P.O. Box 555, Chester, MD 21619

“Without Robert’s help, A Touch of Terror would not have turned out as well as it did. I will continue to use him for every project in the future and would highly recommend any serious writer do the same.”

-- Gary Ponzo,
bestselling author of A Touch of Deceit

       Writing is a creative, challenging journey. As a bestselling author of fiction and nonfiction, I know—first-hand—that all writers make mistakes along the way. We all need a “second set of eyes” to help us catch errors, clarify meaning, and improve readability. As an award-winning editor, my job is to suggest improvements that will help you produce writing you’ll be proud of and your readers will enjoy.
     If you don’t like the idea of someone “tampering” with your writing (and who does?), fear not: You are, and will remain, the author of your book. You may accept or reject any of my suggestions. And you may choose whatever level of editing services you would like me to provide:

Developmental/Structural Editing
     As your developmental (sometimes called “substantive” or “structural”) editor, I provide a big-picture editorial overview of your book’s elements, organizational structure, pace, and flow. This level of editing gets me involved in revising and improving your book in basic ways, but it does not include proofreading or copyediting services (explained below). Ideally, developmental editing should be done first, because its purpose is to identify any major, general, and recurring problems, and to provide you a detailed blueprint to revise your manuscript, before any further copyediting or proofreading is done to polish it.
     If you hire me as your developmental editor, expect to be challenged. Expect me to tell you that a paragraph you’re in love with may have to go, if it doesn’t move the story forward. Or that a character needs clearer motivation. Or that you use your favorite phrase way too many times. Or that chapters should be moved around.
     But expect to be really proud of your work when the process is done.
     I’ll evaluate your entire manuscript and prepare a detailed report for you. Here’s what the report will contain:
     For fiction, I’ll assess the dramatic structure of your story, suggesting ways to “hook” the reader immediately, then build and pace suspense to keep the reader turning pages all the way to the story’s climax. I’ll examine your main characters and their conflicts, and I’ll offer advice to strengthen those conflicts and to intensify their emotional impact on the reader. I’ll analyze any subplots and tighten their integration into the main storyline. I’ll also weigh in on other elements of the story: the credibility and depth of your characters, their dialogue, your descriptions, the plot logic and any inconsistencies, the overall thematic focus, any repetitious words or plot devices, “telling” too much rather than “showing,” and much more.
     For nonfiction, I’ll examine the structure of your book or article for a logical and engaging flow, and I'll analyze your writing for clarity and interest. I’ll point out such common problems as: using confusing abstractions with too few clarifying examples; logical lapses in your arguments; wordiness and pompous language; excessive use of passive voice; redundancies; and similar issues. I may suggest removing paragraphs, even whole sections and chapters that aren't doing their job—or moving things around for a better, more interesting flow.
      If I think your manuscript also will benefit from copyediting and proofreading after you make the substantive changes, I’ll suggest that, too.

"Hiring an editor is what most writers do at some point in their writing career. You expect an editor to do a good job in improving your product, in my case, a coming-of-age novel. Robert Bidinotto, himself an excellent author of the Dylan Hunter thriller series, not only improved my novel substantially, but he went above and beyond by essentially tutoring me on some glaring errors I was unaware of making. He offers all levels of editing services at an extremely reasonable price and does so in a timely manner. I strongly recommend using Robert Bidinotto for whatever type of editing services you require. You won’t regret it."

-- Walter F. Curran

      Copyediting often (though not always) takes place after a manuscript has been subjected to developmental editing. As your copy editor, my main focus will be to improve the clarity and readability of your manuscript. My work for you will include proofreading services, to check for errors (see below); but I’ll also review your manuscript for awkward syntax and clumsy phrasing, confusing passages, plot inconsistencies (in fiction), too much use of passive voice, and anything else that will make it hard for your readers to understand and enjoy your work.
     While I may suggest options for rephrasing a brief passage to solve a problem, copyediting does not involve extensive rewriting on my part. I’ll only point out where you might reword something to make your meaning clearer.
     And while I normally include in my copyediting easily checked facts (names, places, or details that can be confirmed quickly online), extensive research to fact-check a manuscript—especially for a work that involves specialized or technical knowledge—is beyond the scope of what I can offer.

"I recently contracted Robert to re-edit and re-format a previous work of mine that was thrown together in a rush so it could be posted to the now-defunct 'Kindleworlds.' Although it had issues, it was considered one of my best novels to date... So I got in touch with Robert to do the arduous task of 'fixing' it. His work was very precise, including many things I couldn't even see with my own eyes. Sometimes literally. His recommendations on story flow and formatting were excellent. Although I haven't republished the book yet, I'm happy knowing I have a clean manuscript that will stand the test of time."

-- Ross Elder, author of
  Patriot Deception, Trane, The Fireman Saga, and Scavenger

     This is the most limited editing service I offer. Assuming that you submit to me a manuscript that is already well written and in pretty decent shape, proofreading is usually the final stage of editing: It takes place after a manuscript has been formatted for publication, to catch any remaining issues not identified in previous stages.
     A proofreader looks only for outright errors, such as typing mistakes, formatting glitches, misspelled words, and improper punctuation. For example, if a word is repeated in the text (e.g., “I fed the the cat”), I’ll correct it. However, in the limited role as your proofreader, I won’t comment if something is phrased awkwardly, or if a passage is wordy, or if your story’s character isn’t credible, or if its plot is boring. Those things are up to a developmental editor or copy editor to point out to you. If you request only proofreading, but I notice a number of those kinds of issues, too, I may suggest that your manuscript undergo more extensive editing.

