I am a storyteller.
My creative voice and vision are key to my identity, and they are the engine that drives my life.
For sixteen years, I’ve published my own creative work, mostly fantasy and science fiction, mostly novels but also short stories and novellas. I’ve worked in others’ sandboxes and my own: five of my novels take place within an existing IP (the Forgotten Realms, owned by Wizards of the Coast), five are totally creator-owned (Eye for an Eye, Scourge of the Realm, and my World of Ruin series), and one was written originally in a shared IP but is now creator-owned (Blind Justice). I am adept with both sorts of writing.
I’m a known commodity in the tabletop gaming industry, and have an array of credits to my name on such games as Dungeons & Dragons, Iron Kingdoms, Red Aegis, and others. I’m also a lifelong gamer, on the console or computer or tabletop. I’ve run games since 5th grade, and my first creative writing exercises drew directly from those experiences. Unsurprisingly, my favorite games tend to be RPGs and action-adventure games.
I’m not a coder or a programmer.
I’m a writer and an editor.
I’m an ideas person. I have built dozens of worlds myself for my own use, and I’ve worked closely with others to build worlds, flesh them out, describe them, and bring their stories to life. Dialogue, description, characterization, plot—all of these things are the fundamental building blocks with which we convey dreams from one mind to another.
I know and respect your commitment to creating art, and I want to be a part of it.
So Let’s Get To It
Looking to hire me to support your next project? My rates are on the lower end of competitive! And they’re negotiable!
Caveat! Keep in mind that writing is always done at your own risk. I neither can nor will make any promises regarding representation, publishing, sales, etc. If I were an expert at publishing, I would be raking in the cash and probably wouldn’t have time to do freelance writing or editing! But I have trained all my adult life to make manuscripts shine, and that’s what I’m here to do.
As I’ve said, my rates are negotiable. I know there’s sometimes a sticker shock effect, particularly if you aren’t accustomed to hiring a writer or editor. I’m happy to come to an arrangement and I offer friends and family deals.
If you want to hire me, contact me at erikscottdebie AT yahoo DOT com or through my company, WorldsWalkerLLC AT gmail DOT com, and let’s talk.
Hire Me for Writing!
I am primarily a fantasy writer, but I write all sorts of fiction. I’ve published fiction that crosses the genres of scifi and fantasy, superheroes, urban fantasy, horror, and mythic/magical realism, not to mention that one time I published a fantasy western novel. (Check out my bibliography!)
I prefer to write for 10 cents a word. So, for a 5,000-word story, this comes out to $500; for a 10k story, this comes out to $1000.
I’ve done a few pieces of flash-fiction, which are typically about $100 for anything up to 1,000 words.
Again, I prefer to write for 10 cents a word, but there’s some leeway when we start discussing royalties. If it’s an advance-against-royalties* structure, my standard rate is 7.5 cents a word against 10% royalties on print, 30% royalties on digital.
For example, a full 100k novel would run $7,500 against royalties.
If you hire me to write a manuscript without crediting me as the writer, I prefer to write for 15 cents a word. (See also Development Editing.)
For example, that comes to $1.5k for a 10k short story, $6k for a 40k novella, or $15k for a 100k novel.
I don’t prefer to write this way, but if there’s no advance and you are offering me royalties-only, I expect 50% royalties. And there should be a clause in my contract whereby I am paid for my time if the work for some reason doesn’t get published.
*Advance-against-royalties structure: To clarify for publishers who aren’t familiar with this structure, this entails a lump sum paid to me to write the book, and an agreed upon percentage of the proceeds from that book, which accrues until it matches the advance (“earns out”) and then is directed to me on a regular basis (typically 1-4 times a year). For example, if I have a $10k advance against 10% royalties, then once the book is published, then once it has earned $100k, it earns out, and 10% of subsequent sales go to me.
Hire Me for Editing!
As an editor, I know that every project is different and requires a subtly different approach. Mostly, I want to work with you to make sure your work is the best it can be!
If you’re curious about industry standard for Freelance Editing, here’s a guide from the Editorial Freelancers Association from 2008. Mind you, that’s still 10 years old, and my rates haven’t changed much from there. (I think I actually charge somewhat less than the average—my prices are all on the low end.
Word counts are usually rounded up for my rate. For instance, if you want me to do a tier 1 feedback read on a 7,200-word story, that’ll be $80, whereas if you want me to copy-edit (tier 3) a 117,000-word novel, it rounds up to 120k, which is $7,200. This is not to suggest that you should add or chop out words to maximize the bang for your buck—your book should be as long or as short as it needs to be.
Word counts are typically calculated for a manuscript’s length when it’s sent to me, unless I’m adding a lot to your manuscript, in which case final cost is calculated based on final word count.
Tier 1: Feedback
($25-30/hour, $10 per 1,000 words)
This is a basic read of your manuscript, similar to what a beta reader might do for you. I read the whole thing and give you my impressions. Basically, I concoct a book report on your work. I don’t do any actual line editing or grammatical check—literally the sole result of this tier of editing is an email I send you about your book. My goal is to help you spot both strengths and trouble areas in your manuscript.
I charge somewhere around the low end of basic copy-editing for this service ($25-30/hour). For a 10k story, it’s $100. For a 50k novella, it’s $500. For a 100k novel, it’s $1000.
(If after my feedback report, you decide that you’d like to employ me for a deeper edit, I roll this cost into the cost of a higher tier edit. It makes it easier for me if I’ve read the book first, after all.)
Tier 2: Polishing
($30/hour, $300 per 10,000 words)
This is a grammar and spelling sweep, where I focus on style and presentation, not on substance. This edit does not include characters, plot, or themes—it is strictly about the words. (On the chart below, this is basically a proofreading edit.) My goal is to make your manuscript technically accurate and avoid unsightly typos.
I charge about $30/hour for this service, assuming about a thousand words an hour. For a 5k-10k story, it’s $300. If you want me to polish a 100k novel for you, it’s $3,000.
Tier 3: Copy-Editing
($45/hour, $300 per 5,000 words)
This is the traditional kind of copy-editing most people are looking for. It involves reviewing text for spelling, grammar and punctuation, as well as checking for flow, transition, and proper word choice. I will look up things that spark my curiosity (such as statistics or detailed descriptions of particular objects, etc), but generally I only check facts you ask me to check. (On the chart below, this is kind of a blend between copy-editing and line editing.) My goal is to make your manuscript clear and powerful.
I charge about $45/hour for this service, assuming maybe 750-850 words an hour. For a 5k story, that’s around $300, so for a $100k manuscript, it’s $6,000.
Tier 4: Development Editing
This is the most amorphous tier, applicable to a lot of different jobs, but basically it’s the book doctor treatment. Essentially, I’m co-writing, consulting, and/or coaching you through writing or revising the book, depending on when you contract me. I can work with completed manuscripts, in-progress manuscripts, or help you brainstorm ideas for a new book. My goal is to help you produce the best manuscript you possibly can.
Development Editing can also be part of ghostwriting, such as if you want to employ me to write your memoirs or a story from your life. This covers interviews with you and coordination about the manuscript that isn’t necessarily writing.
Of the various editing tiers, this one is toughest to quantify. Each project requires something different—a different focus, different sort of feedback, etc. Thus, this tier typically works best as an hourly rate ($60/hour), but I like to give estimates based on the length of a work and the level of editing needed. For a 100k novel, this can range from $5,000-10,000.