The first step in finding the right answers is asking the right questions.

Frequently asked questions

Do you have a set fee, or do you charge by the hour?


Neither. Prices are determined by the scope of the project and the budget of the writer. Editing is usually billed by the round. Website design is billed by the page. The cost is design-dependent. A complicated page with many elements takes more time to build and will, consequently, cost more than a simple page with few elements. The cost of book design, cover design, and eBook formatting is dependent on the project. The cost of assisted self-publishing is low and often built into the design costs. Services include guiding the author into registering the work’s copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office, purchasing one or more ISBNs, and then registering the work with Books in Print. Press releases are usually more straightforward to prepare. The cost is typically $50. Ghost-written memoirs are the most expensive and time-consuming of all projects because of the amount of information I need to gather and because the book’s formatting is often very picture-heavy. I write these in first person and strive to keep the loved one’s voice intact. Overall, I charge less than most editors because I can. Editing the work of other writers is not my primary income. Being a self-published author, I know firsthand that editing is the most expensive part of the process. Realistically, many authors won’t earn that money back. So I balance my time with the author’s budget and come up with an amount we both like.




Why do you bill by the round?


Because if an author decides I’m not the best fit for the work after the first round and would like to hire someone else, I’ll send a bill, and we part ways.




What do you charge for consultations?


Consultations are free.




So manuscript assessments are free?


A manuscript that is lightly assessed to determine a price for editing is free. A manuscript that is heavily assessed to give the writer specific feedback on its strengths and weaknesses with suggestions for improvement is a few steps removed from editing. The cost depends on the project.




I’ve never heard of you. How I do know you’re the right editor for my project?


You don’t. That’s why I offer a free sample edit (approximately ten pages), so you can gauge my style and determine if it’s a good fit for your project.




What happens if I want to hire you?


I’ll send a proposal. If you agree to its terms, I’ll follow up with a formal contract.




When else do you need from me?


That depends on the project. But I will always need a brief summary of the work. And I will ask specific questions about the work to ensure the result matches what you intended to communicate.




Do you accept every project a writer pitches to you?


No.

I’m a full-time writer and editor for a daily publication, so that comes first. My own fiction projects come second.

But I do like helping other writers shape their projects, too, and I often work on multiple projects at the same time.

So if I decline an offer, it usually means I don’t have time to accept it. But that doesn’t mean I can’t accept the next project. So don’t be shy about inquiring in the future.




Who makes the final decision on any changes?


The author. Authors are free to accept or reject any changes.




How many rounds of editing will I need?


That depends on the project and the type of editing it requires.




What if I don’t like the website you’ve built or the cover you've designed for my book?


You are allowed up to three changes before we start billing for the changes.

Also, we do consult with you before we begin so we understand your preferences. That helps keep changes to a minimum.




Why don’t you list copyediting as part of your services?


Because I’m a terrible copyeditor. When I was in college, we’d have “find all the copy errors” worksheets. I never could find them all, and it shows in my own work.

I find most typos and errors in punctuation and grammar, but I don’t catch them all, and I am very upfront about it. Every writer has weaknesses; this one is mine.

For that reason, I always suggest the author ask someone who is good in English to give the manuscript a fresh read after we complete the editing.