FAQ

Are you a good fit for my manuscript?
Each manuscript, author, and editor is different. Your editor should be familiar enough with your market or genre to give good advice within that context and should be a good fit for your style and goals.

My genre tastes are broad: fantasy, science fiction, thrillers, YA, and children’s books fill my shelves alongside historical fiction, literary fiction, and creative nonfiction. Some of my favorite novels include The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle, The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, Night Watch by Terry Pratchett, Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine, and Embassytown by China Miéville (and what the heck—you can’t go wrong with Pride and Prejudice). Stylistically, I enjoy evocative writing that remains tight, with each word pulling its weight (Beagle is a particularly good example).

I am a bad fit for books that hinge on explicit sex scenes—your characters can have all the sex you want them to, but I prefer not to follow them into the bedroom.

If you want an editor who is personal, professional, and dedicated to well-crafted writing, drop me a line. If you’re ready to take your manuscript to the next level, to get honest advice about your craft, and to work hard to revise your manuscript, ask me for a sample edit.

I provide sample edits on 2–3 pages for free. If you want a sample edit for an entire chapter, my regular rates apply.

 

What makes you unique?
I started my practical editing experience in college through my university’s editing minor. I received formal instruction in publication processes, substantive editing, copyediting, grammar and usage, and other linguistic principles. I supplemented my coursework by working on semiprofessional and student publications, and I started acquiring professional freelance contracts before graduation. I’ve worked for publishers, individual authors, businesses, and academicians, and each one has taught be something new that I can bring to bear on your manuscript.

But no one wants an editor who only knows things about editing. Beyond my genre preferences, I’m a strong fit for fairy tale retellings, military fiction, and books set in rural or agricultural America (my master’s degree emphasized folklore, I know about military jargon and culture through both personal experience and paid work, and I live in a small farm town).

Other things that might make me unique, although I hope they don’t, are some basic best practices I have:

  • I’ll tell you the truth, even if I don’t think you’ll like it (that’s what you pay me for, so anything less is dishonest).
  • I’ll strive to give you the tools to improve your writing skills, not only one manuscript (because there’s always another one in the works).
  • I’m happy to answer any questions you have about my editing or about publication processes in general.

 

What type of editing do I need?
I give extended explanations about types of editing on my blog. If after reading those posts you still aren’t sure what you need, contact me with your questions.

 

I’ve never hired an editor before. What should I know?
The first thing you need to know is the typical progression of a manuscript from rough draft to published product.

  1. Manuscript is written and polished to the best of the author’s ability.
  2. Author solicits feedback on the manuscript as a whole (this feedback can come from editors, agents, or alpha and beta readers; for editors, this is developmental editing).
  3. Author revises the manuscript.
  4. When the manuscript will no longer be revised significantly, the author polishes the prose (at this point, the author may hire an editor for substantive or line editing).
  5. When all story and prose edits are complete, someone the author trusts copyedits the manuscript.
  6. When copyedits are all accepted or rejected, the manuscript can be designed and typeset for print and electronic books.
  7. Typeset text is proofread, preferably by someone who hasn’t read the story before (proofreading checks for egregious language errors and errors in typesetting).
  8. Proofreading changes are input.
  9. Book is ready to print or distribute.

So what does that mean for you? It means that you should hire an editor for the stage of the process you are in. Do not hire someone for a copyedit if you aren’t done revising the story—it will be a waste of your money and the editor’s time.

If you are new to this process and aren’t sure where you are in the process, you will probably be best served with one of my manuscript evaluations. I read the entire book and give you feedback on all of it, and you receive a 10% discount on anything* you hire me to do on that manuscript after the evaluation. (*Discount expires one year after I deliver the evaluation letter.)

 

How much do you charge?
With the exception of manuscript evaluations, I charge by the hour, not by the page or the word. You can find hourly rates on my editorial rates or production rates pages. After editing a sample of your writing, I can estimate a project price based on the length of the manuscript. I charge by the hour because page- or word-based rates have to be averaged: that means writers with clean manuscripts overpay. I’d rather not charge people for time I didn’t spend on their manuscript.

 

What services do you recommend for newer authors?
If you’re newer and want professional help, but aren’t sure what you need, I’d recommend a manuscript evaluation. You will get a large amount of feedback on everything from plot arcs and tone to prose, dialogue, and punctuation. It is also my least expensive service by every metric. If after the evaluation you decide you need more editorial or production services, I apply a 10% discount to anything* you hire me to do to that manuscript. (*Discount expires one year after I deliver the evaluation letter.)

 

Do you offer discounts?
I offer two discounts: a bundling discount and an evaluation discount. If you know you’ll need more than one service from me, let me know up front and you can receive a 10% bundling discount off all invoices. If you’ve already paid me for a manuscript evaluation and decide that manuscript needs another look from me, you receive a 10% discount on additional services.

 

When can you start working on my manuscript?
My schedule is usually full a month or two in advance, so expect to wait several weeks. I can reserve time in my schedule for you once I receive a 50% deposit based on the estimated price of your project.

 

Do you take rush projects?
The short answer: No. The long answer: If you are already a client, I tend to bend over backwards to help you. If you aren’t already a client, then no, I reserve rush time for existing clients. And for wrangling my family, my flock of chickens, my garden full of weeds, and the occasional goats.

 

I see automatic ebook converters online. How is your ebook design different?
My ebook design services are not automatic conversions. I will take your specific book into account and work hard to make sure it looks good across as many platforms as possible. When possible, I include customized font options. I always verify that linespacing, table of contents, internal links, and more are functional and beneficial to your reader. If you have images, I make sure they look as good as possible on as many different screens as possible. Although automatic conversions can be okay in some instances, they are not great, and they will never be able to give your book specific, individualized styling and attention. I also strive to optimize your metadata (data that helps online stores direct readers to your books).

I deliver two ebook files to every ebook client: one that is compatible with Amazon/Kindle and one that is compatible with everyone else.

 

Do you edit electronically or on hard copies?
I typically edit in Microsoft Word using Track Changes and email files back and forth. If you would prefer to receive hard copy edits, I am happy to whip out my red pen. Printing and shipping charges will be added to your invoices.