I prefer to do all my editing in Google Docs, but if you insist (!), I can do it in Microsoft Word using the tracking function. I'll read through a 1,000-word sample of your work and edit 200 words for free, without any obligation to you, before you decide to hire me. In that way, you'll have a good idea of what I can do for your manuscript, I'll have a good sense of the depth of editing or proofreading that's needed, and you can decide if what I do and the way I do it is what you're looking for. Then we'll work closely together through each phase of the editing you want done.
If it's your first time using Google Docs, I'll talk you through it at no extra charge!
How long does editing take?
Duration depends a great deal on the amount of work that your manuscript needs, and its length. Until I can give you a clearer idea, you can work on approximately three weeks for each stage of editing (content, line, copy, and proofreading)
What about communication?
We can keep in touch by email, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Skype, or all four. While I'm working on your manuscript I will email you updates every day or every couple of days so you know I haven't forgotten you.
I usually ask for a 10% non-refundable deposit to book your place in the queue. After that, I generally charge 40% upfront and the final 50% on completion of the work. Repeat customers usually only pay the 10% deposit, with 90% due on completion.
Practicalities: how the editing works
This stage is where you get detailed, specific input on how to improve the overall content of your manuscript to get it to professional, publishable quality.
I will work with you to make sure your book turns out the way you intended, and will give you:
advice about how to improve aspects of your writing from point of view through characterisation and voice to theme, scene, and plot—if and as indicated
suggestions for any restructuring, rewriting or deleting that is indicated
an examination of things like organisation, flow, clarity, and tone, and suggestions about how you can improve these if needed
advice about any restructuring, rewriting or deleting that is indicated
NOTE that I only do content editing when I can fit it into my schedule.
If I can't help you, I will gladly refer you to someone who can.
After the content edit, your next stage is the line edit. I include copy editing and proofreading when I do line editing because I hate leaving things undone.
I will identify and correct any errors concerning:
wrong or repetitive word usage
cliches that don't work
clumsy or repetitive sentence structure
minor inconsistencies; for example, the colour of a character's eyes, or a process or department
ineffective or weak paragraph structure
pretty much anything else that crops up
I will examine your text to make sure your final draft is clear, concise and consistent, and free of silly mistakes. This includes:
grammar, spelling, and punctuation
standardising things like capitalisation and use of hyphens
basic fact-checking, such as dates
I work with any genre, and due to my compulsive personality, I include proofreading as well.
Proofreading is the very last part of the editing process before publishing.
I will look for any grammatical errors that may have slipped through the revisions after the content edit, including spelling and punctuation.
I always include proofreading with my line edit and my copy edit. Depending on your situation, it could be worth your while to invest in a combo like this, instead of limiting yourself to proofreading only.
Proofreading isn't genre-specific, so I proofread any genre or topic.