Process and Samples

So you’re interested in having your story edited, but a little uncertain what such an experience might entail?

The Beginning

The first step is to send in for a quote on your project from this form.

If you know what kind of editing you want, I’ll simply send you a quote for that selection and we’ll work out the details and deadlines.

If you don’t know what kind of editing you want, I’ll reply with an evaluation of the sample you sent and quotes for the different levels of editing (for more information on Types of Editing, see Services), then we can work through the details of your project.

With your approval, I’ll send you the standard contract [Sample] and, along with the signed contract, you will send me the complete manuscript – preferably in a word document, but I can also work with PDFs.

If desired, a phone or Skype call can also be scheduled whether you have questions, concerns, or would simply like to make sure I’m not some insidious monster who eats stories for breakfast.

At this point, I will send an invoice for a deposit (usually 50% of the quoted price) which must be paid before I start working. Please note: If you decide to cancel the project before its completion, the deposit acts as a cancellation fee.


I do most of my editing, when feasible, through Microsoft Word using the Track Changes and Comments functions. It’s very handy, especially for any kind of back and forth communication (you can add your own replies to my comments, accept/refuse changes, and point out areas of concern with your own comments).

For those of you who have never worked with an editor before, we do not write your book for you so expect to be involved. I do not move ahead with major changes – for example moving chapters or removing large sections of text – without first consulting with you. If the entire middle portion of your manuscript needs work or a character comes across as bland, it will be returned to you with the appropriate comments and potential solutions, but those changes are for the Author to make. This is for the sake of indemnity, confidentiality, and, most obviously, intellectual property rights. This is also the reason that a Substantive Edit tends to be more involved than a Copy Edit; the former, by nature, looks at larger changes than the grammatical and typographical errors of the latter.

After my first edit, I’ll send the manuscript back to you for revision and, when you’re ready, you’ll return it to me with your notes. Another phone or Skype call can be scheduled and I’ll send you another invoice for the next 25% of the quoted price before I begin my second revision.

If it’s been arranged that I should do more than two passes on your project, we’ll basically rinse and repeat the above steps. Feedback and communication are key!

Similarly, if you’ve opted for more than one type of editing, each will get two passes a piece with a revision schedule approved by you at a discounted rate.


This is a full edit looking at substantive and stylistic issues (mostly seen in comment bubbles to the right) with a copy edit (seen in the review pane to the left).


This is a copy and stylistic edit of a short academic essay following a professor’s guidelines and APA formatting. The author wanted to keep comments and all changes visible until the final review.










As in the first sample above, most clients choose a full edit and, as such, I try to separate various copy and stylistic deletions/insertions with actual comments (or work within several versions). A full edit will also come with a separate document outlining major changes and/or remarks.

You’ll see more comments in a Substantive Edit versus a Copy Edit and generally more changes in a Copy Edit versus a Substantive Edit (while Stylistic Edits fall somewhere in the middle). This is just the nature of the type of editing (see Services).

Please Note: For Manuscript Assessments, you’ll receive a full report, but no actual changes to your manuscript will be done.


Once the second (or last) edit is completed, I will send you an invoice for the remaining 25% of the quoted price and return your manuscript with all of our notes and revisions, as well as a cleaned up copy ready for the next stage.

That’s all there is to it! The end goal in every step of editing is to create a clear, concise, and credible manuscript to convey the very best of your story to your audience. Head over to the Free Quote page to get started!