Joanna’s Editing Services; and Cover Design

“The editor is the author’s first — best — reader.” So says my Libertà partner, Sophie Weston, and I’m sure she is right. I’m a self-published author now, with more than a dozen commercially published books on my backlist and well over a million copies sold, but I still pay a trusted freelance editor as my first and best reader. Why?

Because — like most writers — I can’t be objective enough to edit my own MS.

I Want More Concept

But I can be objective enough to advise you on YOUR MS!

I have more than 20 years of publishing experience and was a reader for the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme for many of them. I’m delighted to say that some of my NWS “students” have gone on to great commercial success.

One of my recent clients, the award-winning alternate history/thriller author, Alison Morton, describes my editing service like this:

No writer should be without an editor and I’ve had the privilege of working with one of the best, Joanna Maitland. Her incisive vision and attention to detail have been crucial to the development of my ROMA NOVA thriller series. She takes no prisoners, but the guidance and support she provides is unrivalled.

My background is in historical romance and thrillers, but I’m happy to edit romance of all periods, plus time-slip, thrillers, crime, sf&f, and other commercial fiction. To find out more about my approach to editing, read my guest blog, here.

Services I currently offer are: —

  • Developmental edit (= the big picture) — I’ll report on the shape and structure of your story, characters and motivation, impact, pace, style, with suggestions for revisions
  • Cover design for ebooks and print

Fees — Developmental Edits

I base my editing fees on an hourly rate — for a previously published author, my charges tend to come in at around £300-£350 for a developmental edit of a MS of up to 90,000 words. Longer manuscripts cost more. I will be happy to quote for your MS if you send me details of its length and genre, plus background about your writing experience. For a quote, please email me at or use the drop-down menu on the contact page.

Cover Design

You can see some of my Joanna Maitland cover designs on my blog here. Some of my Sophie Weston covers can be seen on Sophie’s page here. And you can download my handout on working with a cover designer here. If you like what I do and you’re interested in becoming a client for cover design, do email me about available design slots (

Currently, my fee for an ebook cover for a new client is £110 plus licence fees (for images and/or non-standard fonts). I usually offer a 10% discount for second and later covers for the same author client, ie £99 plus licence fees. Print covers (front, back, spine) cost £50 more in each case.