Business Editing Services since 2006 ~ Technical Editing Services since 1991

The beautiful part of writing is that you don't have to get it right the first time, unlike, say, a brain surgeon. (Robert Cormier)

The other beautiful part is that you can get some help.

  • Bids, proposals and tenders
  • Magazines and newsletters
  • Peer-reviewed articles
  • Academic writing
  • Tech manuals
  • White papers
  • Dissertations
  • Spec sheets
When you read what you've written, you don't read what you've written. You read what you think you've written. They're not always the same. You need someone to read what you've written before your reader sees it.

The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.

I ensure that nothing gets between your reader and your message.

When you write, that’s what you want. With Michael Edits, that’s what you get.

Great writing is like a window pane. Let Michael Edits be your Windex™.

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Guarantee

I always give you the best possible editing and proofreading services. If you're not completely satisfied, don't pay me.

I edit your document on the computer screen a few times until I think it's perfect. Then I print it and edit it again, because it's not. I repeat this procedure until your manuscript is flawless. Yes, this sounds time-consuming, but I started editing and proofreading in 1991 and I've never missed a deadline.

If you're wondering how long it'll take me to edit something, start by assuming I'll do 10,000 words per day. If that's not fast enough, tell me what you need and I'll do more. I won't charge extra or sacrifice quality for this.

Editing is not the same as proofreading, but I always do both. Back when I worked at Scribendi (I was EM392), the only thing I was scolded for was giving someone an edit who had only paid for a proofread. Well, that's just how I'm wired. If I see a way to improve your writing, I'm going to point it out. Thinking "I see a mistake but you didn't pay me enough to fix it" strikes me as unethical.

Most authors pay me after they receive the edited document, but if you want to prepay, I won't stop you. I've never been asked for a refund, but if you're the first, I'll give it to you. No questions asked.

The Editing Process

I start by running Word's spellchecking and grammar checking tool. It's far from perfect, but I know enough to know when to agree and when to disagree. This "pre-edit" also allows me to use Search & Replace and maybe Copy & Paste to improve your document's internal consistency before I start reading it.

Next, I read your document on my computer and suggest every possible change I can. (Usually with Tracking on, as explained in the Pricing section below.) I'm looking at spelling, punctuation, grammar, and the silly "oops" stuff that it's so much fun to mock on Facebook. But I'm also looking for clarity, repetition, organization, and just anything at all that could be done better. Many editors will make several passes, each focusing on a specific type of error. Many others are wired to do it all at the same time. I'm in the second group.

When I think it's perfect, I go away for a while. Or catch up on the email. Or butcher a song on the guitar in my office. Then with a clear mind, I read it again and see all the stuff I missed.

When I think it's a perfect manuscript, I print it. Then I read it again and see what I missed, marking up the printout with a pen. I make those corrections on the computer, print it again, repeat until it really is perfect. My music doesn't improve, but your manuscript always does.

Pricing

The price for my editing and proofreading service is 2 cents per word. I don't charge one price for one type of editing/proofreading and a different price to add on another type of editing/proofreading. Two cents per word covers everything.

I do not edit printed documents. I work by email. My preferred format is Microsoft Word, but I also work with other files types.

PayPal is my usual payment method, but if you prefer something else, we can do that too.

When you use my editing and proofreading service, you know I'll be looking at your writing from a different vantage point than you are. I'm not as close to your work as you are. If you forgot to mention something that you know but your reader doesn't, I'll spot it. If you've repeated yourself but were just too weary after a dozen rounds of fast-paced deadline-driven self-editing to notice it, I'll spot it.

I'll ensure that your writing is clear and concise, that the overall flow and structure are logical, and that your document is free of spelling or grammar errors. I'll eliminate run-on sentences, wordiness, awkward constructions, vague language, and anything else that makes a reader stop and go "Huh?"

I'll always respect your writing style, your overall tone, and your unique writing voice. This is why I make my changes using the Tracking feature in Microsoft Word (or Google Docs). Tracking rocks.

If you'd rather receive a clean "I don't want to edit my editor" copy, we can do that too. You're the boss. I'm just the gadfly.

About Michael Edits and Michael LaRocca

I gave the long bio its own page. Here's the timeline.

