Many of the writers I speak with are in the dark about the editing process in its entirety. On my services page as well as in other blog posts, I have written about what you can expect of the various types of editing I offer. In this post I want to focus on what happens before I edit your manuscript and what comes after I’m finished.
The process may vary slightly depending on what type of edit you are looking for, but it follows the same general pattern.
I can’t read minds (thank goodness! I bet that’d be crazy overwhelming), so first you have to get in touch and tell me a bit about your project and what type of edit you’re considering. My contact form asks for all the most pertinent info to start the conversation about what you want, what you need, and whether I am able to deliver either of those things.
Once we establish what you need and I am certain I can satisfy those needs, I will ask for a small chunk of your story so that I can provide a sample edit (free of charge). A sample edit shows me what I can expect of your writing, which will help me determine how much time I will need to edit the entire manuscript. It also lets you know what to expect from my editing. Assuming at this point we are still on the same page, we will then discuss pricing and scheduling.
This is when the formal work begins. I will send you three documents: a contract, an invoice for 50% of the agreed price, and a questionnaire. When you have sent back the signed contract, the filled out questionnaire, and paid the invoice (payment plans are available), you are fixed into my schedule.
With all the administrative tasks out of the way, you send me your manuscript. This doesn’t necessarily happen right away. If we agreed I’d start next week, then sure send the manuscript right away, but if we’ve agreed I’ll start in a month or two, you can hold off and finish up any self-editing you still want/need to get to. But whatever day we’ve agreed on for me to start work, make sure you send the manuscript before that date.
Now I have your manuscript, and you won’t hear much from me as I work on it unless there is something that needs clarifying in order for me to continue. For larger projects, I send regular updates.
Once I finish the edit, I send you a few different documents including the edited manuscript, an invoice for the remaining fee owed, and anything else included with the type of edit you have gone with (for example an editorial report or a style sheet).
You go through the edits accepting or rejecting my suggestions as you see fit and making a list of questions or comments you have for me. You pay the invoice and e-mail me with anything that’s on your mind, and I will assist or clarify to the best of my abilities.
That’s it. If I’ve done my job well (and I like to think I’m quite good at it), we are both satisfied. If you have any questions about what to expect, leave them in the comments.