My editing services and rates

I provide editing services for writers of romance and commercial women’s fiction. If you’re looking for encouraging, professional advice on your manuscript, then please read through the services I’ve listed below and choose the one most suitable for you. (Please note that my editing is done using Track Changes in Word. If you’d prefer a different method, please do get in touch to discuss.)

Feel free to check out my testimonials page, too.

I look forward to hearing from you.

helena fairfax, editor, contemporary romance

Sample Edit

Price: £75 for the first 5,000 words plus a synopsis of the novel 

A sample edit is vital if we haven’t worked together before. The sample edit will give you the opportunity to check out my editing style and decide whether you can work with me, and it will also give you an indication of how much revision (if any) your manuscript will need before it is ready for submission to an agent/publisher. In addition, the sample edit allows me to work out how long a full edit of your manuscript is likely to take.

My sample edit consists of a one-page report on the opening of your novel, highlighting areas such as writing style/accuracy, the strength of the opening, the characters’ goals and motivation, and the storyline/plot as it is presented in the synopsis. I also provide a full copy-edit of these initial 5,000 words, concentrating on the basics such as grammar and spelling, as well as tone, consistency, repetition, etc. 

If you would like to discuss a sample edit, please contact me via this form, or else email me at

helena fairfax, editor, contemporary romance

Manuscript Assessment / Developmental Edit

Price: From £5 per 1,000 words, depending on the amount of work required

A manuscript assessment and a developmental edit are strictly speaking two different things. I’ve put them together under one heading here because I offer a mixture of the two. Basically, I provide an in-depth manuscript assessment, running to 10-12 pages, covering elements such as the story structure, characterisation (including motivation, goals, and character arc), tone and style, pacing, whether the story is believable, whether the reader will keep turning the pages, the areas where the manuscript succeeds, and any other points that may arise from your particular ms.

I know from my own experience as a published author how hard it is to take a step back to establish if your own story is working. An independent assessment of your book can greatly improve your chance of success when approaching agents and publishers.

If you would like to discuss a manuscript assessment, please contact me via this form, or else email me at

helena fairfax, editor, contemporary romance

Copy-Edit / Line Edit

Price: From £0.01 per word, depending on the amount of work required

Copy-editing involves checking the basics, such as grammar and spelling, as well as making sure the style is consistent throughout. Other areas covered include: is the timeline of the story correct, or do events happen within an hour that should have taken an entire day? Do the character and setting descriptions remain consistent, or does the hero end up with brown eyes after starting the novel with blue? Does the vocabulary used in dialogue match the characters’ personalities? Does the point of view jump about? If it’s a historical romance, are there any anachronisms? Do the chapter numbers follow on in the correct order?

Please note that a copy-edit is NOT a proofread of the text. In the words of the UK’s Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading, a copy-edit “picks up embarrassing mistakes, ambiguities and anomalies”, including elements such as inconsistency and repetition. With this service I will highlight areas that need to be changed, but I strongly advise having the manuscript proofread after any revisions have been made.

If you would like to discuss a copy-edit, please contact me via this form, or else email me at