Editors come in a wide variety of disciplines and skill-set proficiencies. An editor like you seek may be a costly and skilled proofreader in the sense of basic, nondiscretionary spelling, punctuation, and grammar checking, which is no more useful than a wordproceccesor application or acquaintance doing the job at far less, if any, cost.
A copyeditor evaluates at a more comprehensive level, into advanced style functions that grammar check software only skimps into. A developmental editor operates on larger functional rhetoric plains, craft, voice, appeal, language arts--as well as proofreading and copyediting--to name a few rhetoric areas that recommend, or not, a mansucript for publication. Far beyond any software's abilities.
Not everyone who holds themselves out as an editor is competent, either. Very few are comprehensive style experts.
Frankly, any editing payment before a manuscript is truly ready for circulation to prospective publishers and agents is a waste of money. Spending time and effort and money resources developing language and writing arts is worth the candle for a writer though.
Yours and the mechanical style skills of your family and friends exhibited by your writing I've sampled are as good as many that do editor business. Far superior to many self-styled editors, too. Not as good as the auditors of the higher plains who work in publishing. I read your book fragment post. I'll comment on it there soon.
One shortcoming, my opinion of what doesn't work for me, of the fragment would give it a pass at most publishers. It's largely a summary and explanation lecture--tell. Learning imitation methods for developing the all-important narrative illusion of reality--show--for the purpose of creating the reader spell that puts eyes on the page, page after page after page, is I feel a direction to go toward for stronger creative writing.
No working editor (that I know of, save moi, who has a full queue) provides that type of service, beyond an impersonal and unfathomable comment: "No thank you. Not suitable at this time for our list." Maybe a writing guide, coach, mentor, teacher, class, or partner might. Here at Hatrack are writers who do offer that kind of guidance, gratis, while and for developing their own writing craft.
I was reading about "fastpencil.com" They supposedly offer a complete set of services at possibly reasonable prices, But I wonder if it's really all they talk it up to be. They seem to offer everything from writing/editing software , to editing, coaching, cover design, etc. services to publication, copyright, and distribution services. Anybody have any thoughts or Knowledge of it?
I don't see reasonable prices. I see middleman markups that charge for little more than pass-through services for their basic packages. They charge exorbitant fees for higher-end offerings and questionable services that appear little more to me than those of a vanity press. Any writer willing to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for services that are otherwise available at far less cost would be better served exercising due dilligence and focusing on the writing. For eight grand, a writer could more wisely spend the time and money on composition and writing courses.
I sampled the listed editor offerings. Half the listings I read have egregious grammar errors. "I've done editing . . ." Oh my word, really? Faulty predicate. [I've edited . . .]; "I have published . . ." [I published . . .] Missed, misused, misplaced punctuation, dangling participles, faulty syntax, etc. I saw no spelling errors, though, only editing that a wordprocessor application does.
A ballpark for skilled freelance editors ranges from a basic, thorough proofread at $0.35 per page up to $1.00 per word ghost writing. Skilled freelance project editors charge per hour between $25 and $500. Mean annual income for salary editors is in the $40,000 to $80,000 range. Senior editors' annual salaries reach $150,000 and higher.
Cost of editing from a publisher's standpoint as an acquisition decision factor deserves contemplation.
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