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"Words are, of course, the most powerful drug

used by mankind."

Rudyard Kipling

As a confirmed bookaholic, I am delighted that there is no cure. So many books, so little time.


My experience includes PR, journalism (trade journals, company journals and ghosting articles for in-house magazines), editing and proofreading for indie authors and traditional publishers, in a variety of genres which include fiction, travel, wildlife, health, biographies, other non-fiction, and theses. A selection of the many books are shown on the portfolio page.


Also, I have studied psychology, philosophy and communications (not IT!) and travelled widely.


My rates are reasonable - I have no desire to fleece anyone - and I offer a comprehensive and conscientious service. 

Proofreading: the final check before publication for typos, spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Light editing: mostly for small projects - leaflets, brochures, simple manuals, straightforward shorter works. Often an hourly rate is appropriate.

Copy editing: to identify and correct typos, spelling, grammar, syntax, language, punctuation,  after line or developmental editing is complete.

Line editing: more intensive editing for the flow of elements, ideas, tone, narrative, structure, vocabulary, characterisation, clarity and accuracy; may involve suggestions for re-organising lines, paragraphs and chapters.

Developmental editing: involves substantial input regarding concept, plot, structure, timeline, characterisation, pitch, presentation. Usually part of the initial rewriting process.


Editing Hours

Copy editing 70,000 words can take 30-90 hours

Line editing 70,000 words can take 35-300+ hours 

Substantive editing 70,000 words can take 60-350+ hours


My Rates

Editing                     £6-£17 per 1,000 words, or part thereof, depending on the                                                    type of editing required and complexity of the manuscript

Proofreading           from £5.00 per 1,000 words or part thereof


Please feel free to send a sample of your work for a quotation.


*Some comparative rates:


                   UK                    USA               South Africa         NZ                            Ireland             

 Copy editing

                from £26.20      $30-40 per    R350-550 p.h.       from $20 per         €25-35 per   

                 per hour              hour             R200-400 per        1,000 words           hour                                            from £16 per                            1,000 words

                  1,000 words


Line editing

                from £20.00      $40-50 per      R350-550 p.h.      $700-1750 up        €40 per                                      per 1,000            hour                R200-600 per       to 50,000 words    hour 

                 words                                          1,000 words         $1600-3000 up

                                                                                                    to 100,000 words


Developmental editing                                                                                                                                                £30 per               $45-60 per      R400-600 ph        $2500+ over            €40+ per hour

                1,000 words        hour                 R600-800 per       100,000 words

                                                                     1,000 words                              


Fact  checking                           

                  -                          $35-60 per       R300-400 p.h.                  -                          -

                                                  hour             R300-900 per

                                                                       1,000 words



               from £10 per       $30-35 p.h.                    -                            -                          -

               1,000 words


Manuscript Evaluation 

                from £22.50      $45-55 p.h.       R300-500 p.h.                   -                          -

                   per hour


*Rates are from The Editorial Freelancers Association USA, SAFREA South Africa,  New Zealand online freelance rates, Society for Freelance Editors UK and Irish online freelance rates. 


Please feel free to send a sample of your work for a quotation.



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© J A Southern