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My Editing Services


I have written and edited more than 300 books for 30-plus publishers, with combined sales of more than $20 million. If I edit your book, your text will be as clean and professional-looking as works published by HarperCollins or Simon & Schuster.


My Rates

By avoiding overhead and working efficiently, I’m able to keep rates low. Typical per-word rates:


Proofreading: 1.0-1.3 cents

Copyediting/Line editing: 1.4+ cents

Manuscript review with critique: 1.3 cents

Developmental/Content editing: rates vary


I often provide a helpful 3-in-1: developmental editing, copyediting, proofreading for one low price.


Everyone’s needs are different. Send me a sample of your manuscript and ask me what you’d like me to do. I’ll provide a free sample edit as well as a quote (fee and completion date). Email me at


My Specialties

Skills: copyediting, line editing, content/developmental editing, proofreading, query letters


Fiction: novels, young adult, children’s, historical fiction

Nonfiction: memoirs, history, health/wellness, mental health, personal finance, military, politics, sports, biographies, social issues, and more


Brief Bio


Goodreads Rating: 4.21 (out of 5), with more than 3,800 ratings


I have written more than 100 books and edited more than 200 books for 30-plus publishers, including Random House, HarperCollins, St. Martin’s Press, and Scholastic. I co-edited The Holocaust Chronicle, which topped 300,000 in copies sold and earned a letter of commendation from then-Vice President Al Gore. I authored Malala Yousafzai and the Girls of Pakistan, which in 2014 earned a Moonbeam Children’s Book Award—one of two Moonbeam awards I won that year. For Malala, I was one of four authors, including Mitch Albom, to earn a Wilbur Award. I authored The Murder of Emmett Till, which was assigned reading for journalism students at New York University because of its exemplary journalistic prose. Books that I have edited have appeared on the Today show, CBS Early Show, NPR, and MSNBC. I have edited books with forewords penned by Walter Cronkite, John Eisenhower, Margaret Truman, Congressman John Lewis, and two U.S. senators. I have proofread materials for Fortune 500 companies, the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and the Democratic Party, including those signed by President Barack Obama. I have a B.A. from the University of Michigan.


Contact Info

David Aretha


“I immediately realized that David was not just a comma and capitalization man, but someone who took my writing seriously, cared about my characters, and cared about the author. In addition to his editing and developmental skills, I was absolutely astounded at the microscopic errors that he caught. Some editors want to say it their way, but I found even in grammatical corrections, he never altered my voice in the story. David is an editor who is worth every penny.” – Jewel Thomas

“David Aretha is one of the most reliable and qualified copyeditors and proofreaders I have worked with in my many years in publishing. His attention to detail, his consistent and conscientious approach to the text, and his organizational skills ensure that the material he submits on editing projects is always of utmost quality.” – Josh Leventhal, publisher, MVP Books

“I was very pleased with David’s editing work on Hard Crush. He was easy to work with, answered all of my questions, and provided a wealth of advice as to how I could structurally improve several sections of the book, including the beginning and ending. He really made my book shine, and his work was instrumental in getting it sold quickly to a publisher. I highly recommend him for manuscript editing.” – Andrea Crisp


“Your review of No Popes in Heaven was spectacular both in detail and in direction. You made a number of observations that offer me the opportunity to lift this manuscript further…. I feel very lucky to have had my work reviewed by someone of amazing knowledge and a wisdom about written expression. Thank you for a terrific job.” – Hal Malchow

“I just wanted to let you know what an amazing job I think you’ve done and how happy I am to have chosen you for the editing job. Quite apart from all your encouraging comments (thank you!) your notes have really targeted the many areas that needed attention and that I’m now working on to improve. I think I may have disagreed with 2 or 3 of your notes, but I may be swayed back before I’m finished! Having read the manuscript over 4 or 5 times before sending it on to you, I’m also stunned at how many little things I let slip when I should have caught them myself.” – Ted Bridgwater

“It is satisfying to read something that still feels like ‘my’ writing, but is obviously greatly improved.” – Tim Keogh, PhD


“You’ve not only greatly improved this manuscript, but have improved my overall writing as well. I’ll forever be more conscious of which/that, formatting on quotes, etc. Your content comments were also great. I’m not sure how you can look at the detail and still pick out content, but you manage it incredibly well!” – Colleen Cowles

“David is fast, friendly and helpful. He has a great eye for detail. Super job.” – Conan De Moe

“Thank you for your caring, supportive and encouraging words and for all your great work. Your incisive comments and suggestions have been vital to bringing this book into its best content and form.” – Claire Risegari

“I can’t praise Dave Aretha enough for his fabulous proofreading. He was meticulous, helpful, on time, and extremely supportive. I highly recommend him for his valuable and supportive work. 5 stars!” – Scott Semegran


“You’ve been wonderful to work with. It’s rare to work with an editor who is both thoroughly professional and considerate.” – Wim Coleman

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