Editing the Word
for the building
of a spiritual house
that lasts for eternity
What Does a Christian Editor Do?

Editors understand and apply standard rules of the written word.

A Christian editor understands and applies the rules of God's written Word.

An inspired/Spirit-filled
Christian editor partners with God's Word and your words to produce powerful truth for the building of God's spiritual house.

To begin the building process, review the four levels of editing services below, which are designed to take your manuscript from draft to ready-for-publication status. The level of editing that is needed will be determined, in part, by the sample edit that I will perform for you.

My goal is always to provide editing services that will make God's message clearly understood and professionally presented. If punctuation is perfect but the content is not easy to read or understand, the end result will be a book that is not respected and even rejected. I will be honest with you about the level of editing required to meet this goal. Please review these editing services:

 Manuscript Evaluation
Proofreading  Standard


Manual of Style

Unless otherwise requested, style issues are governed by The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th Edition, which is the standard style guide used by the majority of  book publishers. This manual governs such style issues as when to write out numbers or use digits (ten or 10), when to put periods in abbreviations, what can be changed when quoting text, and hundreds of other publication issues.

Unless otherwise requested, style issues related to presenting Scripture is governed by Zondervan's Christian Manual of Style. This guide advises writers on which religious terms to capitalize, how to abbreviate biblical books, how to cite Scripture, and other related concerns.


$50 for 20 pages of a manuscript or a book proposal

$2 per page (250 words/page) for full manuscript critique

A professional evaluation of your manuscript can be the most efficient way to begin the editing process. A full manuscript evaluation report provides an analysis at all editing levels mentioned on this page. This includes answering the following:

  • Are there specific problems in mechanics that appear often?
  • Does the language, content, and presentation style appeal to the intended audience?
  • Does the information in the text flow clearly and logically from one idea to the next?
  • Is additional research needed?
  • Is Scripture clearly explained and well-integrated into the text?
  • Is the content organized well throughout all chapters?
  • Is the purpose of the book fulfilled? If not, what else needs to be included?
  • What writing techniques could be added to improve the readability of the text?
  • Are there other issues that would affect its publishing quality and marketability? If so, what needs to be done before editing can begin?

A 20-page critique cannot evaluate the purpose or organization of the full manuscript, but it can help identify strengths and weaknesses in language, style, and mechanics.

Both evaluations can result in lower overall editing costs since you will be able to identify major problem areas and revise the content before editing begins.

Rate: $2.50-$4 per 250-word page

Proofreading is suitable only for manuscripts that have already been copyedited by a professional editor and/or thoroughly critiqued by peers and substantially revised by you. Critique groups exist in a variety of genres and geographical areas. For example, if you live in Southern California, consider joining a critique group hosted by the OC Christian Writers Fellowship.

Proofreading is the final step before publication because it involves only mechanical editing in an effort to catch last-minute spelling, punctuation, and formatting errors that other editors missed. This includes issues related to the following technical issues:

  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Capitalization
  • Abbreviations
  • Formatting issues, such as inconsistencies in font styles, tab spacing, word spacing, line spacing, etc.
  • Mislabeled and incorrect formatting of notes, tables, bibliographies, and other lists
  • Citation formatting for Scripture and other references

Rate: $4-$7 per 250-word page
Standard copyediting is most suited to books that have been critiqued or substantively edited to a point where the ideas flow well from one chapter to another and from one paragraph to another.

This level of editing begins with a well-researched and well-organized manuscript. It focuses on the use of language and presentation of facts and quotations. It makes sure that your message is presented as clearly as possible at the sentence and paragraph level and that the text conforms with standard publishing style guidelines. Specifically, standard copyediting corrects problems in the following areas:


  • Misused words and phrases
  • Ambiguous and imprecise words that could confuse your readers
  • Potentially libelous language
  • Jargon and other terminology not easily understood
  • Cliches and inappropriate language


  • Citations or lack of
  • Information that appears to be incorrect
  • Potential copyright infringement issues


  • Quotation and citation accuracy
  • Potential misunderstandings of interpretations and applications
  • If requested, research historical/grammatical/cultural context and make suggestions to enhance the understanding and integration of scriptural references.


  • Varied sentence length
  • Active and passive constructions
  • Use of illustrations, analogies, and examples

Substantive Edit
Rate: $8-$13 per 250-word page

Substantive editing is an in-depth reworking of the manuscript to improve clarity of the message and ensure that its purpose is fulfilled. I will keep your original words and style as much as possible; but at the same time, I will rework areas that inhibit the readability and understanding of the text. I will provide explanations of all changes and you will always be able to choose whether to accept my comments and changes or to reject them. 

A substantive edit usually follows with more draft revisions, thus introducing the possibility for errors in mechanics and formatting. A standard proofread will be needed after all revisions have been completed and not included in the quote, though all efforts will be made to ensure a high level of error-free manuscript is delivered to you. However, all editors agree that a final proofreading by another editor (or friend) is advised to catch any remaining typos missed by you or previous editors. 

A substantive edit focuses on the following areas:

Organization and Logic

  • Move whole paragraphs to more logical locations of the chapter or book so that ideas flow fluidly and without interruption
  • Insert transitions to ensure a smooth flow of ideas from one sentence to the next and from one paragraph to the next
  • Create or rearrange subheadings
  • Suggest ways to more clearly define key terms

Audience and Purpose

  • Evaluate whether or not the content succeeds in its purpose
  • Evaluate whether or not the reader can relate to the language used according to his or her expected age, culture, profession, worldview, and level of faith
  • Suggest specific revisions 

You can reduce the cost of (or need for) a substantive edit by first receiving a manuscript evaluation. This will help you to revise the manuscript to a level that will be ready to be edited at the less expensive paragraph and sentence level.


If you are ready to submit your manuscript for a quote or if you have questions, please contact a Christian editor.