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Critical Eye

Editing & Publishing

Professional editing & publishing services

critical: (adj)- vital, indispensible

              (adj)- exercising or involving careful judgment or judicial evaluation


Welcome to Critical Eye Editing & Publishing, the one-stop shop for all of your editing and publishing needs. Here you'll find an affordable and experienced partner committed to helping you attain all of your writing goals. Whether you need someone to look over a resume, make sure your webpage content is flawless, deep-dive into your latest novel, or work with you to get your memoir in print, Critical Eye Editing & Publishing has all the services you're looking for at prices that won't require you to take out a second mortgage or sell your organs on the black market. 


What does Critical Eye Editing & Publishing offer?

An in-depth, objective, and critical look at your written work of any length from an award-winning author and experienced editor. From queries to blog posts, short stories to novels, I'll thoroughly review your project and provide copy/line editing, content/substantive editing, or proofreading as per your needs. And, when your manuscript is ready for the masses, I can assist you with obtaining ISBNs, print and digital formatting, cover design elements and templates, and determining the print and distribution channels that best meet your needs. From first draft to print, Critical Eye Editing & Publishing has all of your needs covered.

How does it work?

We'll first have a conversation about your manuscript and your future plans for it. Once I have a good understanding of your goals, I'll ask you to send me a random chapter or sample of your work to determine the scope of the project. I'll return that chapter to you with no fewer than three edited pages (so that you may also evaluate my work) along with a quote based on word count. If agreeable, I'll send you a contract and ask for half of the payment up front. (The latter half will be due upon delivery.) You send me the manuscript (preferably in Word, but PDFs and Google docs are okay too), and I'll dig in. If I have questions along the way, I may reach out to you for clarification. I'll return the manuscript with edits and suggestions and remain available to you for a minimum of two weeks after receipt for any input, follow-up, or questions you may have.

How much does it cost?

There are a number of different types of editing and each require varying degrees of time and effort. (Not sure what kind of editing you need? Check the FAQs for details.) My quoted rates are as follows:


Resumes/Query Letters/Blog Posts up to 500 words: $50

Resumes/Query Letters/Blog Posts over 500 words: $100

Beta Reading with objective feedback: $100

Proofreading: .5 cents/word ($1.25/page)

Copy/Line editing: 1 cent/word ($2.50/page)

Content/Substantive editing: 1.5 cents/word ($3.25/page)


How long does it take?

Depending on my workload and the extent of your project, I should be able to get short works back to you in a few days and longer works in two to four weeks, though an in-depth substantive edit might take longer. I always provide weekly updates, and should I anticipate any delays they'll be communicated to you immediately.


Let's do this!

​Great! Use the contact form below to send me a request, or email me at

editing services


You've written and revised your masterpiece. It's been thoroughly edited and proofread. Now what? Whether you hope to publish traditionally or plan to do it yourself, the process can prove quite daunting. From drafting a dazzling query letter, to obtaining ISBNs and barcodes, to printing and distribution options for indie authors, Critical Eye Editing & Publishing has a broad array of resources at your disposal.

Contact me for a no-obligation quote tailored to your publishing needs.

Professional Editing and Publishing Services
Publishing Services


Why should I hire you?


In addition to my skills as an editor, I possess an extensive knowledge of the industry. I have a number of  resources at my disposal and can provide you with coaching and input on the publishing process, whether you plan to query agents or self-publish. I also provide manuscript copies, ISBNs, and barcodes at a significant discount should you require them.


What are the types of editing?

