Darling Axe Editing Services

The Darling Axe is a team of award-winning writers and industry professionals who offer a range of novel development and book editing services.  The best option for you will depend upon what stage you have reached with your manuscript.

We specialize in full-length novels, whether literary or genre, but we also have experience working with short fiction, novellas, and creative non-fiction. 

The Forge – Narrative Assessment

The Forge: 
Coaching & Narrative Assessment

This fully customizable service is ideal for early-draft manuscripts, partials, stuck manuscripts, and novel outlines—and even would-be outlines. Your story coach will support and guide you toward your next draft or revision.



The Foundry – Developmental fiction editing

The Foundry: 
Developmental Editing

In our developmental edit, we take a close look at your plot, characters, relationship arcs, perspective, and voice. In addition to a written critique, you receive a marked-up copy of your manuscript with comments added throughout, including scene-level feedback and pointers for recurring grammatical or mechanical issues.

Rates range from $0.02 to $0.03 USD per word.


The Workshop - Line editing service for fiction writers

The Workshop: 
Line Editing

In our workshop, we sharpen your manuscript line by line, with special attention to grammar, style, clarity, repetition, and word choice. We aim to maintain your voice as we refine your prose. Also included in this service is a customized style sheet.

Rates range from $0.02 to $0.03 USD per word.


The Studio – First-pass and final proofreading service for fiction manuscripts

The Studio: 

Enter the studio for your final polish. A traditionally published manuscript will go through several rounds of proofreading, so we've designed a service to replicate this process. One of our senior editors will work with a team of three to five technical editors to help your manuscript shine.

Rates range from $0.012 to $0.02 USD per word.


The Exhibit – Query submission assessment and critique for authors seeking literary representation

The Exhibit:
Query Critique

So you're ready to showcase your work to agents and publishers. Our query critique options include a mini-workshop of your query letter and a close look at your synopsis and first 5,000 words.

Flat rate by package: $80–$280 USD



The Crow's Nest – Manuscription introduction assessment and critique

The Crow's Nest:
Hook Assessment

This is an abridged version of our developmental-editing service. From the heights of the crow's nest, we take a look at your first 10,000 words. Most readers need to be captivated within the first forty pages, so our goal is to help you polish your opening and sharpen your hook.

Flat rate: $300 USD



The Gauntlet: Hire professional beta readers to review your novel

The Gauntlet: Beta Readers

Is your story immersive and engaging? Are your characters coming to life on the page? Run the gauntlet with our hand-picked team of experienced beta readers for an honest audience assessment.

Hire 3-5 beta readers for $0.01 - $0.015 USD per word. Custom packages available.



Editing Packages

If you book the Darling Axe for any of our services, additional work will be provided at a reduced rate.  

Ready to get started?

Click here to request a quote and arrange a sample edit

A note on currency:

Service prices are listed in US dollars (USD), as most of our clients reside in the United States. However, as we are a Canadian company, our invoices will be sent in Canadian dollars (CAD). We always use a current, fair exchange rate to calculate the final invoice cost. Also, our payment gateway may convert to your local currency based on IP address.