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Q. Do you edit fiction, poetry, or sci-fi?

A. Unfortunately, we do not. To find a good fiction editor, we highly recommend you visit Editors Canada at editorscanada.ca. The “Hire an Editor” page hosts a database of Canadian editors you can search by specialty, location, and many other variables.

Q. Do you do children’s fiction books?

A. Unfortunately, we do not. We encourage authors to contact the Canadian Children’s Book Centre for assistance with finding a children’s book editor or checking “Hire an Editor” on the Editors Canada website.

Q. Can I get a quote now?

A. Unfortunately, we cannot provide an immediate quote. Let us tell you why: when a client approaches us for a quote, we want to be as accurate as possible, so we do often ask that you send us a sample of the document so that we can evaluate it. This allows us to look at your writing, determine what type of editing is needed, and then get back to you with a more informed quote. This process can take as little as 24 hours.

If you phone us for a quote, we will ask you to follow these steps. It is the best way for us to help you.

Q. What will it cost?

A. Editors charge an hourly rate, and charge you for the number of hours spent on your work. If you’ve asked for a quote, then you already have a great idea of how much your project will cost. We encourage you to contact us for a no-pressure quote so we can tell give you an estimate as to how much your project will be.

Editing can be expensive, there’s no denying that. Professional editing is probably one of the most expensive parts of the publishing process. But it’s also one of the most essential parts of the process, and that’s because an editor adds value to your work. As a writer, you’re only as strong as the work that you produce, and a good editor can make you look like a professional — your writing will flow eloquently and have great structure, with nary a typo in sight. Let’s face it: your editor makes you look good, and their expertise is worth it.

Q. How long will the editing/proofreading take?

A. We get this question a lot! The best way to know how long your project will take is to get a professional quote from us. This way we can let you know how many hours we estimate are needed and give you a return-by date. Editors often work in hourly segments. Estimates for shorter works will be over a few days, even though the editing may only require 8 to 10 hours. A longer work may take up to 30 hours for a copy edit, but the editor could require several weeks to complete the work.

Remember: Editing is not necessarily fast, and it is pretty much never a “quick fix.” It is always helpful to keep your expectations realistic. If someone called you, as a writer, and asked you to write a 40-page paper in 24 hours, you would think they were crazy! Yet you would be surprised by the number of calls we receive asking us to copy edit 40-page papers with a 24-hour turnaround. Remember, editors do have a regular workday too!

Editing is a process that should by nature occur at a measured and deliberate pace — you do not want your editor rushing. So, allot your editor the appropriate amount of time to complete your work. Contact us well ahead of when your project is due!

Q. What’s the editing process?

A. Here’s what you can expect if you are having your work edited: First, an editor will assess your work in order to provide you with an estimate for how much it will cost and how many hours needed to finish the edit. Once terms are agreed on, the editing begins. Once the editing is complete, the editor will return the work to you with all edits shown (we use the Track Changes function in Microsoft Word to show every edit), and there may be some queries for you to review. These queries could be recommending a revision to a sentence, asking you where the source is for a certain piece of evidence, or asking a point of clarification about the content. It is now up to you to accept the changes and correct the text based off the editor’s queries.

If proofreading the final document is included in the estimate, then once you have accepted the changes, the text will be returned to us for a final proofread. Once it is complete, we return the text to you again.

Q. What’s the difference between proofreading and copy editing, anyway?

A. A copy edit involves a very close reading of the final text for grammatical errors, misplaced or incorrectly used punctuation, and misspelled words. Copy editing also includes steps such as suggesting how to replace misused or unclear words and phrases; checking that headings/subheadings are well placed; editing tables, figures, and lists; and editing notes, references, and bibliographies, if applicable. Copy editing can move quickly if your writing is clear and sharp. This is called a “light copy edit.” If your work requires more detailed copy editing, it would be a “heavy copy edit” and often will take a bit longer.

Proofreading, on the other hand, involves reading a text for typos, spelling and grammar mistakes, and other production errors such as missing periods and quotation marks, and faulty paragraph indents.

Q. When am I ready for an editor?

A. Ideally, your work should be in its most final form when you send it to be edited. The reason behind this is that if you send us a first draft, it will take longer to edit, and therefore will probably be more expensive. However, if you take the time to work on your project for a second, third, or even fourth draft, it’s going to be a much cleaner text that we will have to work with, meaning a shorter timeframe and a lower estimate. Everyone wins!

Q. I want to have a meeting with you to talk about my project. Is that allowed?

A. Of course! We offer consultations for any writer who wants to speak with us about their project. We do charge a fee for a one-hour consult.

Q. Can you find me an agent?

A. While we can’t connect you directly with an agent, we can help you with the process of finding one. We can help you put together an eye-catching package for the submissions to agents, and work with you to select a list of agents you can approach to represent you. And, remember, you need to allow yourself as much time as possible when looking for an agent. It can take up to six months or longer to hear back from an agent.

Q. How can I get published?

A. Similar to finding an agent, we can help you with the process of looking for a publisher. The first step is to finalize your manuscript. We can then help you select publishers that might be interested in your work. Each publisher asks for specific materials to be included in the submission package — a cover letter, a marketing plan, sample chapters, synopsis of the work — and we can help you assemble these components. Some publishers accept email submissions while others ask that submissions be sent by mail. Preparing one submission at a time is the best way to approach this process. And, remember, you need to allow yourself as much time as possible when looking for a publisher. It can take up to six months or longer to receive a response.