Your Questions Answered!

Hello Everyone!

Glad you could join me. Two weeks ago, I asked everyone to send in any questions they have wanted to ask an editor and proofreader (you can read it HERE). Below, I have answered the most common. If I have missed something, please either comment below or send me an email via my Contact Me page and I will answer it for you.

Please remember that every editor is different. They run their businesses differently and their processes, prices etc. are unique to them. Below, I am not answering for ALL editors and proofreaders, just me.

These questions are not in any particular order.

What editorial training have you had?

Apparently, there are some people that think that just because they love reading, they can be an editor. Or maybe they were good at English in school, they can be an editor. A love of reading and a good grasp of grammar are a great starting point, but real editors have had training.

In Australia, as in many other countries, there are no specific Diplomas etc. for Editing and proofreading. Editing and proofreading come under a Diploma of Arts and are aimed predominantly at journalism. Those of us that want to become editors and proofreaders of novels or business documents need to really search for courses that are of benefit.

Personally, I have successfully completed a Certificate in Editing and Proofreading from the Australian College of Journalism, a Diploma in Business from the Australian training organisation Forme and an undergraduate course in Creative and Professional Writing via Griffith University in Queensland. I am also an Associate Member of IPEd, which is the Australian Institute of Professional Editors.

I have undertaken a grammar course via EdX Online, and I have purchased and studied many books about editing, proofreading, grammar and style.

I love to learn and this year already, I have completed a Certificate for Writing for the Web via Udemy, and am enrolled in another certification course, ‘Editing Mastery’. I constantly strive to improve my skills to help my clients better.

And, of course, I love reading and was good at English at school!

What other books have you edited?

This one is a tough question for many editors. The reason for this is that some of the projects I have worked on have not been published yet, and one of them was written under a nom de plume.

I can tell you that I have worked on two novels, and a book of poetry – as yet unpublished. I have completed the first round of edits on an autobiography/memoir (the author has chosen to hide their identity) which is also unpublished at this stage as the author has been extremely busy with running their own extremely successful business.

I can tell you that I had the pleasure of working in collaboration with other proofreaders on a wonderful non-fiction book by James Buckley-Thorp called “The Age of the Ethical Entrepreneur” (published 2019). To read more about the project, you can read my post HERE. To read his testimonial, click HERE.

Regarding business documents, I wrote, edited and proofread user manuals for the National Store Inventory Department of a major automotive aftermarket company in Australia, plus many other interoffice documents as the National Inventory Planner for the same company.

And, of course, all my own documentation!

Can I see a sample of your work?

If you would like to see a sample of my work on a published piece, you will find James Buckley-Thorp’s book on Amazon, and his testimonial. Alternatively, I am happy to do a sample edit of your work.

If you would like me to do a free sample, we can book one in. Please click HERE to find out more.

If you would prefer a paid sample, I can do that too. Click HERE to find out more.

Undertaking a sample edit of your own work, whether free or paid, has dual benefits. Not only do you see how I work, but we can also decide whether we are a good fit as a team.

What genres of books do you specialise in?

  • I specialise in romance, mystery, autobiographies and biographies.
  • The business documents I specialise in are training manuals and proofreading marketing materials.

What Style Guides are you familiar with?

I can use a variety of Style Guides, depending on the project.

  • Chicago Manual of Style
  • Style Manual (Australia)
  • Australian Business Style Guide

I also have access to many reference guides, including:

  • New Hart’s Rules
  • Merriam-Webster’s Manual for Writers and Editors
  • Dreyer’s English
  • The Australian Editing Handbook

Do you provide a style sheet?

If I am editing a book, and I am the first person to, the answer is yes. If I am proofreading, a style sheet should already have been created by the original editor.

What services do you offer?

Please see my Services page.

Do you offer a package deal if I want you to edit and proofread my project/book?

Yes, I do. If I am editing a project, I am already familiar with the project and the style sheet, which makes the proofreading smoother and easier.

Are you available for questions? Can I call you? (Before and during the project)

I am available to answer questions. I prefer emails, that way I can answer them around any current projects I am working on.

If you prefer phone calls, you will need to email me to book a time in. As a freelancer, I work from home. Once a phone call has been booked in, the first 30 minutes are free, then you will be invoiced for any further time I spend in consultation with you via the telephone.

