Since 2010, I've been providing editorial support, copy editing, proofreading, and fact checking services to a variety of customers, both academic and trade. I have experience working with scholarly work, fiction, and digital resources, and with Chicago, MLA, and APA style manuals.
My mission: to help authors, companies, and anyone who needs to communicate with the written word (and who doesn't?) to say what they mean, and mean what they say!
As an experienced copy editor and proofreader, I understand that each business has a unique audience, and a unique way of communicating with that audience. Whatever the style of your communication or content, I offer high-quality editing services personalized for your business. Additionally, I offer a 10% discount to students, teachers, and non-profit organizations. My rates are in line with the recommendations of the Editorial Freelancers Association and quotes are calculated using the industry standard of 250 words per manuscript page.
I offer a variety of services, including: Content Editing 1-5 pages/hour, $45/hour Substantive editing, including the correction of major factual or consistency errors and the suggestion of major content, plot, and syntax changes for effectiveness, interest, pacing, clarity, and style.
Initial Copy Edit 2-5 pages/hour, $40/hour The first copy edit after content editing or other substantive or developmental editing, including the correction of errors and typos and the suggestion of minor changes for effectiveness, clarity, and style.
Additional Copy Edits 3-7 pages/hour, $35/hour Additional copy edits, often performed after the author makes revisions and corrections in response to the first or ensuing copy edits, including the correction of errors and typos and fewer, if any, suggestions of changes for effectiveness, clarity, and style. Copy edits performed close to submission or publication will likely include the final correction of errors and typos and hopefully no suggestions of changes for effectiveness, clarity, and style, and will thus take less time. This late-stage copy editing differs from proofreading in that proofreading takes place after typesetting and formatting, corrects only formatting errors and typos, and does not suggest changes for clarity or style.
Proofreading 7-10 pages/hour, $30/hour The final check before the manuscript is ready for printing, traditionally after typesetting and after the author has received a “proof” of the manuscript, that is, the formatted and typeset version. In self-publishing contexts or when preparing a manuscript for submission to an agent or publisher, final corrections of minor errors, typos, and formatting errors or inconsistencies.
Fact Checking $30/hour Checking factual assertions in a work of non-fiction.
Indexing 8-20 pages/hour, $40/hour The creation of a list of headings (words and phrases) and associated locators that tells a reader where material relating to each heading can be found in a document.
Researching $45/hour Gathering and reporting on specific information requested by an author or client, for example, collecting phone numbers, data sets, information on a specific topic, etc., and putting it into easily readable formats such as tables, a short report, etc..
Transcribing variable, $3/audio minute Taking speech (in most cases) recorded in audio form and putting it into printed form.
Technical Writing $50/hour The production of writing on technical or specialized topics—in my case, I specialize in the creation of help sheets or user manuals that contain instructions on how to do specific tasks, how to use a specific program or product, etc.
Past Clients and Projects
I am proud to share with you some of the work I've done, along with testimonials from some of my "past clients. Entries are listed from most recent to least.
James Bosco - Making Education Work
"I have had the good fortune to have worked with a number of highly skilled editors. Rebecca is right at the top of the list. After working on a book for quite a while and having gone through many versions the writer sometimes has difficulty seeing the text with fresh eyes. That is the job of good editor and that is exactly what Rebecca did for me. There is no doubt in my mind that the help she provided has helped me make the book much better than it would have been without her." - James Bosco, Making Education Work
Thomas Messenger - Looking for Flyboys: One G.I.'s Journey: Vietnam 1970-1971 Looking for Flyboys is the story of one young G.I.'s experience as a flight engineer on a CH-47 Chinook helicopter. I put the book through several edits and a proofread, and it's currently awaiting publication and printing through Hellgate Press. "Rebecca Straple did a terrific job editing my book, Looking For Flyboys. She twice edited for punctuation and sentence structure, making sure my voice was heard throughout the book. Because of her editing the book has an even better flow. When my publisher received the book he told me he had very little to do but begin putting it into layout--thanks to Rebecca's excellent work." - Tom Messenger, Looking for Flyboys
Katie Peterson - Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Texas at Austin "I contracted Rebecca to help do final edits on my dissertation, and could not be more pleased with the experience. Her attention to detail and focus on accuracy resulted in my final drafts exceeding the expectations set forth by my committee. Also of note is the speed at which she was able to return my papers. As is typical of students finalizing the last chapters of their dissertations, I was on a tight timeline. Rebecca was able to return the chapters ahead of the time frame I gave her. Without her help in the tedious editing process, I likely would have been delayed in graduating. All of that said, I will contract Rebecca for future work and will recommend her to my friends and colleagues." - Katie Peterson
J. D. Shunk - The Lionheart Series The Lionheart Series is a YA Science Fiction series about a young man named Matthew Lionheart who time travels 500 years into the future and becomes embroiled in an interplanetary war over water, independence, and politics. The first book is The Blood of Europa, which I copy edited and proofread and will be coming out in a new edition soon. I am currently content editing the second book, Warlords of Titan.
