I have been an editor for nearly forty years, and I've edited many kinds of writing, from résumés and college applications to long-form investigative magazine articles, non-fiction books, and mysteries.
For novels, I charge $33 per hour for proofreading, $38 per hour for copyediting, and $48 per hour for developmental editing. Non-fiction in each catergory costs $2 more per hour.
As with every other profession, editors differ dramatically. My rates are in the middle of the range set by the Editorial Freelancers Association, but my knowledge and editing skills are exceptional.
Because I am a published novelist who has written a cozy mystery and a hard-boiled private-eye novel, both of which will be published by TouchPoint Press, I understand voice, pacing, and characterization deeply. Therefore, I'll work hard to maintain an author's intentions but shore up grammar, syntax, believability, and pace so the resulting novel sings.
Having been a longtime journalist and a top editor in various newsrooms, I am equally comfortable editing non-fiction, so if you have a book that could use the expert eye of a seasoned ink-stained wretch, I'm your guy.
I’m writing to recommend Bruce Leonard Jr. as a book editor. I have been working with Bruce on my book project the past couple of months and can’t believe both what a difference he’s made on my manuscript, and on how different he is from the two previous professional editors I had worked with. My first editor had a P.H.D. in English and had taught screenwriting and run writing workshops. He proved to be helpful in advising on overall structure but offered very little assistance with the copy editing. After some time it became clear that he didn’t have the skills that I needed and so I terminated the relationship. Then I got another recommendation for an editor with a very impressive resume and an even more impressive price tag. But, unfortunately, after two months I finally had to acknowledge that she had given me almost nothing in the way of actual improvements to the book. So once again I was forced to terminate my editor relationship and continue the search.
After being referred to Bruce, the two of us spoke at length, and it became clear to me that my book would benefit greatly from Bruce’s skillset. Then, after getting back my first chapters from Bruce, I saw that my instinct was correct: His work was in another league altogether from the other two professionals I had worked with. He not only showed that he has great facility with the basic editorial job of improving sentences and paragraphs, but he also was able to offer excellent ideas on overall structure and tone. And as our project has continued, he has shown tremendous skill at recognizing and clearly articulating when something works and when it doesn’t.
For a writer seeking editorial assistance, this is a dream come true: an editor who can make great improvements on both the micro and the macro level. Plus, every time I’ve called him to discuss an issue with my work he always responds quickly, usually within twenty-four hours. I can definitely say that that was not the case with the previous professionals.
So, yes, I highly recommend Bruce Leonard to edit any book, magazine article, newspaper editorial, poem, song, love letter, dating profile or any other document that involves the use of words that need to be expressed in a coherent, organized, and creative way.
Bruce is one of the most gifted people I ever met. His grasp of the English language is second to none. I learned more about writing, grammar, reporting and the English language in the short time he was around than I did in my eight years of college. He is very versatile and can write for many different subjects. Bruce is a hard working professional who is very dedicated to his job and making those who work under him better. In the time I worked with him, he never took a day off. Being the editor at a newspaper in Southern Colorado isn’t as easy as one may think, and Bruce did a great job of making sure the people of Las Animas County got the best and most accurate news that could be reported. He often double and triple checked our double and triple checked numbers and facts just to make sure they were absolutely correct.
It is my pleasure to recommend to you a journalist who distinguished himself as one of the most tireless and talented professionals it was my privilege to work with at The News-Review in Roseburg, Oregon. Bruce Leonard assumed the role of City Editor at the newspaper in 2015, a post that almost immediately expanded to include the duties of Executive Editor, as well, following the departure of the person who had held that role and the subsequent decision of the publisher not to rehire for the position.
I was freelancing for the paper at the time, though as the former City Editor I can attest to the daunting workload Bruce’s position already entailed before his responsibilities were expanded. To think that his publisher added to those duties those of the woman who hired him – and did so when Bruce had been on the job barely two weeks – still makes me incredulous. Notwithstanding such challenges, Bruce embraced his dual role with a grace that belied the stress he must have been experiencing.
Under Bruce’s steady leadership, The News-Review’s coverage of this community continued to thrive, garnering for itself numerous professional accolades from the Society of Professional Journalists and Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association. Bruce’s meticulous copy-editing skills ensured that the stories he shepherded to print were clean and thoroughly reported, and his journalistic vision guided the paper’s coverage through some notably rough waters.
Bruce and his former staff should be particularly proud of their coverage of the 2015 mass shooting at Umpqua Community College, which left ten dead and many injured. This tragedy presented unique reportorial challenges, given the heinous nature of the crime and the sensitivity with which the newspaper’s coverage needed to be handled. It is a credit to Bruce’s leadership that the paper consistently published stories during this crisis that were as nuanced as they were thorough.
Any publication fortunate enough to retain Bruce’s services will benefit from his years of experience as a reporter, editor and photographer for numerous news outlets, and the tenacity and discernment he has developed in these positions over the years.