Book Editing That Makes a Difference

Over 1,000 books professionally edited since 2007

Submit Your Book for Editing

Not sure? Check out our free Writing Manual.

Line Editing

Insanely detailed professional line-by-line editing, which will fix sentence-level issues, all using track changes and comments.

Structural Editing

Multipage report, explaining the editor’s thinking and providing an overview to improve your book’s plot and flow.

Free eBook Cover

Your choice of a free beautiful book cover designed by a professional book designer and optimized for Kindle. Ready in forty-eight hours.

“The entire edit was extraordinary. The editor’s report was detailed, encouraging me to think about my novel in new ways and challenging me to improve my story.”
Ramona Flightner

Read what other authors are saying about BubbleCow.

Why BubbleCow?

Our editing service is unique and has been designed specifically to provide you, the self-publishing author, with the complete editorial support you need to prepare your book for publication.

Our professional book editing contains three important elements:

  1. Line Editing
  2. Structural Editing
  3. Free Cover Design

The package gives you everything you need to lift your book to a publishable standard. The line editing will show you how to fix grammar and punctuation issues. The structural editing will teach you how to correct any plot or technical problems with your book. The free book cover will ensure that you have a beautiful design that gives your book the best possible chance of success.

Before the golden age of self-publishing, authors would benefit from feedback provided by agents and publishers. However, for self-publishing authors, this type of feedback must be sought out. Our editorial support will give your book this valuable feedback and, in the process, provide support beyond anything an agent or publisher could hope to offer.

Cost of Professional Book Editing

US Dollars: $17 per 1,000 words.

GB Pounds: £10 per 1,000 words.

Euros: €12 per 1,000 words.

Australian Dollars: $19 per 1,000 words.

Our prices for professional book editing are all-inclusive, with no hidden extras. They include the editor’s report, in-depth edit and cover design, plus all support emails, phone calls, etc.

Since we provide our service to authors, no matter where they are based in the world, we bill in the four separate currencies noted above.

How to Calculate the Cost of Your Edit

To figure the editing cost, follow these steps:

  1. Determine the word count for your book.
  2. Divide your word count by 1000.
  3. Multiply this figure by the cost per 1000 words for your country.

For example…

Let’s say your book has a word count of 72,345 words. You are based in the States, so you will be paying in US dollars.

You take your word count and divide by 1000.

72,345 / 1000 = 72.345

You then multiply this by 17 (the cost for a US edit is $17 per 1,000 words).

72.345 x $17 = $1,229

The cost of the edit would be $1,229.

Turnaround Time

We will return your manuscript within twenty-eight weekdays (counting Monday-Friday) or roughly five calendar weeks.

We will try our best to get the edit back to you sooner, and, in most cases, we do. However, it all depends on your editor and what is already in his or her queue. We pick the best editor for each job. We are a small and dedicated team. We don’t hire freelancers and just hope for the best. We have professional editors and robust quality-control systems. We can’t rush the process. Our bet is that authors prefer quality over supersonic speed.

What we will do is provide you with a target delivery date. If you submitted and paid today, your feedback would be returned no later than August 13.

Our Editors

Caroline Smailes

With a graduate degree in English and a postgraduate degree in creative writing, Caroline has gained a wealth of experience within the publishing and literary communities. She has participated in literary festivals and given workshops across the UK, focusing on the building of an author’s web presence and the craft of writing. As well as writing literary fiction and blogging, she has worked as an editor and as a reader for several publishers. Caroline mentored for Tonto Books in their Arts Council–supported project to discover, develop and publish talented new authors and also judged in the New Novelist competition.

Her decision to found and develop BubbleCow grew from an understanding that modern authors require fast, efficient and affordable services that can be tailored to meet personal needs. Caroline’s novels are published by HarperCollins. She is represented by literary agent Watson, Little.

Gary Smailes

Gary Smailes has a wide experience of the publishing industry and, over the years, has worked as a freelance writer, historian and researcher. He has an eclectic educational background with a first degree in biology and a postgraduate degree in military history. Gary has written a number of history books for children, including the Brave Scot series, the Modern Hero series and the Battle Books series. To date he has more than twenty titles in print through a number of publishers. He also worked closely, for many years, with the successful author Terry Deary as the researcher for the ever-popular Horrible Histories’ books and the TV series.

Gary continues to write for children. He is represented by literary agent Andrew Lownie.

Amanda Rutter

Amanda is a skilled structural editor, with experience in acquiring novels and bringing them to the marketplace in their best possible format. She has worked previously as an editor with Morrigan Books and Strange Chemistry Books. In the latter role, she was sole editor and responsible for editing a number of critically acclaimed and award-nominated novels.

She has experience in all major fiction genres but has as special eye for young adult novels.

