Q: How does the editing process work?
A: Here’s a basic rundown: You send me a query and a sample of your work as well as the word count of the manuscript. I send back an edited version of the sample and a project rate based upon the sample and word count. I also send a tentative schedule for editing your book (which depends on the type of editing, how many rounds, and the length of the work as well as openings in my schedule). If all terms are agreeable, I send a contract, which we both sign, and then your manuscript is added to my schedule.
When the day arrives for me to start your manuscript, you send a Word document. I work through it using the tracked changes feature, making changes and comments as I go. If I have a big question that affects the overall editing process, I’ll contact you. Otherwise, I put everything into the document. I send this version back to you for you to go through and accept (or reject) the changes and address the comments.
If there are more rounds of editing, you’ll send back the manuscript once you’ve gone through the first round changes, and I’ll do another round of editing. (With INDIE Books Gone Wild, I’ll then send it to the proofreader after my second round of editing.)
Q: I’m confused by the tracked changes in the document you’ve sent back to me. How do I work with them?
A: I found this article, Deciphering a Redlined Manuscript by Carol Saller, to be very helpful in figuring out how to read a document with tracked changes. This Tip Sheet also has some helpful information (will download as .pdf)
Q: Do you use a contract?
A: Yes, I do. I send a blank contract back with the sample edit so you can look it over and let me know if you have any questions. Once we figure out the terms, I fill in the contract and send it to you to sign. (Here’s a handy reference for how to add your signature to a .pdf document.) Once you sign it, I sign it and send you the final version.
Q: How much do you charge for fiction editing services?
A: My rate varies by the type of editing to be done as well as the deadline (rush jobs have a higher rate). You can see a more specific rate listing on the Services page, but it ranges from $0.005/word (half a cent per word) to $0.05/word (5 cents per word) based upon the level of editing needed. Rush editing jobs have an additional percentage rate depending upon the turnaround time needed.
Q: How do I pay you?
A: As the contract will show, half of the editing fee is due at the beginning of the project with the remainder due upon completion (a $50 non-refundable deposit is due upon signing the contract). Payments are made through PayPal; you do not have to have a PayPal account to pay by credit card. Note that if you are outside the United States you must specify that your payment is in U.S. dollars. If you are not able to use PayPal, contact me to make other arrangements.
Q: How far in advance do I need to schedule my manuscript?
A: My schedule seems to go through up and down periods, so sometimes I may have an opening on my schedule within the next week or two and at other points, I may be booked 3-4 months in advance. It’s best to contact me at least a month or two before you want your manuscript edited. (If you don’t have a finished manuscript with final word count, we can set up the contract with an estimated word count and add a provision to the contract that the final rate may change–up or down–based upon the actual final word count.)
Q: How long will it take you to edit my manuscript?
A: That depends on a number of factors, especially word count and level of editing. For a 100k-word manuscript that needs heavy copy editing, it would take me about two weeks from the starting date. Multiple rounds of editing add more time to the overall project. Projects that go through the INDIE Books Gone Wild process, for example, usually take roughly a month and a half from start to finished edited manuscript.