Whether you’re self-publishing or submitting to agents and publishers, your story should shine! As an author myself, I know what your book means to you—and I know the importance of sending it into the world looking polished and professional. Don’t let typos, grammatical errors, or plot hiccups get in the way of a great reading experience.
I edit most genres, including romance (from sweet to scorching), women’s fiction, romantic suspense, mystery, cozy mystery, and thrillers.
I work in Word, using Track Changes, so that you can see every suggestion and correction. I can edit books written in either American or British English. And I charge by the word, not by the hour—so you’ll know exactly how much to budget for. (All prices are in US currency, and payment is via PayPal.)
Copyediting/line editing: $0.008/word
A copyedit includes:
~ spelling, grammar, and punctuation (US or UK)
~ appropriate use of point of view (e.g. no ‘head-hopping’)
~ consistency of capitalisation, hyphenation, italics, abbreviations, etc.
~ overuse or repetition of words and phrases
~ continuity (character traits and plot points)
~ timeline check—making sure the story doesn’t lose or gain a day (or more!)
~ basic fact checking
~ a style sheet to record your preferences (for a single title and across a series)
~ an editorial letter outlining general points for you to consider, and any specifics that need more explanation.
I’ll also point out any issues with plot, style, or characterisation—anything that doesn’t quite make sense, or could jolt your reader out of the story. (If there are lots of these kinds of issues in the book, a developmental edit might be needed instead of a copyedit.)
Please note that the per-word rate may be higher for books in translation or by authors writing in English as a second language, due to the extra editing required.
A thorough check of spelling, grammar, and punctuation (style sheet included). This is a great option if your story has already had a developmental edit and/or copyedit, and just needs one more pair of eyes before publication/submission.
I’m happy to provide a sample edit of your first pages (up to 2000 words), so that you can get a feel for how I work, and whether we’d make a good team. If you’re unsure what level of editing your manuscript needs, we can figure that out together. To get started, just send me a message via the contact page or at email@example.com.
Due to time constraints, I currently only take on developmental editing by arrangement.
“Serena Clarke ROCKS! I was fortunate enough to have Serena edit my Brides on the Run series, which has over 1000 four- and five-star reviews. Serena is so easy to work with. She’s efficient, professional, and incredibly insightful. She helped make my story better without trying to change my voice in any way. I can’t say enough good things about my experience working with her. When you’re as grammatically challenged as me, it’s good to have someone like Serena in your corner.” – Jami Albright, romantic comedy author
“I had an exceptional experience working with Serena on my book. She has a true eye for grammar, detail, and consistency and provided an edit that helped elevate my manuscript to the next level. Beyond that, she’s a delightful person to work with and I would recommend her editing services to anyone!” – Amelia Rowe, romantic suspense author
“Serena Clarke is an absolute joy to work with. She has an amazing eye for detail and really knows her stuff. Added to that she is fast, easy to communicate, and always improves my stories. In short, she’s a dream copy editor, and I can’t recommend her enough!” – Amanda Ashby, YA and contemporary romance author
“Serena Clarke at Free Bird Editing did a great job proofreading a novella for me, even picking up a few factual inaccuracies that had slipped through earlier edits. I would definitely recommend her services.”– Karina Bliss, contemporary romance author
“I came to Serena when I realized some aspects of my novel needed another eagle eye. Serena was invaluable in helping me streamline the flashback scenes and clean up the character point of view. Her attention to detail was meticulous and resulted in a much better flow for the overall story. She also helped me see what the reader would be looking for in particular scenes that I had previously glossed over. Her edits were just what I needed. I’m very pleased with Serena’s services!” – Lara Ward Cosio, contemporary romance author
“Serena did an amazing job line editing my manuscript. She was a joy to work with, and she was very communicative and clear in her feedback. Her comments and questions helped me take my manuscript to the next level. My proofreader was blown away by how clean my manuscript was!” – Erin L. Jungdahl, romantic comedy author
“This was my first experience with an editor and my only response is ‘Holy wow!’ Thank you, and I’m a believer. The feedback has been extremely helpful and has created a significant change in my mindset.” – Merri Maywether, contemporary romance author
“Serena is an absolute pleasure to work with—I can highly recommend her to any writer looking for an excellent copyediting service. She makes working at a distance so easy with her clear communication, helpful advice, and speedy responses. I am a non-fiction writer and I was very impressed with her ability to edit both fiction and non-fiction in an extremely capable way.” – Sarah O’Flaherty, non-fiction author
“Serena Clarke at Free Bird Editing was fast, thorough, and delivered more than I’d expected, for a very reasonable price. Not only did she pick out things I’d completely overlooked, as well as bigger issues, in her editorial letter she also helped to fix some plot issues by offering useful suggestions. She was supportive throughout the subsequent revision process, which I expect other editors would consider developmental edits and would definitely not be included in the price of a copyedit. I was a little scared at the thought of working with a new editor, but Serena erased all my fears and made the editing process a lot easier. It was a real pleasure working with her, and I would definitely recommend her to anyone who asked.” – Grace Roberts, sweet romance author
“Serena knows her stuff when it comes to punctuation and grammar. I love working with efficient and honest people, and Serena doesn’t disappoint. I highly recommend her as an editor.”– Tamara Gill, historical and time travel author
“I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you again for your work on the book and especially those comments about things that didn’t quite gel for the reader, along with all the ‘gritty’ style consistency! I am so appreciative of your insight, Serena, into making it a far better book.” – Joanne Hill, contemporary romance author
P.S. Wondering about my qualifications? Here’s my ‘official’ editor bio:
Serena Clarke followed up her Bachelor of Arts degree with a Diploma in Equine Management, a Certificate in Editing Skills, and a TESOL qualification from Trinity College, London. From this eclectic education, she built a career as a writer and editor in publishing, PR, and communications, but now she’s happily focused on fiction—her true love. A passionate reader and traveller, she’s lived in seven cities in four countries, and is now settled in New Zealand. Her e-reader is packed with everything from hot, angsty romance to gritty thrillers, but her favourite reads always have a feel-good HEA. As a published writer herself, she knows how important it is to provide great editing, while keeping the magic of the author’s own voice.