FAQ

What are your fees?

Copy editing and proofreading are $60 an hour. The short story critique is $300. Each page for these services lists their particulars. For copy editing and proofreading, 50% of the estimate is due up front, when you send me your work, and the rest is due when you receive my invoice and before I send back the finished file. I also send written feedback. Late invoices are charged 1% interest per month. For the short story critique, payment is due upon signing up and before we start working together.

Why do you charge by the hour for copy editing and proofreading instead of by word count?

Put simply: one person’s 78,000 words might require far more work than another’s or vice versa. I charge by the hour because it’s easiest and fairest to both of us.

How do you determine your estimates for copy editing?

My estimates are based on the industry average calculation of pages/hour, in Canadian dollars. Copy editing is 4–6 pages/hour, and proofreading is 9–13 pages/hour. Of course, this varies depending on the quality of the writing.

If you are a writer (not a publisher), I ask for a sample of about 20 pages of your finished manuscript, about 10 from the beginning and 10 from the middle, and evaluate the quality and level of work the manuscript needs. From there I determine approximately how many pages I can get copy edited or proofread in an hour. I also send you this sample edit, free of charge.

How long will it take you to copy edit my work?

An average rate for copy editing is about 4–6 pages an hour. But the speed at which I do my line-by-line read-through and make corrections and suggestions depends on the quality of the writing. Sometimes, it’s possible to go faster. Sometimes, enough work is needed that even 4 pages an hour is too fast. Whatever the case, I use an online timer, which I switch off to walk the dogs, cook, clean, go to the bathroom, eat meals, etc.

I also provide written feedback when I return your writing.

How does payment work?

If you’re a publisher, payment is due 30 days after you receive the invoice.

As noted above, if you’re a writer and need copy editing or proofreading, I provide you with an estimate (after seeing a sample of your work), 50% of which is due up front. The rest, calculated once the job is complete, is due once you receive the invoice and before I send you the finished work. Interest is charged, at a rate of 1% per month, for late invoices.

If we’re doing short story critique, payment is due before we start. See the fee on the short story critique page.

I accept payment by cheque, money order, bank transfer, and PayPal.

What kinds of things do you edit?

I edit short stories, novels of all types (genre fiction, literary, etc.), non-fiction books, documents such as reports, and academic texts. I also work on journal and magazine articles. Questions as to whether your work will be in the right hands? Use this form: Contact.

I’m scared of being edited. How do I know if we’re a good match?

Contrary to popular belief, we editors don’t all look down our noses at people who don’t know the difference between “further” and “farther.” Without people who need us, after all, where would we be? We don’t all take ourselves too seriously. We’re sticklers for grammar rules, but we also know how and when to break ’em.

And regardless of my favourite kind of fiction to read, when it comes to work, I’m open. What I’m concerned with is whether or not you have a story that will appeal to people in general, not just me.

How I determine whether or not we’re a good match is by sampling your work before we start and determining whether or not I can do what your writing needs and whether or not your content, if non-fiction, is something I can understand and engage with. We can also get a feel for each other over email or by chatting and you can ask as many questions as you want about the process beforehand.

Will you rewrite my work?

Nope! Not to worry. A good editor works to retain your voice, not change it or the story. I will make suggestions and corrections, and sometimes recast a sentence so it reads more effectively, but I don’t create content, change your meaning, or rearrange your story to suit my tastes.

Will you help me come up with my story?

Developmental and substantial editing are different from copy editing and proofreading. I prefer to work with a complete draft. If I’m working with you through the short story critique, I will offer directional suggestions if your draft isn’t working, or if elements of it are presenting problems, and I will ask questions to prompt you for ideas, but you do the writing and creating!

What kind of writing do you do?

Aside from writing my own short stories and Bella’s Bookshelves, which contains reviews, book news, and current literary topics, I have written discussion guides for publishers for their fiction works. Most of my writing now, though, is recasting sentences for articles and stories that are going to be published.  

If you have any questions regarding who I am, my experience, how I work, or what I do, or you would like to hire me, use the contact form. I usually reply within 24 hours.

Do you have any references?

I’ve been professionally freelancing since 2003. I have lots of references! I do have some endorsements on this site, which you can see on the Praise page.