Formidable Red Pen
A best selling author's most essential ally.

  Author Services

Getting Started

When you need an editor, you need her now. Deadlines don't wait, and your creative process won't stop just because you need backup. When you're ready to get the help you need, send an email to with the following information:
  • Your Name and contact info (email/telephone)
  • The working title of your project
  • The length of your project (approximate total number of words)
  • Your deadline
  • What kind of help you need.

OR Use the Contact Form on our Contact page to enter your information and then click "submit."

We will get back to you pronto.

If you have a rush project, send that email (above), and then send a private message to us on Facebook!

VERY BEST METHOD: Schedule ahead, as far ahead as you are able. We will happily block out time in our calendar for your project so you will know we will be available when you need us.

Why no phone number here? Because phone calls take our attention away from editing and we need to focus on doing the work our customers are paying for! We take frequent breaks to check messages and respond to inquiries. Be sure to include your phone number with your email, and if we need to call you, we definitely will!

What kind of editing does your manuscript need?

The answer to that question depends on many things, including your relative skill level (both writing and revising), how far along the work is, and how much editing has already been done.  It would be nice if there were a simple answer, but - well - there's not. Every project is different. That's why we provide custom pricing for every job.

The different types or phases of editing can be categorized generally as follows (with some overlap and variation on the theme). The process goes something like this:

  • Concept Development: taking your idea from "what if" to "here's what happened."
  • Project Assessment:  Is this a single title/stand alone work? Series? Is the story viable? Who are your target readers? Who else is writing similar material? How is your idea similar to and different from theirs?  What is your motivation for writing? What is your timeline for completion? What barriers do you expect to encounter?
  • Developmental Edit: Assesses what is required for your project to succeed. Is the story solid enough in terms of conflict, character, setting, dialogue, etc? Does your writing skill allow you to fully explicate your ideas?
  • Substantive Edit/Content Edit/Structural Edit: Does your story hold up from one scene to another? From one chapter to the next? Does your framework actually support your story and allow it to shine?
  • Line Edit: checks for grammatical errors and anomalies from paragraph to paragraph and from sentence to sentence.
  • Copy Editing: checks for errors and makes corrections to grammar, usage, spelling, and punctuation.
  • Proofreading: double and triple checks the copy editing, and compares the finished product against set style or layout requirements.
  • Formatting: with the advent of ebooks, formatting often requires separate operations to create multiple versions for different media.

    Additional Services Available:
  • Series development
  • Series Bible
  • Plot development
  • Skill development/Coaching
  • Blog Post Editing
  • Book Doctoring
  • Ghost writing
  • Copy writing
  • Research, fact-checking, genealogy, historical/technical

Video and telephone conferencing options available.

  The Fine Print   


Nobody likes to talk about how much things cost, and we all want to feel like we're getting a bargain, don't we?

So let's break it down to basics:

Writing takes time, and editing takes more  time.  The editors at Formidable Red Pen  are fast, skilled, and thorough, and our mission is to save you time - precious time that you can use for writing or promoting your work - and turn out a superior editing result you can be proud of.

Unless you're a professional editor yourself, we can do these final polish phases better and faster than you can do them for yourself.  We'll save you time, which saves you money.

We will also customize a bid for you, so you pay only for work you need. All bids are based on a starting rate of $.005 per word for proofreading (for an 80,000 word book, that's $400), and $.008 per word for editing (for an 80,000 word book, that's $640).  Developmental editing, coaching, and research rates are negotiated separately.

Work that needs only light review and/or light "polish" may be charged at a lower rate. Projects needing more hands-on attention will be charged at a higher rate.

All bids will be submitted, negotiated, and approved prior to beginning work.

Payment terms: one-half the agreed fee must be paid before work begins. The remaining balance must be paid prior to delivery of the final product.

Longer projects, or works in progress may be paid via retainer, with terms to be negotiated in advance.

We accept payments via PayPal, SquareCash,  QuickPay,  Square (debit or credit card), or EFT.

   OUR TEAM    

Taylor: Story development specialist,

Aubrey: Line/copy editing; fact checking,
proof reading

Louisa/CJ/Malena: Content & developmental
editing; coaching