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What do you edit?

I edit several genres including fiction, non-fiction, creative non-fiction, academic, children’s and young adult fiction, and poetry. I also edit blog posts, newsletters, company reports and grant applications. For content, I specialize in the humanities and don’t edit science (other than grant applications) or math. 

How can you edit so many types of writing. Don’t most editors specialize in one or two?

You’re right, many editors don’t have such a broad range. I’m fortunate to have a brain that can work on many types of writing even though they are edited somewhat differently. I also constantly soak up knowledge that seems to come to mind just when I need it, so I can edit a broad range of subjects.

Do I have to book ahead?

Almost certainly. I am often booked four to six weeks in advance. However, I occasionally have gaps in my schedule, so it’s worth checking to see if I can fit your project in. 

How long does it take to edit a manuscript?

That depends on the manuscript. Some are very complex or need a heavy edit and take longer than others. Generally, four to six weeks is standard.

Editing is expensive, but I know that I have to get it done. Do you have a payment plan?

Yes. You can make payments before I begin the work or follow my standard payment requirements: a 30% non-refundable deposit to book your spot, and the balance before I submit the edited manuscript to you.

I require payment before I return the manuscript to you because my edits are my intellectual property. On request, I will send you a PDF of your document so that you can see that the work is complete prior to transferring the payment.

How do I pay you?

All payments must be made electronically via e-transfer (preferred payment method for Canadian clients) to [email protected] or Wave (XX)

Do we need an agreement or contract? 

Yes. For jobs under $1000.00 or very simple jobs, I often put the parameters of the job in the body of an email. When you agree with the terms, that is legally binding. For larger jobs, I use a contract that includes the terms. I do not begin work until you have signed the agreement.

Will your edits make my book perfect?

I wish I could say yes! For several reasons, it is not possible to make your manuscript perfect. For one, most editing is creative and subjective and there may be more than one way to edit your text. Second, I’m human — none of us are perfect. Third, I’ll repeat — it’s not possible to make your manuscript perfect, and no editor should claim otherwise. Don’t believe me? Here’s proof. 

What I do promise is that you will have a solid manuscript that is nearly error-free and ready for submission.

What document formats do you edit in?

Word. Word. And Word. That’s it. And if you have a version of Word that is older than 10, the conversion can cause formatting issues, which are your responsibility to take care of.

The only exception is proofreading, which is generally done in a PDF after the manuscript layout is complete. However, proofreading can also be done in Word, although it won’t include formatting.

Do I have to know how to use the editing functions in Word?

Absolutely. You don’t have to be an expert, but you must have a working knowledge of Track Changes and how to work with comments. 

How do you edit my manuscript? 

Once we have an agreement and I have received your deposit, I prefer to begin with a pre-edit chat. This gives you the opportunity to let me know what you are looking for in an editor. It can also help me understand who you are as a writer and reflect that in my work. Then I read every word and punctuation mark in your manuscript and make changes and suggestions as needed. It is time-consuming, which is why it takes weeks to edit manuscripts. I use Track Changes and comments within the text to show you places where you may want to make changes.

For copyediting, I build a style sheet for the proofreader that explains all spelling, capitalization, and punctuation changes.

What does one round of edits mean?

A round of edits includes the initial edits that I make. After you accept or reject those edits and make any of my recommended changes that you agree with, our work is complete.

If you have a few questions that you would like me to clarify, I will often do those gratis, but they can generally be taken care of during our post-edit chat. However, if you would like me to re-edit significant changes that you make as a result of my first edits, those sections would require a second round of edits, which is not covered in the quoted price.

What if I don’t agree with your edits?

That’s usually a good sign! I appreciate it when clients ensure that I have maintained their voice and intent because it means that you are passionate about your words. A lot of editing is subjective — especially when it involves the ways words and ideas flow into each other or making sure your meaning is clear — and you should always consider those edits carefully and amend them to suit your voice and style. 

Even more importantly, the rules may need to be broken to suit your voice . For example, if you prefer run-on sentences, then my job is to help you break the rules in a way that suits your voice and meets your readers’ needs.  Once I make my suggestions, it is your choice whether or not to follow them.

Can we meet before I decide whether to hire you?

Absolutely. A 30-minute phone or video call is $55.00. If you hire me, that money ($55.00 for a developmental edit and $27.50 for a copyedit as per what is included in each package — see rates page) would be counted as your pre-edit chat and credited to your final invoice.

What if it will take longer than 30 minutes to answer all of my questions after I get your edits back?

I’m happy to meet more than once. Each 30-minute call beyond the one included in the package your purchase costs $55.00.

What style guides do you use?

I am most comfortable with Chicago Manual of Style. I also rely heavily on Elements of Indigenous Style: A Guide for Writing By and About Indigenous Peoples by Greg Younging. I am familiar with Canadian Press, APA, and AMA guides. For Canadian English, I use the Oxford Canadian Dictionary. I use Merriam-Webster for American English. 

Do you do sample edits?

No, I don’t. You can see from my portfolio and testimonials that I am good at what I do.