Some of my clients

Carl Dickson, PropLIBRARY and Capture Planning: "Michael LaRocca has been our editor [since 2006], reviewing dozens of documents, as well as our weekly newsletter. He has kept us from looking stupid countless times. Working with Michael is easy and friction-free. He has been extremely flexible and helped us meet even our most unreasonable deadlines. He has spoiled us."

Nicolás Antonio Jiménez, Senior Editor at Cigar Snob Magazine, Founding Editor at DADE: "Michael has been editing the copy we publish in Cigar Snob Magazine [since 2008]. We keep stupid hours when we're up against a tight deadline; that, combined with a fully stocked bar just a few steps from our desks (research supplies) means we're making little mistakes often, but seldom catching them all. We've been able to count on Michael, who's a pleasure to work with, to keep our magazine's copy coherent when we are anything but."

Brenda Robinson, First African American female Navy pilot; President of Aviation Camps of the Carolinas Inc.: "Michael continues to save me and my reputation, by making sure what I meant to say is what people actually read. I am so very impressed with his work and his turnaround time is amazing. I don't send out important documents, emails, or a whole book without going through him first. I am 100% assured that all grammar, punctuation, and spelling is perfect before I send it on as complete. He's got my business for life."

Michelle Hill, Legacy Builder for Sports Professionals: "I have read books about ghostwriting by professional ghostwriters that were so riddled with typos, it was painful to get through. Once you think your manuscript is perfect, let a proofreader do their magic to it. You'd be surprised what they catch, and you'll find yourself saying, "How the heck did I miss that?" Professional proofreaders are worth their weight in gold! Mine is Michael LaRocca and he is a gold medalist when it comes to finding the errors that everyone else missed."

Natalia Marshalkina, Lead CRA at Worldwide Clinical Trials, Inc.: "I've had the pleasure of working with Michael on several of my academic projects [since 2011] and I've always been impressed with the efficiency and the highest quality of his work. My task was (and is) to follow the flow, to express ideas, whereas Michael goes through my sometimes over-complicated "final draft" and makes it just perfect - not only by correcting those inevitable spelling and grammar errors, but also by bringing the meaning to the surface. "Yes, this is exactly what I was trying to say!" - but the language magically became more straightforward and easily understandable for the reader... For anybody trying to create a masterpiece in writing - regardless of the topic or level of complexity - Michael's editing is a great asset."

Derek Lewis, Business Book Ghostwriter: "Impressively quick, impressively accurate, and impressively savvy. Michael is my secret weapon. He has saved me from countless embarrassments and faux pas. Nothing I write is fit to show until Michael says so."

Joelle Klein, Health & Lifestyle Writer / Blogger / Storyteller: "Michael is the perfect pair of second eyes for my articles. I find it impossible to edit my own work. When I need something to be perfect, I make sure Michael reads it before I send it out. He's reliable, fast and accurate."

Daniel Schuller, Software Developer, Unity Technologies: "Michael helped me with the technical editing for my book How To Make An RPG. He made the whole experience painless and was a great help. The text quality improved massively. He was very responsive throughout the entire process and it took far less time than I'd expected."

Jens Graff, Associate Professor, Censor Secretariat, Ministry of Education, Denmark: "To find Michael LaRocca as a professional editor was a scoop for me when I needed my English cleaned in a more than 300 page English language scientific dissertation in 2008. He did his work within a few days and related to me for best result. Michael was able to perceive the whole manuscript as it was intended and choose a language that was professional, simple, and fresh. I was extremely satisfied with his work and will use him in the future, when I have serious text to publish." [We've worked together several times since then, most recently in 2017.]

Trish Saemann, Digital Marketing Professional, GoBeyond SEO: "Michael is a very detail-oriented professional who produces exemplary work consistently. We have been using Michael's services since July of 2013 and we plan to continue as long as he'll have us! The nature of our industry requires well-written content for blogs, ebooks and website copy. Nothing can tarnish a document with strong content like spelling errors and grammatical mistakes. Michael is the filter we use before publishing content. He is a vital part of our workflow. It is with great pleasure that I recommend Michael LaRocca."

Erik Calvino, Owner, Cigar Snob Magazine: "Michael has been an asset to our publication since his first assignment with us [in 2008]. His response times, accuracy, and adaptability to our industry vernacular have been his strengths. I highly recommend him."

