open book beside crystal ball working editing magic
Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash

On this Page:

  • Bringing Out the Glory
  • What I Work With
  • Beta Reading
  • Manuscript Evaluation
  • Developmental Editing
  • Line and Copy Editing
  • Contact Me
  • Member of the Editorial Freelancer's Association

    Bringing Out the Glory

    You…

    • Have written something awesome
    • Want to make it better
    • But aren’t sure where to start

    I…

    • Talk to your story
    • Find out what it wants
    • Tell you what it said

    We…

    • Team up with your writing
    • Polish it ’til it shines
    • Bring out your story’s glory

    I’m the story whisperer, and I’m here to help.

    Passion for stories. That’s what drives me, and it’s why I do what I do. Nothing gets me more excited than falling in love with characters (or hating them, whichever floats the story’s boat), exploring worlds, and hanging on while conflicts rip everything apart.

    As far as things I put on my resume, they include an MFA in Popular Fiction (Seton Hill University) and a BA in Psychology (Merrimack College), as well as 7+ years of reviewing, blogging, and otherwise working with books. If you want the full list, you can check me out on Linkedin, but my professional credentials are only the foundation of what I bring as an editor. Need help untangling story threads? I’m here. Want to make sure every line shines? I’ve got your back. Feeling overwhelmed or uncertain about your writing? I’ve been there, and I’m here to tell you no story mountain can’t be climbed. You, me, and your story—we’re a team, and teams stick together.

    What I Work With

    I’m open to discussing most genre fiction, including works with literary-genre crossover. My specialties lie in science fiction/fantasy (especially doorstopper epics, fairy tales, superheroes, and dystopias), anything middle grade, and quirky mysteries/romances for both adult and YA. If you’ve got pop culture references, uniquely amazing magic/technology, or an eccentric but lovable cast of secondary characters (or primary characters—multiple POVs are very much my thing), I’m your girl. I love whimsical and fun as much as I love lyrical and dark, and all the stuff in-between. My reading and editing tastes more or less align, and you can browse my Goodreads shelves for an idea of what gets my editorial engine running.

    my read shelf:
    M.T. DeSantis's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

    To help you narrow your editor search, I’m not the best fit for hard (science-based) sci-fi, historical fiction, horror (especially psychological and excessive violence/gore), psychological, political, and international thriller/suspense, or rhyming children’s books. You can find resources regarding those genres here.

    As the story whisperer, I tailer my discussions in terms of how much feedback you want. From beta reading to manuscript evaluations, to full-blown developmental editing, there’s a service for your place in the writing process and your budget.

    Beta Reading

    A casual chat by the water fountain (or for my fellow Bostonians, the “bubblah.”).

    lemons slices hanging out and chatting in a pitcher of water
    Photo by Julia Zolotova on Unsplash

    I offer two tiers of beta reading, and each delivers “reader” feedback, if with a slightly more editorial bent. This service is designed for polished manuscripts that are seeking that “hey, I liked this, didn’t jive so much with that” feedback. The full beta read comes with a 1-3-page report of overall notes, as well as reaction comments in the manuscript. Beta reading light just has the 1-3-page report, and a line edit of the first 3000 words may be added to either.

    Please Note: Beta reding is not editing. For more about my beta reading process and answers to some frequently asked questions, check out my Beta Reading FAQ.

    Pricing for works 40,000 words and up (contact me to discuss shorter projects):

    • Beta reading: $3 USD/1000 words
    • Beta reading light: $1.25 USD/1000 words
    • Optional Line Edit (max 3000 words): $75 USD

    Manuscript Evaluation

    A business meeting over lunch.

    veggies in a salad, hanging out and chatting
    Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash

    I like to call this “developmental editing light” (more on developmental editing next). The manuscript evaluation is a big-picture breakdown of what could use some extra attention in the story, as well as notes on how things like characterization, world, conflict, plot, etc. are working. The full evaluation comes with a report of overall notes on the story, as well as chapter-by-chapter notes of things that aren’t quite working or that are working extremely well. The mini evaluation includes only the overall feedback on the effectiveness of the story, and I do manuscript evaluations on either partial or completed manuscripts. A line edit of either the first 3,000 or 10,000 words may be added to the full or mini evaluation. The shorter edit is best for those looking to see what a line edit might look like, and the longer helps to point out recurring places where writing may be strengthened.

