The Editing Process

Step 1

The first step is a simple one: Contact me! Send me an email. We can discuss your goals for your manuscript.

Some information I’ll need to know:

• Are you the author, the agent, or the publisher?

• Where are you right now in your publishing process? First draft, or later? Have beta readers seen it?

• What is the word count? (this will determine the editing fee)

• Do you have a deadline? (this will also influence the editing fee)

• Will you self-publish or send your manuscript to a publisher?

• What kind of book will it be (fiction, non-fiction, autobiography, etc.)?

• Who is your audience?

• Does your book have any special parts, such as footnotes, endnotes, reference list, bibliography, appendix, index, or glossary?

• Is there a Style Guide from the publisher I will need to follow?

Most importantly, what questions do you have for me?

Step 2

You’ve asked questions, and you like the answers. Now you need to know if I can deliver.

I’ll ask that you email me three to five pages of your manuscript for a free sample edit. This gives us both a good chance to see how well we work together. I do all my editing in Microsoft Word, so I will need for your work to be in a Microsoft Word document.

Once I’ve finished your sample edit, I’ll email it back to you along with a proposal. That proposal will outline the level of editing I suggest, a possible timeline, and an estimate of the total price.

At this point, there is no commitment. The sample edit is free. You can take a breath and decide what to do next.

If you feel that I may not be the best editor for you, that’s completely okay! This is the optimal time in our process to contact me with your decision.

Step 3

If you find the sample edit and proposal are to your liking, then contact me! I will be more than delighted to work with you.

I will need for you to send me your full manuscript in Microsoft Word. From this I can accurately compose our contract. As soon as you receive the contract, you will have two big responsibilities:

• Read the contract, sign it, and email it back to me

• Pay the 50% down payment of the total editing fee

I cannot move forward until I have received the full manuscript in Microsoft Word, the signed contract, and the down payment.

Step 4

I’ve received your contract, your manuscript, and your down payment. Time for you to sit back and relax while I get to work.

In this step, I will take two passes through your manuscript. The first pass is a quick skim to get a better understanding of your story as a whole. The second pass is the nitty-gritty, word-by-word line edit. It’s also the part that takes the most time and requires my undivided concentration.

Once I’ve completed the line edit, I will email the manuscript back to you.

Step 5

You’ve just received your edited manuscript attached to the email I’ve sent you. Now what?

It’s your turn again! In that Microsoft Word document, you’ll see that I’ve used the “Track Changes” feature. This feature shows all the changes, comments, and queries. You have the option of accepting or rejecting the changes. You have the choice of heeding my comments and making those changes as you see fit. Also, you may answer the queries and make any corresponding changes at your discretion.

If you need a bit of brush-up on using the Track Changes feature, click on the button below:

Step 6

After you have finished responding to the edit, you email the manuscript back to me. I will now go through the manuscript for my third editorial pass. This is where I give your work one last look-see to make sure I catch what we may have missed before, as well as look over any new material you may have added. Also, I will respond to all comments and questions you may have noted, too.

Once I’ve finished the third and final pass, I will email your manuscript back to you. Rejoice! Your manuscript has been edited!

You now have one last responsibility:

Pay the outstanding balance of the editing fee.

I will email you an invoice for that remaining amount as a reminder along with the completed manuscript edit.

Once all is done, I urge you to go forth, words in hand, and amaze the world with your storytelling prowess!

Step 7 (Optional)

If you are able, please keep in touch with me! Send me the link to your book when it hits Amazon/Goodreads/your own website. Let me know if you have a book signing. If you’re appearing at any literature festivals or conventions, let me know of those, too. I’d be happy to share your success stories by word of mouth or my social media.

If you know of anyone who may need help with their manuscript, please send them my way. And make sure they mention your name!

Most of all, let me know if I did a good job for you, or if I could do anything to improve the work I did. Just like you, I thrive with feedback.

And if you have a good recipe for those little peanut butter bars that the ladies in my elementary school lunch room made, I could really use that, too. I crave them on a consistent basis.