Our services

You deserve to feel comfortable that you’ve chosen an editor who doesn’t dilute your voice, whose process is clear, and whose pricing is transparent. Learn more about three types of editing we offer. Don’t forget: we’ll complete a free sample edit of your work and then collaborate with you to outline the ideal path to meet your goals.

Services Proofreading


For proofreading, we check your manuscript for grammar, punctuation, spelling, style adherence, and verbiage. Proofreading is the last step in the editing process, the final polish to prepare your manuscript for publication. We make few changes at this point to avoid the possibility of introducing errors, only correcting a couple words or a bit of punctuation when it’s absolutely necessary. We do not check storytelling, plot and character development, inelegant wording, or line-by-line improvements. It is rare for a manuscript to come to us ready for proofreading, though many authors hope so. Proofreading is usually necessary after other editing rounds; if we recommend rewrites or lots of wording changes in another stage of editing, it’s likely to introduce new typos and mistakes as you approve and reject changes. Proofreading is the only way to catch these before publication.


Copyediting is our most popular editing service. With copyediting, we correct errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, style, usage, too-long sentences, overuse of italics and exclamation points, and excessive passive voice. We flag doubtful facts, weak plot points or plot holes, contradictory passages, and jumbled timelines. We scrutinize for consistency—both within a project and across a series—including character and place spelling, descriptions, point of view shifts, grammar style choices, and more:

Content: missing or redundant text, illogical chronology, facts that don’t make sense, language that is insensitive or biased, etc.
Structure: overlong or wandering sentences, paragraph breaks not introducing new speakers or actions, inopportune chapter breaks, etc.
Wording: Age-inappropriate language or themes, unexplained terms, inconsistent tone or vocabulary straying outside current genre expectations, etc.

If your copyedit involves lots of changes, we strongly recommend proofreading afterward. This is because the process of approving and rejecting our tracked changes will, without fail, introduce new errors you don’t want readers to see.


Website copyediting is also available. Because it takes at least twice as long to copyedit a website, our rate for website copyediting is by the hour, not per word. You’ll be billed $35/hour, which is less than the EFA’s recommended industry rate.

Services Copyediting
Services Developmental Editing

Developmental editing

Developmental editing directly shapes your manuscript and usually involves large reorganizations, deletions, or total rewriting based on your vision, target audience, and industry standards. We make recommendations on order, flow, readability, pacing, characterization, setting, and (as subjective as this sounds) how enjoyable the book is as a whole. We’ll help resolve subplots or recommend deleting some, round out or merge characters, develop motivations and emotions within a plausible plot, and point out underdeveloped and overdeveloped sections, as well as aspects that seem derivative or deviate from your voice.

Developmental editing can be a jagged pill to swallow. You’ve spent months, maybe years, on this manuscript, and here we are suggesting huge changes as if every page is deficient. That’s not true! We move around your words like replanting seeds, sowing them with precision for a perfect mix of sunlight and rain for the best chance of bearing fruit.

It’s easy to spot online reviewers complaining about books that haven’t been through a developmental edit, and these reviews are hard to shake, because they target the storytelling itself.

But remember, RUFF! doesn’t just pick a manuscript apart like some editors do. Especially in developmental editing, we seek your strengths, help you develop your excellence, and enhance the aspects of your writing that make you exceptional. Rewrite suggestions aren’t a criticism of your ability—they merely serve to help you put your best foot forward. Developmental editing comes with lots of emotional support and encouragement. We want you to succeed, and that’s why we decided to partner with you!

