Q: When’s your next free spot on your schedule?
A: In general, I’m booking 1-3 months in advance for novels and quicker for novellas. If you’re seeking edits on a small project (e.g., a short story, back cover copy, a query letter and/or a synopsis), or you’re seeking coaching, I can typically squeeze those in within a week or two. Email me to find out my current schedule. FYI, many editors are filled up 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. If you’re seeking developmental and/or line edits on works above 10,000 words, I’ll provide a sample on the first 5 pages of your manuscript, using industry-standard formatting. For works under 10,000 words, I’ll provide a 1-page sample of line edits only. Please be aware that content edits for only 5 pages will not be 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 content edits. However, I have edited narrative memoir before and will consider these on a per-project basis, as it has a similar structure to novels.
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). I won’t edit material that’s bigoted against any marginalization (LGBTQ+, neurodivergence, people of color, disability, etc). I’m also not comfortable editing material with graphic on-page violence or non-consenting actions against marginalized people.
Q: Will you proofread my manuscript?
A: I don’t provide proofreading 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. An editor can help you make the submission as strong as possible, though. Also, if you wish to self-publish, I highly recommend hiring editors in order to ensure you’re producing the best-quality project you can. Your book will be sold alongside books published by e-publishers, traditional publishers, and other self-publishers, so edited works make you more competitive in this tight market. The level of edits you need are up to you, of course.
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 a publisher you’re editing for, can you still edit my manuscript?
A: For ethical reasons, I won’t work on manuscripts that will be exclusively submitted to publishers I freelance edit for, such as 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 both developmental and line edits (we’ll do those as two rounds). 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 approximately 80 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 via Skype, phone call, or email. If major revisions are done after I’ve returned developmental 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 a reduced rate of .008/word. If you’d like an editorial letter in addition to or instead of developmental edits, I’m absolutely happy to discuss those rates with you.
Q: How do I reserve a spot on your schedule?
A: I take 1/3 of the balance as a down payment to reserve your spot, via PayPal (or check, if you don’t have a PayPal account). If you’re scheduling both developmental and line edits, the deposit will be split in half to apply to each round. When you email me to request a spot on my calendar, let me know the word count (or your ballpark word count), genre, and type of edits you’re seeking. The remaining 2/3 of the balance is due upon completion of edits–you’ll be emailed before I start edits to confirm start and completion dates. I’ll return your manuscript as soon as it’s completed and I’ve received your payment. Please note: if your work is under 5,000 words, I require payment in full upfront.
Q: What happens if I reserve a spot for a work in progress and it turns out to be much longer or shorter than I estimated?
A: If your manuscript turns out to be more than 5,000 words longer than you estimated, it may take me longer to do edits. So it’s best to round up your word count when booking your editing spot if you think it might run over in size. If the manuscript 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 of edits.
Q: What is your cancellation policy?
A: If you cancel edits more than twelve weeks before they’re due to start, your deposit will be 100% refunded. If you cancel between twelve weeks to four weeks before edits are due to start, your deposit will be 50% refunded. For cancellations fewer than four weeks before edits are supposed to start, no refund will be given, since I won’t be able to fill that spot on such short notice. Also, if I don’t receive your manuscript by our agreed-upon date and you don’t reply to my email to reschedule, your deposit will not be refunded. Note: if there are extenuating circumstances, please email me as soon as possible so we can discuss rescheduling–I understand that problems arise. See more details on my rescheduling policy below.
Q: What is your 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; I generally try to provide the first 50 pages to show my feedback. The deposit 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 offer two reschedules of your project and will do my best to accommodate your desired timing if possible. However, please keep in mind that I book months in advance, so I appreciate you providing your manuscript and payment in a timely manner. After that, your deposit is nonrefundable.
“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."