Andrew Freiburghouse, Founder/CEO, Pronto Tax School: "One of the best in the business! Efficient. Great value. Pride of craftsmanship. Highly recommended."

Iris Benrubi, Simply Success Coaching: "Working with Michael was great! He took great care when editing my work and always had it ready for me on time! I would highly recommend him!"

Kellie Hedrick, P.E., Environmental Process Solutions PLLC: "Michael has been instrumental in reviewing proposals and reports that we issue to our clients ensuring that the information we are communicating makes sense. It is always good to have another set of eyes reviewing information. We appreciate the great work that Michael has done for us."

William Saemann, Managing Partner, GoBeyond SEO: "Michael is a detail-oriented editor and exactly what we need at GoBeyond. We send him everything from blog posts to page copy for editing and his services are invaluable."

Darrell Bain, Fictionwise Author of the Year: "Michael LaRocca has edited my books. His command of the English language is better than mine and I have a B.S. degree."


Eastern Instruments: I was their sole Technical Editor from 1991-1999. If I hadn't left to create Michael Edits, there's a 93.14159% chance I'd still be their in-house editing department. Approximately.

Raquel Eatmon: Public speaker, author, CEO of Rising Media LLC, founder of Women of Power Leadership Conference, TV broadcaster, Huffington Post contributor, founder of Project Heard.

Adonal David Foyle: Author, speaker, consultant, NBA center (Golden State Warriors, Orlando Magic, Memphis Grizzlies).

TreeceCo Senior Financial Services: Fixed annuities, life insurance, estate planning, Medicare supplement insurance. I've edited their weekly newsletter and all their other correspondence since 2013.

Health Tips From The Professor: I edited both of his books, "Slaying The Food Myths" and "Slaying The Supplement Myths." Then, as a fringe benefit, I followed his advice and got myself healthy.

Tethered Aerostat Crane: I edited this request for a Federal research grant. It won.

Lime Energy: Overcoming the challenges to small business energy efficiency.

Matthew Pollard: Business coach (the "Rapid Growth Guy"). Find new business niche markets and create a sales system to get more customers and close more sales.

CIMTEC Automation: PLC and HMI repair services through the only factory-authorized GE 90-70 repair center in the world.

Qualitrol: Sales and service of new and remanufactured GE Fanuc PLC parts.

Editing, Proofreading, and Other Resources

  1. 7 Proven Strategies for Editing and Proofreading Your Own Writing
    Your words are important. Treat them that way.
  2. Be Your Own Editor
    Excerpts from Thorne's Better Medical Writing that apply to every kind of writing you'll ever do.
  3. The Best Way to Sell is Not to Sell
    It's also my favorite.
  4. Five Simple Steps for Winning Bids and Proposals
    Where to commit your resources, and how.
  5. How To Write A Scientific Paper Worth Reading
    It's important to ensure that your reader knows what you're talking about. This PDF is based on the lectures I gave at Chiang Mai University.
  6. I Don't Sell Editing and Proofreading Services
    Even though the site is called Michael Edits.
  7. I Was Not Always An Editor
    I was, however, always a reading junkie. The cereal box stereotype fits.
  8. Is Your Newsletter Hurting Your Credibility?
    Who reads your newsletter before your subscribers do?
  9. Michael Edits - The Official Video
    Yeah, it's a commercial, but cut me some slack. I paid ten bucks for this.
  10. Podcast - Today's Business
    Interview with Sharon Hill of WCHL radio in Chapel Hill.
  11. Proofs and Three Parables by George Steiner
    The Wikipedia entry on Proofreading includes four works of fiction in which one of the characters is a proofreader. The novella Proofs is one of them.
  12. Star Wars
    I can't be serious all the time. If you're in the office, turn off the sound.
  13. What's Cheaper Than Throwing Out Your Promotional Copy?
    The company probably spent thousands of dollars to print those brochures, and they're better off throwing them in the trash.
  14. Where Are the Offices of Michael Edits?
    I created the company in Hong Kong in December 1999, but have since moved to mainland China, then Thailand, then Vietnam, then North Carolina.

Contact Michael Edits

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Updated June 25, 2018
© Copyright 2000-2018, Michael LaRocca
Durham, North Carolina 27707

Business Editing Services ~ Fast, Flawless, Satisfaction Guaranteed