Robert Smythe

Costs for Editing Services

Rates depend on what service you want. For fiction, that ranges from simple proofreading, to copy editing, to line editing, and to developmental editing. I am interested in helping young writers get started, so I charge the low end of each range as specified by the Editorial Freelancers Association. (

Here's a summary of their ranges and what I charge.

Simple proofreading (checking grammar, punctuation, word use)


My fee: $2 per page

Copy editing (proofreading with suggestions for improved sentence structure and word use)


My fee: $3 per page

Line editing (substantive copy editing: a wider view, looking for flow of the chapter, echoes, paragraphing, tense, POV issues)


My fee: $5 per page, or $4 if I met you on Critique Circle.

Developmental editing (plot, characterization, setting, pacing, POV choice)

Rate is variable according to manuscript's need, but close to line editing

My fee: $6 per page, or $5 if I met you on Critique Circle.

I provide a discount for CC members if I've critiqued their work already and expect them to have incorporated some of my suggestions into the latest version of their manuscript so I won't have to say the same thing again. Also, I expect that they will have been critiquing other writers, thereby helping their colleagues get started, too. 

If you wish to see more about typical costs for editing your manuscript, here is a website that discusses the issue:

How many pages will your manuscript be? I go by 300 words per page for fiction. (Obviously, there's a range. Pages of dialogue have fewer words than pages with long paragraphs of narrative. The Editorial Freelancers Association uses 250 words/page, but that counts non-fiction, too.)

It is important to me that you understand that hiring an editor isn't cheap. Becoming a professional--a dancer, baseball player, electrician, physicist, doctor, teacher--takes an investment of time, effort, and money. Writing, too. You have to be willing to invest in yourself and your work.

If you are serious about bringing a book up to publishing quality or need help with story development I'd be glad to assist. Contact me using the contact form, or email me directly at if you have questions.

Feedback from Authors on Critique Circle

Your critique is easily one of the most detailed ones I've come across so far, and I love the way you made sure everything was constructive as opposed to chastising.

Meeps3, Oct. 17, 2019

Thank you for critiquing my story, "Wisteria". You have given me a ton to think about. This is probably one of the most in-depth critiques I have ever gotten on this site, so again, thank you for taking the time to give me so much feedback.

Preathea Oct. 9, 2019

This is one of only a few critiques that I've ever had that was so detailed and professional. I can't begin to thank you enough ...
Dcrichlow, Sep. 30, 2019

Wow! This may be the most helpful critique I have ever received in my life. In fact, you have made me excited to go back and make some edits and revisions. You have given me some really great advice on things I know I needed to hear and I am going to try implement them and take those things with me moving forward. I really want to make my writing as strong as I am able, and I just know the things you said are really going to help.

Briteskies Sep. 29, 2019

Thank you again for this awesome critique.Thank you for taking the time to critique my story. Your review was extremely helpful...I can't thank you enough, you have giving me a blue print on what to look for. You gave me a lot of ideas that I have already started to incorporate.
Rachmtbs Nov. 2, 2014

Thank you for critiquing my story...I so appreciate your willingness to share your knowledge and encouraging words! What a gold mine.
Leslie Davis Nov. 3, 2014

Thank you for critiquing my story, "A Muddy Bath (Revised - My Master is a Leper)". Every critique has been very helpful but yours is at the top. Your thoughts on POV were beneficial and it has allowed me to rewrite the story in a way that I hope is much more engaging.
Mark Ukescalera Oct. 6, 2014

Thanks for the awesome tips and hints. You've given me a lot of excellent ideas. I really appreciate the level of detail along with explanations. Thank you!  ... Your crit was highly technical. It helped me understand that particular dimension of writing.
Greg Donewar (Mountain 33)  Oct. 16, 2014 and follow-up feedback Nov. 4, 2014

Thank you for critiquing my story ...That critique was awesome! That is all I can say, other than, I will study it. Thank You!!!
Ld1532, Oct. 5, 2014

Editing Services

I do a lot of editing and critiquing on internet websites. Critique Circle one of them. If you post a chapter or story there you will receive comments and suggestions from many writers. Perhaps I will see it and provide an edit for you. (Email me in advance, and I'll look for it.)

When the time comes that you are serious about publishing your story, you might want a professional editor to look at the bigger picture. I perform this service for clients. There are various levels, ranging from proofreader to copy editor to developmental editor. If you hire me to proofread, I'll fix your mistaken words and grammar. As a copy editor, I perform the task I do for the writers on the websites: proofreading and suggesting how to make the story better. When I'm in developmental editor mode, I'm looking at overall structure, character development, story arc, pacing, conflict, suspense ... in short, all the areas you need to consider if you want to write a good book and have it appeal to an agent or publisher. 

If you would like to use these services, go to Contact and drop me an email. You can also email me directly at That way, you can attach a sample of your writing. By assessing that, I can give you a rough idea of how much help I can provide you.

Remember, to get my help for free, just submit your short story or chapter to Critique Circle and let me know it's there. (My membership name is RobSmy.)