I help you express yourself and share your story with the world.
I strengthen your voice, support your vision and can assist you all the way to publication.
NB. I do not edit or appraise children’s stories or non-fiction other than memoirs.
The beauty of Tahlia’s work is that she doesn’t just correct mistakes, she doesn’t just reshape phrases and paragraphs, she chisels the rough edges to bring out a clearer, better version of the text without taking anything away from it. While going over her corrections and notes, I realized that she got very involved in the book to the point where she understood not only the text, but my style, my voice, and her editing was always in tune with that.
“She’s experienced enough to take a seasoned approach to the page, but, unlike so many experienced people she’s not jaded. She’s enthusiastic and involved, and that’s exactly what you want when someone is taking a knife to your work. The fact that she works fast (and I mean impressively fast) doesn’t detract from her attention to details, nor does it mean she won’t take time to make notes wherever she thinks it will help you in the future. That’s another big bonus, she doesn’t simply correct, or streamline, she explains why. I recommend her to anyone who is serious about their work, because she is serious about hers.” Dorian Zari.
What is unique about me as an editor?
I truly care about you and your story. I tune into and help you strengthen your voice and, as much as possible, teach you to be a better author. I see how to improve your book, then I explain the steps you need to take in order to make it the best it can be. My role is to help you bring your vision to life.
Not only was Tahlia spot on with her editorial suggestions, she took the time to explain and even provide additional reference material. I learned more from her during the process than if I had taken a writing class. She was very responsive and helpful when I had questions, and consistently met deadlines.” David Homick
I do more than just check grammar and punctuation, I make sure that your plot, pacing, characters, dialogue, world-building and so on are strong, and I’m particularly good at making your prose shine.
My specialities are fiction and memoirs. I enjoy editing metaphysical fiction or books with a spiritual aspect, and I love the challenge of turning memoirs into publishable works. I can even ghostwrite your memoir for you such that your friends will think that you wrote it.
I’ve also tried both the traditional and self-publishing routes to publication, and I know the pitfalls and benefits of both. With me you don’t just get an editor, you get the benefit of my experience in all aspects of publishing.
Tahlia is a well-thought-out editor. Nothing seems to escape her critical eye, and I assure you, you want her kind of eye gleaning your work. During the editing process Tahlia was a friend with friendly advice. Then just as quickly she was my teacher teaching me lessons of English and the art of creative writing. She never held back, and she expected better – demanded it! She made me “kill my babies” so my story would shine better. Because of her I promise I will never “Head-Hop”, “Tell” my story nor “Tag” an obvious conversation ever again – Never! She has ruined my [bad] writing habits, and I will always be haunted by her bar of excellence. Thank you Tahlia.” Guy Brooks.
My editing process
I work collaboratively with you to ensure that your work is not only technically correct but also retains your individual voice and says what you want to say in the best possible way. Whether you are preparing for self-publishing or manuscript submission, I never forget that it is your story.
Three or four steps is all it takes to provide a full service and bring your book to publishing standard.
Step 1 – Developmental editing/manuscript appraisal
Tahlia was extremely patient when I approached her with a project that was really no more than an outline for a book, and a poor one at that. Her encouragement and editing helped push the book forward to completion. I never would have succeeded without her. I am extremely happy with her work and recommend her 100%.” Kirk Sowers.
A manuscript appraisal gives structural/conceptual/developmental editing suggestions on the big elements of your story such as plot, pacing, characters, world-building, dialogue, descriptions, and so on. Readers read for the story, and if the story is not strong, the reader will not be satisfied, so it’s vital that all these story elements are clear and strong before proceeding with detailed editing. An appraisal will give you comments on the manuscript and written feedback on the points you need to work on before the book is ready for publication. If the book is ready for editing, I will also include a free sample edit and quote for editing.
After that, you go away and work on the manuscript some more, and then return it to me for the next step.
Tahlia gives great insights on how to improve your writing and tips on what the industry is looking for.” Heaven Leigh.
