SerenePages

Editing

Why hire me to edit your project?

The short answer is that you want your document to be flawless, and my clients routinely tell me that's what they get from me.

The longer answer:

Experience

I have more than 30 years of experience making people's writing cleaner, more readable, and more concise.

Past projects include:

In addition, first as a newspaper editor and then as the publisher and editor-in-chief of a literary magazine, I have edited a wide variety of fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and journalistic articles.

Passion

I love what I do, and my work reflects that.

A network of reliable editors

I only take on a small number of clients at a time, but if I'm booked when you need an editor, I will be happy to refer you to one or more of a small group of editors I've worked with over the years, people I believe you can trust with your project.

Value

My hourly rate of $40 is low, but not the lowest you will find, because the quality of my work is high. I am thorough and quick, and will never bill you for a minute that I'm not at work on your project.

It's $40 per hour, but how much will it cost, total? Which service do I need?

This section answers both of those questions at once. Some editors charge a different rate for each kind of work, but I find that more complex editorial work just naturally takes longer, so I prefer to simplify with one hourly rate. If you want to talk about a flat rate for your project, feel free to contact me for a quote.

Copyediting
Copyediting means going over a manuscript carefully before it is ready for publication, checking grammar, style, punctuation, and so on. There are three basic levels of copyediting; here's a good explanation of what those levels are. If your publisher or organization specifies a style guide, I will need access to that. My go-to style guides are Chicago and AP, so I always have the most recent versions of those available to me.
Proofreading
Once your manuscript is ready to print, you will be provided with the version that is headed for the printer. This is called a proof. The proofreader checks that proof to make sure that your work is not going to arrive at the printer with errors in spelling, punctuation, grammar, or usage. This is a general tidy-up of a manuscript that has already been edited, and is usually the last step before publication.
Fact-checking and permissions
Most works of non-fiction, and some fiction, can benefit from some level of fact-checking. For the most part, this job involves doing research and making contact with sources to ensure that statements of fact and/or quotations from sources are correct. Depending on the project, the fact-checker may also ensure that any permissionable content in the manuscript is flagged and/or permissioned. The permissions editor makes sure that the author has permission from the source to reproduce the work, or that the work is of a nature not to need such permissions.
Other pre-production editorial assistance
This covers all the miscellaneous jobs that might be necessary, and not fall under one of the above classifications. For instance, I assisted on one technical book that had so many tables and references to those tables that the publisher hired me just to make sure all the tables were labeled, reproduced, and referred to correctly.

If your project or organization is something that is making things better in the world, I will work with you on being able to afford to hire me.

How do I get my work to you? How does it come back to me?

I've been doing this a long time, so I am comfortable with both physical manuscripts and electronic editorial flows. We can do whatever is best for you. Some clients prefer to use track-changes in Microsoft Word or similar programs; some prefer marks on paper. Some send their manuscripts to me via FedEx, and some send me a link and a password for an FTP site, or a shared Google Docs link. Please note: making electonic corrections/comments (using track-changes or markup) is slightly faster/cheaper than marking up physical copies. For physical copies, you will bear the cost of shipping in both directions. Also, if you are not familiar with proofreaders' marks, you may find physically edited manuscripts a little inscrutable at first.

I'm sold! How do I hire you? How long will the process take?

So glad you asked! The easiest and fastest way to contact me is via direct email. If we start to work together, I will also give you a cellphone/text number where you can reach me during normal business hours (Pacific Time), as well.

Once you've contacted me, here are the timelines I hold myself to: