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 horror, gratuitous violence 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 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.
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’ve edited contemporary, historical and literary fiction, fantasy, science fiction, romance, mysteries, thrillers, and young adult works. I enjoy editing metaphysical fiction and I love the challenge of turning memoirs into publishable works.
I can edit to both UK conventions and The Chicago Manual of Style.
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.
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
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 written feedback on the points you need to work on before the book is ready for publication.
After that, you go away and work on the manuscript some more, and then return it to me for the next step.
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. If I read your book and find that I have no suggestions for developmental editing, I’ll give you a discount on further editing costs.
It’s best if you’ve done at least a couple of drafts before bringing your book to me for appraisal.
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 USD $0.0025 per word plus $70 – paid in advance. (AUD $0.0035 + $100). I’ll send you an invoice when I’m ready to start the job, either for Paypal (plus 4% to cover their fee) or you can pay straight into my bank account through bank transfer. Non-Australian residents, see Wise
I do partial appraisals / give feedback on small word counts at the rate of USD $80 an hour (AUD$100) for communications, reading and writing feedback, with a minimum charge of one hour paid in advance. 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.
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
For memoirs, because the story is set, I don’t do an appraisal as we would for fiction. Instead I start by spending an hour looking at the writing and structure of the book, and giving you feedback on anything you could work on further before giving it to me for editing. That will cost you USD$60 for one hour, and if I find there’s a lot I need to say such that I need more time, I’ll let you know. I’ll also do a free sample edit and quote for the editing. And before we start on the edit, you’ll have time to do any revisions you might want to in light of my comments. Memoir editing quotes are done on a $60 per-hour basis based on my estimate of how much time it will take.
Step 2 – Line and copy editing
Newland shows she is a master at the English language.” Katie French, Underground Book Reviews.
The 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.
The copy edit
A copy edit primarily 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.
Line and copy editing prices
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 rate based on how much work your book requires, but a line and copy edit done together ranges from USD $0.0085 for experienced authors with quality writing and excellent knowledge of grammatical and punctuation conventions to $0.03 per word for books that need a huge amount of work. (AUD $0.014 – $0.048) per word. The usual price for new or inexperienced authors is USD$0.023/word. (If you pay by Paypal, I also add 4% to cover their 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. 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. I can usually get a manuscript proofread for you for USD $0.00625 (AUD$0.009) per word up to USD$0.014/word (for the most experienced US proofreader).
Total cost for a comprehensive edit
For an appraisal, line and copy editing, and a proofread, the total cost ranges from USD$0.0175/word (for manuscripts that require minimal editing) to USD$0.0465/word plus USD$70. With the cost for inexperienced authors generally coming in around $0.032/word. I can’t give a set price until I see the manuscript because different books require different amounts of work.
I’m the primary editor for AIA Publishing—a 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 Book Awards 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.