For Authors

You finally finished your manuscript, and your blood, sweat, and tears are all over that digital stack of paper you call your baby. No matter how strong of a writer you may be, it is very important to make sure your manuscript is critiqued, edited, and proofread. When presenting your book to an agent, publisher, or, if self-publishing, directly to an audience, it is imperative that your book is as professional as possible.

On average, professional authors’ editors say that there are more than 1,000 mistakes in a manuscript — and that is from professional writers.

Our Arizona fiction and non-fiction editing services provide a second, third, and fourth pair of eyes to bring your work to its highest potential. Our job is not just about enhancing your voice and making your manuscript as polished as possible—it’s about helping you become a better writer by understanding why changes are made, and giving you an industry-driven perspective.

Midnight Publishing has designed its editing services to benefit authors at every stage of their development. Your editor will recommend the edit that’s right for you.

Take a look at our services below to see which one is a fit for you.

A critique is a full read of your manuscript by a publishing professional, and provides extensive feedback on your manuscript, including:

  • An evaluation of your story and plot structure
  • Examination of the narrative voice, clarity, consistency, character development; providing ways to strengthen core areas
  • A focus on the author intentions and goals for the book
  • Identification of your strengths and weaknesses
  • Remove/elaborate on sections that may or may not be essential to the story
  • Advise on pacing, repetitive weaknesses, and underdeveloped sections

This honest evaluation will offer specific advice to help revise your manuscript and is invaluable for those authors who are ready to see how their work will measure up in the competitive publishing world.

Average timeline: 3-7 weeks

Average rate: Billed at $65/hour

*Availability for ghostwriting clients is very limited, with a minimum of 3k retainer

Are you ready to start writing your book, but are not sure where to go from here? This is where our Arizona ghostwriters can help!

Ghostwriters are used for many scenarios. Sometimes, professionals don’t have the time, capability, or inclination to sit down and write a book, so a ghostwriter helps highlight the author’s expertise in order to spread their brand and ideas, and present a story in a way that inspires and engages people. Or, maybe a non-author just wants to write a memoir for their family and needs help organizing an outline and translating that story to narrative on paper.

We can help you develop an initial idea and outline; jump in once you’ve written the bulk of your book and need some organizational help; or assist you every step of the way.

Ghostwriting begins by meeting with our recommended ghostwriter in person or over the phone so the ghostwriter can understand the parameters of your project. Projects are often organized by way of a series of interviews and hourly writing rate on a retainer.

Ghostwriting happens in three stages: gathering material, writing, cleaning it up.

  • Gathering the material/creating the outline/conducting interviews. The author and ghostwriter meet over the phone or in person for interviews, to collect materials and photos, etc. This stage lasts two to three months.
  • Writing the book. The ghostwriter takes over and does the work, per the process the ghostwriter and author have agreed on per the contract. These processes include writing a chapter at a time and sending to the author or review, writing the book in quarters for review, etc.
  • Clean up. The final stage is polishing and fine-tuning the book. The overall three-step process takes anywhere from eight months to one year.

Average timeline: 6-20 months

Average rate:  Starting retainer of $3,000 for meetings, research, and writing hourly rates

For more info, check out our blog post The Ghostwriting Process with Midnight Publishing

Proofreading is a light clean up for manuscripts about to go to or be submitted for publication.

  • Adherence to The Chicago Manual of Style and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
  • Punctuation and grammatical errors
  • Sentence structure
  • Formatting errors/inconsistencies
  • Spelling
  • Minor mechanical problems

Average timeline: 3-5 weeks, depending on the length of manuscript and editor availability

Average rate: $0.025 per word

This is our middle tier and most popular package—especially for fiction authors! The edits focus on consistency, readability, and flow, while also fixing grammar, punctuation, spelling, and more.

  • Adherence to The Chicago Manual of Style and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary
  • Correct spelling, grammar, punctuation, syntax, terminology, numerals, font, semantics, inappropriate figures of speech, hyphenation, capitalization, and word usage
  • Preserve and enhance the author’s voice
  • Check consistency (for example, if a character’s name changes or an event seems confusing)
  • Address story flow and sentence structure
  • Reorganize passages, paragraphs, or chapters to improve the rhythm and flow of the story
  • Rewrite segments of text to improve readability and flow of information
  • Read for overall clarity and sense on behalf of the target audience
  • Address how to increase the visibility of “show vs. tell”
  • Tighten dialogue, point out unnatural phrasing or misused words, and add in descriptive words to help enhance the story
  • Note permissions needed to publish copyrighted materials
  • Trim words, phrases, or paragraphs that are extraneous and do not contribute to the story

We also provide a written evaluation with the final edited version that addresses story flow, character and plot development (for fiction), and a chapter-by-chapter evaluation. We provide a similar evaluation for non-fiction books.

Average timeline: 5-7 weeks, depending on the length of manuscript and editor availability

Average rate: $0.044 per word

The ultimate role of the editor is to help the author connect with the reader. A good editor enhances that connection, providing another eye and view for the author. Our editors are artists of language, grammar, and the mechanics that help a manuscript take the journey from ordinary to great.

At the same time, the author is the one who has the final say in the manuscript. Editors give advice that the author can accept or reject. In the end, the manuscript is the author’s; the editor is simply a contributor with special skills and knowledge. Our editing process is very much focused on helping the writer understand why certain changes were made. Our job is not to just make your manuscript as professional and polished as possible–it’s about helping you become a better writer by understanding the editing process and giving you an industry-driven perspective.

The manuscript is edited in a Word doc with track changes and comments so you can see everything that was changed and why (as well as “accept” or “reject” the edits), and then we also provide a “clean” edited version.

Check out our blog post on the 5 Reasons You Need an HONEST Editor!

This is our highest editing tier, the most in-depth an detailed edit available, best for clients who need substantial rewriting or assistance fleshing out a concept, vision, and manuscript. Usually, we come up with a personalized package for each client depending on the work involved with their manuscript, as everyone differs. The developmental editor’s role is multi-faceted but is less concerned with