‘All writers need editors… As human beings, editors may be far from self-effacing, but as workers their contribution goes largely unacknowledged – a nod in the preface or a thank-you from the author at the launch party and that’s it. They’re the ghosts in the machine, the secret sharers, the anonymous power behind the throne.’ – Blake Morrison

With a background in Literary Criticism and Creative Writing teaching, Dr. Stephen Carver has had a long career in publishing and academia. He is therefore a highly skilled and versatile ‘Book Doctor’, able to work confidently and efficiently in a variety of fiction and non-fiction genres. He is a long-time Reader and Mentor for The Literary Consultancy in London, a Copyeditor for Pen and Sword Books, an Editor and Proof-reader for Unthank Books, and a Reader for Palgrave-Macmillan, Wiley-Blackwell and the Manchester University Press. He also writes and publishes fiction and non-fiction himself. As a freelancer, he has also worked for a legion of professional and independent authors, appraising manuscripts for their suitability for publication, copyediting, proof-reading, referencing, indexing, and mentoring.

Informal Advice

A Free and Friendly Service

Different manuscripts require different types of editorial service. Some are so polished that they simply require proof-reading, if that, while others would benefit from copyediting.

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More Formal Advice

Preliminary Reading £29

If you would like a more detailed assessment of your editorial requirements, you can submit a sample of your writing in advance: the first chapter of your book and a synopsis.

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Budget Critique

I0,000-word (approx.) extract and synopsis appraised for £129

When you submit a proposal for a book to a literary agent or a publisher, it is conventional to provide a sample of up to 10,000 words (usually your opening chapters), a short synopsis, and a brief covering letter.

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Manuscript Appraisal

Prices vary according to the length of the manuscript

This flexible and versatile editorial service is available for book length manuscripts (fiction and non-fiction), short stories, short story collections, essays and articles.

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Copy-Editing

Prices vary according to the length of the manuscript

Copy-editing prepares your manuscript for publication and/or submission to agents and competitions.

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Proof-Reading

Prices vary according to the length of the manuscript

Proofreading is the last stage of typographic editing before a manuscript goes public, either into paper or digital print, or as a formal submission to a literary agent or publisher.

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Coaching/Mentoring

£149 for a close-reading and appraisal of a work-in-progress with follow-up one-hour phone call

Coaching is a personal, professional and progressive relationship in which we work closely together to improve your skills and develop your style as a writer.

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Indexing

Prices vary according to the length of the manuscript

The index is an essential component of the non-fiction book, and is a guide to the individual subjects, ideas and facts contained therein.

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Referencing

Prices vary according to the length of the manuscript

Any serious work of non-fiction that uses primary and/or secondary research sources, whether intended for academic publication or the mainstream, should be appropriately referenced, with a full bibliography and some sort of consistent in-text citation, either through parenthetical references (the so-called ‘Harvard’ system and its variants), or foot or endnotes (the ‘Oxford’ and ‘Arts and Humanities’ systems).

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View the price list of all services offered

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Testimonials

‘There is no doubt that Steve’s is the best systematic approach to novel writing I’ve ever come across.’ – Sabine Meier, Writer’s Ink


‘Steve Carver acted as my literary reader and editor on my novel Where's Sailor Jack? Without him, I wouldn't have written what I wanted to write. I finished with a novel I’m proud of, one which has been acclaimed by critics. I’m just finishing my second novel, using Steve again in the same role. He treats his authors firmly but with great respect, encouraging them to find the right creative thought and writing so that the author’s characters resolve the inevitable dilemmas a lengthy novel produces. I cannot thank him enough. I can’t believe there's anybody better for this role. – John Uttley, author of Where’s Sailor Jack? and No Precedent.


‘Dr Stephen Carver has, without question, changed the direction of my publication strategy for the better and forever. His reading of my submitted text was more detailed and attentive than that undertaken by even my closest personal friends and his feedback, if not always comfortable, was astonishingly comprehensive, honest and accurate. My confidence in the value of Stephen's feedback is further confirmed by the fact that I have since commissioned him to undertake reviews of two further books for me.’ – Michael Forester, author of Vicious, Dragonsong and The Goblin Child and Other Stories