Collaborative editing is a thorough line edit that includes technical corrections as well as suggestions from our professional editors to help you improve literary elements, such as tone, organization and voice. Fiction editors will work on additional components such as characterization and dialogue, and nonfiction editors will add a concentration on clarity of message for instructional genres, such as self-help, business, how-to and health.

The edited manuscript will be returned to you with a memo from the editor providing feedback on the work as a whole and pointing out specific edits within the manuscript that may require your attention or help you improve your craft long-term. Once you’ve reviewed the memo and edits, you will be invited to schedule a one-hour consulting session to discuss the work with your editor and ask any questions you may have about the feedback or corrections.

How Our Collaborative Editing Process Works

  • 1.) After placing your order, you will answer a few questions about your project and upload your manuscript in Microsoft Word format using our secure server.

  • 2.) You will be automatically transferred to a page that confirms receipt of your order and features a personalized author dashboard, where you can check the status of your project.

  • 3.) Kirkus will assign your project to the most qualified editor for your book. Within two business days, a professional editor will have your manuscript and all the information you provided when you placed your order.

  • 4.) When your edited manuscript is ready, we will send you an email containing a link to your author dashboard, where you will find three documents: (1) a memo from the editor with both general feedback and specific notes, (2) a one-page sheet outlining instructions on how to schedule your one-hour consulting session with the editor and (3) the edited manuscript ready for download. All the edits made by our editor will be tracked in the document using Microsoft Word’s track-changes function, so you will be able to accept or reject each correction made by the editor. Note that you must have Microsoft Word on your computer to participate in our editorial program. (View a sample of an edited manuscript page.)

  • 5.) You may revisit your author dashboard at any time after downloading your edits to order additional rounds of editorial work or other services from Kirkus without losing track of your work history.


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“I cannot thank you or this editor enough! He really improved the book one hundred percent. You are truly the best source for independent authors looking to produce a quality book, and you will always be my go-to for editorial work. Writing is enough of a challenge—it requires so much of yourself—and I appreciate how you alleviated my worries about finding a great editor who gets me and what my writing is all about. Thank you again.”
—Rebecca Smith, author of Clandestine

“We simply loved our editor. We even purchased an extra-round of Collaborative Editing so we could work with her again. Her gentle-yet-honest feedback improved our book dramatically and the lessons we learned from the process will undoubtedly benefit future projects. There really is nothing like working with an experienced professional.”
—Julia Hartling and Melissa Markoff, authors of PLUCK THIS: An A to Z Eyebrow Fantasia

“The editor did an amazing job. I'm really glad I invested in Kirkus Editorial. I'm so thankful that the editor spent time raking through the paragraphs and fixing things; he did a really good job. I no longer feel worried presenting my work to the public.”
—Leonnard Ojwang, author of A Bullet with My Name

“I'm a major fan of Kirkus Editorial. I don't think you could've selected better editors for my two projects. The first was a children’s story and the second a mystery thriller. My goal going into the process, was to prep myself for the possibility of self-publishing or of getting picked up by a publishing house. I think Kirkus has assisted with placing me in the best position to accomplish my goal. Each editor really knew their stuff, and we had outstanding phone consultations, during which both my writing and industry marketing type questions were answered thoroughly. I’m on the cusp of finishing my third manuscript and I’m looking forward to placing it into Kirkus’capable editorial hands!”
—David L. Wallace, author of Ralphy the Rabbit and Trojan

“You found me the perfect editor, and this novel is now what I wanted it to be.”
—Robin Martin, author of The Hiding Place Girl

“As a first time novelist, it was important to me to put my best foot forward when I began the submission process. I chose Kirkus Editorial because it was a company I knew I could trust. I was paired with a professional and knowledgeable editor who polished my manuscript to a shine. After that, my book quickly found a home with a great publisher. I couldn't be happier!”
—Chrissy Lessey, author of The Coven

“I learned more in a few months with the Kirkus pros than I did in years with my kind-hearted friends. Their three-level editing process was one of the best investments I’ve ever made.”
—Carey Richard, author of The Poppy Field Diary

“It would be a profound understatement to say that my editor’s work was outstanding and added great value to the final product. Her detailed focus, diligent efforts, and creative ideas helped create a better piece of work. Her work made the manuscript much more enjoyable for the reader while enhancing my voice as the author.”
—J.M. Erickson, author of Future Prometheus: Emergence & Evolution and Future Prometheus II: Revolution, Successions & Resurrections

“The editor at Kirkus Editorial did a great job of correcting my grammatical errors, which could be a big problem for a person like me, for whom English is not her first language. In addition, my editor paid close attention to the factual statements, as well as providing me invaluable suggestions as how to make the sentences sound better. I will definitely use Kirkus Editorial again in the future.”
—G.X. Chen, author of The Mystery of Moutai

“In my experience, Kirkus Editorial took the ‘self’ out of self-publishing. Having used Kirkus Editorial for multiple manuscripts, I found them to be prompt, responsive, and professional—as promised. The level of communication and personal service was unexpected, and gave me support and a sense of team effort that every self-published author can benefit from. Additionally, Kirkus was able to provide the same editorial team for my multiple projects, which helped me stay true to my voice and personal style. I will continue to use Kirkus Editorial to achieve my publishing goals.”
—Joan Gable, author of Summer of Firefly Memories, Summer of Dragonfly Changes, and My Christmas Curse

