Editing, Publishing, and Consultation Services


Have you written a book but don’t know what to do with it? Disillusioned by traditional publishing? Independent publishing is no longer marginalized and small press is on the rise. Technology makes it possible to produce beautiful, professional quality books without the support (or intrusion) of a giant corporate publisher.

I’m a published novelist, award-winning graphic novelist, and co-owner of a successful independent theatre company. I have over 20 years experience writing professionally, but I still publish independently when it makes sense to do so. Not every project is right for traditional publishing, and traditional publishing is definitely not right for every book.

Over the years I’ve become an expert in the art of doing it on your own: from editing a draft, to manuscript layout, to cover design, web design and social-media promotion, to getting the book up and running with Amazon distribution in both print and kindle-ready formats, to having physical copies shipped to your door and ready to read.

I offer editing, interior book design and layout, indy publishing and consultation services. I can work either in a one-off capacity or take you through the whole start-to-finish process of independent publishing. My rates are:


Introductory Critique: Written critique of mss first 10 pages (double spaced) assessing style, marketability, and effectiveness. Includes a 30 minute follow up consultation by phone or email. Please note that this service is available for novels, novellas, and narrative nonfiction only with projected final word count over 15,000 words $100

Manuscript Evaluation: Editorial write-up assessing commercial and literary potential and areas for improvement. $.014 per word.

Content Edit: A chapter-by-chapter analysis of manuscript content with generous guidance on points of revision and lessons on relevant aspects of craft. $.028 per word.

Annotated Line Editing: A low-level, detailed critique provided via line-by-line annotations, first-pass proofing, and chapter-by-chapter suggestions to bring out the best in voice, articulation, style and structure. $.040 per word.

Manuscript Consultation: Ongoing editorial feedback and development support through notes, e-mail, Skype or phone discussion. $80 per hour.

MBA Essay Editing: If you need help with your MBA application essays, we have a specialty service for that. Check out the ME^2 page.

There is a $50 minimum for all editing services, regardless of length. Services can often be combined at reduced rates. Feel free to ask me about this.

Layout for Publication

Services aimed to get your book’s interior into print-ready format run $60/hr and generally take between 8 and 15 hours depending on the size of the book and the complexity of design. Note that I typically do not offer cover design services. I have relationships with some killer designers in the business who I can recommend, or I will happily work with a design/designer of your own.

Amazon print and kindle-ready

Get your manuscript hosted on Amazon and available for print and kindle distribution. This service runs $60/hr and generally takes 4-8 hours depending on proofing and revisions. Does not include proofing costs, which are typically between $5 – $10 per proof copy with shipping.

Other Consultation Services

My rates for all other writing, design, and publishing services (including web development, social media & branding, copywriting, manuscript development & workshopping) run $80/hr.

If you’re ready to take the plunge or if you have questions, Email me anytime.

I know my weaknesses. I’m not a marketing/publicity strategist so I don’t offer advanced promotional services; however, we can work together on a basic foundation for branding and platforming. After that I can put you in touch with experts in the field. Also, I’m not a perfect eagle eye when it comes to spelling, punctuation and typos, but if you’re looking for pristine copyediting services I can connect you with some level 10 proofreading wizards.


“Josh Wagner did great work for me and my manuscripts. He’s patient, competent and made the whole process easy for me. I always feel I still owe him. I always want to pile on heaps of gratitude.”

-David Allan Cates; Hunger in America, Tom Connor’s Gift

“Josh is a godsend! If you are looking to publish your book independently and don’t know how nor have the time to tackle the technology…then call Josh. He will guide through formatting, layout, cover design, account set-up and editing. He makes sure that your book looks like anything you would pick up on a shelf at Barnes and Noble. He is easy to work with and reasonably priced.”

-Leah Joki; Made in Montana Press; Juilliard to Jail,Prison Boxing

“Josh has a broad scope of what it means to be an artist across mediums. He made us recognize the power of versatility as artists. Our conversation was extremely personal. He invested thought and asked pressing questions. I would highly recommend any creative mind set up a consultation with Josh. Be ready for honest, challenging, yet encouraging questions composed with care and understanding.”

—Jessica Williams, visual artist

“Josh might be a wizard, for real. He is always casting spells, but he calls them art projects. He’s shown me the magic that lies waiting to be teased out of every moment in our lives. He’s helped me recognize the kind of possibilities, opportunities, the uniqueness and power, and above all, the importance that lies in my own work and artistic endeavors. He possesses rare skill, offers even rarer inspiration, and is the rarest of friends. I would strongly recommend consultation with Josh to anyone with even the slightest creative twinge. It’s not often you get to learn from a real life wizard.”

—Cory Fay, musician and writer

“Whether you are a budding young creative or seasoned in your field, Josh is a reliable asset, and I highly recommend using his services towards your growth as an artist.”

—Skye Grace Bennett, producer