A sample edit allows the writer see if a particular editor’s approach suits their specific requirements. On the other hand, it gives the editor a chance to determine the writer’s level, how far the work has been developed, and how much work needs to be done to bring it forward.
It’s important to understand that a sample edit is just a partial view of the editor’s service, with mine being a three-phase operation entailing the developmental line-edit, followed by a deep-focus copy-edit, and finishing off with a comprehensive proofread that sees the work ready for pre-release/submission prepping.
What the writer receives in the sample edit is a step inside the first phase, where undeveloped material is shaped and cleansed of all first-fix issues. The recommendation, of course, and one I always make, is for the writer to connect with at least half-a-dozen editors so they can build a fairly solid comparison between several professionals’ work methods and approaches.
If the writer likes my sample, we then have a chat about fee and schedule. My schedule is always booked into the near-distant future, but time flies and it’s usually only a short hop before work begins. I expect half-payment up front, with the remainder due before the completed first-fix is returned. What happens after that is up to the client. If they have the time to focus on the rewrite, I’ll suggest a soft deadline to work towards. If life means work is stretched out, it’s not a problem – I know how things are in that department and will always work within the client’s timetable. If it takes a few weeks, months, or even a year or more, I’m good with that. My priority is to develop the work-in-progress to its full potential, and having the writer fully on board ensures that will happen.
What do you have to do? Decide which excerpt you want to submit (up to 3,000 words), then email it as a Word document to firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll take it from there.
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