Fee Schedule

When we say page, we assume 250 double-spaced words on a manuscript page with one-inch margins in 12-point type. When we refer to word count, we mean number of 4-character words in your book. (Standardizing word length controls for the difference in language sophistication between YA and adult fiction.) Most word-count tools offer a character-count option; to get the number of 4-letter words,  take the number of characters and divide by 4.

Book-length manuscripts

Proofreading: $35 per hour. Narwhal’s expected rate of speed to proofread a manuscript is at least 3,000 words per hour.

Basic copy editing: $38 per hour. Narwhal’s expected rate for a light copy edit is about 10 – 15 pages per hour, or 2,500 – 3,750 words. Narwhal’s expected rate for moderate copy editing is about 5 – 9 pages per hour, or 1,250 – 2,250 words per hour. We find our average rate to be around 3,000 words per hour.

Heavy copy editing: $45 per hour. Narwhal’s expected rate is about 2 – 4 pages an hour, or 500 – 1,000 words. But honestly, if your manuscript needs that much work, we’re probably going to suggest that we help you write a cleaner draft before you invest in copy editing it.

Substantive or line editing: $50 per hour. A substantive edit includes copy editing, developmental feedback, and rewriting of sentences to improve flow or syntax. A substantive edit usually takes about 30% – 50% more time than a copy edit.

Developmental editing: $55 per hour. A developmental edit of an average 100,000-word manuscript generally takes about 30 hours.

Manuscript Critique: half a cent per word (minimum $250)

Short stories and novellas up to 40,000 words

Proofreading: 1 cent per word, minimum $50

Basic copy editing: 1.5 cents per word, minimum $50

Heavy copy editing: 2 cents per word, minimum $50

Substantive or developmental editing: 2.5 cents per word, minimum $75

Short story critique: half a cent per word plus $50, minimum $75


Phone or Skype mentoring: $60 an hour


Cover letter review and edit: $50

Synopsis review and edit: $15 per page (minimum $30)

Cover copy edit: $25

Front and back matter edit: $25

Flap copy edit: $50

Submission package review and edit: $250. This includes substantive editing of 3 chapters, your synopsis, and your cover letter.