Q: When’s your next free spot on your schedule?
A: In general, I’m booking 2-3 months in advance for novellas and novels. If you’re seeking edits on a small project (e.g., a short story, back cover copy, a query letter and/or a synopsis), I can squeeze those in within a week or two, typically. Email me to find out my current schedule. FYI, many editors are filled up a few months in advance, so if you know you’re going to need freelance editing, contact editors sooner rather than later!
Q: Do you offer an editing sample?
A: Absolutely! I’ll provide a sample edit of the first 5 pages of your manuscript, using industry-standard formatting. Just let me know what type of edits you’re seeking (though be aware that content edits for only 5 pages will not be super robust, given the abbreviated size).
Q: Will you edit my nonfiction?
A: My expertise is in fiction, so I recommend you seek an editor who specializes in nonfiction if you want developmental edits. However, I do provide line editing services for nonfiction.
Q: What fiction material do you not edit?
A: I don’t edit young children’s books (picture books, chapter books), since it’s not my area of expertise. I won’t edit material involving non-consenting intercourse, beastiality, or explicit intercourse with or between minors (in general, nothing illegal, please). At this time I also don’t edit manuscripts over 150,000 words (these usually need a LOT of work getting them down to a manageable size, depending on genre of course).
Q: Will you proofread/copy edit my manuscript?
A: I don’t provide proofreading or copy editing services, sorry.
Q: Is a freelance editor required to submit my manuscript to agents or editors, or to self-publish?
A: No legitimate publisher or agent will require you to have your manuscript freelance edited before submitting, so no–absolutely not. However, if you wish to self-publish, I highly recommend hiring an editor in order to ensure you’re producing the best-quality project you can. Your self-published book is being sold alongside books published by e-publishers, traditional publishers, and other self-publishers, so offering edited works will make you more competitive in this tight market. The level of edits you need are up to you, of course. I also recommend hiring a proofreader.
Q: Can you guarantee my story will be published by an e-publisher or traditional publisher or that I’ll get an agent?
A: Unfortunately, no. I’ll do my best to help you strengthen your manuscript, but I make no guarantees regarding agents or editors. I’m experienced as both an author and editor and will work hard on giving you practical, honest feedback. In the end, it’s up to you to follow your gut and incorporate what edits work for you.
Q: If I want to submit to Hallmark Publishing, can you still edit my manuscript/query/synopsis?
A: I prefer to not work on material that is going to be submitted to Hallmark Publishing. I feel it’s best to avoid conflicts of interest in that manner, so you should seek another freelance editor (note: freelance editing is NOT required to submit to Hallmark Publishing).
Q: What is your editing process?
A: I typically do one round of edits, unless we’ve agreed that you need more than one round, or if you’ve hired me for The Works and we split the edits into two rounds (developmental edits and then line edits–FYI, two rounds for The Works is strongly recommended). The amount of time needed to edit will depend on the length of your material and what type of edits you’re seeking, but in general, I edit 80-100 pages a day on a project. Once I return the manuscript to you, I’m happy to answer questions, clarify comments, or help you brainstorm feasible solutions to plot issues. If major developmental revisions are done after I’ve returned the edits to you, I’m happy to do a second round of developmental edits, either over the full manuscript or just parts that were revised, at the same rate. Please note, I do not generally issue editorial letters–I provide my feedback directly in your manuscript so you can see my thoughts right in the document itself.
Q: How do I reserve a spot on your schedule?
A: I take 1/3 of the entire balance as a down payment to reserve your spot, via Paypal or check. When you email me, please let me know the word count, genre, and type of edits you are looking for. If you’re unable to provide a word count on a work in progress, I’ll need a ballpark size. The remaining 2/3 of the balance will be due upon completion–you’ll be emailed before I start edits to confirm start and completion dates and are expected to pay the balance within 7 calendar days of completion. I’ll return your manuscript as soon as it’s completed and I’ve received your final payment. Please note: if your work is under 5,000 words (approx. 20 pgs), I require payment in full to be made upfront.
Q: What happens if I reserve a spot for a work in progress and it turns out to be longer or shorter than I estimated?
A: If your manuscript turns out to be over 5000 words longer than you estimated, I will likely take longer to do edits or may even be unable to edit the full manuscript, depending on time constraints. So it’s best to round your word count up in case you think it might run over the length you estimate. If it turns out to be shorter, we can simply square up the actual balance once I receive the document–your deposit will count toward the balance due upon completion.
Q: What is your cancellation policy?
A: If you cancel your edits at least two months before they are due to start, your down payment will be 100% refunded. If you cancel between two months to two weeks before your edits are due to start, your down payment will be 50% refunded. For cancellations fewer than two weeks before edits are supposed to start, no refund will be given. If I don’t receive your manuscript by our agreed-upon date and you don’t reply to my email to reschedule, your down payment will not be refunded. Note: if there are extenuating circumstances, please email me as soon as possible so we can discuss it–I understand that emergencies happen and will try to be flexible in working with you.
Q: What is your refund policy once you’ve started edits and realize a project isn’t right for you?
A: There are rare times while editing that I realize a manuscript isn’t for me. Usually, that occurs because the subject matter isn’t something I’m comfortable editing, or I believe the manuscript needs too much craft work (for example, I’m making the same basic craft commentary over and over again), or something else along those lines. In those cases, I’ll only charge the client for the pages I’ve edited, if any. The deposit balance of the unedited pages will be refunded, as applicable, and any portion I edited will be delivered to the client. Before I do so, I always reach out to the client to explain why I feel I’m not the right editor for the project and to confirm about refunding the deposit balance.
Q: What is your rescheduling policy?
A: I’m happy to reschedule projects, provided my schedule allows for it. If you need to push a project back, I’ll fit you in as soon as there is a slot available. However, please keep in mind that I often book months in advance, so I really appreciate you providing your manuscript and payment in a timely manner.
“A gifted editor is someone who can hold on to the big picture–plot, character arc, voice–while maintaining a laser focus on the granular. Rhonda is that editor. Her vision and attention were exactly what I needed to pull the final draft of my young adult novel together.”
“Rhonda, I wanted to send out a huge thank you for the crit you did on my 1st three chapters of The Fairy Godmother Files. I used your suggestions to really clean up some of the scenes, bulk scenes, and fix some loose ends. I landed an agent at the beginning of May and signed with her last week. So I just wanted to thank you SO SO SO much for all your help.”
“With Rhonda’s keen eye and efficient edits, I was able to submit my first novella with confidence. Her skill is unmatched and I’m fortunate enough to continue working with her on the remainder of my series."
“Rhonda was professional, efficient, and a pleasure to work with. I contacted her with an inquiry and she was able to review and finish my manuscript in record time. The revisions were clear and concise and exactly what I needed."
“My novel was greatly improved by Rhonda’s keen and honest eye yet she retained the book’s voice and character. She also strengthened character relationships and clarified some sticky plot points."