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What I Do (and Don’t Do)
Here’s a bit about what my work involves and who I work best with.
What kind of editing do you do?
I specialize in nonfiction digital products (ebooks, info products, etc.), web pages, and blog posts. If you’d like the non-technical explanation of what my work looks like, check out my Services page. For the technical version, see my explanation of editing types and where what I do fits.
Do you do fiction?
I don’t. Editing fiction is a whole different skill set, so I leave it to the editors who specialize in it. Anyway, I love working with my small business owner clients!
Are we a good fit?
I have a whole page to help you decide. Read it here: Is This You?
If you have a specific project in mind and want to talk in real time, schedule yourself a complimentary Exploration Session.
Why do you suggest I have someone else proofread my project after we’re done working on it?
You know how when you spend too much time staring at your own work, you start to overlook small but obvious errors? The same thing happens to me when I’ve spent a few weeks deeply absorbed in your project.
Having a separate proofreader is a standard practice in the traditional publishing world too.
It’s best to have a fresh set of eyes (i.e. someone other than you or me!) take a look at your project to catch any last-minute problems before you send it out into the world.
Wouldn’t it be better if you knew a lot about my subject?
It depends. If you’re writing for people who already know about your topic, then probably. For example, if you’re creating a medical textbook for doctors, I’m not the editor for you.
But if you’re writing to teach others about your topic — as many small business owners are doing when they create websites and digital products — then my lack of topic-specific knowledge can actually be a good thing. My point of view is much closer to that of your intended audience than an expert in your field’s perspective would be.
My clients tell me again and again how helpful my beginner status is when it comes to their chosen topic. It means I can catch gaps and confusing parts to which your own knowledge may blind you. Curse of the expert? Not on my watch!
About My Work and Process
Let’s get specific about what working with me looks like.
How does this collaborative virtual editing thing work?
We start things off with my Project Profile Questionnaire, where I’ll ask you to share things like your vision for the final site or product and how our project fits into your overall business. Your answers help me understand your project and its goals so that I can tailor our work to what you’re trying to build. As a bonus, many of my clients report it helps them get clear on a lot of points, too.
I work primarily through Google Drive, a free service that comes with every Google account. If you have Gmail, then you also have Google Drive. It looks like this:
I take care of setting things up and making sure we both have access to the documents. They become our shared workspace.
My clients tell me they love working this way, and it makes the whole process easy on you and me both. But if you have something else in mind, please ask. I’ve worked in Microsoft Word as well.
If you’ve never used Google Drive before, don’t worry! It’s quite easy, and I even have a short how-to guide I can send you before we start.
A typical round of editing looks something like this: I’ll go through the product manuscript or website copy, tweaking things in the text and adding suggestions and questions via Google Drive’s commenting and tracking features. When I’ve completed a full pass, I’ll share the document with you so that you can respond to my comments and questions and make any changes you want to implement based on my feedback. Lather, rinse, repeat as many times as your package includes.
How do I get you my product draft or website copy?
Once we’ve hammered out the details and timeline for our work together, you’ll share your project with me on Google Drive or email it to me as a Word file. I’ll upload it to Google Drive if necessary, and we’ll be ready to go.
I don’t have a Gmail account, or I’ve never used Google Drive. Does that mean I can’t work with you?
Absolutely not! Though using Google Drive documents is my primary way of working with clients (and easy to get used to), I can be flexible depending on your situation. A program like Microsoft Word can work as well.
In the same way, I usually talk with clients over Skype when necessary so I can record the call and send them a copy, but if Skype doesn’t work for you, we can figure out an alternative.
The bottom line? Just ask!
About Your Part
Here’s what you can expect on your end when you’re working with me.
How much time should I set aside for editing with you?
Significantly more than you’re probably thinking! If there’s one thing my clients tell me over and over they didn’t expect, it’s how long a good, thorough edit would take.
The actual timeframe depends on all kinds of factors, so I can’t give you a universal standard. How about a couple of examples instead?
For a 35,000-word ebook to go through two rounds of editing, I usually advise an absolute minimum of five weeks from the day I receive your project (a.k.a. your start date) to the day I hand off the last round to you (a.k.a. the end of our work together). For a single web page, the very least I’d suggest is a week. That’s assuming you’re able to commit a lot of time to working with my suggestions during the times you have the manuscript. Of course, while I have the project, you’ll be off the hook!
Do I have to make every change you suggest?
You don’t. My suggestions are backed by my experience and intuition, and I always give them with your project’s goals in mind. I’ll also happily explain any option I present that you’re not clear about. But ultimately, it’s your creation. You have the final say in how things go down.
I’m not finished with the first draft. Can I send you what I have so far?
We’ll only begin our work when you’re ready to hand a finished product draft or completed website copy off to me, even if it’s extremely rough. That allows me to see the whole big picture before offering you my feedback. If I only have a few pieces at a time, I’m missing that overarching view that’s so integral to what I do. Not to mention the fact that having two people working on the same document can be a bit of a logistical nightmare!
What information will you need from me to put together a custom quote for my digital product?
Everything I need is listed at the bottom of the Digital Products Services page. Fill out the form there and I’ll start on your quote!
Ah, the ever-important payment section. Here are the most popular questions on the subject.
What payment types do you take?
I accept payment through PayPal. That means I can accept anything PayPal takes: Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express as well as PayPal accounts or bank accounts you link to through PayPal. You don’t need a PayPal account to send a payment through their system.
Can I pay in installments?
Yep, absolutely. My most popular installment option is half up front to hold your start date and half before I hand over the final round of edits, but I’m open to discussing other options.
How do you create your custom packages?
The goal of a custom package is to make sure your project gets the kind of attention it deserves. Based on the information I receive from you, I determine how many rounds of editing I would recommend as well as how deep of an edit I believe your product needs. Then I combine those factors with the size and scope of your project to create your custom package.
Can I talk to you before I buy?
Please do! You can book your complimentary Exploration Session, send me an email, or poke around my other blogs (Remade By Hand and Erin Reads) to get to know me a little first. It’s important to me that we’re a good fit if we’re going to move forward on a project together.
If you read this whole page and didn’t find the information you were looking for, please get in touch with me. I would be more than happy to answer whatever question you have!