I charge for my editing services as a customized project fee, composed of the specific tasks involved in bringing your manuscript to a state ready to submit for publication. Before beginning the project, I will review your material and present you with an estimated fee, based on an estimate of the average speed for editing 1,000 words, the number of references to be formatted, and other tasks you request. The speed will depend on the amount of editing needed, which, in turn, will depend on the particular kind of service you want (copy, stylistic, and/or structural editing) and the initial state of the text (whether closer to a rough draft or to a finished piece). Since estimates, by definition, cannot pinpoint the exact amount of work that will actually unfold, I formulate the proposed project fee as a range (“between $X and $Y”) presented to you ahead of time and included in the contract we negotiate. The final charge for editing your manuscript, based on the actual work performed, will not vary more than 10% from the estimate, as long as the scope of the project does not change in the meantime. If a major change in the project is suggested while work is underway (for instance, if you decide to add new material), we will discuss and adjust the fee at that point. In other words, you will not have to worry about unpredictable pricing based on an open-ended, unforeseen number of hours. Since you will know from the beginning and throughout the project what the estimated fee is, there will be no unpleasant surprises in the final invoice.
To calculate the estimate, I start by getting details from you about the type of editing you want, your time frame, the target publication venue, and so on. I will then review your manuscript to make sure the project falls within my areas of expertise and range of services. To get a sense of how much work the manuscript will likely require, I will edit two to four pages as a sample at no charge. The sample will also allow you to get a sense of what my editing can do for your text and if it meets your needs.
Based on that sample, I will give you an estimate of the fee for the editing services you are considering. The fee will include the first round of revisions I will send you, as well as additional rounds (usually two or three) based on your responses to comments and queries I make in the text. If you decide not to utilize my services, there will be no charge whatsoever for the estimate or sample edited pages. If you do decide to move forward with the project, I will draw up a contract and invite you to contribute any terms you wish to include before we sign it.
Please note that in estimates and invoices, I follow standard practices used by professional freelance editors, such as adding a surcharge for rush jobs, requiring installment payments for new clients or lengthy manuscripts, and making certain guarantees for my services. For an explanation of how these practices protect both the editor and the client, please see the “Code of Fair Practices” published by the Editorial Freelancers Association.
If you think this approach sounds sensible and you would like to get a project estimate at no obligation, please feel free to send me a message through my contact page.