Looking for an editor who knows the difference between a hussar and cuirassier? Who knows their Æthelberhts from their Æthelreds? How a Regency letter would be folded and a Victorian parlour lighted?
You’ve come to the right place. I’m a specialist historical fiction editor, which means I understand and love the idiosyncrasies of the genre just as much as you do. I know the periods you’re writing about and the people you’re writing for. Whether it’s the bloody battles of the Napoleonic Wars, intrigues in ancient Rome, or an intense Regency drama, I’m here to help you bring the past to life and make sure your work reaches its full potential.

 

How I can help

CONTENT EDITING
COPY-EDITING & PROOFREADING
COACHING
BESPOKE

Content editing focuses on the big-picture issues, including plot, structure, characterisation, pacing, historical authenticity, and writing quality. My content editing services involve a rigorous editorial assessment of your manuscript followed by a report on these core areas, with three different levels of detail available. All prices quoted are for manuscripts of up to 120,000 words.

Structural Report – £650

The structural report provides all the detail you need to ensure your novel reaches its full potential. Typically around 10 pages long, it includes a comprehensive assessment of the key areas above and an evaluation of each individual chapter, drilling down into the text to identify plot holes, logical flaws, and dialogue issues. It examines character arcs and your use of tension and conflict, as well as looking at important elements like the effectiveness of your opening lines and your resolution. In addition to identifying strengths and weaknesses, it includes specific recommendations for remedying any problems.

Editor's Report – £420

The editor’s report covers the same areas as the structural report – plot, structure, characterisation, pacing, historical authenticity, and writing quality – in full detail and includes recommendations for remedying any problems. However, it doesn’t include analysis of individual chapters, so it’s not as granular as the structural report. Usually 5-6 pages long, the editor’s report is an invaluable tool for identifying and remedying all the core issues with a manuscript.

Editor's Critique – £180

The editor’s critique is a professional beta read. I’ll read through your manuscript and prepare a 2-3 page report identifying its main strengths and weaknesses. The critique won’t catch every problem, it doesn’t include a chapter-level analysis, and it doesn’t include recommendations. However, it’ll serve as a useful initial guide to what’s working and what’s not.

Copy-editing and proofreading are micro-level editing services designed to polish a manuscript and prepare it for publication once all the big-picture issues are settled. I work with a specialist copy-editor/proofreader to deliver these services. The prices below are for relatively clean copy and we may quote higher if a particularly intensive edit is required. If I haven’t already completed a content edit for your manuscript, I’ll ask for a writing sample before we start the project.

Copy-editing – £7.50 per 1000 words

Copy-editing involves reviewing the micro-level elements of your writing, such as grammar, punctuation, and syntax, and correcting any problems we encounter. We’ll also check your story for consistency and logic. At the end, you’ll get a clean copy and a tracked copy of your manuscript so you can accept and reject changes as you like. We’ll also provide you with a style sheet to help ensure consistency. Copy-editing is £7.50 per 1000 words (so £600 for 80,000 words, for example).

Proofreading – £5.50 per 1000 words

We’ll do a final check for grammar, punctuation, spelling, typos, and formatting errors before your manuscript is published or sent out to agents/publishers. Proofreading is suitable for manuscripts that have already been copy-edited or that contain exceptionally clean copy. It’s £5.50 per 1000 words (so £440 for 80,000 words, for example).

Are you looking for ongoing feedback and support as you write your novel? My work-in-progress coaching service provides just that. Coaching is a great investment, helping you to improve your writing from the get-go and ensuring you don’t have to face any challenges alone.

Group coaching – £80 per month

My six month group coaching programme combines expert tutor critiques and guidance with feedback and support from a small group of fellow historical fiction writers. There are six writers in every group, and the programme accommodates a range of experience, from new writers to those who have already been published. The programme is currently closed to applications, but check back here in early 2019 for more details on how to apply for the next round.

One-to-one coaching – £180/£140 per month

My one-to-one coaching service provides dedicated, tailored support as you work on your story. I’ll critique up to 20,000 words each month and provide ongoing email support. You also have the option of a monthly one hour Skype session or phone call to discuss the critiques and work through any challenges you’re facing. The cost is £180 per month with the Skype session/call and £140 without, with a six month minimum commitment.

Even the best authors get stuck sometimes. Whatever stage of the writing process you’re at – whether you have an idea for a novel but you’re not sure how to take it forward, or whether you have a completed manuscript but you’re struggling to overcome a specific problem – I can help. The pricing for bespoke work will vary according to the needs of the project, so do get in touch for a quote.

