freelance editor

frequently asked questions

ed-i-tor   \'eded-u(r)\ n -s [LL, publisher, fr. L editus] 1. a: one who revises, corrects or arranges the work of others for publication
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Q more What's the difference between copyediting and proofreading?

Proofreading is checking and correcting any punctuation, spelling, agreement, capitalization, and word use errors missed during the copyedit. It is the last step before going to press. Copy editing is more extensive and includes addressing incorrect or unclear grammar, word choice, factual inconsistencies, syntax, and inconsistent style.

Q more What are your rates?

Several factors determine the rate. These include the word count of the manuscript, the turnaround time, and the level of edit. Before I can prepare a formal estimate, I need to see a representative sample of the manuscript. We can then negotiate an hourly or a flat rate.

Q more What is your availability?

My schedule is typically booked at least several weeks in advance, often a month or more. Depending on the number of projects in process, however, I can usually accommodate rush jobs — but typically at a somewhat higher rate.

Q more Will we have a contract?

Yes. I always work with a contract. For individual clients, I have a template in plainspeak English, which I drafted with the editorial services I typically provide in mind. It was reviewed by a lawyer in the field as well as by several professional writers and editors, and was vetted by each of them. It has proved easily adaptable to any number of circumstances. A contract, though, is only as good as the people signing it.

Q more Will you be available for questions afterward?

Yes, but only to a limited extent, and typically by email rather than telephone. A full review, as well as additional rounds of manuscript exchange, can of course be negotiated in the contract. Why? Extended discussion and explanation not only involve expertise but also take considerably more time than the actual edit.

All edits include a comprehensive style sheet designed to answer most questions: the dictionary and other resources used, word lists of nondictionary spellings, proper names and terms, and stylistic choices for punctuation, capitalization, and the like. Edits also offer, as needed and within the manuscript (using the MS Word Comment feature), explanations for discretionary changes. These are primarily usage, phrasing, and word choice. Remember that all edits are suggestions or recommendations— not dictates.

Q more How will we exchange the manuscript?

Most likely by email, unless the file or files are particularly large. We can also use a file exchange service or a password-protected area of my website. I work exclusively with electronic files, almost without exception in MS Word, which is the industry standard. I no longer work with hard copy manuscripts and a red pencil.

Q more What forms of payment do you accept?

Personal check, credit card, or PayPal. Credit card payments can be made online through PayPal.

Q more Do you require payment in advance?

The terms of payment will be discussed beforehand, mutually agreed to, and specified in the contract. The accepted rule of thumb is 50 percent in advance and the balance when I return the manuscript. The circumstances, however, might also call for a 35-35-30 split.

Q more Can you prepare the manuscript for self-publishing and a printed book?

Yes, but that service is negotiated separately from the actual edit. I work with industry-standard programs such as InDesign, Illustrator, and PhotoShop to design and produce publisher-ready files for the interiors and covers of books. Considerations include page size, paper type, margins, binding type, color use, and font face choices. Mechanical work for book interiors includes developing the necessary series of typographic styles and applying them to the text, copyfitting to ensure a consistent and harmonious appearance. Work for book covers includes conceptual framing, image scanning and manipulation, and typographic design. My first recommendation for a POD vendor is CreateSpace, an Amazon company.

Q more Do you prepare a manuscript as an ebook?

I can and will, in both epub and mobi (Kindle) format. The process is relatively simple, however. Ebooks can be exported from InDesign or prepared in MS Word or other word processing program. Numerous services and both computer and cloud software are readily available, some paid and some free, as are online tutorials. Among these are Kindle Direct Publishing, Smashwords, Calibre, Scrivener, O'Reilly.com, and Lulu.com.