Our rates

We’re proud to offer competitive rates and transparent pricing. Authors work on tight budgets. We strip away all the mystery and ambiguity around the price of editing. You should know the full cost of the services up front—with no surprise fees or additional charges, guaranteed.


per word
  • Grammatical errors
  • Noun/verb agreement, noun/pronoun agreement
  • Dangling modifiers
  • Split infinitives
  • Verb agreement and tenses
  • Punctuation
  • Misspelled words
  • Minimal changes, only those absolutely necessary
  • Generally needed after major edits to catch introduced errors


per word
  • Grammar and spelling
  • Style consistency (manual and series)
  • Passive voice
  • Point of view
  • Biased language
  • Timeline
  • Structure
  • Tone
  • Theme
  • Point of view
  • Proofreading recommended if copyedit is extensive

Developmental editing

per word
  • Character development
  • Conflict and tension
  • Description
  • Inconsistencies
  • Pacing
  • Plot
  • Showing versus telling
  • Market appeal
  • Voice
  • Strength development
  • Does not include proofreading

Calculate your rate

Curious to see what your RUFF! invoice will be? Enter your manuscript's total word count in the form below and see how it adds up.

Your manuscript’s word count:


Your total



Your total


Developmental editing

Your total



Frequently asked questions

Do I really need to pay for editing—or even multiple rounds of editing?

The American Copy Editors Society (ACES) found that readers usually notice errors in text, period—which inevitably damages your author brand. As you can see on our site, even if you’re brilliant at grammar, you can’t self-edit perfectly. You need to hire an editor if you want a reputation of releasing only the absolute best. And if your first round of editing involves heavy changes, you should sign up for proofreading, as errors may be missed or introduced. According to the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP), a good copyeditor picks up 80% of errors, and a good proofreader picks up 80% of what’s left.

When and how should I pay?

Your invoice is based on the initial word count of your manuscript. A 50% deposit is required to begin the editing project, and the remaining 50% of the invoice is required upon completion of the editing service for which you’ve paid. If your manuscript goes through multiple rounds of editing (most commonly, developmental editing followed by proofreading), you will receive a separate invoice for each distinct service, each invoice only to be paid in conjunction with the dates of each round, not all combined at the beginning. You will be invoiced in PayPal and payment must be submitted via PayPal.

How can we trust each other?

When we agree to work together, we’ll sign a contract outlining the expectations of the editor and the author and promising to fulfill our obligations to one another. The contract will look much like this sample from the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA). We will be discreet about your work in progress and stick to the deadline, and you will be responsive to queries about the direction of your edit during the process. If you cancel the project, you’ll be required to pay for the time already spent by RUFF! editors.

What style guide will be used?

Unless you specifically request otherwise, we will edit your manuscript in adherence to Merriam-Webster Unabridged and The Chicago Manual of Style. Universe-specific style guides and author preferences contrary to these guides will be maintained on a customized style guide that will be referenced for all books we edit in a given series for you.

What software should I use, and how does RUFF! return the marked-up manuscript to me?

Good old Microsoft Word is the industry standard. You’ll submit your manuscript as a .doc or .docx file. We use the Track Changes feature in Word. This can be intimidating because it tracks every single keystroke we make in the document. Don’t worry! It’s not nearly as much as it looks like.

  • First, we recommend opening the Review tab and reading all the comments in the right-hand sidebar. Don’t make any changes until you’ve read all the comments.
  • Then, still using the Review pane, you can go through all the text changes. Click on “Accept” or “Reject” for each suggestion (though beware, rejecting a change will probably create leftover errors).
  • You probably want to look at the “All markup” view, though the “Simple markup” view is easier on the eyes, because in the former, you can see original text we recommend deleting.
  • If we ask a question in a comment, you can right-click on that comment and click “Reply to comment” and answer it there. If you want to add a new comment of your own, you can do so by right-clicking in the relevant text and clicking “Add comment.”

Some authors only want to see the document with changes tracked. Some authors also request a clean document with all changes accepted and all comments cleared so you can go ahead and move forward immediately. We’re happy to accommodate either preference.

We’re available to answer your questions as you go through the tracked changes. Our job doesn’t end when we give you back the marked-up manuscript. We want you to understand the edit and feel comfortable with the final product.

Let’s get started!

If you’re looking for a business partner who works like a dog but also is down for an interesting chat over coffee (okay, maybe over video from across the world!), we’ve got you. Find out risk-free whether we’re a perfect fit for you.

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