Testimonials

Andrew has written editorial reviews of two of my books, and I have been very pleased each time. He sent me timely reports on all the strengths and weaknesses of the manuscripts, with feedback on plot, structure, characterization, dialogue, and language use. What I enjoyed the most was having someone else delve into my books and write about them so intimately. The characters were as real to him as they are to me. I’ve had a substantive report and a brief editorial review done by other editors in the past. Neither of them came close to Andrew’s level of detail. I have already asked him to review my next book.
Wendy M. Wilson
I have always wanted to write historical fiction, but I worried that, as only an enthusiast, I might be spinning my wheels. I initially asked Andrew to review my novel outline, but, after his excellent feedback, I asked him to take me on as a coaching client as well. His advice and support has helped me get my first novel off to a great start, and I’ll look no further for an editor in the future.
LC Mason
Having written and published poetry, articles and short stories for many decades, I decided to expand a novella into a full-length historical novel. By a happy chance, I came across Andrew's website and submitted the first three chapters for his appraisal. The report which I received, on time and on budget, was excellent. It was encouraging, professional, and forensic. I cannot recommend Andrew highly enough as an editor. Any author, new or experienced, could only benefit from his skill.
Simon Piney

Sub-genres

(Just some of the sub-genres I enjoy editing)

THRILLER

Action

Romance

Q&A

andrew noakes freelance historical fiction editor
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Q: Who is Andrew Noakes?

A graduate of Cambridge University, where I studied History (of course!), I spent nearly a decade working in the world of politics and international affairs before I happily gave it up to pursue my real passion: historical fiction. I live in London with my wife, Audrey, but I’ve previously lived and worked all over the world, including in the United States, Belgium, Cameroon, and Botswana.

Q: Why historical fiction?

I love delving into worlds so ostensibly different from our own, yet in whose conflicts, intrigues, and dramas we can see clear reflections of ourselves. For me, historical fiction brings to life the story of how we got to where we are now, a story of innumerable acts of human ingenuity, brutality, and bravery. A story of both accident and design. It allows us to explore rich and fascinating worlds grounded in real experience, worlds that rarely fail to tell us something new about our own.

Q: Why is editing important?

No one is closer to your story than you are, which means it's next to impossible to edit your own work objectively. That’s why you need a fresh pair of eyes. Someone who can not only spot the problems but who has the expertise required to help you solve them. With the help of an editor, you can remedy plot holes, improve your structure and pacing, help enrich your characters, spot logical flaws, and develop the quality of your writing. It’s about turning that promising but imperfect draft into something that can captivate your readers, pulling them into the world that you’ve spent so much time creating and making them love it just as much as you do.

Q: What makes a good editor?

Remedying issues while enhancing – not diluting – the author’s authentic voice. Being honest about what doesn’t work, but inspiring authors to recognise the potential of their work and build upon what does. Handing over your manuscript can feel daunting, but I'm here to help and make sure you have the tools and encouragement you need to make your novel a success.

Q: Who are your services for?

It doesn’t matter whether you’re new to writing or a seasoned professional, editing is a vital ingredient for success. Perhaps this is your first novel and you need an edit on the manuscript before you send it to an agent or a publisher, or perhaps you’re self-publishing and you’re looking for a regular historical fiction editor. No matter what your situation, I look forward to working with you.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How long will the editing process take?

Typically five working days for an editor’s critique, eight working days for an editor’s report, and two weeks for a structural report. We’ll always set a mutually agreed deadline before the work begins.

Should I book in advance?

My diary is typically quite busy, so I always advise booking in advance.

Do you edit longer manuscripts?

Historical fiction manuscripts can often be a little longer than in other genres, so all prices quoted are for manuscripts of up to 120,000 words. If your manuscript is longer than that, the prices increase by 5% for every additional 10,000 words.

What don't you edit?

As a freelance historical fiction editor, my focus is on (you guessed it!) historical fiction. I also edit historical fantasy from time to time. I reserve the right to turn down any project if my schedule doesn't allow it or if I don't feel it's a good fit for me.

Do you accept international clients?

Yes, absolutely!

What happens after the work is complete?

I’ll continue to be on hand to answer any queries you might have. I cap this at four detailed emails following a report to make sure I have time for my other clients.

What if I want you to look at my manuscript a second time?

If you edit your manuscript to address the feedback in my report and you want me to take another look at it, I’ll re-read it and prepare a report focusing on the changes you’ve made. I normally charge £350 for this service, though it can vary a little depending on the scale of the changes and the length of the manuscript.

What if I'm not satisfied with the work?

We'll both sign a service agreement that outlines expectations for the work. If these haven't been met by the deadline, I'll offer you a full refund, claimable for 30 days following delivery of your report. Simple as that.

How do I arrange payment?

Once your project is confirmed, I will send you an invoice. Payment should be made in full by bank transfer upon receipt. The deadline for completing the work then becomes fixed and the editing process begins. I use Paypal for international clients and coaching clients.

How can I send you my manuscript and how should it be formatted?

The best way is via email. Manuscripts should normally be sent as Microsoft Word documents.

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Make an enquiry

If you're interested in working together or if you have any questions, just email me at andrew@andrewnoakes.co.uk. Tell me a little about yourself and your story, as well as what kind of help you're looking for.

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