Comprehensive Editing
     Comprehensive editing incorporates all of the preceding levels of editing: structural/developmental editing, copyediting, and proofreading. In effect, I become your full (if unofficial) partner in transforming your raw manuscript into a work revised and then polished for publication. 

Summing Up…
     Now that I’ve explained the differences in the kinds of editing services I offer, you can decide which level of work you want: proofreading, where I clean up any typos, formatting errors, misspellings, or glaring mistakes in your manuscript; copyediting, where I offer proofreading corrections plus advice to improve your writing’s clarity, appeal, and accuracy; developmental editing, where I provide an overview of your work, in the form of a written critique; or comprehensive editing, where I partner with you to substantively revise and to completely polish your manuscript for publication.

"Contrary to my previous experience with other editors, I found Robert to be interactive during the process. His work was of the highest quality, exceeding my expectations. There are three components of any product: quality, speed, and price. They say you must pick two because you cannot get all three. Robert defied that adage. He gave a very high-quality product, in a timely manner at a very reasonable price. He explained his edits, offered alternatives and constructive criticism where necessary, and provided praise when deserved. For me, he extended the enjoyable part of writing into the editing phase.
I highly recommend his service."

-- William J Kennedy
Author of the Jonathan West Thrillers 
        My rates are highly competitive with those of other developmental editors, copy editors, and proofreaders. However, I do not list flat-rate charges, either “by the hour” or “by the word.” Instead, I customize my fee to fit the requirements of the project.
     Here’s why:
     Charging “by the hour” could be bad for you, the author, because it’s too easy for an editor to inflate his claimed work time and pad his bill. You should pay me only for the work I do—not for my time. 
     Charging “by the word” also can be bad for you, the author. Some manuscripts don’t require much work, while others do. If I were to charge the same per-word rate for all manuscripts, then I’d have to set that rate high enough to compensate me adequately for manuscripts that need a lot of attention. But that higher rate would penalize skilled writers whose manuscripts are comparatively “clean” and require less attention from me. If you’re a good writer, you should pay me less for my servicesnot as much as a less-talented writer should.
     So, before I quote you a customized price, I first need to determine . . . 
          *  the kind of book you wrote, fiction or nonfiction; 
          *  the word count of your manuscript (articles or short fiction will be priced far lower); 
          *  the level of editing it requires: proofreading, copyediting, structural/developmental editing, or comprehensive editing involving all of these services.

     After you tell me whether your manuscript is fiction or nonfiction, then give me its approximate word count, here’s how we can proceed:
     If you are a nonfiction author, send me your chapter outline and the first 2,500 words of the manuscript. I’ll perform a sample edit for only $50.00. Based on what I see, I’ll then suggest the level of editing I think your whole manuscript requires, and I’ll quote you a price. You can agree, or you can select a different level of editing, if you prefer.
     If you are a novelist, for a $150.00 fee I will do the following things: First, I’ll read your entire manuscript; next, I’ll evaluate its requirements and suggest a level of editing (proofreading, copyediting, developmental editing, or comprehensive editing); then, I’ll copyedit the first chapter for you, to give you a sample of my work; and finally, I’ll quote you a fee for the entire project, at whatever editing level you choose.
     If you have written a short work, fiction or nonfiction, please write me and describe the length and nature of your work. We can then discuss how to proceed.
     Should you decide to hire me to work on your manuscript after my initial evaluation, the evaluation fee will be included in the total price I quote for the project. It won’t be added to your final charges.
     Finally, I prefer to work in Microsoft Word, using its “Review/Track Changes” features to share my fixes and suggestions with authors. I can explain to you how that works, if you’re unfamiliar with it. Let me know if you think that may pose any problems for you.

"Robert Bidinotto is the ideal editor. I gave him a 600-page manuscript of complex philosophical and historical material and he edited the whole thing in a week! I was genuinely amazed that he could work so fast and with such a high level of skill and acumen. I can sum up his contribution to my manuscript in two words: maximum clarity. Robert understands that clear writing is a function of clear thinking, which means that he not only edits the words and sentences on a page but he's actually editing and improving an author's thinking process… 
Robert caught typos and made necessary grammatical and syntactical corrections; he moved paragraphs around to improve the flow of the argument; he encouraged me to rewrite sentences and paragraphs so as to say more clearly what I was thinking; and, finally, he had the courage and honesty to tell me when he thought I was wrong about something. Finally, Robert is a consummate professional.  He would email me edited chapters at 4:00 a.m. and then speak to me on the telephone several hours later. He doesn't know it yet, but Robert Bidinotto will edit my next book as well, which is my highest recommendation."

-- C. Bradley Thompson,
Professor of Political Philosophy,
Clemson University
Author, America's Revolutionary Mind

     Once again, as an award-winning editor and a bestselling novelist, I’m eager to help you prepare a manuscript that you can be proud of and that your readers will enjoy.
    If you want to discuss with me how I can help you, PLEASE WRITE ME TODAY AT:

P.O. Box 555, Chester, MD 21619