For new clients, I will do a FREE test/sample edit on your manuscript, up to 2,500 words in length {for a full-length book}. For novellas, I will do a FREE edit up to 1,000 words. For short stories – it depends upon the final word count.

You can only discover whether a particular copy editor is right for you by seeing his or her work in action, which is one reason that I, like many copy editors, offer a free demo. A lot of first-time authors don’t really know what working with a copy editor entails, so having a few pages copy-edited is also a good way for them to get an introduction to how the process works.

Full-service editing (with a personalized Style Sheet for your manuscript). The editing includes:

Grammar, spelling, punctuation, syntax, sentence structure, word usage / nuance, repetition, consistency, anomalies, plot holes and paragraph spacing and visual layout; chapter page breaks; correct font and alignment; correct tense; suggestion of using a different word; correct point-of-view (POV) for each scene.
The story is kept in the author’s voice.
The manuscript is gone over at least twice.
If a contract is desired by either party, I will draw up an agreement laying out what’s expected of both sides and how payment will be structured.

Listmania on Amazon for authors with at least five published books

Services NOT Provided

  • I do not secure any necessary permissions for reprinted material, including, but not limited to: song lyrics, photos, poems, newspaper articles, or text. It is the author’s responsibility to secure legal permission from the copyright holder.
  • Beta reading

How do I handle your editing project?

I use the Chicago Manual of Style and Merriam-Webster as my primary sources. I edit in American English, by making changes directly in Word, using the Track Changes feature, and return the revised document in chapter sections for full-length novels (for shorter works, the whole manuscript can be edited before being sent back to the author). [This process also involves asking you questions and seeking clarifications in places.] You then choose which changes to accept. If you add anything new, or delete anything, please leave the Track Changes feature ON, and return the manuscript to me to check over (where I’ll accept your changes). I’ll continue to edit the document that you’ve sent back; we’ll continue with this method until the book is finished.

Note: I don’t make it a practice to tell writers that they absolutely can’t do something; writers often find their greatest moments of creativity when they break the rules. But the rules exist because they work.

About the Track Changes tool:

If you do not have the paid MS Word Office version (which has the Track Changes tool for editing), it is compatible with Apache OpenOffice’s Changes, a tool that allows you to see my corrections and “accept” some or all of them and “reject” others.
You can download OpenOffice for free here.
See the AUTHOR INFO tab for an explanation of using MS Word 2010 Track Changes.

The Fine Print:

Half of the editing fee is due at the beginning of the project, with the remainder due just before the final edited document is sent to the author. Additional payment terms can be accommodated. To discuss different methods, feel free to contact me. I do ask that upon publication of your book that you mention Night Owl Editing Services or my name in the credits. This just helps spread the word. It would be appreciated (but not required) if you would label me (Lea Ellen Borg) as the editor on Amazon [and in the book description field on Goodreads]. For every book that I edit, I list the author’s name and book title on my LinkedIn profile, Goodreads and Pinterest sites; the author’s name is also listed on my website and Facebook page. On all these sites, there is either a link back to each author’s website or to their book.

Special Note: During the editing process, if an author needs to make additional revisions, and this goes over the original word count, an additional fee will be charged.

FEE Info: Please see the Fee Info tab

Cancellation Fee: Sometimes a writer chooses to cancel a project or put it on hold. If work has already commenced, a minimum cancellation fee of 25% of the total fee will be applied for time and expenses, with any remaining deposit refunded. If I’ve edited at least 1/2 of the manuscript, a 50% cancellation fee will apply, with any remaining deposit refunded. If I’ve edited 3/4th or more of the manuscript, and have been paid in full, no refund will apply. If the author reactivates the project at a later date, a partial credit will be applied from the fee already paid. If I haven’t started work on the manuscript and it’s cancelled, any deposit will be refunded in full.


It is never too early to think about scheduling your book to be edited, even if you’re not finished with it yet. Professional editors have steady workloads and my schedule is generally booked several weeks, sometimes months, ahead. At times, however, a client reschedules and a slot opens up. Contacting me two to six months in advance isn’t too soon. In fact, it’s preferable. The sooner you can contact me about putting your book edit on my schedule, the better. (Thanks!)


All of your documents submitted will be held in strict confidentiality. Manuscripts and samples submitted by e-mail will be kept in computer storage, as will the edited, returned copy. I assure you that your work will not be distributed to anyone else not working with me.


The aim is always the same: to assist in making an author’s work the best it can possibly be.