Editorial Services


Myth Ink Books Editorial Services

Editorial Staff:

Jessica Burke and Anthony S Burdge

Please Read the Information Below.  If you are interested send an email to:

Myth Ink Logo-2From Editor-in-Chief Jessica Burke:

When Anthony and I began Myth Ink, our central idea was to help new writers gain an audience for their work. You can read about how we got started in our “About Us” section.

However, just wishing to publish our own catalog hasn’t been enough. We’ve gotten queries from lots of writers seeking further assistance—writers who may want to brave the world of mainstream publishing or writers who truly want to go it alone and self-publish. Regardless of how you want to publish and how well you can write, everyone needs a good editor.

In my own trade, as an editor and a writing teacher, I’ve seen how wide open the plain of publishing has become—in terms of micro and independent presses, digital platforms, and self-publishing. There are so many more opportunities for new writers of any genre to get their work out there. But, as publishing has turned away from the mainstream, traditional routes, editing has, in a way, become the Wild West. As a freelance writer and editor, I’ve seen novice editors marketing themselves as professionals. I’ve seen editorial work being outsourced and I’ve witnessed vicious bidding wars erupt over simple projects. Most of all, I’ve seen unscrupulous “professionals” making fortunes on the backs of credulous writers. Good editorial work is not cheap. There is no “one size fits all” approach to a project you’ve put your blood, sweat, and money into. I can’t suggest Poets & Writers highly enough as a resource for you, in terms of getting your work together and understanding the market.

Anthony and I have been considering starting a small editorial business, even before starting Myth Ink, but we always shunted it aside for one reason or another. Since launching Myth Ink, I’ve gotten query after query and I don’t think shunting it aside is an option any longer. People who are familiar with our work know we’re professionals.

Please, if you are interested in contracting us, familiarize yourself with our work and the team at Myth Ink Books. For samples of our work, look at our collections, our C.V., and our blogs. Please read the sections below carefully and email if you have questions.

What we’re looking for:

Taking a leaf from the EFA’s (Editors’ Freelance Association) 2014 rates, listed below you’ll find our rates which will vary considerably depending on the nature of your work, the time frame you have in mind for the project, the condition or the standing of the manuscript, and other factors. We are adopting the industry standard for a manuscript page at a firm 250 words.

Currently, we are taking on only works of fiction, personal narrative, creative memoir, or works of a similar nature. We are also open to working with you on screenplays or teleplays. Primarily, we prefer not to ghostwrite, however, depending on the project, if that is a service you are interested in, we are open to discussion. Generally, we would prefer to help you write your own work in your own voice.

We will not consider taking on technical writing, trade specific or grant writing, cookbooks or other DIY manuals, discipline specific academia, or biographies.

Keep in mind, we are flexible. We would like to work with you.

We reserve the right to reject any work for any reason. Most rejected work could fall under, but not be limited to, the following categories: pornography, religious or political grandstanding, or works that rely on racism, homophobia, or gender bias in their plot. If your deadline is simply not possible for us to meet, say you have a 250 page manuscript in need of heavy rewriting and editorial work, but you want it in four weeks, we would not be able to meet that deadline, we would have no choice but to reject your project. We also reserve the right to reject a work that doesn’t follow our specified format of submission. For example, we can only work with workable, unlocked documents, and so would reject .pdf files. Rest assured will not break contract with you and have no wish to exploit you or your work. Should your project not speak to us, we do reserve the right not to take it on.

How we work:

Initially, please send a query. If you have an abstract of less than 150 words, send that in the body of an email; if you don’t have an abstract, tell us about your project in a few words. Inform us of the services you are looking to contract us for: evaluating a finished manuscript or editing a manuscript, proofreading, line-editing, fact-checking, layout design, and so on. Read below for a discussion of those terms. You must also tell us the goals you have for your work—mainstream publishing, self-publishing, digital format, and so forth. If you have an idea for a page length or word count of the finished work, you must also include that information. If you have a deadline in mind, note that as well, however, we would need to schedule your project within our already standing production schedule. If your work is not in any finished format, we also need to know that. If the work is in note or thought form, tell us so we can better tailor services to meet your needs.

Do NOT send a manuscript or any section of a manuscript or project.

If we are interested in taking on your project, we will discuss the services we can provide and an estimated cost. At this stage the cost could only be an estimate because we won’t know the condition of your work until we see it. You’ll note the estimated prices listed below are based on how many pages per hour we estimate being able to work with. Keep in mind, at this stage, we’d just be talking about what we could provide and the cost; nothing would be contracted yet. We would also discuss a potential timeline for the project, as well as provide a general estimation of cost.

If you are interested in moving forward to the initial evaluation stage, we would request a portion of your manuscript, between 5-10 pages. We would need to evaluate the work and tell you the kind of services our team believes your work will need. At this point, we will NOT tell you if we think your manuscript is “good” or “bad” per se, but we will evaluate it, see if it is workable, and see if we can work with you to make it the best it can be. Before evaluation would begin, we would require a non-refundable nominal cost of $50 which is based on the services below. This cost would equal one hour of our time to evaluate your work and provide you with a sample of the work we would provide. At this point, we would not be contracted. Should you for any reason decide not to use our services all you need do is inform us.

