Why do I need an editor?
This is the number one question asked of all editors: Why do I need you?
I can sit here and extol the virtues of grammar and readability; I can argue that what I do isn’t merely reading all day (if only!); and I can tell you, ad nauseam, why editors are important.
But you’ve likely heard all of that before.
As a writer, I thought my editing background was enough to look over my own work… right up until I handed it over to someone else. In the rush of world-building and storytelling, I missed a lot of things including having a character mysteriously resurrected several chapters after their demise (I had moved the scenes and utterly missed that vital flaw).
On top of that, there were all the little functional errors that Microsoft Word blindly looked over like double articles (usually from copy/pasting sentences as I move them around) or those wonderfully awkward sentences that grammatically make sense but sound terrible (serving only to confuse my reader). Even right now, my blog’s spellcheck is telling me A) that “blog” is a mistake and B) “nauseam” is misspelled, yet it’s perfectly fine with a little “oops” below where I wrote “timline.” Bravo technology.
We get a little blinded when immersed in our work and no matter how diligent we are, we’re going to miss things. I’ve received a grammatically flawless manuscript where the middle of the story went very dull—down to sentences being similar in length and structure for pages—and I worked with the author to spruce up several chapters. The issue? Having lived with the story for several years, she wanted to rush to the end and was filling in all the action in her mind… but forgot to add any of that on paper. Similarly, I’ve read wonderful tales marred by spelling errors even writing software couldn’t parse into words.
Editors are not just another pair of eyes on your manuscript. We’re a professional and impartial pair of eyes. It isn’t just the sheer amount of stories I’ve read, but the amount I’ve edited: I know where to look for missteps and areas of concern beyond a simple spellcheck. My eyes are fresh, trained, and absolutely can’t wait to read the next story!
I want to hire you for a project. What are your hours, turnaround, and pricing?
Freelance editing is my full-time job, though I do get contracts that can be several months long. When I’m not working on a schedule for these contracts, my hours are generally between 9 AM and 5 PM EST, Monday to Friday, in terms of being at my desk and fully at work. However, I have clients on the other side of the world that I make appointments with (outside of those dates and times) according to their time zones and availability.
... I'm also notorious for randomly deciding to edit or write in the wee hours of the morning.
Turnaround depends largely on the project and what contracts I currently have in my queue. Obviously, short stories will usually take less time than a 300-page novel. How much editing a piece needs will also alter the amount of time needed to get the best results. Of course, if you have a tight deadline, they’re subject to a higher fee.
As you might guess, a project's price is determined by several factors: length, type of editing, complexity, and deadlines. I've based my hourly rate on a few factors as well: the Canadian minimum wage; the national average salary for editors; and the average turnaround speed for different stages of editing.
send me a request, I’ll show you how the timeline and prices are determined for your project.
What are your qualifications?
Outside of over ten years of editing various works for students, professors, and authors alike, I completed the Ryerson University Publishing Program and I also continue to upgrade my skills with courses and seminars through the university, EAC, and various conventions. To see a short list of my qualifications, check out the "About Me" page.
My resume is also available upon
Where are all your published works?
Unfortunately, the art of most editors passes silently in the night. If we’re good at what we do, you won’t ever consider that an editor had a hand in your favourite novel (yes, even the most famous author has an editor or several). In fact, I’ve met my fair share of people who had no idea editors even existed for such a task! We’re kind of like ninjas.
Most of my editing has been completed in that quiet way. This is especially true with the academics and online magazines I work for, where a copy editor is necessary but not named. You can find my name in the copyright pages of some books I've worked on including "
The Damsel and the Dragon" and "
The Warden's Call" among a few others.
As for my own writing, my current project is a massive epic, though you’ll catch the odd short story or flash fiction in the
Scribe Cat blog!
Why did you choose editing as a career?
I live and breathe stories—this is my one undying passion. There isn’t anything that makes me happier or as excited than talking about writing, editing, or books in general. I love writing, bringing a story to life, but I also love helping a story grow into a believable, enthralling narrative. I’ve had a great number of different careers and experiences, but editing is how I feel I can best contribute to the world.
I was actually editing before I knew there was a career in it—just correcting various essays for my peers—and it’s almost second nature to me. The challenges in bringing a manuscript to its highest potential and the results, for both authors and readers, is incredible. I can never see myself growing tired of this!
What’s your process like?
I start every edit without editing: that’s called a “cold read.” I take the time (at no expense to you, of course) to read a manuscript cover-to-cover. I might mark out troublesome points or particular qualities, but I keep my mind on reading and what the reader’s experience is like. I’ll do my first revision after that, depending on the type of editing, combing over for various quirks and errors. (See "
Services" for a detailed look at the types of editing I provide.)
Next, I’ll send the manuscript back to you for your approval and address any questions or concerns before doing my second revision. In the case of multiple types of editing, I do this double revision each time. If you decide you want a substantive, stylistic, and copy edit, your manuscript will be looked over six times in total (or more, if you desire, for a nominal fee).
For a complete look in greater detail at how I work, check out the "
Process and Samples" page.
Why do you work hourly/by page count and not by word count?
I used to work strictly by word count, but do you know what happens while editing? Chunks of text are added and removed, sentences are restructured, and the word count of any given manuscript jumps up and down (sometimes more considerably than you’d think). You’ll get as many editors who work hourly/by the page as do by word count and it’s really about what they’re comfortable with. I take everything into account, however, and the hourly rate by page has a comparable word count.
The reason I switched is because I can calculate how fast I can read and edit (and a relative average) thanks to my experience. In turn, this means I can give my clients an accurate timeline and quote that I feel is fair and ultimately more consistent.