Tim Kirby, freelance writer and editor

Editing services

(BACK) Levels of editing My experience Areas of knowledge Cost Urgent work Commission me

What I can do for you

If you have any writing that needs checking or improving a one-line joke, a website, a technical manual or even a doorstop of a book then I may be able to help.

With properly edited writing, your readers will grasp your information or message quickly and clearly.


I offer several levels of editing:

  Level 1

I ensure the grammar is right, pick up slips and inconsistencies and sort out occasional sentences that are ambiguous or read awkwardly.

  Level 2

I improve large parts of the text, sentence by sentence. For example, you might want the tone of a whole document to be more casual, or for there to be consistency when two people with different writing styles have contributed to the text.

  Level 3

I work on virtually every sentence. For example, I am highly experienced at turning literal translations from foreign languages – and text written by people whose first language is not English – into free-flowing English.

  Level 4

Full developmental editing, where I suggest how to reorder or rewrite text to put your message across, or how to shorten your work if you have space or word-count restrictions.


If none of these are quite what you want, just let me know your requirements.

I am also highly experienced in proofreading and formatting Word documents.


My experience

I have edited more than 1.3 million words, including



   Scientific papers

   Government reports

   Technical documents




Around half of my output has been technical, with most of the rest aimed at a general readership.

See Examples.

Areas of knowledge

I will happily work on any subject, however complex or technical.

I've a degree in physics and a PhD in physiology, and good knowledge of:

   Health and healthcare

   A wide range of sciences

   Exercise and nutrition


   Nuclear power

   Government & the civil service


and much more; see About me for further details.


How much will it cost?

The price depends on how long the work will take me. This, in turn, varies with the number of words, the complexity, the format, how much change is needed and your requirements.

Editing is skilled work, and any worthwhile editor will not be cheap. But my hourly rate is fairly typical and I am generally able to complete work quickly, which means I offer you good value for money.

The price I give you will normally be a maximum amount. The exceptions are if you change your requirements significantly, or if the work is much more complex than the sample of work you sent me. In those cases I would need to come back to you with a revised higher price.

If the work takes significantly less time than I estimated then I will give an appropriate discount.


URGENT WORK:  If you have an urgent deadline to meet, I may be able to help by working beyond my normal hours or by delaying other work. I would need to charge an additional 20% for this.


How to commission me

First, have a look at the "Availability" section of my Contact page; and perhaps send me an email to make sure I haven't suddenly become snowed under.

If you are unsure whether I am right for you, I would be happy to edit a short sample of your work for free.

I need the following to calculate a price for you:

Sample(s) of the work: a page or two, or at least several paragraphs, that give me an idea of what editing is needed. Please make sure to include some of the more complex parts.

The total number of words (to the nearest thousand will do).

Your requirements

  Level of editing (described above)

  Format, e.g. Word document, HTML, galley proof, etc.

   The intended readership

   Any style requirements, such as matching a particular style, working in US English, following a company style sheet, etc.

   Any other specific requirements, such as reformatting the document, shortening the text, etc.

When the source material will be ready, and your deadline.

Your maximum budget, if you have one. Don't worry, I will set you the same price whatever your budget is; but if your maximum is lower than what I need to charge, I will either suggest ways to reduce the cost or I will politely turn down the work.

Your contact details.

When I receive this information I will summarise it in an email with a price for the work and an indication of when it will be complete.


I look forward to working with you.



Co-author of How to Live to 110, an easy-to-read book explaining the science behind major diseases