For a full manuscript, I charge $0.002 USD per word plus $65 – paid in advance. If you’re not in Australia, then I’ll send you a Paypal invoice and add 2% to cover half their fee. Locals pay by bank transfer on receipt of an email invoice I will send when I’m ready to start the job.
I do partial appraisals on small word counts at the rate of USD $45 an hour for communications, reading and writing feedback with an advance fee of $45 (if the work takes more than 1 hour you’ll receive another invoice to cover the balance). This rate is good if you just want feedback on your beginning or on your prose or a few chapters rather than the whole story, or if your manuscript is less than 15,000 words.
If the first few chapters indicate major consistent issues, I will give a partial appraisal outlining these issues and complete the appraisal after you’ve done another draft in which you work on those issues. In this instance, you will pay only the advance fee and the per-word fee for as much as I have read, and you’ll pay the remainder when I finish reading after you’ve worked on the book again.
If I read your book and find that I have no suggestions for developmental editing, I’ll deduct the reading fee from further editing costs.
It’s best if you’ve done a couple of drafts before bringing your book to me for appraisal.
I sent the manuscript of my first book to Tahlia. I received a prompt reply with an appraisal and the manuscript with salient points indicated as comments. Everything that Tahlia said was valid, and helped me enormously. An awesome service and I feel so fortunate that Tahlia was personally recommended to me.” Lyn Behan
Step 2 – Line and copy editing
Newland shows she is a master at the English language.” Katie French, Underground Book Reviews.
Do you need a manuscript appraisal before line and copy editing?
I don’t do copy and line editing without an appraisal before editing. The reason for this is that is that an appraisal constitutes the vital developmental stage of editing. When an appraisal isn’t done and the issues worked on before editing, I most often at some point in the manuscript find developmental issues that are beyond the scope of a line edit. Then I have to pause the edit and coach you on what is needed and wait for you to solve the issues before continuing the edit. Since changes in one area of the book often require changes in other areas, I often, then, have to go back and re-edit, and since you pay for my time to do all this, it can quickly add up to cost more than an appraisal would. Also if I read your manuscript and find that it didn’t require developmental editing, then I deduct the reading costs of the appraisal from the editing costs. If you really don’t want an appraisal, there are plenty of other editors who will copy edit without doing developmental editing and regardless of the state of your manuscript.
What is a line edit?
The line edit is a very important aspect of editing as it deals with the actual writing. A line edit polishes the prose, making sure that it is as engaging as possible, and checks that each paragraph and sentence expresses your ideas clearly and succinctly. At this stage I do things like check and improve sentence and paragraph structure, make sure the words used evoke the intended reader response and deepen characterisation, balance story elements like description and backstory, make character motivations and point of view changes clear, and turn telling into showing where needed. I’ll cut unnecessary words, remove needless repetition, and flag any remaining issues with scene structure or dramatic tension.
Tahlia helped me with a pre-publish rewrite of my novel ‘Spiderworld’. The result took some batting back and forth until we could both agree that my novel had found a balance. Tahlia was firm against my resistance to change, a vital quality for an editor. This was paralleled with a deep respect for my vision. In the end, we found a compromise that made for a far better book than the one I first presented. The plot, the idea, my personal painting was unchanged, but the story’s final balance was so much an improvement.” Richard Bunning.
What is a copy edit?
A copy edit checks spelling, grammar and punctuation. A lot of books can have their line editing done at the same time as the copy edit. Books requiring a lot of line editing, however, will need a separate pass for copy editing after the line editing has been checked by the author. I’ll let you know whether your book needs a separate pass for copy editing when I give you a quote and free sample edit. If your book does need a separate copy edit, I’ll send it to another member of my team for the copy edit as fresh eyes catch more errors.
I initially contacted Tahlia and asked her to appraise my novel. She did a fantastic job for a modest charge. I then asked her to edit the book, and that turned out to be a more than satisfying experience. Tahlia was a pleasure to work with. She seemed to be brutally honest when need be, and she helped me see what I’d written in a different light. I think she improved my work greatly. I would work with her again and happily recommend her to others.” J. R Archer, author of A Dog’s View of Love Life & Death.
