Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know what edit to ask for?
If you aren’t sure what you need, I’m happy to provide a consultation or sample edit. If you are still working out the kinks in your story, you likely need a developmental edit (we can talk about options). If you have the story down, but want help with streamlining the text and making sure your voice is clear, you’re probably ready for a line edit. If you have already had editing done and need clean-up services, that’s a copyedit. Proofing is very last in the lineup—if your eyes are tired of looking at your manuscript, let me do the detail work for you.
How do you know what kind of edit I need?
I can provide a consultation or sample, which allows me to see your work and/or talk with you about the project. Either of those usually tell me what you’re looking for.
How long does an edit take?
It depends on what service I provide and how long your manuscript is. I proofread quickly, but line editing takes more time and deliberation. While timetables vary, I have turned a 40K novella proof in twenty-four hours (extreme rush) and spent five weeks on a 79K line edit that needed some extra love. Your project is more likely to be in the middle—a few days to a week on proofing or copyediting, ten days to three weeks on a line edit.
How does this work? I've never hired an editor before.
There are two parts to this question, the transaction and the logistics.
Transaction (contracts and payment): When we agree to work together, I will send you a PDF contract to sign and return. I will also send you an invoice for the entire balance through PayPal. I will begin work when you have paid 50% of the invoice, and will send your completed manuscript to you via email when you have paid the remaining 50%.
Logistics (how the actual work happens): I use Track Changes in Word for most editing projects. If you have never used Track Changes, we can do a talk-through tutorial to make sure you’re comfortable working with the manuscript when it is returned to you. This is the most time-effiicient way to edit, but not the only way. If you’d like to have a hard copy, I’m happy to edit on paper for you instead. I have guidelines for how to format for an editor’s eyes on my blog.
How can I get my manuscript ready for editing?
The best way to get your manuscript ready for editing is to make sure you’ve edited it yourself. Formatting is easy (ish) but an editor can only do so much with the words themselves if you’re presenting a ‘messy first draft’ to us. Make sure your book tells your story as clearly as you know how. Make revisions the best you can so that your voice comes through, the story comes through, and we can see your vision (almost) as clearly as you do. This does not mean it has to be perfect! It does mean that you’re going to put in a lot more effort than you ever thought possible. Don’t worry though—I can assure you it’s worth it in the end!
What sorts of books do you edit?
I primarily edit fiction in these genres: Romance, Paranormal, Fantasy, and Young Adult/New Adult in the same categories. I am not limited to these and have also edited other genres as well as some non-fiction. The bottom line is, if we connect and you like my editing style, we will probably work well together. There are a few genres I will not edit—Horror, Thriller, and Erotica are best given to editors who are more acquainted with the genre expectations of those audiences.
What resources do you recommend?
There are a number of books that can help you become a better writer and self-editor, which will save you time and money in the long run. Here is a list of a few which I’ve found to be helpful.
- On Writing (Stephen King)
- Bird by Bird (Anne Lamott)
- The Synonym Finder (J.I. Rodale)
- Romancing the Beat (Gwen Hayes)