Getting Started

The Estimate

To receive a free estimate of what it should cost to edit your work, you’ll need to email me at with just two things:

  • a sample of your writing: at least a chapter if your work is fiction, and the whole manuscript (or a chapter and an outline of the components of the book) if your work is non-fiction
  • an accurate word count

I charge $45 per hour plus a project management fee (see Pricing for details). The estimate is calculated as an approximate range. Please keep in mind that the figures I’m giving you are an estimate only, based on seeing only a small portion of the manuscript. While I make every attempt to stay within my original estimate and manage to do so about 90% of the time, some projects may exceed it (while others may come in below the estimate). I always notify the author as soon as I suspect I might be running overtime on a project.

The Agreement

Once you consent to proceed with the editing, I draw up an agreement in plain, comprehensible English outlining the particulars of your project. Based on our discussions, I’ll specify the estimate, due date, types of editing to be done, and the terms of payment. Please note that, as stated in your agreement, our work together is confidential, and you can also be assured that your work remains your property. When our arrangements are finalized, we each sign a copy of the agreement and we’re ready to go.


I ask for a 50% deposit before I start editing, and I don’t consider that you’ve officially booked my time until I’ve received this deposit. The percentage of the deposit is negotiable in special circumstances; I’m amenable to setting up a payment plan that works for you. Final payment should be made within 30 days of invoicing or interest charges will apply.

Canadian clients, I’m set up for online banking so that you can make payments directly to my account. I also accept personal cheques. US and overseas clients may wish to pay using the convenience of PayPal. All you need to make a PayPal payment is my email address,

Delivering the Manuscript 

Typically, you would deliver your manuscript by email, since most editing is done electronically these days. For work that needs editing proper (as opposed to proofreading), I work on Word documents, editing using track changes. Please see my article, “Learning Track Changes in MS Word 2007 and 2010: A Quick Guide for Authors” if you are unfamiliar with how to use track changes (this article will come in very handy when you receive your edited manuscript). In increasingly rare instances, I’m asked to edit on hard copy, in which case you’ll need to send me your work by mail or courier.

For proofreading, I usually work on PDFs, editing electronically using Adobe Acrobat, but occasionally, I’ve been asked to proofread on hard copy. Again, you would either email me the PDF, or mail or send a hard-copy proof by courier.

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