The Editing Process


you are hiring an editor for the first time,

you may be unsure what to expect. Don't worry. Perfecting your work is difficult, but the process is simple.

Here is a typical schedule for substantive editing:

1. We discuss your project over e-mail. I edit a sample page if you request one. If you like my work, you decide to contract my services. Time required: a day or two

2. We draw up a written contract to eliminate any uncertainty about what we expect from one another. You send me your full manuscript as a Microsoft Word document. (Other document formats are negotiable.) Time: a day or two

3. I read through your manuscript and provide a more precise time estimate. Time: depends on manuscript length, but usually a few days

4. I edit your manuscript, using the track changes tool to make local suggestions and appending general comments at the end of each section or chapter. I also send a letter that addresses broader issues with your novel. When I am finished, I send the manuscript back to you. Time: a few weeks

5. You choose whether to accept or reject small changes. You begin work on larger changes. If you have additional questions about the changes I suggest or need help deciding how to proceed, we discuss your concerns over e-mail. Time: a few weeks

6. I read and edit the changed sections. If necessary, I read and edit your entire manuscript again, and we repeat step five. Time: from a few days to a few weeks

7. Your manuscript is ready to be sent to the copy editor.