It is essential that we begin our working relationship with the right expectations of what can be achieved, and a clear understanding of what happens during the editing process.
There are two main factors to take into consideration:
- Rules versus preferences – subjectivity
- The manuscript
If you pass your manuscript to ten different editors and ask them to edit it, you will receive ten very different versions back. Ask ten readers to read and review your book and you will receive ten different reviews.
Reader One doesn’t ‘believe’ in the Oxford comma, but Editor Seven does meaning that reader comments on their perceived grammatical errors.
Editor Six thinks numbers above ten should be written in numerals whereas Editor Ten believes numbers up to one-hundred should be spelled out.
Reader Five was taught that you shouldn’t start a sentence with a conjunction – and/but etc. Editor Four follows New Hart’s Rules, disagrees with this, and allows it.
Basically, one person’s rules can be another’s preferences, and this needs to be taken into account when making decisions and taking feedback.
Prior to starting work on your project, we will discuss these issues, and make the relevant decisions together, these will then be detailed in the Style Sheet I will provide on completion of your edit.
Although I aim for perfection, it is impossible in one round of edits and the publishing world agrees with that.
I know of international bestselling books which been through several rounds and still have mishaps such as the use of sun instead of son. It happens. I wish it didn’t. We all wish it didn’t. But editors and proofreaders are only human.
It stands to reason then that it is impossible for one round of edits to pick up each and every mishap. If that level of editorial sorcery existed there would be a fair few editors and proofreaders hitting the dole office!
Now, I don’t want to seem negative here, and I do feel like I’m selling myself short, but I want you to have realistic expectations of what we will achieve during this process. My Big Difference Editing service includes a second pass, so once we’ve both worked our magic on the first round, I will go through the manuscript a second time to ensure my suggestions have been understood, and to check no new mishaps have been introduced.
This gives us both the sense of security that we have done our absolute best with your manuscript.
So, what now?
I appreciate that you don’t have a bottomless pit of funds to throw at several rounds of edits and proofreads, but you should take the time to save for at least one round – and preferably at the copy/line editing stage.
I am always happy to discuss payment plans so please do get in touch if that is something you would like to explore.
My promise to you
Taking all the above in to consideration, here is my promise to you:
- I promise that I will respect your work and keep your voice.
- I promise that I will keep every aspect of your work confidential.
- I promise that I will not mislead you.
- I promise that I will do my absolute best for you.
- I promise that I will aim for as close to perfection as is possible.
After all this, if you think I could be the right fit for you and your project, please get in touch and we can discuss your needs in more detail.