We aim to turn around most manuscripts within 4 weeks. Longer or more specialist assignments may take longer. We’ll let you know a more precise estimate as soon as we’ve had a chance to assess your needs.
Who will carry out the work?
Most of our copyeditors are also pro authors, so we have a very good sense of what a novel or work of creative non-fiction needs to succeed. We do not handle corporate work and work exclusively with novelists, children’s writers and those writing creative non-fiction.
Will my manuscript end up flawless?
Probably not, no. A large trade publisher will typically use a professional copy-editor AND a professional proof-reader AND have the text combed through twice each by the author and editor or editorial assistant as well. Even with all that, errors creep through. A realistic outcome from our process is that your text will be very clean, but not perfect. In our experience, this standard will prove easily sufficient for self-publishing or submission to trad outlets.
What if my work needs more or less attention than the service-level I’ve paid for?
We’ll tell you. We’re here to make your work better, and we’ll be candid and truthful about what we think you need. Quite often, writers don’t need copyediting help at all – and if that’s the case, we’ll tell you so. If you want to discuss things with us before opting for a given service, feel free to get in touch. If so, please attach a copy of your work and tell us a little about what your publishing goals / concerns are.
Will my copyeditor respect my own personal style and voice?
Yes. That’s very important to us. As writers ourselves, we know that we can’t just impose a house style on your prose and expect that to be OK. We’ll always try to work with the grain of what you’re trying to do.
What if I don’t agree with your changes?
You’ll get back an electronic document with all our changes marked. Most of those will be uncontroversial (eg: straightforward corrections of typos or punctuation errors.) But there will be some areas where we have queries or want to suggest changes. You can make your own decisions in all cases, and the final document will end up respecting your decisions not ours.
Why don’t you have a price for my 5,000 word short story?
We aren’t a quick-turnaround corporate copy-shop. We’re a bunch of writers helping other writers. We’re just not the right outfit to help with shorter work. For book-length work, we aim to be as good as it gets. And if you want to send us your short story collection, we’d love to get stuck in.
I don’t know if I should get copy-editing or structural editing. Help!
In the vast majority of cases, structural editing will be of greater benefit to the writer. It’s also generally cheaper. The big exception would be serious self-publishers who will need some form of copyediting help prior to launch. Even there, however, we’d suggest that structural editorial help will be of greater long-term benefit. To see what we offer in terms of manuscript assessment, please see our services here. If you want to talk about your questions with us, please feel free. Our customer service team are there to be helpful, not pushy.