COPYEDITING/LINE-EDITING includes the following tasks [using U.S. English]:
- Correcting punctuation, spelling, grammar, syntax, capitalization, and word usage while preserving the meaning and voice of the original text
- Eliminating repetition, redundancy, wordiness, and incompleteness
- Substituting weak words or phrases with stronger alternatives
- Fixing or indicating any flawed logic (a character suddenly has red hair or walked through a locked door)
- Reading for overall clarity and sense with regard to the prospective audience
- Adhering to or imposing a consistent style (Chicago, AP, or customized)
- Creating a style sheet to maintain client preferences
- Performing light fact-checking to verify content as needed (see note below)
- Rearranging the order of words or sentences within paragraphs to better convey a point
- Deleting or querying nonessential elements for better flow
- Cross-checking references for consistency with their mentions in the text
- Flagging for possible biased or outdated language
- Identifying words not meant for the target audience (using "petrol" instead of "gas," for example)
Note: Light fact-checking means verifying the spelling of Kathmandu but not checking on how a character would get from there to San Francisco. The author is wholly responsible for the facts.
Services I do not perform:
Substantive/developmental editing, meaning "big picture" stuff: identifying and solving problems in the text (regarding plot, story arc, time lines, characters, etc.); reorganizing or rewriting whole paragraphs, sections, or chapters; suggesting further topics…yada-yada-yada. All this should be addressed during an early editing stage, before it gets to me. If your manuscript needs this kind of attention, I'd steer you toward finding a developmental editor. I concentrate on the sentence-level particulars.
Proofreading, which in the U.S. means typos and egregious errors, but I'm happy to perform a light copyedit if your manuscript is in excellent shape.
- Horror or material that contains graphic descriptions of violence; however, mentioning in the manuscript that such things have occurred is fine.
My name is Lisa Kaitz, and my passion for language inspires me to think big thoughts, such as why certain foods are synonymous with insanity: bananas, nuts, crackers. (I still don't know the answer.) After spending 21 years in New York City, I moved with my husband and young son to Portland, Oregon, where it rains only half as much as I thought it would. Go figure.
After earning my Certificate in Copy Editing through Media Bistro's former program and attending NYU, I've been working steadily in publishing for more than 10 years.
I've copyedited more than 60 books in almost all genres: suspense, thriller, mystery, historical fiction, literary fiction, sci-fi, romance, erotica, memoir, YA, you name it. (These can overlap sometimes, I know.) I've also edited thousands of news articles and continue to work on a weekly basis for The Hollywood Reporter on media, fashion, tech, law, and business, among other topics.
I’m a born editor and a naturally curious person, so I attend classes, participate in social media groups, and read up on trends — after all, our language is constantly changing; don't get me started on "whom" and "they"! I also pay close attention to sensitive issues in order to better inform how I edit. One great source for that is the Conscious Style Guide.
Feel free to read more about me on LinkedIn. I'm also an active member of two professional organizations: ACES (American Copy Editors Society) and EFA (Editorial Freelancers Association).
FEE: Each manuscript has its nuances, so there's no boilerplate answer here. But I know budget is important. To give you an idea of pricing, here's an example. A novel of 80,000 words (320 standard pages) can take anywhere from 30-60 hours, depending on what’s needed. My minimum base rate is typically $0.017 per word, so that estimate could look something like this:
$0.017 per word x 80,000 words = $1,360.00.
PAYMENT: If you're a first-time client, I require the full amount of the estimate up front. For return clients, I ask for 50 percent to start, the balance upon completion, and funds must land in my bank account before I forward the final copyedit.
You can hit the nifty PayPal logo below, and it will take you where you need to go. I use GoodfootEditorial@gmail.com to receive money.
(My fees are aligned with the EFA's Common Editorial Rates.)
ESTIMATE: Each project is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. I can estimate a fee and a schedule after reviewing a portion of the manuscript, about 20 pages taken from the middle, delivered to me in a double-spaced Word doc, in 12-point Times New Roman (or similar) font. Or you can send me the entire file if it's easier.
SAMPLE EDIT: I'm happy to offer a free sample edit of up to 1,000 words. This is a great way to see my style of editing and whether we're a good fit.
First things first! Please visit my Contact page for what to include in your introductory email.
Rest assured, all work is strictly confidential and respected. I mean it.
Lisa Kaitz is a first-rate copyeditor and a total pro. She understands how to enhance an author’s work rather than impose her authorship upon it — an all too rare skill. Working with Lisa is an absolute pleasure.
—Lou Aronica, publisher of The Story Plant
Combined in Lisa are all the elements of the top-notch copy editor: a precise hand, a sensitive ear, an eye for the errant mark. She can field a range of content — from news briefs to photo galleries to features — with equal aplomb. Seek out Lisa when you want impeccable work delivered with vim, vigor, and a dash of wit.
—Sylvia Tam, copyeditor at Variety
Errors in grammar or punctuation are a menace to any writer. Since we’re often powerless to detect them in our own work, we need the help of a qualified and reliable copy editor. Lisa has saved my face by meticulously vetting through my three novels. She has caught not only typical typos and misspellings, but inconsistent references that would have been embarrassing and instances where I thought I had remembered song lyrics (but had not). How grateful I am that my publisher suggested we take this crucial step! I will add — at the risk of mixing metaphors — that while Lisa goes through copy with a fine-tooth comb, she does not reinvent the wheel. She has never tried to rewrite or “revoice” my novels but only to make them clearer and more resonant. Any writer who wants to publish the best version possible of his/her work will be well served by Lisa.
—Dara Lebrun, author of The Bunny Hop, Sub Rosa, and Half Crazy
Lisa has been enormously helpful to our writers of fiction and nonfiction. She’s patient, thorough, thoughtful, and not afraid to make creative suggestions. Her edits make the writing glow.
—Naomi Rosenblatt, publisher of Heliotrope Books
I've worked with Lisa several times over the years, in particular when I was deputy editor of Archaeology magazine. She helped us out with a number of projects, including as primary copy editor and proofreader on a newsstand-only issue of the magazine. Lisa is attentive, meticulous, thoughtful, and responsive. She was able to proof our copy — with its specialized language and particular style — in a way that not only prevented errors, but actively made our work better. I can't recommend her strongly enough.
—Samir Patel, deputy editor at Atlas Obscura
I'm eager to hear about your project! Please send me an introductory email telling me about yourself and your manuscript, namely:
- Your quick "elevator speech": genre, basic plot, narrator POV, setting, target audience
- Stages of editing your manuscript has gone through, meaning is it a first draft; has it been through developmental editing; has it been professionally evaluated or workshopped at all?
- Total word count
- Deadline or timeframe
- Anything else you'd like me to know
I'm more likely to respond if you use the form below, as it helps eliminate spam. Alternately, you can email me directly at GoodfootEditorial@gmail.com.