Should you not have a finished manuscript or a portion of a finished manuscript, you must tell us. We will discuss how to proceed and may arrange a meeting, in person or via Skype to discuss the project, how we might assist, and your needs for your project.

Should you agree to contract us, we would come to mutual conditions. In those terms, we would agree on a timeline and timeframe for services provided, agree to milestones in the project, and a payment and production schedule. All projects will require a complete Manuscript Evaluation (see costs and description of this service below) to start the project off and allow us to fully evaluate your project. We would agree on the additional services we would provide and a timeframe for how those would be provided. Once agreed, we would draw up a contractual agreement that would outline the provisions and schedule.

A description of the Services provided at Myth Ink Books

Copyediting: involves straight copyediting and a complete manuscript; no rewriting, no writing suggestions, no plot or story evaluation, no overall manuscript development of any kind. Copyediting simply looks at grammar, spelling, and mechanics of language; nothing more.

Editing, developmental: involves more detailed editing, attention to overall mechanics of language, and development of language. Developmental editing looks at some overall structure and gives some writing or development suggestions. Developmental editing does not offer substantial rewriting, plot or story evaluation, or plot or story suggestions. At this level, a finished manuscript is required.

Editing, substantive or line-editing: Line editing is exactly that, we go over your manuscript in a close, line-by-line reading. We will evaluate the overall structure of the piece, pay attention to plot, story, character, and style. If you contract us at this level, you’re basically contracting us to be your writing coach. We will give you suggestions on rewrites, demonstrate examples of possible rewrites, and generally do whatever your manuscript needs to become a complete and effective piece. If your manuscript is unfinished, we would work with you to finish it. Line-editing would also involve periodic and agreed to meetings (in person, via phone or Skype) to discuss the work. Line-editing, however, still requires a manuscript. If your work is in note or thought form, we cannot start the project at this stage but would begin the project at a writing level.

Fact-Checking: even though we work with fiction primarily, fact-checking is still provided. Fact-checking involves no other editorial work, no copyediting nor line-editing. With fact-checking, we look at the manuscript with attention only to checkable facts, history, place names, and basic checkable information. For this rate there is not an estimated pace per manuscript page, but an overall rate per hour. Basic fact-checking includes no additional research and would not include copies of any found research.

Fact-Checking with additional Research: is just that. If your work requires additional research—say you have a historical piece with incomplete facts and you need assistance in gathering more research on the period—this is the level of service. We would provide, whenever possible, source material. We will not purchase source material, however, unless you contract us for that.

Layout, books internal: here we would help you get your finished manuscript ready to go to a publisher, or if you decide to self-publish, help you format your manuscript for a specific format. We would discuss possible layout styles and format the overall work. This would include digital formats. We would work with you on introductory material, however, this doesn’t include solicitation of introductory material, reviews, or blurbs. Should you have those, we would work with you on formatting those. This would not include Cover Design.

Layout, cover: this is cover design. We would work with artwork and cover blurbs you provide. We can help you solicit an artist should you wish to have cover art created specifically for your project, however you must contract the artist independently. Cover design would be the entire cover—front, back, and spine.

Manuscript Evaluation: most jobs would require this as a beginning stage. Before we can offer you specific services, we would need to evaluate the overall manuscript and give you our complete suggestions for possible service options.

Proofreading: here we’re pretty much looking for typos. No other editing or attention to content at this stage.

Ghostwriting Services: essentially, you have a story tell but want us to tell it for you. We offer ghostwriting in fiction, screenplay, teleplay, and non-fiction (memoir or autobiography style essentially). We would need extensive notes and character studies for fiction, or require personal information (letters, notes, journals, etc) and/or interviews with the subject for non-fiction. This service includes meetings (in person if you’re local or via Skype) to discuss the project. These services do not include any editorial work, just writing the story. We will not look for or receive any writing credit for ghostwriting. You will notice, it is cheaper for you to engage us to be editors to help you get the story told in your own voice and we would much prefer to help you write instead of write for you.

ms=manuscript pg=page hr=hour wd=word

Editorial & Service Rates

Type of Work

Estimated Pace

Range of Fees

Editing, basic copyediting 5-10 ms pgs/hr $30-35/hr
Editing, heavy copyediting 2-6 ms pgs/hr $40-45/hr
Editing, developmental 1-5 ms pgs/hr $45-50/hr
Editing, substantive or line 1-5 ms pgs/hr $60-65/hr
Fact-checking with additional research $60-65/hr
Layout, books internal 6-10 pgs/hr $60-70/hr
Layout, cover $70/hr
PROOFREADING 9-12 pgs/hr $30/hr
Ghostwriting, fiction 50¢/wd (est. $125/pg)
Ghostwriting, screenplay or teleplay $125/pg
Ghostwriting, non-fiction (memoir, etc.) 50¢/wd (est. $120/pg)


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