I've created this section so that you can get a feel for how I like to work. We can always customize the steps to meet your needs and expectations.
Step One: Contact
When you contact me, we can talk about your concerns and what results you want to achieve with your project. I am happy to do a sample edit of five pages so you can determine if I will be a great fit for your manuscript. The standard word count per page is 250.
Step Two: Assessment
I like to take a quick look at the entire manuscript to better evaluate the scope of what needs to be done and to estimate my time and fees.
Step Three: Agreement
If we decide to move forward, I will create a contract outlining exactly what both of us expect and what will be done. Some things to negotiate would be: fact-checking, light or heavy copyediting, how revisions are approved, time frame, frequency of feedback/contact, and cost. We both want to be clear about expectations and be on the same page (see what I did there?). Check out my sample contract in the box below this checklist.
Step Four: Editing
I will go through the manuscript and make changes using the Track Changes feature on MS Word. I will query any areas that could use further explanation or a little streamlining. I will also create a Style Sheet to ensure continuity of spelling, punctuation, character names, time, location, proper names, etc.
Step Five: Back to You
After the initial passes, I will send you the revised document to evaluate. Don't worry if you aren't familiar with Track Changes; we can go over that together. Your job is to see if you like the changes, answer questions, and approve or reject changes. I am pretty easy to deal with and you won't hurt my feelings if you don't embrace a change. This is YOUR work. I want you to feel comfortable (and delighted!) with the final product.
Step Six: Final Look
After we have agreed on the revisions, I will give the manuscript a final pass and tidy up any loose ends. This will be the final, approved product. At this point, you are ready to continue with the next step on your journey to publication.
Once we agree on scope/terms/cost, I require a 50% deposit via PayPal.
I usually work on manuscripts that are submitted in Microsoft Word. It is an industry standard and the program I use the most. I will do my best to accommodate your needs.
My main reference guide is the Chicago Manual of Style, 17th edition, but I am happy to work with AP style or any industry style guide.
We can always revisit the contract and cost if the scope of the project becomes more than originally anticipated. I really work on ironing out tasks and expectations at the beginning of the process, but realize that other needs and wants arise occasionally.
My main task is to copyedit your manuscript. Whether that is a light, medium, or heavy edit will be predetermined. I will not be formatting your document for publication, designing any artwork, creating tables, or creating an index. I will be happy to refer you to a colleague who is skilled in those fields.
Click the button above to see a sample of my standard contract. I tried to use as much plain language as possible. I want my clients to know exactly what to expect from me. Every aspect will be tailored to fit both of our needs. Who has time for small print?
Here are some books and resources that I highly recommend:
Jane Friedman has many great articles on the art of writing and her new book is called The Business of Being a Writer. Her blog and website are at:
On Writing by Stephen King is my favorite writing book. Just reading this will inspire you to start filling your own writer's toolbox with skills.
Writer and screenwriter John August has a wonderful podcast series called Launch. It is available wherever you listen to podcasts. Launch takes you step-by-step through the process of writing a book and getting it published. The episode that praises the genius of copyeditors is my personal favorite. Here is a link to his page and the podcast.
Mary Karr is a great writer and has written The Art of Memoir to help authors tell their stories.