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Q: How much would editing my book cost?
A. The price varies depending on the work, but starts at $2.50/page, so a light edit on a 60,000-word novel—about 240 pages—would be about $600. For a heavy edit or for a medical or technical subject matter, the total would be higher.
Q: Do you offer discounts?
A. Yes. Authors who are members of writing groups are given a $20% discount; anyone who finds me through social media (or is a friend of a member of a writing group) gets a $15% discount.
Q. What format does my manuscript need to be in?
A. It’s best to send as a Word document. It should be in 12-point, double-spaced, Times New Roman text with 1-inch margins. I can do the adjustment for you, but be aware that different formats change page counts; using the above format will give you a more accurate page count as we negotiate fees.
Q. What is the editing process?
A. I edit in Microsoft Word using track changes, and will email you an electronically marked-up version. For additional fee, I’ll read it again after you go through my changes and queries, to make sure that your changes have been made correctly and that no new errors were introduced during the revisions.
Editing hard copies of manuscripts will involve a higher editing rate plus shipping fees.
Q. I don’t think my computer lets me use track changes. What can I do?
A. You probably have a basic version of MS Word installed on your computer—Word Starter—which has limitations. I recommend purchasing the professional version of MS Word. But if you have limited funds, email or call me and I’ll let you know about some shareware options that do most of what MS Word does.
Q: I hate to admit this, but I don’t know how to use track changes.
A. Don’t feel bad. You’re a writer, not a computer expert! Just call or email me and I’ll walk you through it.
Q. How much of my manuscript will you change, and what if I disagree with your changes?
A. My philosophy is to be as “hands off” as possible. It is your book and my goal is to return a clean book to you that maintains your style and voice. If you prefer a particular style (ie, you don’t like serial commas), that is your choice. I use The Chicago Manual of Style and Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition, because that is what is preferred at many publishers. But I mainly aim for consistency throughout the book.
That said, I will tell you if I believe certain passages are unclear, or if there is too much repetition, or if a figure of speech is used incorrectly. If you disagree with me on a particular correction, you simply don’t accept that correction. If you feel I am wrong about a correction . . . sometimes there are gray areas, and … sometimes I am wrong. Much as I try to be perfect, it does happen.
Q. Can you help with self-publishing, or with finding an agent or publisher?
A. I can give you advice on self-publishing and can help you with formatting your manuscript. I can give you advice on finding an agent in your genre, but I don’t write query letters or book proposals.
Q. What will social media marketing do for me and what’s involved?
A. I can increase your followers on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or other platforms by being active on the platform, following others related to your interest, and interacting with your followers or “friends.” I can set up automatic posts that will link to important landing pages on your website, or to specials you are offering. I can participate in Twitter chats (acting as your representative) that are related to your area of expertise (or I can find and direct you to such chats so you can participate yourself).
I can set up your blog (if you have one) so that every new blog post is automatically tweeted or posted on Facebook or other platform. I can also create a newsletter for you to be mailed periodically to website or blog followers. Everyone’s needs and tastes are different so I can tailor it for you.
Q. What about as an author—will social media increase my book sales?
A. Using social media does not guarantee additional sales. But being active on social media, joining groups, talking with other authors, and joining (or starting your own) chats will help. Also, if you self-publish and offer a book discount, you can promote it through social media.
I also recommend all authors (self-published or not) have a website and blog, and I can help you set one up for a very reasonable rate and show you how to personalize it.
Q. What kind of return on investment (ROI) will I get from social media marketing?
A. Social media marketing, at a basic level, will increase your exposure. Exact return on investment is hard to measure since practices vary and how you use it will vary. If you offer good products or services and a good rate on them, social media will let people know about it and draw them to you. If you blog regularly (or hire me to blog) and position yourself as more of an expert in your field, it will draw more people to you.
Some campaigns can be measured and tracked. If you offer one coupon code on Twitter and another on Facebook, you can see how many people buy your product using the specific codes. Other ways to measure ROI are: increased followers or friends, more “retweets” or “likes,” or additional visitors to your website from social media. All of these can easily be tracked.
Q. Do you require a deposit?
A. Yes—at least 25% of the total. With an accepted work agreement I can begin the editing work before receiving the deposit. Payment will be due in full prior to my sending the final edits.
Q. What forms of payment do you accept?
A. I accept personal checks, money orders, or payments through Google Wallet.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll ask you to email me a 10-page portion of your manuscript, and I will review it and give you an estimate. If we agree to work together, I require a 25% deposit up front, either by check or Google Wallet.