This is how it goes.
You write your document. You work away at it until you happily hit that final full stop. You take a breath. You let it go. You’re ready for the next step.
You decide to get your work professionally edited. One way or another, you find me.
Maybe a friend mentions my name or you glean my details from a list of freelance editors. You might click through various, curious links until you arrive at this website and fill in my contact form, or perhaps I slip you a business card when we meet at an event somewhere.
However it happens, you find me and you send me a message. Chances are, it goes something like this… I’ve just finished writing my novel / PhD thesis / self-help book / website content / family history / entire life’s work. How much will it cost to edit?
This is the point at which I will ask you, very politely, to please send me a sample of your work.
I have no way of knowing how much it will cost.
Your words are your own. They are unlike those that any other writer might compose. This means your manuscript is unique, and so the level of editing and time it requires cannot be determined by intuition or a formula. It can only be done by me giving it a decent read and due consideration.
Some editors do quote for jobs on a per word or per page basis, while others might cite an hourly rate. That’s fine, but it is not my preferred approach.
I am much happier knowing what your writing is like by having read it. Doing so allows me to get a better understanding of how I can help you and how much is involved – in terms of cost, time, complexity and effort – in giving you that assistance.
Sometimes writers are reluctant to share their work, even when seeking a quote to have it edited. It is a delicate thing, I know, to send your words into the unknown hands of someone you’ve never met. Issues of trust and confidentiality can loom over such an exchange, not to mention that nagging question… What will she think of it?
Let me reassure you.
I read your work. I don’t judge it. And I keep all documents you send me safe and secure while they are in my care. I know how important they are.
You need to feel confident that you can send your work to me and I need to see it so I can ensure the quote I give you to work on it is fair to both of us.
The only way that can happen is if you let me read it first.
How do you feel about sharing your writing with other people? What prompts you to decide either to send it out into the world or not?