For your convenience, several common customer questions are answered right here.
Have another question? Reach out directly through my Contact page.
Q: Why should I hire an editor?
A: Good editing improves your results by helping you communicate more effectively. As editor James Harbeck puts it, “The point of editing is to make sure that the text produces the desired effect on the readers. Your job as an editor is to minimize the impedance in the circuit between author and audience.” So, my main goal is to identify the message you’re trying to communicate, and to help you get that message across in the most effective way possible. The more you can tell me about what you’re trying to do and who your main audience is, the better I can edit your document.
Q: Do you just fix spelling and grammar?
A: My services do include proofreading (fixing errors in spelling and grammar), but that’s only one part of editing. As I edit, I also consider audience expectations, tone, word choice, clarity, logic, and argument structure. I use marginal comments to offer feedback as an educated non-specialist. These comments highlight words or ideas that may confuse your readers, or pose questions that your readers may want you to answer.
Q: How much does editing cost?
A: Please see my rates page for details on my services and how much each one costs. Depending on what you need, professional editing can represent a significant investment– typically $30-40 for every 1000 words in the document. That investment, however, gets you the benefit of my significant expertise: I have a Ph.D. in English, I’ve been studying writing and rhetoric for more than 20 years, I have taught university-level English and literature to thousands of students, and I’ve been editing professionally for well over a decade. You also get peace of mind, knowing that your published work is free of writing errors, and that it expresses your ideas and arguments in a professional and rhetorically effective manner.
Q: Can you guarantee that my article/book will get published?
A: No, I can’t. Publication is a complex process, since journal editors and other publishers have to evaluate each manuscript based on its currency, its relationship to other work in the field, its likely interest to readers, how much space it would take up, and even its connections to other articles or books under consideration. You might have a well-argued, interesting, and important article that just doesn’t fit with the journal’s goals, or the journal editor (not to mention the dreaded Reviewer 2) might decide that readers would not be interested in your methods or findings. I’ve had the privilege to work with some really brilliant scholars, and even they sometimes have to shop an article around for years before it finds a home! As an editor, my job is to present your manuscript in the best possible light: free of mechanical errors, clearly presented, and rhetorically appropriate for your target audience. That way, you know it will succeed or fail on its own merits, without having to worry about poor writing getting in the way.
Q: I’m a native English speaker– do I really need editing?
A: In my experience, all writers (including me!) need good readers, and all writers can benefit from careful proofreading and educated feedback. Just using spell check can make you miss some pretty embarrassing typos, and it’s also easy to overlook missing words, inconsistent capitalization or punctuation, and redundant phrasing.
Q: Will you write my dissertation for me?
A: No. Writing one dissertation was enough!
Q: How do I get my document to you?
A: Email works best, so we can exchange drafts instantly. I prefer to work in Microsoft Word (doc or docx file format), though will consider editing LaTeX or PDF documents if no Word copy is available. I always use Track Changes in Word, so you’ll get one file showing my edits and comments in-line, as well as a clean copy integrating all my changes.
Q: How and when do I pay you?
A: Please see my payment schedule for details on deposit amounts and timing. I use Wave Accounting to generate invoices and to process payments by credit/debit card and bank transfers. In some cases there may be an additional processing fee, but I will let you know that ahead of time.