What is the key to working out a quote for a client?
Most editors know how many words they can edit in an hour. Unfortunately, it’s a little more complicated when it comes to providing a quote.
I generally ask for a writing sample. This enables me to discern what level of editing is required. Sometimes clients send me their completed project, and that’s great because I can take a close look at what editorial work is needed before providing a formal quote.
There are a number of factors that indicate how long it will take to edit a piece of writing. I look closely for the following:
- Is the client providing a style guide, or do they have a particular style to which they want the editor to adhere?
- How consistent is the capitalisation? Are all headings sentence case, all capitals – or are they mixed?
- Will the text be in a Word document? Will I need to reformat it, or is it correctly styled?
- Is the sentence structure sound, or will I need to do conduct a structural edit?
- Is the writing correctly punctuated, are hyphens and en dashes placed correctly?
- Is the writing in Australian spelling or U.S. spelling?
- Are there quotes, in-text citations and/or a reference list?
- Are there images, tables and figures within the text?
What happens if it takes longer than I quoted for?
Good question. Nothing happens because a quote is a quote and you pay exactly what was agreed, even if it takes longer than expected.
What happens if the project doesn’t take as long to edit as the quote?
The quote will be reduced. You are notified towards the end of the project that the editing work took less time than quoted and your invoice is adjusted accordingly.
How do I know whether if an editor is well-qualified?
When I was managing teams of editors and needed to employ new editors I looked for two things:
- university qualifications in editing – specifically ‘editing’ not a broader degree that included a unit on editing
- hands-on experience in a publishing house or a similar publishing environment.
You may not feel comfortable asking an editor how well-qualified they are, but it is important to ask anybody you’re going to trust with your writing a few questions about their publishing background.
What’s the difference between editing and proofreading and does Textshop do both?
Good question! Editing happens before a project is laid out (usually by a graphic designer). Proofreading, on the other hand, happens after layout to check that all corrections were taken in and that nothing went astray in the layout. It’s also a double-check to pick up anything the editor may have missed.
Take a book, for example. It’s sent to the editor as a Word document (usually called a manuscript). The editor edits it using track changes and also styles it for layout.
After the content is laid out by the designer, it is sent to a proofreader who marks it up manually (using editorial markup). The errors picked up by the proofreader are fixed by the designer and checked by the in-house editor.
And, yes, at Textshop I both edit and proofread.