Frequently Asked Questions
What are your rates and services? Please see my Services and Rates page for a full breakdown.
Do you offer a sample edit? Certainly. I will offer a sample edit of your first 1,000 words for copy editing services only. Please inquire on my contact page or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How does payment work? To hold a spot on my editorial calendar, I require 50% of your fee up-front. The remaining 50% is due upon receipt of your copy edited or proofread manuscript. I invoice via Paypal. No refunds will be given for any reason, even if you cancel before work has begun. Because of this, please be sure you want to use my services before booking a date. In the event you do have to cancel (I do understand life happens), we can simply move you to the next available date.
How long does it take you to edit a manuscript? It depends on the length of the work, as well as what level of editing is required. A 30,000 word (about 120 printed pages) novella will take less time to proofread than a 110,000 word (440 pages) super-novel. Typically, once I have begun work, I will have your manuscript back to you within 1 to 3 weeks. Holidays may add to the project completion date, so please keep this in mind when booking if you have a specific deadline to meet.
Will you work on my partially finished manuscript? No. Please book my services only if you have a completed work. That means you’ve workshopped it, swapped it back and forth with critique partners, or done whatever you feel you need to do prior to seeking out a copy editor or proofreader. If you’re still rewriting or making content changes, please hold off on booking editing services. It will save you time and money in the long-run!
Do you offer a “final pass” service? Some editors offer a “final pass” service that’s a step below proofreading. Basically, the editor charges a set rate, say $1.00, for every mistake caught. This could be a misspelled word, a spliced comma, and so on. Currently, I do not offer this service. If you’re interested in learning when I might offer it, please consider joining my free monthly newsletter. I send out tips about writing, publishing industry news, and anything else I can find that may help you along your writer journey.
May I use you for proofreading if you’ve copy edited my work? I do not recommend it, and here’s why: After copy editing your work, I will be too close to it to be objective about any further errors without waiting a significant amount of time between the copy edit and the proofread. (At least two weeks, if not a full month.) If you’re in a hurry to get your project finished, I’m happy to recommend several outstanding proofreaders I have used to edit my own fiction.
What types of work do you edit? Since the rules of grammar and the English language can be applied to a wide array of subjects, I will edit almost all subgenres of fiction (except erotica) and non-fiction. I also provide copy editing and proofreading services for web content, magazine articles, e-zines, graphic novels and comics, and so forth. You name it, I can most likely copy edit it. If you’re unsure, please send me an inquiry via my contact form, or write to email@example.com. My specialty, however, is fiction.
Will my work be spotless after you’ve edited it? I do my absolute best to make sure your work is as close to spotless as possible. Sadly, anytime a human is involved, there is room for error. That’s why I suggest getting a copy edit and at least one proofread done on your work before publication. You’ll be amazed at what can slip through. Even editors are human. We make mistakes. We miss things. Still, at the end of the day, a human eye will catch far more errors than a software algorithm. At the very least, get a copy edit. And, if you can’t afford a proofreader, run your document through your word processor’s spellcheck feature or use a grammar program such as Grammarly (my personal recommendation) or WhiteSmoke. Realize, however, that despite their sophistication, these programs will not be nearly as effective in cleaning up your manuscript as a human being. Always get a human to look over your work first.
Do you offer developmental editing or line editing? Developmental editing, sometimes called content editing, is where an editor helps the writer strengthen the story concept. This is the deepest level of editing, where an editor will overlook surface level grammatical errors (because what’s the point in looking for these when the writer is going to rewrite parts of the story?) in favor of examining the story structure and content as a whole to determine how to strengthen it. The author and editor may work through several content or developmental edits until the story is at a point where it can be either line edited or copy edited. Developmental edits can be costly.
In my opinion, a writer is better served by seeking out a writing mentor, meaning a professional writer who has been writing for twenty or more years, and practicing daily by writing new stories. Rewrites will only get you so far. And, in my opinion, most rewriting takes place because the writer is trying to achieve a level of perfection that is simply impossible. We are, after all, human. And trust me, no matter how many times you work on your story, someone will not like it for reasons beyond your control. Remember, art is subjective, and creative writing is no exception to that fact.
Line editing is a level above developmental/content editing. This type of edit examines the structure of a sentence to determine how to either rewrite it or rearrange the words for greater clarity. Remember, editing is all about making the writing as clear as possible for the reader so they can focus on enjoying the story and not have to worry about poor grammar. If English is not your native language, or if you did poorly at the subject in school, a line edit may be in order before a copy edit. There are three different levels of line editing: light, medium, and heavy. Heavy costs the most and involves the most editing. Light is the least expensive. I do sometimes include light line editing in my copy editing service, at no additional cost, if I feel it is necessary. Please understand this is not my main focus at this time.
Do you offer formatting services? No, but I have worked with some outstanding formatters. Please see my Resources page.
Do you offer blurb writing services? Not at this time.