on a budget?

Of course! Aren't we all? Dorothy sets her fees according to industry standard averages but will work with you to match her services to your budget range.


Dorothy Read can help you understand the path to publishing and where you stand on the path. She can explain editing services and what they can do for your manuscript. You may simply have a good idea and wonder how to pursue it. She can answer your questions about process and help you choose the next step toward your writing goals. The first conversation is free of charge.

manuscript evaluation

The big question with many writers, both new and experienced: “Is this any good?” You may submit fifteen pages of your manuscript for Dorothy’s evaluation of your writing style and voice. ($75) For a more extensive evaluation that would include where your manuscript fits in the world of publishing, you may add a synopsis of your whole fictional story or an outline of your nonfiction work. ($125) Or you may submit your manuscript for a full evaluation that includes the type of editing that would be needed to make it publishable. (Fee based on a $40 hourly rate. For example, about $400 for an 80,000-word manuscript that is fairly easy to read.)

Evaluation is delivered as written comments, letting you know what is great about your work, how you can make it even greater, and where it might fit in the publishing world. It does not include any level of editing.


Different projects require different levels of editing. You and Dorothy collaborate in determining what your project needs.

  • Developmental (sometimes called structural) editing deals with the big picture: how the major elements are developed; how they fit and flow; what content is included; how it is presented. The editor may suggest a major overhaul, new ideas, or a different approach. ($50/hr.)
  • Substantive editing calls for rewriting and/or reorganizing content. ($50/hr.)
  • Copyediting (sometimes called line editing) requires the scrutiny of every word and punctuation mark in a manuscript. It deals with the nuts and bolts of writing, such as grammar, usage, sentence structure, word crafting, word economy, clarity, consistency, style, and voice. Manuscripts that require minimal correction or revision are considered light copyediting. Heavy copyediting requires corrections and/or changes on just about every page. Most manuscripts require medium copyediting. ($40/hr.)

self-publishing services

Self-publishing has become much easier and affordable over the last decade. However, finding the right book cover creator and interior designer can be a “hit and miss” process. Dorothy Read’s graphics team can work with you to create your book cover, interior book layout and even format for Kindle and other e-book markets.

ghostwriting / rewriting

Rewriting involves taking your manuscript and, with your input, rewriting it. Ghostwriting involves communicating the story you want to tell in a series of interviews, usually over a period of several months. For both rewriting and ghostwriting, you provide feedback, and Dorothy makes necessary revisions until the content is the way you want it. In both cases, you are the author; Dorothy is the midwife that brings the story to life in print. ($50/hr. for writing; $35/hr. for interviewing. A maximum fee may be negotiated.)


The type of editing most visible to the reader, proofreading is the last edit and is done when the manuscript is considered finished. It focuses on mechanical errors: spelling, punctuation, capitalization, grammar, and consistency in formatting and the way elements such as numbers and abbreviations are treated. ($35/hr.)



You and Dorothy will work together to determine the service(s) you are seeking that will fit within your budget. If they include editing and/or proofreading, you will send a sample of your unabridged manuscript. Dorothy will submit a proposal that includes the services she recommends and the itemized fees she will charge. When you are satisfied with the proposal, you will receive a contract. Half of the fee is due at the beginning and the other half when the project has been completed. For longer projects, you may elect to be billed monthly.

Total fees vary between projects, depending upon the amount of work that needs to be done. For example, the fee for light copyediting of an 80,000 word, 320 page manuscript would be about $1,280; about $2,560 for heavy copyediting. Proofreading of a fairly clean (free of error) 320 page manuscript would cost about $800; about $1,250 for an error-laden manuscript.

Self-publishing services are negotiated directly with the graphics team.