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Friday, January 30, 2015

A bit about the editing

Hello all,

I just had it pointed out to me, by a friend, in a friendly way, that announcing I'm a freelance editor and then saying nothing about my process or rates was a bit of a tease. Sorry about that; we have established that I suck at marketing, and I didn't want to write what amounted to a commercial, so, yeah.

There are several different types of edit that a manuscript might need, but due to my temperament I have a tendency to end up doing all of them at once on a manuscript. There are also a lot of different names for he different types of edit, so for definitions of terms, I generally send people to Marcy Kennedy's excellent blog post on the subject.

Now, to rates. Editors can charge by the hour or by the word (saying it's by the page is the same thing), and since I work from home and have a kid, it's impossible for me to figure out an hourly rate for anything. Most of my editing ends up falling under the definition of "line edit", which in freelance world generally ranges anywhere from two to six cents per word, based on what little research I've been able to do. That fee depends on how much work the manuscript needs, and the work, as I said above, generally includes copy edit and proofreading stuff as well as a little bit of developmental editing (working out point-of-view usually falls under a developmental edit, but I can't ignore POV errors. I Just Can't).

If you're interested in seeing if you and I are a good fit together, you can always email me a sample of your work. Ten pages, double spaced, 12pt Times New Roman. I will look that over for no charge and give you my impressions, corrections, and commentary, and you can compare my editing style to any other editors you might also be considering. The address is heather dot bungardjanney at gmail dot com. In my response I will also include a quote of what I think I would prefer to charge, with the understanding that haggling is a time-honored art form and you may want to make a counteroffer.

One caveat, which may make us incompatible on this project (although I'd hope you would consider me for other projects in future): Please don't ask me about deadlines. They are my nemesis and I'm still, after two years as an editor, still figuring out the pacing of my work so that I can come up with realistic estimates of how long a manuscript will take to complete. If you're setting your novel in ancient Rome and I'm having to look up historical details and correct all your Latin, the book will take longer. It just will. If my kid is home sick from school, the book will take longer. There are ways you can I can work together to speed the process along, in which case the deadline may end up being dependent on you and not me. If I have three clients all asking for my attention simultaneously, the book will take longer. You get the idea. So yeah... please don't ask me about deadlines.

Tech stuff: I don't own a Mac, so your document needs to be in Microsoft Word format. If we end up working together, I'll ask you to install and use Dropbox (it's free, relax) so that we can share and make changes to the same manuscript. I'll also ask if you're interested in using Google Hangouts for the occasional live chat so that we can each ask the other questions for clarification. Finally, I accept payment via PayPal.

Hmm, and here I've been avoiding putting together a blog post about these details. Thanks to those of you who asked me the question, I've finally gotten off my butt and answered it!

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