Paul Simpson

Paul Simpson has been editing fiction and nonfiction professionally at all levels for over two decades, both at the helm of DreamWatch and the official Star Trek magazine and for various publishers, including Simon & Schuster, BBC Books, Angry Robot, the Rebellion group and Quarto Publishing in the States. Over the years he’s covered everything from medieval murder mysteries to the different sorts of sand found in the Bahamas to Jackie Collins’s latest tear-jerker. He’s also a published author of over two dozen books, most recently including a history of The Sound of Music, a guide to 007 and an anthology of air disasters.

“This was by far the best and easiest editing process that I have been through. Gary’s editing took my book to the next level, and the line edit and his report were invaluable. Julia’s copy edit was detailed and polished the whole manuscript. I am delighted with the outcome, and I will definitely use BubbleCow to edit my next novel. Highly recommended.”
SL Beaumont

Read what other authors are saying about BubbleCow.

Line Editing

Book editing with BubbleCow - line editing

The first aspect of our editing package is the line edit. Line editing is simply the process of reading each and every word and then identifying potential problems. All authors pick up bad habits or have some confusion over the correct way to structure sentences and dialogue. Our line editing will find and highlight these problems. However, just spotting the errors is not enough. We will also correct them when possible and then explain what you are doing wrong and how you can correct it.

For example, … if you wrote this line of dialogue:

'Where is the dog.' Asked John sadly

We would change it to …

'Where is the dog?' asked John.

We would also explain the correct use of punctuation and why you should avoid adverbs in dialogue.

If we spot a typo, we’ll correct it. If the sentence is clumsy, we’ll correct it. If something is just not right, we’ll correct it. However, these will not be “hard” (fixed) corrections. They’ll be done using track changes. This means, you remain in control with the power to Accept or Reject each individual change (or just Accept All changes in one go, if that’s your thing).

Note that this edit is not a proofread. Though our editors will change as many errors as possible in the editing process, the proofread is a tool to make your book error-free, but comes at the end of the cleaning-up process, before formatting and uploading. More important, the edit itself will lead to some level of rewriting from you. So you will be inserting some additional errors (human nature and all that). This means that proofreading, at this early stage, is just a waste. If you need a proofread, then this will help.

Book editing with BubbleCow - track changes example

Structural Editing

The second, and most important, element of our editing package is the structural edit. Traditionally published authors would have had both agents and publishers providing feedback on the technical aspect of their book. However, for the self-publishing author, this feedback must be procured by the book’s creator.

Our editing package is designed to offer this feedback. In fact, it is designed to improve on the feedback that traditionally published authors often receive. Our feedback will not only look to highlight technical issues but will provide you with a clear road map as to what you can do to fix these issues and how to become a better author.

Book editing with BubbleCow - comment example

Our feedback is given through embedded comments within your manuscript and in a detailed multipage editor’s report as well. This document will be your editor’s thoughts about your book. It will start with a broad overview of what they liked and disliked. It’ll focus on the key issues that will have the most impact on your book. It will also contain the editor’s thinking behind the feedback, plus details on new techniques you can use to fix the problems. Finally the report will look at each chapter in turn and give you a breakdown of what the editor thought.

The aim of the report is to be a document that you can use to understand what issues arose in your book and how they can be fixed. We never just say “fix this” but will instead explain why it is an issue and what you need to do to correct the problem.

For example, … let’s say that we feel your book is slow to start. The editor will explain how essential it is to fully engage the reader as quickly as possible and to propel them from one page to the next. The editor will then suggest a solution (perhaps introducing an inciting incident) and show, in detail, just how you would do this with your story. This might involve a rewrite or adding new scenes by the author. However, no matter what the solution, it will be clear what you need to do and why.

Many authors tell us the editor’s report quickly becomes a valuable tool. Before each editing session, the authors will refer back to the report and get a “feel” for the big picture before delving into the nitty-gritty of the line edit.

Free eBook Cover

Book editing with BubbleCow - free book cover 1
Book editing with BubbleCow - free book cover 2
Book editing with BubbleCow - free book cover 3
Book editing with BubbleCow - free book cover 4

Feedback from authors we’ve helped to get published has identified one problem that can be a right royal pain in the backside—cover design!

So … to make your life that little bit easier, we are providing all authors with a free eBook cover of your choosing.

When you submit and pay for your edit, we’ll send you an email with details on how to get your design started. The whole process takes about forty-eight hours, and you should have your cover ready before the edit is completed. In essence, you pick from one of hundreds of designs. The design is tweaked for your book and optimized for publication on Amazon. Don’t worry; once you have picked a design, it will be removed from the site, and remains unique to you and your book.

