Writer/Editor for Hire


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Elissa Field is a full-time professional writer who provides editing and coaching to a small list of aspiring and successful writers, and editing or writing services to business clients.

What do I do?

I help writers organize their writing. I coach clients to identify their writing goals and find their voice. I ask questions to help find the intended depth or intrigue or resonance — that power writing needs to grab readers. I edit. I read for style, structure, character, conflict, and marketability. I help clients hone their craft. I support the query process to find an agent, helping writers identify genre and comparable works. I consult on building social media platform and other aspects of book marketing.

My rates are: $95-125/hour, depending on service.

This is a business, not a hobby. I am a professional writer and certified teacher living in the United States with more than fifteen years’ experience editing, writing and teaching writing. Professional rates allow me to provide full focus on a client’s work. While I take on pro bono community projects or occasionally negotiate for lesser services, most of my clients are professionals operating at a high level of excellence. Whether self-publishing or working through an agent with traditional publishers, they are serious about the quality of their work and value their investment in a professional editor.

You’ve probably also seen — here and on other pages of this site — that I am honest, kind and generous with the advice I share. If I am not the editor you need, I’ll gladly steer you toward other resources.

Write now, to reach your goals.

Throughout this site, over and over I share advice on how to get writing, now. One last step to getting your words into print is to not go it alone. As an editor or writing coach, I help writers get through the toughest stretch of writing: finding and fixing the holes, testing structure, and achieving a publishable draft.

If you are a writer serious about growing your work — or a professional in need of a ghost writer to bring your words to life — I’m interested in talking to you.

Interested in Hiring Elissa?

Send an email to Elissa, and you will receive a new client questionnaire (or phone call, if you prefer) to learn more about the goals of your current project. There is no charge or obligation — you are free to simply email a question.  Use the contact form, below, or any of the listed email or social media contacts.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

I want to hire you. What do I do next?

Email me at elissafield@elissafieldthompson.com (or used the Contact Form above), and I will email a client questionnaire to learn the goals and scope of your project.  If it is not my kind of work, I let you know right away and can often suggest other options for you. Otherwise, we agree to rates, scope and timeframe, confirmed with a project proposal.

Can I gift your services to someone?

Yes. You can buy a gift certificate for a flat rate service for a single editing project, or one hour of coaching or editing, or credit toward services in any amount over $40.

How and when do I pay?

Payment is due before services for small projects. A 50% deposit is taken or incremental payments are scheduled for larger projects. All payments are due on delivery of final work. Convenient payment can be made using credit card through PayPal, or arrangements can be made for cash/check purchases.

Are there different “levels” of editing services?

Yes. Editing services vary, depending on the current status of the work and your goals.

  • Developmental editing is a service that reviews how well a writing project holds together, with attention to key elements (character, story line, structure, voice, theme, overall effect), which may involve questions a writer is still resolving in developing the work. Developmental editing provides a summary of comments and a consultation to discuss strategies, and may be combined as a package with later editing services.
  • Expedited review provides one page of editorial comments (summary of  overall impressions with attention to characters, conflict and overall impact, with suggestions for revision) and some line editing within the work. This quick review is useful to gain an overall impression and quick turnaround, with less time (or cost) than a more thorough review. An expedited review may be used for up to 30 pages. You may purchase an expedited review as a “sample” of editing services.
  • General editing includes written comments on all/most pages, a well as a longer editorial summary. This is the standard editing level, involving a close read and addressing developmental and line-level issues for revision.
  • Publishing review, is a final level of editing, intended for manuscripts that have completed all developmental revisions and are believed to be ready for submission to an agent or editor. This final stage is a close read, addressing any remaining errors (as addressed in prior editing levels), and including conventions (spelling, punctuation, grammar, consistency, formatting).

Not sure what level of editing you need? We determine this in our first consultation. I don’t waste time on line edits if a manuscript needs developmental revision. On the other hand, a manuscript may be a hybrid — perhaps requiring development of a midsection while ready for a publishing review on chapters the writer has already revised. The complexity of editing required impacts project estimates. We determine an estimate based on a sample during initial consultation.

Am I ready for an editor?

I edit work by fiction writers who have written a complete draft that holds together and has been revised at least twice by the author. Most writers have a sense of what is working and may come to me with specific questions for coaching or editing.

What if I only have “an idea”?

I don’t edit work that is not fully written out, although I do provide coaching for writers (see “coaching” below). For nonfiction, I may work with a professional or other expert who needs a writer for a book proposal or manuscript. I work with editors requesting a writer to cover a lede.

Do you offer any introductory specials?

Yes. If you want to test out editing services, I have 2 flat rate sample editing packages for new clients:

  • Expedited review of 10 pages of fiction for $50. You receive a one-page summary of editorial comments (such as character, conflict, voice, and overall impact with suggestions for revision; and 1-3 comments on at least half of the manuscript pages). Elissa is then available for questions by email for one week after editing, and the writer may submit a revision for additional brief feedback within that week.
  • General edit of 10-14 pages (or first chapter) of fiction for $90. You receive a longer editorial summary (2-4 pages) with more in-depth advice regarding aspects such as character, conflict, voice, setting, writing structure and overall impact with suggestions for revision, and some comments or line edits on most or all pages. Elissa is then available for questions by email for two weeks after editing, and the writer may submit a revision for additional brief feedback within 30 days.

Is there a way to lower editing costs?

My goal in coaching writers is to teach you what you need to know to be successful. While I need to earn a living, it is not my goal to make my writers dependent on me. I will always bill for my services, but will also gladly refer clients or non-clients to free or less expensive alternatives, including steps you can do yourself.

Writers can lower their editing costs by addressing as many known issues as possible before sending the work. The manuscript should already be proofread to make sure it says what you mean it to say (not missing words, scenes, etc.), is written in standard English, and is neatly typed, with most typographical or spelling errors corrected. Neat manuscripts are faster to read and respond to, and don’t add unnecessary expense by having your editor correct things you might have caught yourself.

Specials and Loyalty discounts:

At least once a year, I run a special with a discounted hourly rate. I also offer loyalty bonuses for client referrals, repeat customers, and gold star client credits for bulk purchases, rapid or advanced payment. Discounts are automatically applied to your invoice.

What about coaching?

In addition to feedback on specific work, I consult with clients, providing resources, guidance and strategies to build their writing career, and am there to help writers hone their craft with individual workshops, prompts and other guidance. For writers working on book promotion, I provide training and assistance in building social media platform.

What writing services do you provide?

In addition to editing, I provide writing services for individual professionals and businesses, including writing or editing nonfiction books or feature articles, or writing smaller work, such as web content, marketing materials, press releases and publications. Depending on client needs, project management and social media consulting are additional services, and I provide referrals for graphics, photography, cover and web design.

Can you help me with social media or book promotion?

Clients often hire me to coach or provide expertise in social media, platform building, or book promotion online, or to combine social media promotion with other writing services.

 What communication formats do you use?

Email, phone, in person, social media, and other modes, as fit the project. Word is the most common software used. Other options include Google docs, InDesign, Acrobat, and a variety of blog and website software. For manuscripts, work is submitted online, and is returned as an editorial letter/checklist with comments embedded within the document. Primary communication is by email, phone or text. I keep office hours M-F; unless traveling, response times are within 48 hours. Ongoing clients have scheduled checkpoints for communication.