Drs. Susan Kim and Asa Mittman - Inconceivable Beasts Inconceivable Beasts: The Wonders of the East in the Beowulf Manuscriptis a scholarly book about the Anglo-Saxon text The Wonders of the East, published by the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Drs. Kim and Mittman asked me to do a final copy edit of the book before sending it to the printer.
Anna Semlyen - Cutting Your Car Use Anna Semlyen has recently published a new edition of her book Cutting Your Car Use, which includes a directory of resources to help readers lessen their dependence on their cars. I fact-checked this directory, ensuring that all of the contact information was updated and that the organizations and companies listed were still in existence. "I employed Becky who rigorously checked the large directory of information by searching for websites and updated the details in a more than competent way. I was very happy both with the speed and accuracy of her work. She annotated what she had done efficiently and used track changes to show what she was doing. I was kept up to date with progress and the job was done quickly and very well. That Becky was helping me made an otherwise tedious task manageable and I was very grateful for her excellent input. I have many other projects on the go and was delighted to be able to trust Becky with updating my directory as it freed me up to search for new entries and phone apps that were relevant. The book was comprehensively updated and has since been released as an e-book. I am a very satisfied client." Anna Semlyen, Cutting Your Car Use
Hile Group Hile Group is a consulting firm that works largely with industrial shipping companies to rework their safety policies and literature. I worked with them for six months as a freelance proofreader and technical writer, editing safety manuals, tables, and their website.
Past and Current Employers
Medieval Institute Publications Medieval Institute Publications is the publishing arm of the Medieval Institute of Western Michigan University, producing scholarly and popular books on a range of topics in medieval studies. I was the Junior Editorial Assistant at MIP in Summer 2015, writing and issuing contracts, performing digital file management, and copy editing. I am currently the Assistant to the Director and Editor-in-Chief, Simon Forde; I organize Marketing Meetings and manage digital rights and the production and distribution of ebooks.
CAS-IT: TAP CAS-IT is a department of the College of Arts and Sciences at Illinois State University that provides training and web development for the faculty and staff of the College. I was a technical writer at CAS-IT, and edited and produced content for department and university websites, repurposed print items for online publishing, and edited and produced manuals and help sheets.
"Rebecca has worked on faculty websites, departmental websites, online campaigns, newsletters, flyers, manuals, and help sheets. She has worked with DreamWeaver, Contribute, Expressions, Publisher, SharePoint, Photoshop, and numerous CMS systems. Many of her projects have involved the repurposing of paper-based materials and processes into online applications. Not only did she participate on projects as part of a team but she also has been the project lead. Rebecca has always displayed a high degree of responsibility, intelligence, and creativity. She is a quick study and has proven herself over and over in her ability to problem-solve. In addition to her project related skills, she has shown that she can train other people. It is a rare and treasured prize to have the combination of creativity, technical ability, and interpersonal skills in an employee. Rebecca would be an asset to any organization. She is an intelligent and motivated individual who is more than capable of managing multiple projects in a timely fashion. Her work here at Illinois State University was very impressive." -Sarah Walczynski, IP Project Manager at Illinois State University
Lake Claremont Press Lake Claremont Press is an independent press producing books on Chicago history, culture, and guidebooks. As an intern there, I wrote and edited marketing and promotion materials including press kits, postcard, email, pre-ordering, and Twitter, Facebook, and blog campaigns. I also edited portions, indices, and back covers of books in production, publicity materials, order forms, newsletters, and more.
"Becky was one of the sharpest, most stand-out interns I have ever worked with, and I have the pleasure of getting top-notch interns routinely. She had an instinctive knack for almost every task we put in front of her and performed excellently and quickly from her first moment in the office to the last hour on the job. For someone so young, she knew how to produce outcomes that appropriately coincided with our goals and expectations. She came with impeccable references and I have to add my superlatives to those." Sharon Woodhouse, Lake Claremont Press