Rates and Services


Services and Fees for 2017

Introduction | Rates and services | Resume | Testimonials | Books I've edited

Please read these notes carefully before contacting me. In particular, please check to see if I do the kind of editorial work you seek. You can then email me to see if I am available. In general, my availability is limited. I commit most of my work time to long-term work and maintaining The Purple Crayon, and must schedule other projects around these commitments. Sometimes that means I can't begin a new project for some time, or that I can only fit it in over several weekends. For the same reason, I often can not give firm dates of completion for a project, as the long-term work takes precedence. In other words, if you need someone to get started tomorrow and deliver in a couple of weeks, you will be better off looking elsewhere.

Services: Consulting on children's book publishing; all forms of editing, specializing in children's books, from project editing of a book from start to finish, through developmental editing (editing for structure, style, and content), manuscript evaluation and critique, rewriting, to line-editing (editing at the sentence level); associated researching and writing tasks, including copywriting. I do not do copyediting and proofreading except incidentally, as part of a larger projects.

I work with both authors and publishers, and provide strict confidentiality.

Fees: My fees are hourly, though I set a minimum fee of $500 for editing and a two-hour minimum for consulting (or $350); multiple manuscripts or projects can be grouped together towards the minimum, if necessary. You can find people offering similar work for less than I charge: I set my rates at the levels I do because with my experience and skills I believe I am worth it--and because I am not willing to cut into my limited available time for less. Generally, I charge a higher rate for more substantial editing and for rush jobs.

Critiques: These are my most basic and least expensive service. My rate is $125 per hour; you will receive an editorial letter covering a manuscript's strengths and weaknesses and general suggestions for improvement. I will not make on-manuscript notes. I will give you a firm estimate on seeing your manuscript, but you can expect critiques to require 1 to 2 hours for a picture book, 4 or 5 for short fiction or nonfiction, and at least 6 for a novel of 100 pages or more (this will of course vary depending on the length--see my notes below on estimated costs). Note that multiple picture books or other short manuscripts can be grouped together as one project; I have worked with a PB author on 12 manuscripts, for example.

Developmental and/or line-editing: Developmental editing gives you more detailed comments than a critique, specific suggestions, and on-manuscript notes and sample line-editing as needed. My rate for this is $150 per hour, and is generally slower than developmental editing. Line-editing is particularly time-consuming, so as part of a developmental edit I do not do it on every page unless this is agreed ahead of time. A manuscript that is nearly ready to go may only need line-editing, so I provide that as an option.

Consulting: For work other than on manuscripts, such as help with cover and query letters, publisher or agent advice, and comments on where a manuscript fits in the market, I charge $175 per hour; the actual consulting may be in writing, over the phone, or in person. This is subject to a two-hour minimum if a free-standing project; there is no minimum if this is included in a larger project. Please note that since I am not an agent or an actively submitting writer, and so I do not have detailed knowledge of the tastes and needs of individual agents and editors. Consult with me for my knowledge of the market and how the business works, not for tips on what Editor X at Publisher Y is seeking.

Project editing: For publishers, I project edit books from acquired manuscript to production, performing all tasks normally done by an in-house editor. Normally, I charge a negotiated project fee for these services, payable half on signing and half on completion.

Other services: Editorial or writing work that doesn't fit in the above categories is generally subject to my $150/hour rate. Please also read my comments on the issue of recommendations and referrals.

For rush jobs, I charge a premium of 25 to 50% on top of my standard fee, depending on the deadline.

Estimated costs: I will provide a written estimate in a letter of agreement before starting work on a project. As a rule of thumb, more pages means a higher total fee, and more detailed work is slower. For example, I can read and take notes on up to 40 pages of a novel per hour in a critique project, and then need an additional 2 to 3 hours to write up an editorial letter. Thus a novel of 200 pages will likely take me at least 5 hours to read and 2 to write, so at least 7 hours or $875. Developmental editing is slower, including notes on the manuscript, and I may be able to do 30 pages per hour. So a 180-page nonfiction project could take me 6 hours to read and 3 to write, or 9 hours at $150, a total of $1350. Line-editing may go at a pace of 10-15 pages per hour, so to line-edit a 150-page novel would take 10 hours, or $1500 (if I discover larger editorial issues while line-editing, I will comment on them as well).

Consulting projects will vary depending on the project; my hourly rate is higher, but consulting may only take up an hour or two, as a free-standing job or add-on to another project.

Conditions: Because being paid to evaluate children's books could lead to a conflict of interest with my full-time work, I will work on children's book manuscripts only under certain conditions: in the short agreement I send all clients is the stipulation that you may not submit the manuscript involved to me at any publishing house (of course, you can still send it to any other editor, even one at a house where I am working, so this is a small loss to you.). Other expectations are negotiated before the job begins, and can be renegotiated by either party if circumstances change.

Getting started: Please contact me by email (see below) with a short description of your manuscript and an explanation of what you want me to do. If I am available and think that it sounds like a good match for me, I will ask you to send me the manuscript; I prefer to see the project before settling on terms. I then briefly evaluate it, and if I think I can be of help I propose terms and send a short contract to you, setting out what I will do and what I expect from you. I do not proceed until the contract has been signed, and, for new clients, a deposit has been paid.

Payment: Payment is due within 30 days of the completion of the project or at agreed-upon intermediate stages. Unless we have worked together before, I require partial payment at the beginning of the work, or payment in full for minimum fee projects. I will invoice: please advise of elements required by your accounting system. Payment can be made by via Paypal, or by check or money order in US dollars or UK pounds. I do accept other currencies, but payment must be made in full in advance, and include an additional 10% to cover bank charges.

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