What to expect, and my rates
Proofreading ensures correct grammar, punctuation and basic clarity but copy-editing takes it a considerable step further. I will suggest changes to sentence and paragraph length, as well as the construction and organisation of sentences and paragraphs, to aid the clarity, impact and flow of the piece.
Files will be returned to you in Microsoft Word format, unless otherwise agreed. Suggested amendments will be marked up using Word's 'Track Changes' feature, allowing you to easily review and accept or decline my recommendations one by one with a click of the mouse. Notes will be added within the work file using Word's 'Comments' function. I often add notes giving the reason for suggested amendments where it may not be obvious.
I include a mentoring service by email, providing comments that may be helpful. This goes beyond the mechanics of writing to include a deeper level of editing and reorganisation of the work to aid flow, clarity, impact, consistency and overall readability. If requested, I will happily give my thoughts on alternatives to the way in which the work begins, builds and ends. It's about having someone independent to bounce ideas to and fro, as well as tackle the 'nuts and bolts' of it.
Just to be clear, I do not ask for any earnings from future sales or to be credited by you in any way. What we agree is what you pay, nothing hidden, nothing extra unless by separate agreement.
My fees are based on the word count of your manuscript - I charge by the number of words you've written, not by the hour. My rate for proofreading and editing is £10.50 per thousand words.
Minimum Fees, Payment Methods
- I have a minimum fee of £50.00 (excludes sample edit).
- I ask for an advance equal to 50% of the fee for the work to be undertaken, but not necessarily of the whole work - you may prefer to send a few chapters at a time and the advance would be pro rata.
- Payments can be made by cheque, Bank Transfer (BACS) or PayPal (inc. credit card).
- I am no longer VAT registered, so there's no sales tax to add.
How I approach the job
This very brief description of my work flow only scrapes the surface but will hopefully give you an early insight into how I approach the job of editing your work. The initial edit is done as I read the work for the first time. I will scan the file when the manuscript arrives, to ensure it isn't corrupted and to get a feel for it, but apart from that I try not to read ahead. Why? Because I feel it is important to initially edit as the story develops. That's how the typical reader will engage with your work. If as an editor I already know where the story is leading, it is difficult to feel that natural thrill and engagement of a story that's building. Yes, you can judge how effectively it builds purely based on its technical merits, construction and so on, but personally I prefer to feel the same excitement as the reader. If I don't feel an involvement in the story then nor will anybody else!
I do at least two complete passes of the work. The first is the initial detailed proofread and edit as described, though during this stage I will often skip back over sections, checking for consistency and so on. When editing, I have to focus on many factors in the work, so I don't read it in quite the way a typical reader would - it's never a relaxed bedtime read! So I will always do a second full pass, when I will read it in a more natural, relaxed way. This can reveal a few other things, usually related to how it flows.