FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 
 

“You don’t write if you want to say something. You write because you have something to say.”

—F. Scott Fitzgerald

Cost

Q. HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE FOR EDITORIAL SERVICES?

A. Collaborating with a freelance editor is an investment in the potential of your project, in your potential as a writer, and in your creative future. If we work together, you are trusting me to help you realize that potential, and I take this responsibility seriously. No two projects are alike, and for this reason, I operate on a project fee basis. After you contact me about working together, I'm happy to schedule a brief introductory conversation, at no cost, to find out more information about your project and what kind of assistance you're looking for. I usually request to see a draft and ask about your budget. This enables me to provide a quote that accurately reflects the scope of the work involved. 

I am always happy to discuss concerns about cost, and try to figure something out that works for both of us. It’s also important to me that you feel confident I’m the right editor for you. I won’t be offended if you decide to work with someone else. (I’ll even recommend colleagues if I know someone who might be a better fit!) However, I encourage you to do your research into any editor you hire. Many people hang up their shingle as a “freelance editor”—no license or formal degree is required—but the range of expertise and quality varies dramatically. Be wary of anyone who offers a rate that seems almost too good to be true; it probably is. Good editors know what they’re worth.

Q. HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE FOR PUBLISHING CONSULTATION & COACHING? 

A. I charge a set fee for individual publishing consultation/coaching in person, via phone, or Skype. Sessions can last either 30 minutes or one hour, and my fee includes a commensurate amount of preparation time before we speak. (I usually recommend one hour for an initial consultation.) Please contact me here, and I'll get back to you with rate information and an estimate of how much time I think we'll need to satisfactorily address your needs. I promise that I'm cheaper than your therapist. If you'd like to book multiple sessions, I'm happy to negotiate a discount.

Q. HOW MUCH DO YOU CHARGE FOR COMMERCIAL WRITING PROJECTS AND CONTENT & COMMUNICATION CONSULTING?

A. Much like editorial projects, no two businesses—or their needs—are alike. After you contact me about working together, I'm happy to schedule an introductory conversation to discuss your needs and clarify what kind of assistance you're looking for. Individual client and project circumstances determine whether I work on retainer; charge a flat project fee; or bill hourly. Our mutual goal is to maximize the value I can provide.

For complex or ongoing collaboration, I will develop a proposal outlining the scope of work, deliverables, and suggested engagement/payment structure. 

How I Work

Q. What's your working style?

A. As an editor, my approach is collaborative, sometimes even Socratic (with a view to sparking further creative consideration and inspiration, I tend to ask a lot of questions), because the most effective revisions are ones that feel organic. I'll always explain the thought process driving any prescriptive suggestions. I prioritize communication with you to make sure that I'm helping you move forward while reflecting original intent, vision, and voice. 

As a consultant and coach, I seek to build client relationships that are based on mutual respect and trust. I'm not afraid to ask tough questions, confront difficult choices, or choose honesty over politeness.

As a writer, I'm quick, responsive, and adaptive. I'm also not precious. 

Q. WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM WORKING WITH YOU?

A. It's worth taking a second to discuss the difference between goals and expectations. If we collaborate together, you can expect a professional, courteous working relationship based on mutual respect and a shared interest in helping you succeed, and to feel that our partnership has enriched your work and your creative process, and/or the way you present your business and communicate with your clients. However, things like literary representation, publication, or increased profits are goals, not expectations. There are no guarantees in life, and throughout my career I have always taken extreme care not to promise anything that I'm not 100% sure I can deliver. 

Q. ARE THERE ANY KINDS OF PROJECTS OR CLIENTS YOU WON'T WORK WITH?

A. When you contact me, I ask for specifics about what you need so I can make sure I'm the right person to help you. The last thing I want to do is waste your time (or mine), or waste your money. For instance, I have little to no experience working with prescriptive self-help, religious fiction/nonfiction, romance fiction, YA fiction, or academic nonfiction projects like textbooks and monographs, so it would be disingenuous of me to say I could add value to anything along these lines.

I'm also aware that editing is a subjective business, and what I might like another editor might not, or vice-versa. (Debating submissions was always fascinating. Two editors, both equally intelligent with excellent taste, can disagree more often than you might think.) If I realize that I'm not connecting with your project, I'll be upfront about it because that instantly tells me I'm not the right editor to work on it. This should not be taken personally, but rather as a reflection of my respect for you as its creator. You deserve an editor who is fully invested in your work. Similarly, if I feel that I can't give you what you're looking for in a professional partnership, I'll let you know this right away.

Getting Published

Q. Can you get me an agent?

A. I maintain active relationships with many agents, but I can't get you literary representation. (And you should run away, fast, from any freelance editor who promises you this!) Working together is not a guarantee of representation or publication. What I can do is help you make your project the best it can possibly be by pushing you as a writer, consult with you on how best to package and pitch it, and advise you as you compile a list of agents to submit to.

Q. CAN YOU GET ME A PUBLISHING DEAL?

A. No, I can't. But I can work with you on revising your project, and support you as you take the steps to find representation. I'm also happy to consult with you about the pros and cons of self-publishing, which can be a viable and fruitful option for many authors.