Friday, January 11, 2013

DIY RPG Service: 15th Level Copyeditor With +3 Red Pen Of Correction. Speaks Chicago, AP, Goblin

((EDITED FOR CLARITY: Because some folks have asked (and because I mention it toward the end of this post rather than up front), I am offering my services for free for up to 20 pages of text. I do not expect payment for this. It's my way of contributing to the DIY RPGers.))

Self-publishing has made creating that OSR fantasy heartbreaker or RPG supplement you've envisioned a reality. With the availability of cheap (or free) word processors, design/layout programs, and print-on-demand facilities, we're seeing an onslaught of material and products. But in their haste to get their product in the hands of the public, many fledgeling game writers and designers are skipping some of the basics of publishing -- primarily the importance of a thorough editorial review.

As a professional editor,  I'm chagrined by a lot of "first drafts" sold to the masses as a final release. Layout and design issues abound. Spelling and grammatical errors are found on every page. Continuity is chaotic. Text is missing, misplaced, or just unclear. It's a shame, really, as a lot of these problems can be addressed and corrected with one final review prior to sending the file to Lulu or DriveThruRPG. Sure, running your manuscript through a word processor's spellcheck and grammar check is better than nothing, but that's no substitute for the human eye.

So, in an attempt to help out some DIY folks who want their products to have just an extra bit of polish, I'm offering my services as a professional editor / proofreader to the OSR community. I'm not gonna post my resume, but suffice to say I have 15+ years of copyediting / proofreading experience. I'm the managing editor of a tradebook publishing company. I've personally edited or proofread hundreds of magazine articles, manuscripts, screenplays, and books (both trade and text) over the years. I'm fluent in several editorial styles with a keen eye for consistency, continuity, and clarity. (And alliteration, apparently.) And professional game companies have their materials undergo an editorial review process, so why not the garage press folks?

A list of RPG projects that I've edited or proofread:
And, the best part, I'm offering to do it for free for up to 20 pages of text. Larger projects take a fair bit of personal time, so I will charge a pittance rate of 50 cents per page for projects bigger than 20 pages. (So I would charge $15.00 for a 30 page project; $50 for a 100 page project; etc. Also, a mention in the credits and a comp copy would be appreciated.) It's my way of contributing my skills to the OSR community while doing some of the tedious wordsmithery for game writers and developers. (You worry about writing the game; I'll make sure the commas are in the right place.)

Since I'll be doing this on my own time and my own dime for the free projects, there are a few caveats:

1. I'd appreciate no "last minute rush" schedules. A thorough review could take a week or two. Don't expect anything turned around overnight. (Although if you are willing to pay a freelance editorial rate for a quick turnaround, I'm open to it.)
2. One editorial pass per project. Please don't ask me to re-review something I've reviewed once before because you've rewritten it or added 5 new chapters.
3. I would prefer to do a proofread on a finalized PDF, as I'd be able to offer suggestions and input on your layout and design. But I can also copyedit your original text manuscript if you prefer.
4. Please don't expect any developmental editing or rewriting. I'm just going to help you clean up what's there, not act as a ghostwriter on the project.

If anyone has any questions or if you'd like some freebie freelance editorial assistance, drop me a line at "gameagain at gmail period com."


  1. Nice initiative! Congrats on sharing your 15+ years of experience with garage press folk for free. I hope many errors may be corrected before printing!


  2. Wow! I would have loved to have used your services on my last book. I will be certain to look you up for the next one.

  3. Wow, Tim, what an amazingly generous offer! (Just came here via your link on g+.)

    Theorems & Thaumaturgy came too early, but I have some more stuff in the works that could do with an editor's gaze passing over it. I've saved your email in my writing folder, so when the time is ripe...

  4. Wow! If you had time it would be greate if you can proofread the quickstart of my free SpacePirates rpg. You find it online under

  5. Very cool. But after all these years I wonder if you're still doing this ... and if your email address has changed... I get a recipient not found from gmail. Anyway, wishing you well, and thanks for the offer!

    1. Yup! Still offering this service! And the email is still valid. Be sure to substitute "@" for "at" and "." for period in the email, of course.