Getting Started

The workflow that I describe here gives you an idea of what to expect when you contact me. I will adapt the process to your unique piece of writing.

Author Questionnaire

I will likely send you a questionnaire to learn more about your project. Who is your audience? What are your publishing goals? What are your strengths as a writer? Your weaknesses? What is your timeline? Your responses will help me to understand the level of editing that your work needs.

For scholarly manuscripts and journal articles, I will have additional questions about references and editorial style (for example, Chicago, APA, MLA).

Editing Sample

I will ask to see 10 pages from your manuscript—5 from the beginning and 5 from the middle—so that I can more accurately assess the level of editing. I will provide a sample edit of up to 1,000 words so that you can see the kind of work that I do.

Editorial Agreement

Based on our discussions, I will provide you with a cost estimate and timeline. Once we are mutually satisfied with the details, I will draft an Editorial Agreement that clearly outlines the scope of work. My agreements are adapted from a template developed by Editors Canada.

I will ask you for a deposit before I start the work.


I know you would like to see a specific dollar figure now, but I can’t give you one. How much the editing will cost depends on how long it will take me to do the work. Editing speed in turn depends on things like the length of the manuscript, its complexity, and the quality of the writing.

According to an Editors Canada seminar as well as information published by the American Editorial Freelancers Association, the following speeds are typical for a 250-word page:

  • substantive editing or rewriting – 1 to 3 pages per hour
  • stylistic or line editing – 2 to 6 pages per hour
  • copy editing – 6 to 10 pages per hour
  • proofreading – 8 to 12 pages per hour
  • manuscript evaluation – 10 to 15 pages per hour to read and take notes, plus time to write the assessment

I will provide you with a project estimate based on a fee of $40 an hour.