How do indie authors work with a freelance manuscript editor? This blog post explains the outline for Penning and Planning – The Editing Process in seven simple steps.
1) Free sample edit
A sample edit is crucial for you as an author and me as an editor. A sample shows you the difference I can make to your manuscript and helps me assess the level of editing needed to make that difference.
To request your sample edit, email either your whole manuscript or 1,000 words of your choosing, on a Word document, to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you send 1,000 words only, please also include the title of your book and the total word count. I will edit the sample using the Track Changes function and return it to you within 3 working days. When I return it, I will recommend the level of editing required based on the main corrections and suggestions made within the sample. I will also confirm the total cost and timeframe for the edit based on the total word count of the book, as well as my availability. These may be subject to change should the word count increase or decrease significantly.
(I am usually booked up 2-3 months in advance but I can sometimes accommodate projects at shorter notice depending on their length and my schedule.)
2) Review the sample
The next step is for you to review the sample and assess whether you feel my editing service is the right fit for you, and if the total cost quoted is within your budget. Only you know whether my edits align with your hope for your book, and if they will finesse it to the standard you desire. Please feel free to ask as many questions as you need – editing is an investment and it is important to me that you feel you are getting a valuable service!
3) Book an editing slot
Once you have reviewed the sample, the cost of the edit and the answers to any questions you have asked, you will know if you want to book an editing slot. If you do, simply confirm by email. A 10% deposit secures a slot in my schedule. I will send you an invoice and a standard editing contract by return, as well as confirm exact start and finish dates for the edit and the payment schedule we have agreed. (I offer a variety of payment plans for editing.) Your slot is secure as soon as you have paid the deposit and returned the signed contract!
4) Before the edit
I will contact you 1-2 weeks before your editing slot to reconfirm all the details. Please email the final version of your manuscript, as a Word document, at least a day before your edit is scheduled. If the total word count has increased or decreased by up to 3,000 words, I will send a revised invoice and confirm whether the editing timeframe is affected.
If the word count has increased by more than 3,000 words since the original booking, an additional charge may be added to accommodate the extra work and time needed to complete the edit at short notice. However, if the word count has decreased by more than 3,000 words and I can complete the edit sooner, I will. In that case, I also reserve the right to invoice for the original word count less only 3,000 words due to the short notice of the change.
5) During the edit
I will carry out the edit as scheduled. You are free to contact me by email throughout the whole process but I do not usually offer phone/Zoom updates during the edit itself. However, you can request these for an additional fee, due to the extra time they involve. I also don’t accept replacement/rewritten sections of the manuscript whilst I am editing the version you have sent. If I did, it would complicate the editing process and involve extra work, which would incur an extra fee and affect the original timeline of the edit.
6) After the edit
Once I have worked through your entire manuscript, I will send two edited versions back to you by email. One will show all the changes and corrections within the text as well as my comments and suggestions. The other ‘clean’ version will have the in-text changes and corrections accepted and just show comments/suggestions in the right hand margin of the document. It is your choice which version to revise, and which suggestions to accept or reject. I will attach your final invoice with the email, unless you have already paid in full.
If you need your book proofreading and/or formatting after you have revised all your edits, I can help with either or both! I offer a 25% discount for proofreading manuscripts I have previously edited. (My usual proofreading rate is £10 per 1,000 words.) Additionally/alternatively, I am always happy to share your book on social media and my website once it has been published – just tag me on Instagram to let me know it is ‘live’!
And that’s Penning and Planning – The Editing Process in seven simple steps! I hope everything makes sense. I have also answered a few frequently asked questions below.
Frequently asked questions
Q. How much does your editing service cost?
A My usual editing rate is between £12-£15 per 1,000 words, depending on the level of editing required.
Q. Do you edit individual chapters or just whole manuscripts?
A. I primarily edit full, finished manuscripts but I do offer a separate First Chapter Feedback service for your first chapter, just as the name suggests!
Q. Do you offer book coaching for indie authors prior to the editing process?
A. No, I do not currently offer book coaching as a service. However, I am always happy to signpost to recommended people and/or resources if I can!
Q. What can I do to get my manuscript in the best shape possible before sending it to an editor?
A. Self editing your own manuscript really helps an editor focus on the story itself rather than its composition. Click the image below to buy Six Steps to Self Editing Success for just £2.99!