Adam has over a decade of editing experience. He loves working with authors to crystallize their vision and would be happy to talk with you about your project, no matter how big or small. firstname.lastname@example.org Openings are now available for December 2023.
You want an editor with a critical eye who is gentle with feedback. An editor who will be invested, have pride in their contribution, and give your work the love and attention it deserves. Adam is that editor.
He is allergic to errors—he even corrects his own texts and social media posts—but he also understands and respects stylistic choices in prose. Even on a basic proofread, he strives to understand underlying themes and take that context into account; it can have more impact on the editing than you might think!
Adam is punctual and responsive. He values active communication. You will love working with him.
Who is Adam?
An independent author who edits his own work The final products speak for themselves. Browse samples through his author page on Amazon.
A skilled project manager and business owner Thirteen years of experience with deadlines, schedules, and keeping good humor under pressure.
A creative collaborator Polishing a dream until it becomes reality is one of his life's greatest joys.
An American-English speaker Edits are made in accordance with the Chicago Manual of Style, with an eye toward consistency throughout.
A lifelong reader Stephen R. Donaldson, Kim Stanley Robinson, Stephen King, and Ursula K. Le Guin are among his favorites.
Testimonials & Reviews
"Adam Nicolai is one of the best editors I've worked with. An old school professional. Fast and thorough and efficient." – Autumn Christian, author of the Teach Robots Love newsletter
"Adam is the best editor I have ever worked with. He is thorough, meticulous, and a master of fluid prose. I would hire him again in an instant." – Xander Gray, author of Prison of Souls
"The editorial service was amazing! Adam is extremely fair in pricing, works with your schedule, and is open to feedback! He spent a delicate amount of time on my flash fiction and the feedback and editing was prompt. My previous editor was good but this was above and beyond! I highly recommend his service and I promise you will not be disappointed!" – Jonathan Garcia, author of Samson "Superbly edited." – meme@sf, 5-star Amazon reader review of Adam's novel Alex
"Fast-paced and well-edited too." – S.F. Williams, 5-star Amazon reader review of Adam's novel Alex
"The editing was pretty darn good for an indie book, cheers for that!" – R.A. White, 4-star Amazon reader review of Adam's novel Children of a Broken Sky
Pricing and Availability
Pricing will vary depending on the type of editing, the scope of the work, and the amount of attention it requires. Multiple edits (line and copy, for example) will include a cumulative discount and separate passes of the manuscript for each edit. Early bird and referral discounts are available.
Developmental Edit High-level conceptual review of the plot, characterization, theme, setting, pacing, etc. 1–2.5 cents per word
Line Edit Language review: proper/clear use of metaphor, phrase tightening, implementation of theme on a line level 2–3 cents per word
Copy Edit Moderate fact-checking, grammar and punctuation review, basic formatting 1–2.5 cents per word
Basic Proofreading Final scan for glaring errors in an otherwise finished proof .75–1.5 cents per word
Comprehensive Edit All of the above; 4 passes of the manuscript 4–8 cents per word
Availability is open for December 2023. Send a message now to reserve time for your project.
Do I need an editor for my book?
Whether you are planning to publish independently or send out query letters, a good editor is essential. Well-edited books are tighter, have fewer errors, and simply tell their stories better. Like a good cover, a good edit gives your work a critical sheen of professionalism. Editing is a completely separate skill from creative writing, and is best applied by someone who is experienced and has a level of emotional separation from the work so they can evaluate it objectively.
What does it cost to hire an editor?
Prices vary widely depending on the editor and the type of edit. Some editors charge by the hour, some by the word. Adam's rates are on the lower end of the spectrum, and he charges by the word to make sure the full price of the complete edit is known by both parties from the start. You can see a list of his rates here.
Does an editor rewrite?
It depends on your preference. Adam is flexible. By default he will make all his rewrites as suggestions, which you can accept, reject, or adapt to a rewrite of your own.
Rewrites he proposes will generally be at the sentence or paragraph level, and usually come about during a line edit. Broader, more structural rewrites (such as those resulting from a developmental edit) will be left to the author to make sure their voice is preserved.
What is the difference between a proofreader and a copy editor?
A copy editor is more involved in the work, and the work will be more subject to change during a copy edit than during a proofread.
Think of it like this. Copy edits set out to make changes to the text: combined or replaced words, modified grammar, corrected formatting or punctuation, and the like. Adam also performs basic fact-checking as part of a copy edit.
A proofread, by contrast, is not aimed at making changes; it is aimed at purging errors. Think of it as a "final once-over." It should only be done once all other issues are resolved, and the draft is otherwise considered complete.
A proofread is the last step before a draft can be considered "final." After a proofread no other changes should be introduced to the manuscript.
What is the difference between a line edit and a copy edit?
A line edit is about creativity, and a copy edit is about functionality.
A line edit will tighten prose, review metaphor, ensure proper implementation of theme, and "kill your darlings" as Stephen King famously wrote. A copy edit is more objective and deals with proper sentence structure, punctuation, tense alignment, and the like.
The terms are often used interchangeably, and sometimes these types of edits can even be done concurrently (depending on the volume and type of attention the manuscript needs), but line and copy edits are fundamentally different.
When both edits are needed, the line edit should be performed first. Any errors introduced during its resolution can then be remedied on the copy edit to follow. This is a micro-level implementation of the concept that a rough draft progresses to a final draft; each type of edit cleans up after the one that came before, until the final proofread results in a final draft.