In order for you to decide to hire me as your copyeditor, I will ask you for a few pages of your work and do a sample edit. This will help us determine if you need a light, medium, or heavy edit, and it will help me estimate a time frame and price for the project. This will also depend on your time frame. Do you need it tomorrow? That would be more expensive of course. This is just an estimate or “guess-timate,” not a confirmed price for the project.
The intensity of your document will determine how many pages per hour I can edit, and therefore, help me determine a time frame for completing your project. Any level of editing may include checking facts, corresponding links, and such. This could add time depending on how much is required by the writer. I keep a detailed log of the hours I spend editing your project rounding up to the quarter hour (i.e., 4 hours and 3 minutes will charge at 4 hours and 15 minutes if I am charging an hourly rate). Regarding the initial “guess-timate,” I may come in lower, but I also may come in higher (though this is often not the case). I stay in communication with you along the way, should I begin to foresee the project taking more time than estimated.
When we decide to work together, I will have you sign an agreement that will include the date you are going to send me your project and a good-faith estimate date of when I will have it completed. It will also claim that none of the work I am editing is plagiarized and we will also agree on a payment date (often upon completion or within thirty business days). I often require a deposit, and I usually require full payment upon receipt of a project for students.
If I am editing electronically, I will send you the document with Track Changes in which you will accept or reject my edits. Afterwards, I can give the project a final pass charging my regular hourly rate for doing so. If I am editing a hard-copy version of your project, I will mail you the project with my edit marks in the most expedient manner available (usually FedEx or DHL from Guadalajara). You will be responsible for the cost of mailing.
So you know, I am a stickler for responding to emails and phone calls and will respond usually well within twelve hours (maximum twenty-four if not urgent) of receiving a message from you. Unless urgent, I do not respond in the evenings or the middle of the night, preferring to keep a healthy work-life balance. Good communication is key to both of us being highly satisfied with the final edited project, so you will need to be timely when responding to me as well. If I have an issue that needs your response before I can continue editing, the project may get delayed and I cannot be held responsible for this.
As an editor I will do my best to provide you with the 4 Cs—clarity, coherency, consistency, and correctness—for the reader, but cannot guarantee that the document will be 100% error-free; sad but true, room for human error must be factored in. As the author, you in the end will own the project and be responsible for its accuracy, style, adherence to standards of originality and attribution, and effect.
If you are a U.S. customer, payment will be made into a Wells Fargo account. If you are a Mexican customer, payment will be made into a Scotiabank account. This can be done directly at the bank or via a wire transfer. Form and place of payment by customers from other countries will be determined on the signed agreement. I will be sending you an invoice and will require payment no later than the date we agree upon. If payment is late, I add a service charge of 1% per month, and I will do my best to give you the opportunity to pay before I must hire a debt-collection service and add their cost to your bill.
For an example of distinctions made between levels of editing, take a look at the following link. Editing Levels
*I want to thank my friend and colleague, Ranee Boyd Tomlin (a fantastic editor of instructional content; find her at http://www.oncourseediting.com/ ) for allowing me to follow her steadily planted footsteps in sharing how I work. I also must attribute some of the valuable information seen here to Amy Einsohn´s esteemed resource, “The Copyeditor´s Handbook: A guide for Book Publishing and Corporate Communications.” Thank you Ranee and Amy!