Editing Services

Writing is hard! Indie publishing doesn’t need to be.

You and I have something big in common; we’re both Indie authors. And if you’re really like me, you’ve had some ups and downs with publishing professionals. Don’t get me wrong. There are some phenomenal editors out there; however, there are also some that believe catching typos is enough. I’ll never forget a bad experience with an editor who missed an embarrassing amount of issues. My bank account hasn’t forgiven me either!

With numerous self-publishing woes under my belt, I felt the need to tackle my challenges head on. Now, after years of formally studying the fine art of editing at UC Berkeley, I have decided to make my editing skills available to other authors and help them find the same publishing success that I have.

Below, please find my most frequently asked questions and other things you’ll want to know—including pricing and exactly what you would get in exchange for your hard-earned dollars. 

If you are interested in talking about your project, please click the little email icon on the left side of this page or email me at diane (at) dianerinellaauthor.com. I’d love to hear about it.

Happy writing!


Are you really qualified to be an editor, or do you just try to catch typos?

I am a bona fide editor with a Professional Sequence in Editing certificate from UC Berkeley. Curriculum included:

  • grammar,
  • using conventional marks and symbols, 
  • eliminating bias,
  • legal issues (copyright and permissions),
  • fiction versus nonfiction editing, short-form, book-length manuscripts, editorial works, scientific papers, and more,
  • tables, references, and footnotes,
  • applying the principles of effective writing to the editing of manuscripts,
  • substantive editing (line editing and developmental),
  • achieving consistency,
  • concision,
  • refining and invigorating an author’s style. 

What type of work do you edit?

My education covered everything from blog posts to technical documents; however, I prefer editing literary works.

Why do I need an editor? It seems like a waste when Word or Grammarly will spell check for me.

Word and Grammarly are excellent programs that offer many wonderful features; however, would you notice if you accidentally misspelled casual as causal? Most people would not, and neither would a word processing program. Additionally, word processing programs look for grammatical issues without taking the writer’s style (voice) into consideration. If you really want to stay true to your work, you’ll prefer a human editor.

How are edits returned to me?

All edits are made in MS Word using the tracking feature.

How much do you charge?

Level one service is 1 cent per word while level two is 2 cents per word. Upfront, we will establish a firm price and place it in a contract.

How do I know what level of edit I need?

Experienced authors usually only need a Level 1 edit (proofing). My level 1 is a combination of proofing and copyediting. It covers typos, grammar, consistent spelling, capitalization, tense use, and punctuation. Level 2 edits (which cover level 1 items plus clarity, flow, and concision) are better for less experienced writers. Please see below for examples.

I am not offering level 3 (critique, content, developmental, substantive) services at this time.

Where can I see a sample of your editing?

I will gladly send you a sample. You can also look at my books on Amazon; however, only Love’s Forbidden Flower has been reedited since I obtained my certificate.

Can I get a sample done on my own work?

I’d love to do that. The sample not only assures you of my abilities, it also helps me determine the level of edit needed along with my interest in the project. If I do not feel I can do a good job, I will let you know.

Will my work be shared anywhere, such as in an example to others?

Not without your expressly written permission.

How do you base my word count?

Your word count is the number of words in the document you submit. If you do not want part of a document edited, please remove it before submittal.

Do you work chapter-by-chapter or on the entire manuscript at once?

Either is fine; however, if you submit serially and later make changes that affect previously edited chapters, there might be an additional fee for re-reviews.

How can we work best as a team?

If we set deadlines, we both need to honor them and do so without constantly checking in or requesting materials before they are due. Please make yourself available for questions. Being open to suggestions is also advised, as I will often point out concerns that go beyond the scope of the project.

What are my payment options?

A 25% deposit is due at the time of contract acceptance. Another 25% is due when I reach the halfway point. The remainder is due upon completion and before you receive the finished product.

Do you require attribution in the book or anywhere else, such as on Amazon? Will you give me a discount in exchange for it?

As an author, I am highly protective of my work and would not dream of adding anyone else’s name to it! I’d be honored if you mentioned me in the acknowledgments, but there are no mandates to credit me anywhere. Unfortunately, I am unable to offer discounts at this time.

How do I inquire?

Please click on the email (top) icon located on the left of this page or email me at diane (at) dianerinellaauthor.com. While it is not needed now, a 250-500 word sample would help me determine what level of editing I would recommend and allow me to send you a sample edit.

Examples of Editing Levels

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