

Word level editing, also called proofreading, is the final level of editing needed before finalizing your book or sending off your query letter. This kind of editing addresses typos, repeated words (the the), spelling, punctuation and formatting issues (how things look on a page) as they occur in your book’s final environment. So, if you’re publishing an ebook, your editor will look at your book on an e-reader, or in an e-reading app to see how it looks and operates. If your book will be printed, your editor will proofread a PDF. Proofreading is the last pair of eyes on your book before it goes live: it’s the last chance to catch an error before a reader finds it and gleefully points it out.


Fee is based on word length and level of work involved, but is usually between 1-2 cents a word.

 Common Questions

How does the editing work?

We use the track changes and comments features in Microsoft Word or Google Drive. That way, you can see the exact location of problems and strong points in the text. We give feedback, identifying what the issues are and explaining why they are issues. We also give suggestions of possible ways to address the problems to help jump-start your creativity for revisions.

What is the total average cost of editing my book?

According to the Editorial Freelancers association ( The average cost of Developmental and Line editing is about 4 cents a word each. So for a 50,000 word book, that averages to be about $2000 for each layer. For copy editors and proofreaders, the average cost is around 3 cents a word each. So for a 50,000 word book, that averages to be around $1,500 for each layer. 

Books average between needing 4-7 layers of editing, so the average cost to have a book professionally edited would be between $7,000 and $12,000 or more depending on the quality you are looking for.

Luckily, for Above The Sun clients who have written their book alongside a developmental coach, and who use our discounted rates for members, the average cost of editing is less than $4000 dollars. 

Are there alternate ways to pay for editing?

Yes! We are unique in the fact that we can help you pre sell your book to raise the money needed for editing.

Have other questions?

Send us an email

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