Our process for determining rates is simple: Once you contact us, we will request a sample of at least 30 pages of your manuscript (typically a chapter from beginning, middle, and end) so that we can evaluate its needs and the level of work required, then we send you a quote and timeframe. Once we agree on terms, we provide a contract and lock you on the schedule.
Basis for rates:
We use the industry standards of 1-5 cents per word for editing, whether Developmental, Line Editing, Copyediting, or Proofreading. Ghostwriting will be billed at $50 an hour minimum. In both cases, we require a deposit up front of 50% to hold your slot. The rest of the money due will be divided into two payments at various stages.
1. Why is your availability so far out?
Because we have been doing this for over a decade, we have a long list of returning clients and referrals. This allows us to be fairly choosy about who we want to work with, but also means we are generally booked 5 months in advance.
2. Can you start my job any sooner?
Of course, estimates are estimates. Sometimes jobs take less time and some times more. When that happens, we will adjust our schedule accordingly on a first come, first serve basis—moving everyone who’s booked dates after the current job up the appropriate amount of time. We do the same in the event of cancellations (which are rare).
3. Will you recommend me to publishers and agents?
No. Have we done it? Yes. But usually only with close friends or colleagues. We make no commitment to do so for clients, but we can help you get your novel to a level where you can do that on your own, and that includes help writing both a query letter and synopsis on a case-by-case basis. Generally, if we don’t feel your novel is ready for submission, we won’t take the job to help with your query and synopsis.
4. What does it mean “you’ll help me get my book to the next level?”
Good question. What this means is not “we promise that after we’re done your book will sell to a big publisher.” It means we will help you make it better. How much better largely depends on you. Writing prose is a craft and there are skills to learn. People learn at different levels. We guarantee to point out where things are working and where they are not and how you can work to make it better, but we are not (due to time limitations) teaching craft. We are providing objective feedback. That means the learning part is up to you. How successfully you incorporate the results of our feedback will in large part depend upon your ability and knowledge of craft and learning. We want you to succeed. But we cannot guarantee perfect results because neither you nor we are perfect people, and the ultimate condition of your manuscript after editing is out of our hands. We will however tell you if we are confident you are ready for submission.
5. Can I use your name in my query or marketing?
Generally, the answer is no. We do make exceptions and that is covered in your contract as to how that comes about. It’s by permission only. We cannot blurb client’s books in most cases due to the perception of bias, for example. And see FAQ 3 for how recommendations work.
6. Can we see a sample edit?
Yes, absolutely. We will provide a sample edit of 5-10 pages, depending on material (at our own discretion), if asked.
7. Can we talk to previous clients?
Yes. That is why we have an entire page with links to and (in some cases) quotes from our past clients. Feel free to click the links and inquire on their websites about us. We encourage it. We do our due diligence in selecting clients, and you should absolutely do your due diligence in selecting an editor.
8. How many passes does this include?
Unless specified in a contract and package, we are are offering one pass per manuscript at the price quoted. Different kinds of editing (as noted above) are priced differently and therefore require separate quotes. There is also the matter of objectivity, which can be compromised depending upon how many times we review your manuscript. Fortunately, with two of us, we can usually avoid this by swapping certain passes to stay objective. This will be decided and a case-by-case basis and agreed to by clients individually.
9. Will there be any additional charges?
Everything is laid out in the contract. Generally, the answer is no. But if additional work is requested or necessary, we will absolutely not assess additional charges to you on an invoice without discussing and getting your permission first. Guaranteed.
10. Will you provide an invoice?
11. How do you accept payment?
We can take payment via PayPal, Venmo, Stripe, and Square. Our preferred method is Venmo or Stripe. That can be discussed when settling your contract. We do not accept Checks or Cash.
12. How do we contact you?
You contact us via the inquiry form on our website here.