How do you edit?

I can edit either electronically or hard copy. I find editing electronically to be easier for a few reasons:

  • There is no fear of the manuscript/document being lost or damaged in the mail.
  • An electronic edit allows additions, deletions and suggestions to be accepted or rejected more easily. If we are working with a hard copy, all the changes that are accepted need to be added into the manuscript and then it would need to be reprinted.
  • Depending on the size of the project, printing it could end up costing a lot in paper and printer ink.

As I said, I prefer to edit electronically in Microsoft Word. I use Track Changes to make it easier for you to read any suggestions I make, and to accept or reject any changes.

Do you edit/proofread promotional material?

Yes, I do. I can help authors with their press releases, as well as businesses with their promotional materials.

Do you have contacts/partners that can help me with promotional/marketing/design/layout/etc.?

Yes, I have industry contacts that can help you in those areas.

I am thinking of self-publishing, can you help me?

I have some information available that can help point you in the right direction.

What type of editing do you think my book needs?

When pricing an editing project, it is good for both parties to get a clear sense of the work that will be involved upfront.

You will need to send me a short sample chapter so I can assess the type of editing required, and the time needed to do this, so I can give you an accurate quote. This helps avoid any surprises along the way for either of us.

This process will give you an idea of how I will interact with you and will also allow me to know if I am able to help with your project.

Please don’t be put off if I recommend that the project needs work. If this is the case, I will make some initial suggestions that could mean less work for me and less cost for you. Request a Quote to start to process.

How many rounds of edits do you think my book needs?

In traditional editing, books get numerous edits by numerous professional editors. Unless you are an experienced writer or editor, it is unlikely that your book will need only one.

More likely, you will need 1-2 rounds of ‘big-picture’ edits, in which I will make suggestions regarding big-picture changes. These are suggestions on how you can make your book stronger and flow better. Following these, I perform several passes for copy and style and proofreading if requested.

What will I need to do as a writer to ensure a professionally edited book?

Please keep in mind, I am not a ghost-writer. While line editing involves some rewriting, the ‘heavy lifting’ I do, the more it will cost you.

To minimise costs, I will give you constructive suggestions, and have you tackle the first round of rewriting and re-structuring yourself.

If you are unable or unwilling to do this, you should be looking for a ghost-writer instead of an editor.

Will I be able to ask you follow-up questions and correspond with you after you have finished my project?

I am happy to correspond with you and answer some follow-up questions – within reason. I prefer this correspondence to be via email. If you prefer phone calls, or if the correspondence is excessive and runs the risk of interfering with other projects, we will have to discuss an hourly fee or a continued consulting agreement.

Please remember that I offer a service, and as a freelancer, I cannot afford to give my services and time away for free.

Can you help me find an agent?

As an editor, my sole focus is the quality of your project.

I do not offer this service, but there are publishing consultants who do. I have been told that Kindle Direct Publishing is easy for most writers to use if this is the route you chose to take.

Will you help me write a cover letter for publishing houses?

This is not a service I offer.

Will out agreement be in writing?

Yes. This is to protect both of us. Read my Terms and Conditions HERE.

What does the editing process look like?

Every editor works differently.

I must receive the entire manuscript before the date we have booked to start the project.

I complete a full read-through, making notes and filling in a style sheet if one has not been supplied (or checking details in the one supplied).

I will return the manuscript with any big-picture suggestions I have.

Once you return the updated manuscript to me, I am then able to proceed with the several passes require for copy and style. The manuscript is then returned to you.

If I have requested any clarification etc., this is when you will need to address these. You can also ask any relevant questions too. I am happy to do one more pass for any further corrections required.

There are two very important questions that I have not answered today:

  • How much will it cost?
  • How long will the editing process take?

I will be addressing these next Monday, so stay tuned!


Note from Jenni: I hope you found this post helpful. Next week I will be posting the answers to the two most important questions that every new author/writer wants to know. Please follow my blog so you don’t miss out on the answers.

If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to contact me via my Contact Me page or leave a comment below. To find out more about my services, visit My Services page. You can also find me on Facebook by clicking the ‘F’ icon at the bottom of any page on my website.

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