This can be quite confusing, as sources often name and define them differently, and there is frequent overlap between the styles. Allow me to clarify how I characterize them for our purposes:

-beta reading: once you've completed your first round of revisions, beta reading should be the next step of your process. It's a perfect opportunity to get input on your project from friends, loved ones, fans of your previous works, your favorite barista at the coffee shop, the UPS delivery driver... anyone who is willing to take the time to read your masterpiece and provide you with feedback. Whether you have three readers, a dozen, or fifty, there's one problem with betas that are part of your usual orbit. They're not always entirely objective for fear of hurting your feelings. They may point out some obvious flaws, but they're often reluctant to provide the kinds of unbiased opinions that can bring your manuscript to the next level. You need at least one neutral reader whose sole goal is to make your work better by providing real, dispassionate, and sometimes raw input while still focusing on the strengths of your manuscript.

-developmental editing: as the name implies, this type of editing is largely centered on the creative aspects and evolution      of a manuscript. Often, though not always, developmental editing takes place early in the writing process and typically        requires much in the way of collaborative brainstorming between author and editor. Main focuses are story arc, plot              (and subplots), character development, perspective and POV, pacing, style, and the like.

-content/substantive editing: a global look at the project to identify issues with structure, style, theme, pacing, syntax,            continuity, passive vs. active tense, “showing vs. telling,” etc. Content editing often involves some measure of light              research and substantiation of facts. A fair amount of revising and rewriting is often necessary in a content edit.

-copy/line editing: your copy editor will review your manuscript for grammar, spelling, proper use of numerals,                    capitalization, punctuation, verb tense, voice and tone, and formatting. Your copy editor will also assure consistency  throughout and (if necessary) adherence to a specific style guide such as the Chicago Manual of Style or APA.

-proofreading: a thorough review of the final draft(s) for any remaining errors and consistency concerns that may have          escaped notice in any of the previous steps. This is typically the last line of defense and the final step of the writing              process.


How do you determine what kind of editing is needed?


For the most part, this comes down to how much actual writing, restructuring, and revising I anticipate your project will require. Line editing is more correction based, focusing on the areas listed in the above definition. If I feel that there will be a significant amount of rewriting (or drafting suggestions for you), then I will usually categorize that as content editing. 



How do you determine page/word count?

Your original estimate is based on either the word count (preferred) or the page count you provided. The industry standard is 250 words/page, though that tends to fluctuate depending on dialogue and other factors. Ultimately, your word count will determine your final contracted price, which will typically be a bit less than the per-page prices listed above.


How do I know how much work my manuscript needs?


Without seeing your project, it's difficult to say. I’ll be happy to provide you an initial estimate based on word/page count for the type of editing you request. At some point in the process, I will request a random sample chapter from the manuscript, which will allow me to more precisely gauge the amount of work needed. The final cost will be provided at that time.


How can I minimize my costs?


While not foolproof, the more times a manuscript has been read and revised, the lower the editing costs are likely to be. Enlist beta readers and get as much feedback as possible. Rewrite accordingly.

Do you provide developmental editing?


Though I’ll likely give some developmental advice within a content edit, I don’t often take on projects in their early stages. That said, feel free to send me an inquiry, and we can discuss it. My own excellent developmental editor, Alida Winternheimer, may also be available to assist you.


I need a beta reader. Can you help me out?


Sure! There are few things more valuable than some truly objective insight. As long as you’re not sending a 400+ page epic saga my way, I’ll beta read and provide you with my thoughts and suggestions for $100. Shoot me a request.




My name is Daniel Schuette (but you're welcome to call me DJ). I'm a ravenous reader, writer, blogger, and freelance editor currently providing editing and publishing services for authors nationwide. 

I am the author of three novels with several more at varying stages of (in)completion. I have designed and created content for two webpages: and my author page I've written a number of short stories, dozens of poems and songs, and numerous articles and blog posts, many of which have been published. To date, I've also provided editing for a number of published, award-winning novels and short stories.  

As an author, I understand how important it is to present a polished, error-free product. As a manager for over two decades, I've reviewed countless resumes and know how critical that very first impression is. And as a reader, I'm fully aware of just how quickly one can be pulled from your story by a mistake. My mission is to help you get noticed in all of the right ways and to avoid the many pitfalls that can undermine your chances for success.

