1. How do you copy edit?
When I work I emphasise mechanical editing – the mechanics of writing – such as consistency in capitalisation, spelling, hyphenation, grammar, punctuation, and usage. I will raise queries when I find errors of fact or ambiguities, and may suggest alternatives, but my priority is to maintain the author’s style and I personally feel I can do this best by looking at the mechanical aspects of copy editing rather than the ‘flow’. I do not rephrase, reorganise, or change the style and flow of your written material.
2. Did you get your books that were self-published copy edited or proofread? Why not?
I haven’t hired a copy editor or proofreader, for a few reasons. I published my first three books without knowing or understanding the value of copy editing and proofreading to writers because I was new to self-publishing and I thought I could manage everything perfectly by myself. I now see that some writing, copy editing, and proofreading aspects could have been improved if I had sought the right help before publishing.
When I published my fourth book, I didn’t have a good author strategy in place to justify hiring an editor or proofreader. I had already self-published three books in the way I did – through my own effort – besides the cover, illustrations, and what set me on the path in the first place. I think I was slowly becoming aware that I was coming to the end of my self-publishing journey, so it didn’t make logical sense to better prepare my writing for publishing. I had become the best author I was capable of being, at the time, and only a new direction or goal would justify improving my self-publishing model. Being an author was a ‘novel’ experience and a learning curve that continues to help provide me with new ideas and opportunities.
3. Do you work as an author or a copy editor/proofreader?
I work as a copy editor and proofreader and I therefore dedicate my time working on your story.
Writing is a hobby, which I enjoy to do in my spare time.
4. What are your rates? Are your rates flexible?
I will tell you my rates for your project in a quote once you have supplied me with your requirements and the information I request. Every project is different, after all. Those are my rates!
The price is likely to be lower for a proofread or copy edit without any complex requirements you supplied or without much intervention necessary. The price is likely to be higher if there are extremely time-consuming tasks or requirements. These nuggets of information can be obtained when you get in touch and tell me your requirements. My quote will depend on my schedule and your requirements.
If my prices are too demanding on your wallet, please do let me know your thoughts about payment. I’m prepared to be flexible, within reason, and I’ll try to come to an arrangement. I don’t want price to be a barrier towards you hiring a copy editor or proofreader. I understand that many authors unacquainted with hiring a copy editor or proofreader can be shocked by the price and it’s no wonder: many copy editors and proofreaders have different rates and models for setting those rates.
You’re free to Contact me with any questions. If you’re unhappy about a quote, for whatever reason, please tell me why and I’ll try my best to accommodate your needs.
5. Will I be happy with the quality of the copy edit/proofread?
I will do my best, time and work permitting, and I may state this in a contract.
If you’re not happy with the quality, please do raise your concerns by email and I’ll see if I’m able to resolve the problem for you.
Upon completion of the work I typically send a feedback form, where you can let me know what you thought of my service.
6. Can I afford your services?
Yes, of course you can. If you look at the question from another point of view, can you afford not to have me? I’ll be looking at different, and yet essential, parts of your writing that you haven’t been focusing on and may not be able to focus on because you’re more familiar with your writing than I am. I can save you time and money later on in the publishing process, saving you updating and re-uploading your ebooks, avoiding some bad reviews that mention copy editing or proofreading problems you could have had sorted, and keeping a potential series consistent in style, formatting, and word preferences.
7. What program do you use to copy edit and proofread?
I work and prefer MS Word, using its Track Changes features. I also know how to work on paper using BSI proofreading marks.
If you would like me to work on a different platform, please stipulate when you contact and I’ll see if arrangements can be made.
8. How will you deliver the completed work?
I send you three versions for your convenience, in a MS Word document. I’ll send a final clean version for you to see the document as you would if you accepted all of my changes, a final clean version with comments, and a version showing all my changes and comments.
9. How do we get started working together?
First I need to know who you are and why you’re contacting me, or I will assume you have a project you want copy edited or proofread. You’re free to ask any questions, and I will do my best to answer. Communication is, after all, a good sign that we can work together. If you do want your project copy edited and/or proofread then I’ll want to know the essentials of your project: name, contact details, book title, genre, word count, service you require, deadline, special requirements, intended readers, how you plan to publish, book description.
To supply you with an accurate quote, it is recommended you provide me with a sample of your story so that I know what is required and can get a ‘feel’ for the project before I start working.
10. Do you offer free samples of your copy editing and proofreading work?
I have decided not to offer free samples to show you my work before you decide to choose me to work on your project, for a few reasons. I prefer to spend my time working for clients who have a genuine interest in working with me, and not offering free samples acts like a filter to help me identify how serious the potential client is about having their story proofread and copy edited.
That being said, I understand that a sample can often be used to help a client understand the level of skill a professional has and what they can expect of the service once they have paid. To tackle this particular issue I hope to post some examples of proofreading and copy editing so that samples won’t even be necessary, where expectation is concerned. See Editing Examples.