Here’s an example of some cover designs from which you can choose for your book Pick a cover

"The whole process was an invaluable part of taking my story to the next level. The report was detailed, and the line edit was very useful. The BubbleCow editor was direct and honest about what worked and what didn’t with my first novel, and the advice was good; it made sense. BubbleCow was available before, during and after the edit for help and advice about the next steps. Gary even helped me get in contact with an agent. Overall I was really satisfied with BubbleCow. If you are thinking about having your novel professionally edited, firstly, do it. Secondly, seriously consider using BubbleCow. I am glad I did."
Tom Savage.

Read what other authors are saying about BubbleCow.

"Having used BubbleCow on several of my books to date, I have found the entire team supersupportive, efficient and genuine in all aspects of the editing process. The thing that really was satisfying for me, however, was their flexible and close customer-client experience. For authors who are now starting out, it is a huge plus to work with experienced editors who aim to guide and help you every step of the way. By offering free resources to become a better author, for example, or occasionally sending useful emails regarding all aspects of the self-publishing and writing experience, BubbleCow offers valuable support in developing your skills further as an author."
L.S. Bergman.

Common Questions

If I get my book edited, will I still need a proofread?

Yes! What we will do is remove all the mistakes that we find, but this is not a proofread. In fact, proofreaders are not the same as editors, since they possess a very different skill set. In addition, our edit may trigger a rewrite of sections of your book. Even if we did remove all errors, it is inevitable that the rewrites would add in more (human nature and all that). Therefore, we always suggest that an author schedule a proofread AFTER the edit and rewrites.

Do you accept all genres?

No. We accept most fiction genres and all major nonfiction genres. We DON’T accept:

  • Poetry.
  • Short stories.
  • Cookbooks.
  • highly technical non-fiction.

If you are unsure that we will accept your book’s genre, just email and ask.

Do you accept all manuscripts?

No. We accept about 90 percent of the manuscripts submitted. If we feel your work is not yet at a stage where our editing will provide the maximum value, we will return the manuscript to you. This most commonly occurs when English is not the author’s first language.

If I plan to write/submit more than one book, will I get the same editor?


Do you provide free samples?

No. There are two reasons why we do not. The first is that our editors just don’t have the time. We are a small (and very busy) team of highly specialized editors. Second, if we were to provide free samples (with a relatively quick turnaround), it would impact both the quality of and the deadline relating to the long-form editing we are providing for paying authors. To provide a sample, we must initially assess your work and pick the best editor. That editor must then stop working on the book they are currently editing and start editing a small section of a different book (for free). This is not fair to the author who has put their trust in BubbleCow. We tried it, and it just didn’t work.

However, we have put in place two features that remove the need for a sample. The first is our hiring and quality-control systems. We only hire editors with professional experience in the publishing industry. If they were not up to snuff, they would not be working at BubbleCow. We don’t farm out work to freelancers; all edits are completed by our close-knit team. We also provide ongoing training and quality control for all our editors. Plus we take many internal steps to ensure your feedback is the best it can be. Second, in addition to all that, we have a 15,000-word-count minimum. This means, you can “test us out” with little risk.

Is there a minimum word count?

Yes! We don’t accept books of fewer than 15,000 words. The reason is simple. Our secret power is in editing long-form manuscripts—in other words, novels and long nonfiction books. If your book is shorter than 15,000 words, we are probably not the best match.

I wanted to submit my book in small chunks. Is that possible?

Yes. We have a minimum word count of 15,000 words. As long as you submit in chunks of this size or larger, then there’s no issue. In fact, we have had a number of authors take this approach in the past, and it always seems to work well. The key, from our viewpoint, is that you let us know that you will be submitting in chunks. This way we can ensure that you have the same editor for each submission.

Do I get direct contact with my editor?

Yes. We try to keep all communication down to email. The reason for this is that editors have time to answer questions between edits. They can also take their time to provide the detailed answers that fit your problem. We often find the same questions arise time and again, and we have a number of internal resources (and other editors) who the assigned editor can consult with to provide the best answer.

If you need a longer consultation, it may be possible to set up a Skype or telephone conversation.

Since BubbleCow is based in the United Kingdom, will you edit books from American authors who intend to publish in US markets?

Absolutely. In fact, 90 percent of our authors are based outside the UK area. Editing is editing; the type of English used (British or American) is not an issue at this early stage.

Do you keep the copyright?

NO! We are simply a service. You pay us; we make your book better. At no point do we take ANY rights. ALL rights remain yours at all times.

Once I have had the book edited, will the editor look at the changes?

We don’t do a second edit. The reason for this is that we will note everything we can which adds value to your book during the first edit. Even with significant rewrites, it is probably just not worth you paying for an additional edit from the same editor. That said, we are happy to talk to you and even give general feedback on significant alterations. We see this as a long-term partnership.

If you have any questions just email and ask.