I look forward to helping you achieve all of your writing goals.



DJ Schuette has edited my last five manuscripts. He's timely, thorough, thoughtful, and explains where he's coming from. He works with the author to help make the piece the very best it can be. Highly recommended.

-Jessie Chandler, award-winning author of the Shay O'Hanlon caper series

DJ is phenomenal! He really went above and beyond to help me with a project that turned out to be way more than we both anticipated. This is my first book and he really was understanding and was wonderful at keeping in touch and making sure things were going the way I had hoped it would. I would trust my work with him any day, and I hope to work with him again with the rest of the books in my series!

-Chelsea Munsterman, author of Desert's Secret

As a first time author, DJ was exactly the writer/editor I needed to move my story forward. He has insight into the business of book publishing which is much appreciated and will be so helpful once my manuscript is ready to be published. He also asks great questions and keeps me on track. Wonderful collaborative effort!

-Laura Kieger, author of Summer's Complaint

Thank you so much for your suggestions and extreme attention to detail. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your eye and professionalism. You were a godsend.

-Amy O, Editorial Services Manager, Fig Tree Books

I loved working with DJ Schuette at Critical Eye Editing. He is efficient, gives great customer service, and does quality editing. He cares about the finished product and ensuring his clients are happy. A winning combination. Many thanks, DJ.

-Christine Husom, author of The Winnebago County Mystery Thriller Series

I know I've told you personally what a fantastic job you did on My Mother's Son, but it's worth saying it again as part of a 'permanent record'. Your work was superb and the book is greatly better for it. Go ahead; brag and take some credit. You deserve it!

-David Hirshberg, author of My Mother's Son 

Without the keen eye of DJ Schuette, I'd be embarrassed for my books to see the light of day. He catches the mistakes that even professional writers can miss. He knows his stuff and offers critical insight into how to bring my writing up to a higher level. I highly recommend his services.

-Kristi Belcamino, Agatha, Anthony, Barry & Macavity-nominated crime fiction writer

DJ’s attention to detail was superb. More than just correcting bad sentences and catching mistakes—which he did amazingly well—he also took a genuine interest in my story and, being historical fiction, did his own research. He corroborated the groundwork I had in place and even suggested little historical nuggets here and there that I missed along the way. I never expected that level of engagement from an editor. His encouragement and ideas have been priceless to me. I feel very fortunate to have him in my corner. His work elevated the quality of my novel, and I’ll definitely involve him in future projects.

-Sarah Hanley, Author of Matka

DJ was an absolute asset to the development of my book and all I could have asked for in an editor. I’m a young, first-time author with a lot to learn, and DJ not only went through my work in extreme detail but was also an incredible teacher when I needed pointers. Working with DJ taught me some important lessons, particularly on how to adapt my writing in a way the industry would appreciate—A valuable insight indeed! Just brilliant. It was lovely to work with you DJ and I’d recommend you in a heartbeat.

-Meila Watkins, Author of A Broken Child

Finding a good proofreader has always been difficult, but thankfully I'll never have to do that again. DJ has proven to be fast, efficient, and communicative when working on my projects, and I've had no trouble trusting him with any of my books. His keen attention to detail is rivalled only by his dedication to the job at hand, always going the extra mile to perfect my stories rather than just correct them.

-Adam Nicholls, Author of the Mason Black & Bloodline series

Good morning DJ,


I have received your latest critique of my manuscript. Thank you. It is impressive. So much so that I must expand on my appreciation for what you are enabling me to achieve. It is obvious that you have the ambitions of your aspiring writers very much in mind as you work through their material. Not only do you present comments on writing style, plot construction and basics, but you have the ability to instill self-faith. We live thousands of miles from each other, and that makes no difference. You make written and phone access so easy. I feel you are at my elbow. Again, thank you for your advice and encouragement,

-Paul Cotton, Author of Rudolph Hess: Oh Icarus!


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