Q: Will you do a sample edit before I hire you?

A: Yes, I offer a free 3-page sample edit to all of my prospective clients.

Q: Why are your editing, proofreading, and assessment turnaround times so long?

A: Many editors work in teams, which enables them to offer much quicker turnaround times. I work alone, and I make it a strict policy to neither rush through my clients’ work nor overwork myself during a project. I also have a specific system that I follow for every copy-editing project: two rounds of editing and a final proofing take place before I consider work complete. I take breaks between each full reading, anywhere from two to four days, to rest my eyes and body, and so I don’t get what I call “manuscript overload,” which is where I have looked at a project so much that I have gotten too familiar with its content. Once the brain begins to get comfortable with the content, it’s easy to miss errors. For proofreading, the same system applies except I only read the manuscript twice, as it should already be very clean when I receive it. Content assessing involves a lot of thought and a different kind of skill and focus than editing. Stopping to add comments, questions, and suggestions is extremely time consuming, and it must be handled in a way that leaves the author with a clear understanding of what work needs to be done but doesn’t come across offensive.

Q: Do you guarantee that my manuscript will be 100% error free?

A: It is always my top priority and full intention to return your work to you in perfect condition. Though I am extremely adept at my craft, I am human first. It is possible that something very small may slip through the cracks. What I will say is that if your project is not completely error free, then it will be so close to it that you likely won't be able to tell the difference.

Q: Can I get my money back if I’m not happy with your work?

A: No, I do not offer refunds once I have put my time, energy, and skill into projects. Additionally, you will have already had the chance to preview and approve my work at various stages before the project is finished. I do not return completed manuscripts to clients without having conferred with them about the work I've done first.

Q: Are you a publishing company?

A: No. My job is strictly to prepare you for your publishing journey. If you would like information about mainstream and self-publishing, I invite you to schedule a Creative Consultation so that we can discuss your publishing needs at length.

Q: Will you help me get an agent?

A: Through a Creative Consultation, I can advise you of ways to accomplish that task on your own, but I do not offer an agent-acquisition service, nor do I guarantee your success in acquiring one after utilizing the information from our consultation.

Q: Do you offer academic editing services?

A: No. I specialize in fiction, select nonfiction, poetry, self-help, screenplays, general documents (see description in Services & Fees), blogs, resumes, and websites.

Q: I don’t have the time to write my book, and I also don't know how. Will you ghostwrite it for me?

A: While I am a ghostwriter and work on a variety of short projects for companies, I do not offer ghostwriting services for books. I strongly believe in people’s ability to write their own stories, even if their skills are not top notch at first, so I always recommend that they embrace the challenge. Not only is it a wonderful, fun learning experience, but it is also immensely empowering. In addition, I believe that no one can tell your story better than you, whether fiction or nonfiction. If you need help with this task, then I invite you to schedule a Creative Consultation so we can discuss methods for your success.

Q: I thought editing and proofreading were the same thing. What's the difference?

A: In its totality, [copy]editing involves tending to all spelling, punctuation, grammar, sentence structure, capitalization, and overall clarity issues in your document. Proofreading is what happens after the document has gone through the full editing process. It is simply double checking to make sure all errors have been corrected. If the editing was done properly, then the document will ideally be error free. If it is not, then there should be very few. Unless you are an extremely seasoned writer (and even our work needs some editing at times), it is not likely that you will be able to skip the editing process. For a much more in-depth discussion on this subject, I invite you to order my informational guide You and Your Editor: Choosing the Right Editor for Your Project and Preparing It for Submission, available here on my site.

Q: I've begun a project but I need direction and advice. Will you look it over for me and tell me what you think?

A: I would be happy to help you move forward with your work. You have two service options: I can assess (evaluate) what you already have. This includes comments and suggestions that I will insert into your document via computer about what areas need work, and tips for your project's overall improvement. Or, through a Creative Consultation, we can discuss your project in detail and I can give you verbal suggestions about how to proceed. If you're in Los Angeles County, we can schedule an in-person appointment and you can bring your work with you so I can review it briefly during our session (not a full assessment). Otherwise, the session will take place by phone, and you may email me a sample of your project (no more than 10 pages) so that I can review it before our call.  **Please note that if you have not yet begun your project and would like direction, then I invite and advise you to start with a Creative Consultation.

Q: I'm sure my story is great the way it is. I put a lot of thought into it and my friends and family love it, so I don't need it professionally assessed. Can I skip that step and just have you edit my book?

A: You are definitely free to move through your publishing process any way you like. But from a professional standpoint, I never recommend publishing without the assessment, especially fictional works. It's an imperative step; but because many people are anxious to release their books, and they think their stories are in top shape as is, they would rather bypass it. Even the highest caliber of writers needs different eyes and perspective on their work. We are too close to our projects to always have a clear view of what can and should be adjusted to make our stories "pop." Once you publish a book with substandard content, you've put your reputation at risk. I do not advise any writer, particularly new ones, to skip steps in the publishing process (including editing and proofreading). Additionally, while your friends and family may love your work, and some may even be savvy enough about the writing and creative process to give you some great critical feedback, the fact remains that they are not literary professionals, and they are still probably somewhat biased because they know you. It is always best to have a professional who is not close to you or your work to evaluate the project. Your book is a direct extension and reflection of you. Don't rush the process because you "can't wait" to call yourself a published author and have people reading your work. It can backfire terribly. Once you decide to offer a book to the world, it's no longer just for you; it's for your readers, and you should respect them (and yourself) enough to give your very best.  

                                                                ©2006-2019 Charlene E. Green


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