Although contracts are sometimes viewed as simply legal documents to enforce the reciprocal delivery of services and payment, my training has taught me to view a contract as more than that — as a road map that clarifies expectations for both parties about what the project will involve and how it will proceed. The very process of discussing the terms of a contract enables both author and editor to ask questions, spell out their expectations and promises, and agree on their contributions to moving the project forward. This prevents misunderstandings or unspoken assumptions from causing problems later in the project. It is, in other words, a tool of communication — and communication is precisely what editors aim to improve.
Once we both sign the contract, I will then proceed with the work itself. If the scope of the project changes markedly after work has begun, we can discuss and amend the terms of the contract to make it fair to both of us. If the project ends up needing less time or work than predicted, the final charge will be lower; if it takes more, the final invoice will never be higher than 15% above the amount stated in the contract — even if the amount of work I end up doing involves more. This is a guarantee I give for the contract that few other editors offer.
I look forward to hearing from you if you wish to discuss your manuscript and the editing it needs. Just drop me a line through my contact page and I will respond promptly.