Editing Services

Editing Services

Have your book edited
by experts from the nation’s
top publishing houses

Custom-matched, fully vetted editors


Unparalleled expertise

Fast and easy workflow

Get your FREE Quote Scroll to Learn More

Guaranteed to Put Your Best Foot Forward

For 90 years, Kirkus has been a leader in editorial excellence in the publishing industry. Since 2012, our book editing division has enabled publishers and independent authors to hire the best editors in America at affordable rates. We take great care to recruit and test qualified, experienced editors, and we hold our team to the industry’s highest standards. Kirkus selects only editors who have worked on books published by the top publishers in the United States: the Big Five (Penguin Random House, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and HarperCollins); award-winning independent presses, such as Graywolf, Kensington, and Abrams; or otherwise notable publishers, such as Harvard University Press.

We’re dedicated to making it simple for you to get insightful and useful feedback, notes, and corrections from the same editors who work with the top publishers, so you can compete with the best and sleep well knowing you’re putting your best foot forward.

Unparalleled Author Satisfaction

How It Works

  1. Click the button to GET YOUR FREE QUOTE, and then choose the services that are right for your project.

  2. After purchase, upload your manuscript and tell us everything we need to know about your book (guided by our simple, friendly questionnaire).

  3. We review your manuscript and match your book with the best editor within two business days. Check the status of your project anytime.

About Our Book Editing Services

Basic Copyediting

A thorough cleanup that focuses on the mechanics of language: correcting grammar, punctuation, spelling, and typos. Copyeditors also review for continuity, timeline, factual accuracy, and consistency. You’ll receive a marked-up manuscript with tracked edits and queries throughout, plus an editorial letter outlining trends, style rules, and areas of the copyeditor’s focus for your manuscript.

Collaborative Editing

A developmental edit that focuses on big-picture issues like structure, pacing, style, and tone. In fiction works, collaborative editors also focus on plot, characterization, and dialogue. In nonfiction works, collaborative editors focus on thesis, clarity of message, repetition, and reference use. You’ll receive an editorial letter outlining the manuscript’s strengths and weaknesses and a marked-up manuscript with line editing and commentary throughout. You’ll also receive a one-hour consulting call with your editor to discuss their feedback and how to approach revisions.

Professional Editing Package

A comprehensive, three-stage editing package designed to mirror the editorial process of traditional publishing houses. The Pro Package includes a collaborative edit, a copyedit, and a final proofread to catch any lingering errors and ensure your manuscript is polished and ready for readers. There are no time limits between stages—take as long as you need to make revisions before moving on to the next round.

Customer Reviews

I can offer no better endorsement for Kirkus Editorial than to say I have engaged their services three times, on separate books, and on each occasion, I’ve found my own words and thoughts understood, clarified, and enhanced by their expertise. They pay attention to my expressed thoughts and laugh with me, cry with me, and hear me, in an intimacy that is unmatched. I think they’ve got a couple of literary angels on staff. Bravo, Kirkus!
— Anthony E. Shaw, author of Wolfe Studies
I am a former journalist. So trading facts for fiction was liberating—90,000 words worth of liberating. But then came the doubts. Were all the words necessary? Does the pacing work? Are there any issues with style or voice? The Professional Editing Package offered by Kirkus Editorial provided invaluable guidance and advice throughout every chapter.

My manuscript is better having gone through the three stages of edits. It is ready to submit to agents. The experience was a bit like going for a spa treatment and afterwards feeling polished and ready to take on the world.
— Maria Leonhauser, author of Murder at Twin Beeches
I would recommend that any writer, novice or experienced, take advantage of the editing, formatting, and cover design services offered by Kirkus Editorial. No matter how often you read your own copy, it is always beneficial to have a fresh pair of eyes take a look. In my case, not only were the editors thorough and to the point, correcting all the spelling and grammar errors, but they also pointed out plot holes and confusing references. My favorite catch was how a child aged only eight years in a ten-year period.

Since I am somewhat technically challenged and do not want to invest in a variety of software products, I gave the job of formatting and cover design to Kirkus. As with the editing process, everyone was pleasant and easy to work with and kept me in the loop. My novel looks professional and was easy to upload—and of course the child is now the correct age. I am very pleased with Kirkus Editorial and will use them again.
— Renaii West, author of Death by Chaos


2 cents per word

$500 minimum

Perfect if you’re looking for basic manuscript cleanup or if you’re facing budget and timeline restrictions

15 business days

Need it faster?
Choose expedited service at checkout.

What to expect:

  • A detailed memo from your editor with both general feedback and specific notes.
  • The edited manuscript with corrections that focus on the mechanics of language.
  • All edits and queries tracked in the document using MS Word’s track-changes function to make accepting and rejecting your editor’s changes fast and easy.


$99 + 3 cents per word

$500 minimum

The best place to start if your manuscript has not yet been edited by a professional book editor

20 business days

Need it faster?
Choose expedited service at checkout.

What to expect:

  • A detailed memo from your editor with both general feedback and specific notes.
  • The edited manuscript with line edits as well as comments and suggestions that focus on big-picture issues.
  • All edits and queries tracked in the document using MS Word’s track-changes function to make accepting and rejecting your editor’s changes fast and easy.
  • A one-hour consultation call with your editor to discuss the feedback and how to approach revisions.


$99 + 6.5 cents per word

$500 minimum per stage ($1500)

Ideal if you want to put your manuscript through the same rigorous editing it would receive at a major publishing house

Custom timeline

Need it faster?
Choose expedited service at checkout.