“It took blood, sweat, and many tears to write a memoir. Finding the right editor for my book was mandatory. I chose Kirkus Editorial because it has the best reputation in the industry. My editor was a joy to work with. I had absolute confidence in her editorial comments. They were astute, comprehensive, and ultimately made my book shine.”
—Kami Corban, author of Ex-Rich Girl Tells All

“As a first-time novelist, Kirkus Editorial was my secret weapon. Sure, they caught the typos I missed and flagged the stylistic inconsistencies. But the clincher was the hour-long phone consultation with their editor, which gave me the other answers I needed. I recommend Kirkus to any writer who is serious about presenting a polished, professional manuscript.”
—Gerry O'Brien, author of 1901

“I found my Kirkus Editorial experience to be an exceptionally positive one. The book I had sent in was a collection of fairy tales and the editor was quite knowledgeable on the topic, even recognizing that one of the stories was a retelling of a rather obscure tale. Her analysis of the structure, pacing, characterization, etc. was great to hear. It gave me confidence that the themes and tone were coming out clearly. And for the elements that weren’t coming out clearly, she gave clear indication and suggestions for improving. I would highly recommend Kirkus Editorial, especially for independent authors looking to get professional feedback. It gave me the confidence to get my book out and ready for critiques.”
—Joe Hillenbrand, author of The Seed and Other Fairy Tales

“The editing of my first novel by Kirkus Editorial was phenomenal. The editor did an outstanding job. All of his changes and suggestions improved my manuscript. Before choosing Kirkus, I obtained some examples of the editing that other editors would do based on their editing of the first two chapters of the manuscript. None were anywhere near the caliber of Kirkus’ editor. I believe the improvements his editing made in my manuscript are a key reason that the book has been selected for the Florida Citrus Archives. If I ever write another novel, I will not hesitate to choose Kirkus Editorial to edit the manuscript.”
—Allen Morris, author of Florida Gold

“My first story had a huge flaw that I didn’t recognize, but fortunately Kirkus Editorial’s alert editors found it and brought it to my attention, and I was able to fix it before it was published. I am amazed how much cleaner my stories come back after the editing process. I will be hiring Kirkus Editorial again in the future.”
—L. Christina, author of Kaelah, Angry Hands, and Leaf Hopper

“Kirkus Editorial is easy to use and reliable. I love their online system and having clear expectations of timing in every step of the process. I've used their editors for manuscripts across multiple genres, knowing that I'll get quality results from experienced editors in the industry. They have become my go-to for all my editing needs.”
—Tabitha Garrido, BOA Press

“Kirkus Editorial’s services are a godsend for indie authors like myself. My manuscript received a professional polishing, and the feedback I got from the editor was very constructive and helpful—overall the work done, especially on the level of sentences and language, was outstanding. My book is now ready to go out there, alongside traditionally published novels. I will definitely be using Kirkus Editorial again in the future.”
—B.K. Knight, author of Black Cloud Rider

“My whole experience with Kirkus was valuable beyond measure. The book-loving intelligence and sophistication of my editor—not to mention the professionalism he brought to the task—gave me great comfort, and yes, confidence because he ‘got’ the craziness of the story and its characters. When he commented, "reader needs description here" or "reader needs dialogue there," I always took his advice. I'm indebted to him for his unwavering focus on the reader’s understanding of the story, because it made all the difference.”
—Arthur Cotton Moore, author of Interruption of the Cocktail Hour

“The editor took my work and made it better. What was most comforting was that she truly took the time to understand my work and give it the consideration of fitting suggestions.”
—Robert Polston, author of PINE

“The editor assigned by Kirkus did an incredible job polishing my words, and her concise line-by-line edit took my manuscript to the next level. I’m very pleased with it, and the edit was well worth the expense.”
—Seng Ty, author of The Years of Zero

“Kirkus Editorial was valuable to me. It pointed out both weaknesses and strengths in my manuscript. I’ve used the information in rewriting and refining my manuscript to the point where I feel it's now ready for publication. I might add that the Kirkus review was also useful. I'm including a copy of the review along with the query letters to perspective publishers and agents and have already received positive feedback from some. I'm glad I took these extra steps with my book.”
—Jan Hendrix, author of The Blue Hole and Other Stories

“After reading about Kirkus, I decided that I needed my manuscript edited by a company that had good credentials, because I am an indie author and publisher. My experience was worry free and delivered everything that was promised. I received a detailed written report explaining how to improve my manuscript and offering suggestions on word choice. These were the things most beneficial to me. Kirkus proved to be true to its word, and I received the project on the day stated. I did not worry once I published my book because it was a product that I could be proud of.”
—Rachel E. Rice, author of The Incredible Mr. Black

“A lot of professional editors claim they’ll edit your manuscript while maintaining your voice, but the editors used by Kirkus really mean it. They don’t just correct punctuation and grammar, but they show a true respect for the story and the author, in a way that I haven’t experienced with other editors. That’s why I keep coming back to them.”
—Harambee K. Grey-Sun, author of Divinities, Entangled

“I would recommend the Kirkus editorial pros to any author. I chose the collaborative editing service and received an honest, in-depth edit of my book that I found invaluable. During the consulting phone call, my editor provided encouraging feedback and answered all my questions, helping me fine-tune my storyline. I’m thrilled with my final manuscript. With my next novel, I plan to invest in the pro editing package.”
—Kim Sanders, author of The Ex Lottery