Why do I need an editor? Can’t I edit my work myself?
It is nearly impossible to edit your own work thoroughly. Even if you have a strong command of the English language and are adept at grammar and punctuation, you remain too close to your own work to see it objectively. You wrote it. You breathed it. You even dreamed about it. Being so close to your work will often blind you to what it actually says. Your mind will fill in what you mean to say, not what is really written. Your mind already knows and understands every concept you put on paper, but a reader is not a mind reader. An objective, critical editor will spot errors in logic, question confusing sentences, find lapses in grammar, erase redundancies, and point out contradictions.
Your work is a reflection of you. Many authors who skip the editing process publish their work only to spot embarrassing error after error after publication. The work and the errors become part of your reputation–one that is picked up on from readers all the way to publishers. You want it to be your very best, and a professional editor is essential to making it so.
What type of editing services do you offer?
There are several levels of editing you can chose from.
Our proofreading services are to help polish off your manuscript. It is a final review of your work that checks for spelling, grammar, consistency, typos, and usage. If you are happy with your work and are only looking to polish it, this is the service for you. We can do a free, no-obligation evaluation of a sample of your work to see if this is appropriate for you. This service is ideal for Bible studies, small devotionals, articles, website content, blogs, and books that are well written.
Our copyediting services are designed to go more in-depth into your work. This stage of editing checks for everything included in our proofreading services along with clarity, flow, word choice, sentence structure, redundancies, point of view (fiction), audience address (non-fiction), and dialogue. This service does more than polish, it gives a makeover to your work. We can do a free, no-obligation evaluation of a sample of your work to see if this is appropriate for you. This service is ideal for longer works such as an in-depth guide, self-help book, novel, biography, autobiography, longer devotionals, or collection of short stories.
Our content editing services provides you with a comprehensive and detailed word by word edit of your manuscript. This service checks for everything included in the proofreading and copyediting services along with style, formatting consistency, research and Fact checking, organization, timelines, character development (fiction), poor phrasing and word choice, poor logic, and a first and second edit of the work. This service provides a complete overhaul of your work. We can do a free, no-obligation evaluation of a sample of your work to see if this is appropriate for you. This service is ideal for longer works such as an in-depth guide, self-help book, novel, biography, autobiography, longer devotionals, or collection of short stories.
Our comprehensive editing services are for those finished manuscripts that require a high level of TLC, we offer a total overhaul of the manuscript that considers the whole picture of what you are trying to accomplish. God may have given you a message to share with the world, but you may not be a writer — or you’re just beginning to learn. Your manuscript may need a much more comprehensive level of editing which we can do for you.
This tier includes everything in the Content Editing plus a restructuring and re-write, where necessary, to spotlight your message, polish your manuscript, and give your writing a more “professional, experienced” feel to the reader. We would provide you with a maximum of three drafts of edits for your approval so that the final outcome is what you imagined when you sat down to write your first word.
Do you offer ghostwriting services?
Not at this time. We understand that there is a need for this, but we currently have no one on staff that is able to take this on.
What is the editing process from start to finish?
The editing process involves the following:
- Contact us using the Contact Form on the Get Started! page.
- An e-mail will be sent to you at the e-mail address provided on the contact form with a request for a sample and additional information.
- Send us a sample of your manuscript along with the information requested in the e-mail sent to you.
- Once we review your sample, we will do a sample edit of roughly 500 to 750 words.
- We will then send the sample edit back to you and discuss the various levels of editing that your manuscript may need, and give you an exact quote based on your total word count.
- Once an agreed level of editing is reached and a contract signed, the entire manuscript and the first agreed upon payment is sent to the editor.
- The editor begins editing, keeping the author informed of his progress.
- The edited manuscript is returned to the author for review, often in stages of 10,000 word increments (partial payments are often required at this point).
- The author and editor work together throughout the editing stages, addressing any of the author’s concerns and problem areas of the manuscript.
- Second edit of the book will commence if the editor has been retained for Content Editing or Comprehensive Editing, repeating many of these previous steps.
- The final edited manuscript is returned to the author.
- The author will then send the remaining balance of the estimated cost of the edit.
How do I submit my work to you?
Go to the Get Started! page to contact us. Once we are in communication, we will ask you to send us a sample of your work. In most cases, we will ask for the first 20 pages either as a Microsoft Word attachment.
All the editors use Microsoft Word for editing purposes, utilizing the Track Changes feature that allows the author to see every edit. Authors can then accept, reject, or modify the edits and make them permanently part of the manuscript.
Do you edit non-religious manuscripts?
Yes, we will. However, we reserve the right to refuse to edit any particular work for any reason. In particular, if the work violates our Statement of Faith or contains profanity, inappropriate sexual content, is morally objectionable, criminal, or promotes anti-Christian sentiments, beliefs, or practices, we will refuse to edit it.
What manuscripts will you refuse to edit?
We reserve the right to refuse to edit any particular work for any reason–including being overworked. In particular, however, if the work violates our Statement of Faith or contains profanity, inappropriate sexual content, is morally objectionable, criminal, or promotes anti-Christian sentiments, beliefs, or practices, we will refuse to edit it. We also reserve the right to define any of the mentioned reasons according to the dictates of our own conscience (or as God leads us). In addition to the reasons already given, we will refuse to edit certain manuscripts that may, infrequently, fall outside of our expertise.
What format do you require the manuscript to be in?
We prefer to have the manuscript in Microsoft Word (.docx). This way, we can use the Track Changes feature and allow you to see all the edits immediately when we return the manuscript to you. If this is not possible, there may be workarounds each editor prefers, so you would need to ask the editor.
How do I pay and do I have to pay everything upfront?
Each editor will work with you on a payment plan. Often, it is a certain amount down and then payments are made throughout the editing process. For editing jobs under $500, we usually ask for half up front and half upon completion.
Payment methods vary from editor to editor. Some can take credit cards, but most can take PayPal or a money order. We do not take personal checks.
Do you work with a publisher and do you guarantee publication?
The short answer is, no. We do not guarantee publication and neither do we work with a specific publisher. There are many factors that go into landing a traditional publication contract, such as marketability, competition, whim of the publisher, and much more. We are editors and writers here at Affordable Christian Editing, not publishers. Our job is to polish your work to be the best it can be to your satisfaction and to give you a better chance at publication. But we can’t ever guarantee publication or that your books will sell.
Greg Baker has written a comprehensive guide on this subject: The Christian Writing and Publishing Guide. He explains in detail the writing and publishing process. If you need more information, we suggest getting his book.
How do you use Microsoft Word's Track Changes feature in the editing process?
We use Microsoft Word’s handy Track Changes features to edit your manuscript. If you are not familiar with the tools, then watch the short video below. Track Changes allows you, the author, to see each and every edit that an editor makes and gives you the chance to accept or reject those changes.
The edited manuscript often goes through several revisions of track changes and is typically done in stages of 10,000-word increments.