What to expect:

  • A full collaborative edit, including a comprehensive editorial memo, your edited manuscript, and a one-hour phone consultation with your editor.
  • A complete round of copyediting focused on the mechanics of language, including another editorial memo and fully edited manuscript.
  • A third round of editing, the “final polish,” to correct lingering errors and create a clean manuscript ready for pitching or formatting.

Need help getting your book published?

Our no-stress formatting and design services produce professional, technically verified final files ready for publication on any platform you choose, from Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing to IngramSpark to B&N Press and beyond. Whether you need a sleek interior or a sophisticated cover—or both—Kirkus can help!

For a seamless author experience, add formatting and cover design to your editing order at checkout, or add them after your editing work is complete.

E-Book Publishing

Add our formatting or cover design services to your order at checkout, or add them after your editing work is complete!

You write the book. We’ll take care of the rest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I choose Kirkus Editorial?

Every Kirkus Editorial project receives the attention of not one but two professional editors: your book editor and your Kirkus Editorial production editor. All our editors are seasoned professionals with experience at the top publishing houses in America, so you know your book will be cared for by someone with skill and expertise. Kirkus’s reputation for integrity, objectivity, and professionalism has made us a leader in the publishing industry for more than eighty years.

Will I be able to talk to a real person during this process?

Absolutely. If you have questions about our program and have not yet placed an order, please call 888-407-4474 or write to bookediting@kirkus.com. We’re available during normal business hours.

After you submit your manuscript, your book will be cared for by a Kirkus Editorial production editor who will match you with a qualified book editor, shepherd you and your book through the editing process, and answer any questions you have.

Additionally, if you order Collaborative Editing or the Professional Editing Package, you will have the opportunity to set up a one-hour consulting session with your book editor after the edited manuscript and feedback are returned.

My manuscript has already been reviewed by beta readers and my word processor’s spelling and grammar checker. What additional benefit does professional editing provide?

Feedback from a professional editor comes with years of experience working on published, successful books. Many of our editors are published authors as well, so they’ve been in your shoes. They know good writing, they know how to avoid common pitfalls, and they can help you make tough judgment calls about issues both large (plot devices and character arcs) and small (does that clause need a comma?). They also know the market, your genre, and what it takes to connect with a wide audience. A professional editor will always help you improve your book.

How do you evaluate your editors

Every Kirkus editor is required to have experience working for a top national publisher—the Big Five (Penguin Random House, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and HarperCollins) or a well-known and well-respected academic or independent press (for example, Harvard University Press, Graywolf, and Abrams). Every Kirkus editor must also pass a rigorous battery of editing tests. Only about 15 percent of editors who apply to Kirkus meet our stringent requirements!

Each time an editor returns a manuscript for one of our authors, we review their work to ensure it meets our expectations for quality. With Kirkus, your editing feedback will come from only the best, most conscientious, and most proven editors.

How do you match me with my editor?

We review your materials and consider both the genre/subject matter and any special notes you’ve left for your editor. We then consider our available editors to pair you with someone who has both appropriate experience and sensitivity to your manuscript’s unique needs. We work as a team to ensure that every manuscript goes to a qualified editor with a track record of excellent work.

How long will it take to edit my book?

The standard turnaround time for editing depends on the service.

  • Collaborative editing: 20 business days
  • Basic copyediting: 15 business days
  • Proofreading: 10 business days

For very long books (books over 100,000 words), we may add up to one business day for each additional 10,000 words.

For an additional fee, we can reduce the editing time by three to five business days, depending on the service. You’ll have the option at checkout to expedite your project.

The Pro Package seems like overkill. What’s the benefit of multiple rounds of editing?

Virtually every book you can buy off the shelf at your local bookstore has been through multiple rounds of editing. This time-tested process not only ensures a comprehensive review of your book but also catches the new errors that will inevitably be introduced each time you revise the manuscript.

What’s more, different editors look at different issues. Collaborative editors are looking at the text as a reader or agent would: Is this a good story? Is this argument persuasive and well structured? Does this book “work”? Copyeditors, on the other hand, are ace grammarians and are looking at the text line by line from a technical standpoint: Is the writing comprehensible and free of typos? Proofreaders scour the manuscript looking for lingering typos, introduced errors, and last-minute catches to save you from embarrassment.

The Professional Editing Package gives your manuscript the same thorough treatment best-selling and award-winning books receive at the nation’s major publishing houses.

I’d like to choose the Professional Editing Package, but it’s just a bit out of my budget. What do you recommend?

We encourage independent authors to put your book through at least Collaborative Editing and Basic Copyediting if your budget and timeline allow. These two rounds of editing are the most robust and offer the most significant improvements in your manuscript. You can also add new editing services or upgrade to the Pro Package at any time and pay only the difference in total cost.

Can you format my manuscript or help me with my book cover?

Yes! Kirkus Editorial offers formatting/interior design and cover design services for books of all genres and levels of complexity. You’ll receive digital files that are formatted to specification for whichever self-publishing platform you’ve chosen to work with. Visit our formatting and cover design page to learn more.

How do I get my editing started?

Submit your order through our website in three easy steps:

  1. Choose your service.
  2. Complete the order form.
  3. Upload your manuscript in a Microsoft Word document (.doc or .docx file) and answer a brief, three-question survey about your book.

Please do not include any content you do not wish to be edited as part of the manuscript. If you’re having trouble with the site, or if you have questions about submitting your book, please contact us at bookediting@kirkus.com or 888-407-4474 for help.

Ready to get started?

Close Quickview