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Driving the Quill

Professional Editing Services

Our Clients | Our Services | Request Price Quote

How to Make Your Novel Shine

Writing a quality novel takes practice, commitment, and feedback. When an author publishes a book with a large traditional print company, an editor is assigned to help that author polish the final product. So what does an independent author who wants to self-publish do for help?

Driving the Quill, from the editors at Quilldrivers, offers everything a successful independent author needs, at prices a starving independent author can afford. With over 20 years of experience writing, critiquing, and publishing all kinds of fiction, we provide a level of service comparable to that of most publishing giants. Whether you need a no-frills final proofreading of your manuscript or a detailed assessment involving question-and-answer discussions; whether you have a brief chapter or an epic novel—we will help make your writing shine.

Though analysis of any work of art is often subjective, we strive to not only identify issues and opportunities in your novel, but to give explanations and reasons, so that you may judge for yourself whether the particular feedback is appropriate to your novel. We approach our job with the heart of a teacher, so that you can further develop as a writer.

Remember, an edit alone does not guarantee the success of your novel. The quality of your rewrite incorporating editorial advice and adhering to market expectations will determine your level of success. To get the most value from our services, you should expect to do further revisions to your current manuscript.

Send us your manuscript today and let us help make your dream a reality!

Our Clients

We are expanding our client base and currently working with a number of independent authors.


We have completed various levels of editing services on many novels, including these recent releases:

Small, Dark, and Handsome, by Kevin D. Patterson

Panacea, by Anna Abner

Antidote, by Anna Abner

Elixir, by Anna Abner

Across the Wire, by Stella Telleria

Dragon Nemesis, by B.J. Whittington

The High T Shebang, by Mark Philip Alger

In That Moment, by Margot Sloan

Dragon Rebirth, by B.J. Whittington

Dragon Soul, by B.J. Whittington

Oceanheart, by Pen Clements

Prime Target, by Kim du Toit

The Rising Wind, by Suzie Hunt

Nick the Lolt (Tales From Yod, Volume One), by Anthony M. Briggs, Jr.

A Rose Before Dying, by Amy Corwin

Rex Rising: Book One of Elei's Chronicles, by Chrystalla Thoma


Some of the positive feedback we have received from clients includes these comments:

[Jeff] has always made me look at my story in different ways and has been instrumental in improving it. ... If I ever publish a novel or find myself happy with my writing it will be because of his guidance over these years. --Stella

Jeff Hill has been my primary editor for nearly twenty years and over half a dozen novels. I can truthfully say that without his criticism and insights, none would have been published.

Jeff is a master of:

- Continuity ("He was sitting on the couch at the beginning of the scene; how did he suddenly get onto the beach?")
- Character analysis ("By making him do this, you're also making him less sympathetic as a character; was that intentional?")
- Storyline analysis ("This paragraph belongs earlier in the story, because it explains the real reason for his inner conflict")
- Style critique ("Too lyrical; this is an action scene which requires shorter, punchier sentences")
- Content analysis ("This deserves a longer description" OR "You could have said the same thing in about half the words; you're slowing down the plot: was that intentional")
- Grammar and syntax ("Avoid using the passive voice here")
- Nitpicking ("There shouldn't be a space between the punctuation mark and close-quote on page 175")

The best thing about Jeff is that the more he gets to know your writing style, the better his critique gets. More to the point: the more he gets to know your writing style, the better your writing gets.

I plan on having Jeff edit my work for the next twenty years. --Kim du Toit (author of Vienna Days, Family Fortunes, Prime Target, Skeleton Coast and others)

You are a great fresh perspective that tells me when I'm not on the path of the story I want to tell. I have learnt restraint through you. You've shown me how conflict and purpose is important in every word. I now look at the big picture of the novel and see how each chapter works within it. --ST

Your great comments on the first drafts of the novel were an immense help. --CT


Jeff Hill has put his degree in English and his passion for classic literature to use as both a writer and editor for over twenty years. His work has been featured in diverse publications, from company newsletters, to the ezine Estella's Revenge, to Margin, the leading website devoted to the study of magical realism. He has published several of his own books, owned and operated an independent bookstore, and founded the online reading group The Slaves of Golconda. Though his area of expertise is primarily novels, his editing experience includes both fiction and non-fiction books.

Elance Skills Testing

Creative Writing—Top 1%
English Proofreading—Top 5%
English—Top 5%
Chicago Style Editing for Writing Professionals—Top 10%
English Grammar—Top 10%
English Punctuation and Mechanics—Top 10%
English Spelling—Top 10%

Our Services

We offer five different levels of service:

EBOOK PREPARATION ⇒ Your novel, ready for publication, needs to be formatted as a digital book.

Formatting your completed novel to Kindle standards, so all you have to do is upload the file to the distributor of your choice.

eBook Preparation price per word $0.001

PROOFREADING ⇒ Your manuscript is in finished form, and needs a final read from fresh eyes to identify any glaring errors.

Basic edit for spelling, typographical errors, and capitalization.

Proofreading price per word $0.002

COPY EDITING ⇒ Your manuscript has no major errors, but may need some fine tuning.

Edit for grammar, vocabulary, punctuation, sentence clarity, and basic formatting. Style sheet included.

Copy Editing price per word $0.005

LITERARY EDITING ⇒ Your novel isn't quite working, and still requires revision.

Analysis of characterization, plot, theme, structure, conflict, resolution, point of view, setting, pacing, style, and dialogue. Style sheet included.

Literary Editing price per word $0.009 (Plus, if you select Literary Editing, we will reassess revisions at no additional cost.)


All of the above—literary edit, copy edit, proofreading, and formatting—for one low price.

Complete Package price per word $0.0125

*Prices are in USD and subject to change. Number of words per document based on "Word Count" results from standard text editor programs.

Request a Price Quote

Please fill out the following form for a no-obligation price quote. Be sure to let us know if you have an upcoming deadline, or any special needs, and we will do our best to work with you.

Email address:
Book or chapter title:
Word count:
Select level of service:


A long list of information, advice, tools, services, and more for independent authors can be found at Writers Helping Writers.


For the writer who prefers to edit his own manuscript, we offer tips on what to look for and what to avoid.

Why does Point-of-View matter?

The Rules of Grammar.


Learn about writing and publishing from authors who have been through it. They share their experience for your benefit.

Paul Kopal writes in defense of independent publishing.

An overview of copyright protection can be found at Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Inc.

Still unsure whether to submit to a publisher or go independent? Join writer Robin C. Westmiller for the new revolution in publishing.

A collection of essential books for the independent writer and avid reader: Masterpieces of Fiction, Authors of Eminence, and Guidebooks for Writing.

© Copyright 1998-2017 Quilldrivers | last update 9:08 AM 1/1/2017