Editing FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

What types of books and authors do you accept?

I specialize in fiction at this time, but I also edit non-fiction. Fantasy, paranormal, and romance are particular favorites of mine, but I read and edit most genres.

Short stories, novellas, and full novels are all accepted.

Do you offer a free sample?

I sure do. You can send me the first chapter free of charge. I want you to like what I do before you commit. Click the contact me tab for my e-mail address.

What format should my manuscript be in?

MS Word is the program I use to edit documents, and a Word document is my preferred format. However, I can use Open Office. Please use a standard font and 12-point type. Times New Roman, Arial, or Courier are all acceptable. Single space the entire text and use 1″ margins on all sides.

What is track changes?

The track changes feature is available in Microsoft Word and Open Office. It allows editors to mark up documents, make comments, and suggest changes without changing the document. This allows the author to pick and choose the changes they wish to make.

Is my manuscript safe?

As safe as sending an e-mail. Nothing is stored on the world wide web.

How do you keep rates low?

Because I work independently, I have a lower overhead. These savings I pass onto you because as an author too, I understand the costs involved with publishing and editing. It’s not all about the money. Editing is about polishing your work, improving your craft, and expanding your knowledge of grammar rules.

What are your credentials?

I have an MFA in English from the University of Alabama. In addition, I offer over 15 years of editing and writing experience. I adhere to a strict style guide, and my ultimate goal is to help manuscripts shine and to teach authors along the way.

Do you offer payment plans?

Sure. Authors have the option to pay in full up front or arrange a payment plan that works for them. I’m also willing to barter my services in exchange for beta reading, line editing, and proofreading.

How do I pay?

I use Paypal Invoices. It’s free and secure.

Do you offer contracts?

I prefer to work on contractual agreements.

Do you offer discounts?

Yes but certain restrictions apply. All services must be booked together.

What style guide do you use?

Since I’m based in America, I use the Chicago Manual of Style for manuscripts and the AP style guide for websites and articles. However, if another style guide is preferred please let me know in advance. I am familiar with AP, Oxford style, and UK English. Our dictionary of choice is the Unabridged Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary.

How long does it take?

The short answer is 3 to 4 weeks from the start date. Your start date is arranged when half payment is received. I generally work Monday—Saturday, but I don’t work on American holidays or Sundays.

At this time I don’t offer rush services, however, if I offer you a date that doesn’t work please let me know. I’m usually booked a month or two in advance, but sometimes I do have space for an additional project.

It varies depending upon the length and the amount of work needed. Every manuscript is read, as is, prior to the editing process. This is to understand the author’s tone, plot twists, and the foreshadowing of events. It also allows me to watch your character development and form my opinions. This step usually takes three business days.

The next step is delving into the document. I go through your manuscript line by line, taking notes, and fixing grammar. This step’s length will highly depend upon the level of writing and knowledge of grammar rules.

The final step is an overview of my notes and my general thoughts on the manuscript. This step takes an additional day. Authors will also receive updates as we move between the steps of the editing process or if questions arise.

Will I still require proofreading?

It depends. A substantive edit isn’t the same as a proofread. A proofread is typically done after a manuscript has been formatted into a galley, and my main forms of editing are done well prior to this step in publishing. It’s also best that a fresh set of eyes reads the final proof.

If hired as a proofreader than no, you will not require an additional proofreader.

What is your margin of error?

I aim to have less than 10 errors per thousand words, which is on par with the publishing industry standard. However, there are no guarantees that I will catch every mistake.

What if I have a question once we’re done?

My door is always open.