The editing process and what to expect
If it’s your first time working with an editor, you might be wondering about the editing process and what to expect. You probably have many questions, such as:
- Am I ready for an editor?
- What does an editor actually do?
- What type of editing do I need?
- How long does editing take?
- How much does editing cost?
- How do I know if you’re the right editor for me?
My editing services are tailored to suit your specific needs. As every editing project is different, it’s hard to provide definite answers without seeing your draft. That said, I know you want to have some idea of what to expect. To help you determine which editing service you need and what’s involved, I’ve answered some of the most common questions about working with an editor.
Am I ready for an editor?
This depends largely on whether you’re writing an academic thesis, a manuscript, or a business document. It also depends on the type of editing you need. Some editors (called developmental editors) work with you in the early stages to develop the structure and content of your document. Although I sometimes do this type of editing, I prefer to apply my ‘eye for detail’ in the later stages, after you’ve completed your final draft. That means you’ve already edited your own work (to the best of your ability), read it aloud and perhaps even asked someone else to read it.
If you haven’t self-edited your work before sending me your document, I will likely get stuck addressing obvious issues. That’s not the best use of your budget. Plus, if you make big changes later, my work will be wasted. Having said that, my Mini or Midi manuscript editing packages provide affordable, big-picture feedback on your work.
What does an editor actually do?
Different types of editors do different things. A developmental editor works with you to shape the content, structure and narrative so you can produce a final draft. A copyeditor like me edits at paragraph, sentence and word level to improve style, sense and flow as well as correcting typos and errors. I can also help format your document to present it in the best way possible.
When editing your document, I ensure it adheres to the five C’s of good communication: it is clear, correct, complete, consistent and compelling. This means your message is communicated effectively to the reader and the reading experience is smooth and enjoyable.
What type of editing do I need?
Not all editing is created equal. There are three main stages of editing: developmental editing, copyediting and proofreading. In Australia, the copyediting stage includes line editing (also called stylistic editing), but elsewhere line editing and copyediting may be considered separate stages.
- Developmental editing is ‘big picture’ editing to improve the content and structure of your writing. It looks at the quality and organisation of your content and ensures it is fit for your intended audience.
- Copyediting is the ‘nuts and bolts’ of editing. It involves going through your writing line by line and word by word to smooth and correct the text. Copyediting ensures your publication or online content is fit for reading.
- Proofreading is the final quality control check to fix errors and layout problems. Proofreading occurs after your document or online content has been typeset or designed into its final format. It ensures your content is fit for release.
If you’re working on a manuscript, you’ll likely need to go through all three stages of the editing process. If you’re working on an academic or business project, you may simply need a copyedit or proofread. The best way to find out what type of editing you require is to contact me for a consultation.
How long does editing take?
For a long document such as a PhD thesis or book manuscript, allow at least two weeks for the editing process, plus time for you to review and make any suggested changes. Smaller projects (under 5,000 words) usually only need one or two days. Regardless of whether your project is large or small, I recommend booking well in advance of your submission date to secure a spot in my schedule.
For larger projects, I prefer to focus on one project at a time, so if you haven’t booked ahead I might not be available. Small projects such as short documents or manuscripts, transcriptions or secretarial services can be slotted into my schedule more easily.
How much does editing cost?
This depends on your project. However, as a guide, here are my ballpark rates to help you budget for editing. My minimum fee is $90 and all prices are in Australian dollars.
- Manuscript appraisal – from 1 cent per word for a standard-length book (60,000–100,000 words)
- Manuscript copyediting – from 3.5 cents per word
- Academic copyediting – from 4 cents per word
- Proofreading – from 2 cents per word
- Editing packages – for academic documents and manuscripts, I offer a range of value-packed editing packages to suit your needs and budget. Visit the academic editing or manuscript editing pages for more information.
To provide an accurate price, I’ll need to see a copy of your document. Contact me to request a no-obligation quote.