When you return the manuscript to me after dealing with the issues raised in the appraisal, I do a free sample edit and give you a quote for the line and copy editing. I work out my quote based on the number of words I can edit in an hour and then charge $45 an hour for the estimated number of hours it will take me.
I can’t give actual prices until I see the manuscript, but for estimation purposes it usually works out to be anywhere from USD $0.006 per word for a copy edit with minimal line editing to around USD $0.025 per word for an extensive line edit. The usual price for a combined line and copy edit works out at around USD $0.015 per word for a single pass of the manuscript. I charge $45 an hour for any checking and coaching I have to do after the first pass – since we’ve already done the developmental stage of editing, that usually doesn’t come to much, if any. (If you pay by Paypal, I also add 2% for your half of their 4% fee.)
You can self-publish a book for next to nothing on Createspace but to publish a good, well-written book that will gather positive reviews on Amazon and from rated reviewers and bloggers, you will have to shell out. Not a huge amount but maybe a thousand imperial British pounds or so. You will need a professional structural edit, a good cover and a copy edit. Tahlia appraised the manuscript of my third book Not Without Risk then carried out the structural edit. Tahlia is a talented author in her own right, and she instinctively knew what I was trying to do with the plot and characters and helped me achieve it. Tahlia is also fantastic with the line edit – improving the prose sentence by sentence. She has written a highly rated book on this – The Elements of Active Prose – which I strongly recommend to any budding writer.
The book has gathered a lot of good reviews from rated reviewers and bloggers including one on Amazon USA which said, ‘Very well developed characters, nicely painted scenes and exceptionally clean editing make this a book a joy to read.’ Now if that isn’t a testimonial, what is?” Pete Trewin, author of Not Without Risk.
See more references on my home page.
Step 3 – Proofreading
A proofread catches anything the editor might have missed. If you’re submitting to a publisher, you won’t need this, but if you’re self-publishing, you will. I don’t do proofreads myself; I send your manuscript to a colleague for the proofreading stage so you have the advantage of a different set of eyes. I use different proofreaders for US conventions and UK conventions. Proofreading comes in at between $0.002 to $0.005 per word depending on who is available to do the proof.
I’m the primary editor for AIA Publishing—my selective author-funded publishing company. If I really like your book and think it’s top quality I might offer to publish it for you. Let me know when you contact me for editing (use the form below) if you’re interested in publishing with AIA Publishing.
Tahlia has been a genuine pioneer of an open press, of the drive towards quality publishing outside of the publishing temples, those traditional near-closed, often incesterous, bastions. She has a great grasp of the nuts and bolts as well as the art, the ‘spirituality’ of writing wonderful prose. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. So if in doubt about her ability, then feast on both her original works and the books of others she has so much improved.” Richard Bunnings.
I’ve been editing full time since early 2013. Prior to that I spent five years of full time diverse writing study (courses, workshops, mentoring by top Australian editors, and reading widely). I have a Copy Editing and Proofreading Certificate from AOC (Australia), have written and published 10 books, am a trained school teacher and was one of the primary reviewers for the Awesome Indies for three years. I worked as an editor for S&H Publishing, Manor Minor Press and agent Caroline Oliviera.
I can edit to both UK and US conventions.
“I nervously submitted the manuscript of my first book to Tahlia and discovered as the process unfolded, I was in the hands of a caring and highly skilled professional. Tahlia’s honest feedback and guidance was constructive and empowering. She is an excellent communicator and is quick to respond to my questions or concerns. I have recommended a number of friends seeking editing expertise to her.” David Kerr
Fill in the form below and I’ll get back to you.
Please note that I do not edit non-fiction other than memoirs or any book with graphic descriptions of violence, rape, torture or other cruelty.
If you’re not sure whether or not I’m the right editor for you, you can request a free sample edit of the first 1000 words.