For Want of a Nail: Writing and editing the details

How it Works


1.      You contact me with a project pitch: a writing need for your blog/magazine/journal, a description of the novel/article/dissertation you’re writing, and so forth. You might include the intended audience, page length, genre, and deadline (if applicable).


2.      I get back to you within 48 business hours to express interest or lack of availability. (If you would like to see samples of my editing to decide if you like what I do, you may request these at this time, and I will send you a sample file of the type applicable to your project.)


3.      If you want to move forward, I’ll ask for any information about the project I still need before providing you with a time estimate. In my years of experience, I've found that estimates are particularly hard in this line of work, because the time can vary greatly based on each project's genre, prose quality, density of language, and similar factors. To help mediate the risk involved, I offer clients a choice between two cost estimate options: (1) a free, basic estimate, or (2) a specific estimate. 

(1) I calculate the basic estimate using my average rates of editing or writing from past projects. If you decide not to hire me, you do not pay any fee for this estimate. Since it is not based on your project, the estimate has a higher likelihood of running too low or too high. If you hire me and the work runs over the estimate, you would pay my hourly rate for any extra hours.

(2)  I calculate the specific estimate by editing or writing your piece for 1 hour. If you decide not to hire me, you pay for this hour of work at the appropriate hourly rate (i.e. $25 for an hour of copyediting, etc.). If you do decide to hire me and the work runs over the estimate, you do NOT pay for any extra hours.


4.      After we’ve agreed on the cost, I will send you a basic contract to sign detailing the work involved, the cost details, and the expected deadline for completion. Make a copy of the contract for your personal records. For new clients, I will ask for a 25% deposit, as well as the signed contract, before beginning work. (Established clients have this 25% deposit waived and do not need to sign further contracts.) Full payment will not be due until I have completed the project. Alternate payment schedules can be worked out to fit ongoing or out-of-the-ordinary projects, or to suit any budgetary restrictions the client may have. My preferred method of payment is PayPal, and I will send you an invoice for both the deposit and the remaining payment to your e-mail inbox. Please ask about alternate payment methods.


5.      You send me the signed contract, deposit (PayPal), and a Word file (or hard copy) of your manuscript, if applicable.


6.      While I work on your piece, we’ll keep lines of communication open via e-mail for clarifications on the text and any other concerns that may arise. Depending on the kind of work involved, you will either receive the finished product by your deadline (as with a copyedit or a piece of writing), or I will send you my work for your perusal, corrections, and rewriting well in advance of any publication deadlines you specify (as with substantive or developmental editing).


7.      You will receive a complete PayPal invoice for the project and pay the remaining balance due upon receipt of the finished product.


8.      (Optional) You then sing my praises to family, friends, and the occasional innocent bystander.