    Pricing for works 20,000 words and up (contact me for shorter projects):

    • Full evaluation: $3 USD/page (1 page = 250 words)
    • Mini evaluation: $1.25 USD/page (1 page = 250 words)
    • Optional 3000-word line edit: $75 USD
    • Optional 10,000word line edit: $200 USD

    Developmental Editing

    A heart-to-heart at 3 AM.

    stars in the night sky, sharing thoughts
    Photo by Paul Volkmer on Unsplash

    If your manuscript just needs to unload its troubles (and you need a break from listening), this is the service for you. A developmental edit focuses on the big-picture elements of the story (characterization, plot, conflict, world, etc.) with a focus on suggestions for improving trouble spots by both showing how things may be changed and offering examples for strengthening the story. I’ll deliver a detailed report with feedback on the big-picture elements and the manuscript with both reaction and editorial comments throughout, both focused on bringing out the glory in your story and writing.

    If you’re thinking this sounds like less than a manuscript evaluation, here’s the big difference. The evaluation will say “I struggled to connect with character X because I felt their personality wasn’t consistent.” Developmental editing will say “I struggled to connect with Character X because I felt their personality wasn’t consistent. This was particularly strong at incidents A, B, and C because of these specific actions, and here are suggestions for tightening up Character X’s personality.”

    *Pricing for works 20,000 words and up (contact me to discuss shorter works):

    $0.0225 – $0.025 USD/word

    Line and Copy Editing

    Line Editing

    As its name suggests, line editing focuses on tightening up the writing at the line level. Don’t be swayed by the word “tightening.” The idea isn’t to use as few words as possible. If your story calls for sweeping lines full of metaphor and imagery, I’ll preserve that tone while making suggestions to improve readability and flow. Even sweeping sentences should make every word earn their keep. In addition to suggestions throughout the manuscript, I’ll also provide an overall report with recommendations for strengthening the writing and pointing out overused constructions (such as starting lots of sentences with “but”).

    *Pricing for works 20,000 words and up (contact me to discuss shorter works):

    $0.018 – $0.02 USD/word

    Copy Editing

    The nuts and bolts. Copy editing (also rendered as copyediting or copy-editing in the wild) focuses on cleaning up technical details of the writing—punctuation, grammar, spelling, missing/extra words, etc. It also involves a bit of fact checking (such as making sure a song is attributed to the right artist) and consistency checking (like keeping the spelling of your fantasy kingdom’s name right all the way through). I can also help put together a style sheet for the book/series as part of a copyedit. For more on what a style sheet entails, check out this excellent post (complete with downloadable style sheet template) from Louise Harnby.

    A quick note about my copy editing service: Like with the line and developmental editing services, the price may vary depending on how much work is needed, but even at the lowest price point, I strongly suggest having another editor go over the manuscript to catch missed errors (this step is often called proofreading), especially if you’re self-publishing. While I strive to catch as much as I can, my copyedit isn’t meant as a final catch-all, and even if it was, little things will slip through the cracks. Even the most thoroughly edited book will miss a few small things, and you want to give your book every possible advantage out there.

    *Pricing for works 20,000 words and up (contact me to discuss shorter projects):

    $0.008 – $0.012 USD/word

    Rate for style sheet development will vary by genre and complexity of story/sheet.

    *Pricing for developmental, line, and copy editing may vary depending on how much work the manuscript needs. The above per-word numbers are a baseline idea of the service’s cost.

    So, When you’re ready, I can help you…

    • Chat with your manuscript
    • Find out what it wants
    • Bring out your story’s glory

    Contact me, and let’s get whispering.