Step 1: Contact me
We'll begin by discussing, either by phone, e-mail, or video conference, the details of your writing project. Our first conversation will usually address the following questions: What sort of manuscript is it? Where are you in the publication process? What are your goals for copyediting? Do you have a deadline? Do you have any questions for me?
Step 2: Sample edit
You will be asked to send me five to ten representative pages of your manuscript (or fewer pages for smaller projects). I will then perform a sample copyedit, which allows me to provide an estimated timeframe and cost for the project. I will then return the edited pages to you along with a proposal for my services. After reviewing my work, it is your decision whether or not to move forward and engage my services. There is no commitment at this point, and the sample edit is free.
Step 3: Contract negotiation
If you chose to accept my proposal and hire me as your copy editor, we will work together to determine the specifics of the project, including any deadlines, which will then be written into a project contract and signed by each of us. At this point, I request a 50 percent down payment to activate the contract.
Step 4: Editing
Once I receive your manuscript (either electronically in Microsoft Word, or delivered by mail as a hard copy), I will begin editing. Depending on your deadline and preferences, I may edit the entire document at once or I may break it into smaller parts, sending you each edited portion as it is completed. I will always make three passes through a manuscript. The first is a quick skim to make sure all of the necessary components are present and to get a general sense of the scope of the document. The second pass will be an intensive, line-by-line edit. The third pass acts as a final clean-up after you have reviewed the changes to your manuscript and responded to any queries.
Step 5: Review your manuscript
After I have completed the second editorial pass, I will return the manuscript to you along with a style sheet that outlines technical and stylistic decisions that are specific to your document. You will be asked to review the changes I have made and either accept or reject my suggestions. I also ask that you respond to any queries or comments so that I can act according to your wishes during the final review of your manuscript. If you have any questions or concerns during this process, I will be available to discuss them with you.
Step 6: Editorial cleanup
Once you have reviewed the edits, the manuscript will be returned to me for the third editorial pass, a fail-safe to catch any mistakes that slipped by and to remove any stray editorial marks before the manuscript is published. When the clean manuscript is returned to you, I will request the balance of your payment.
Step 7: Keep in touch
Your success is important to me, and I will be keen to know when your manuscript has been published, dissertation defended, or project completed. I also welcome any feedback that might help me to improve the editorial services that I offer.