Frequently Asked (and Answered) Questions
Do I really need to hire an editor?
Yes, you really do. Whether you are self-publishing a book or going through a traditional publisher or if you are writing corporate materials or an academic article, you should hire an editor.
When you are writing – and this goes for first-time as well as experienced authors – you are paying attention to what you are writing, the material and substance of your words, and not necessarily how you are writing it. You know your material and may not recognize the trouble spots, whereas readers and publishers will; they will notice errors, inconsistencies in writing, structure that doesn’t make sense as written, and so on. If enough of these issues are noticed, a reader may no longer enjoy what he is reading, or she may question the experience of the author. And if publishers and agents notice the issues? They have a lot of authors who want their books published. Would you spend money to publish a book that is of poor quality when you have so many more books on the waiting list that are well-written?
Professional editors such as myself are just that: professionals. We are paid to look for these issues. We are not “reading,” we are working.
How does the editing process work?
Oftentimes, editors will complete an initial edit, send it to the author, and call the project complete. I like to work until the job truly is complete.
After I give you an initial assessment of what services I think you need by reviewing the sample you provide and we agree on your project's needs, I will begin the initial edit. This edit involves a quick review of the entire book to gain an overall feel of the book, its structure, and so on. I will then comb through the piece using Word's Review and Track Changes tool, which will track my edits for you to review and allow me to leave questions and/or comments with suggestions regarding structure or clarity. Once this is completed, I will send the article or book to you for review. After you review my edits and answer any questions or reply to any comments, you will send the written work back to me to perform a final clean-up. Depending on the size of the project, for instance a book, there may be a few rounds of edits.
As I said earlier, I want to see your project to fruition.
How do I know what editing service I need?
You may know exactly what you need. Maybe you had another professional editor do a substantive edit, and now you want a different set of eyes to do a final copy edit of your book or article. Or you may have no idea what you need. The terms used for the different types of editing are not uniform. What one editor might refer to as a line edit, another might refer to as a substantive edit.
I would review the sample that you provide to determine the type of editing service that you need. You can view the different editing services I provide, as well as a brief definition of each, on my Services page.
How much does it cost to hire an editor?
Every editor sets his own fees. Some editors charge by the word, some by the page, and some by the hour. I charge by the hour, no matter which service I am providing. The cost of the project is determined by the project itself. For example, a light copy edit for a 100,000-word book would most likely cost less than say a 75,000-word book that is being edited substantively. It takes more time to perform a substantive edit than it does a light copy edit.
Sue recently completed formatting work on a manuscript of an anthology that I am editing. The press requirements were very heavy, and she completed the work quickly and efficiently. The final manuscript she submitted to me was of the highest quality. She is highly experienced in dealing with image files and tables as well as straight text. She made sure that all of these were properly formatted, captioned, and checked on permissions as well. She is professional and courteous in her dealings with clients.
Sue has been doing copyediting work for PETT Fox, Inc., since 2011 and is the mainstay of our freelance pool. Meticulous, sharp (always asks the right questions), able to adjust to changes in stylistic requirements with zero drop-off in quality of her work, responsive, and maintains a professional demeanor at all times. A reliable and easy-to-deal-with professional – what else can one ask for?
Thanks for your efficiency, creativity, and professionalism during the edit and design of my book. I am immensely satisfied with the result.