Frequently Asked Questions

What makes you the best editor for my book?

It is imperative that you work with an editor who understands your project and spends time explaining their thoughts and discussing your ideas. We will start with a sample edit for $50 and a Zoom call to ensure we are the right fit for each other. My approach to editing is highly collaborative. I listen to my authors and adapt to their needs. I’m often thanked for working as a team member and being available for a back-and-forth discussion, often with additional Zoom calls. I’m happy to help brainstorm your ideas as you work through subsequent drafts.

I am selective in the number of clients I take on at any given time in order to truly invest in close collaboration with each author. See what previous clients have said here.

Beyond grammar-checking software, how does a professional editor benefit the author?

Today’s grammar checkers are amazing, but they do not possess human intelligence. Grammar-checking software can only check a document for small-picture, sentence-level grammatical and spelling errors according to pre-programmed rules that may or may not apply to your particular situation, genre, voice, and writing style. While great tools for any author to have, and I do utilize them myself, their suggestions must be carefully reviewed in light of your specific project.

The author has a complex job of layering all the distinct elements of their story, keeping track of a huge amount of story information in the process, all while obeying the rules of grammar, spelling, and punctuation, and maintaining a consistent voice. It’s a lot of work, and it’s easy to get lost in your own words and lose track of what a reader, who does not know your story as well as you do, actually sees and hears. A developmental edit is needed to ensure elements such as plot and character development are working. The editor’s job is not really to correct your writing, but to help ensure you are communicating what you intended to say all along. 

How do you communicate with authors?

The first step is to email me at Carrie@GetCarriedAwayEditing.com. See my Contact page for more details. 

I’m available for discussion by video call, phone call, email, and text, at your preference. We can also collaborate in a shared Google Doc using tracked changes and comment boxes.

What is the difference between a developmental edit and a line edit + copy edit?

A developmental edit is a “big-picture” analysis of your book as a whole. It deals with plot, character development, etc., to ensure that readers are experiencing your story and understanding your themes and messages as you intended. I will tie out details to ensure the book is accurate and consistent (does a character have red hair on page six but black hair on page two hundred? Does the timeline make sense?). A developmental edit does not focus on grammar, punctuation, or sentence-level issues.

A line edit + copy edit is a sentence-by-sentence analysis correcting grammar, spelling, chosen conventions, formatting, etc., to ensure that your book is a professional, finished product.

How many rounds of editing are typically recommended?

Although projects vary, a developmental edit is generally recommended first. It is best to develop the content of your book well before it is in its final form. Some authors then choose to do a round of beta reading with multiple readers.

The last step is a line edit + copy edit (which I complete at the same time). After a developmental edit, the author may choose to perform minor or even major rewrites, significantly altering the text as it exists. As soon as a passage of text is altered or rewritten, a line edit of that passage becomes obsolete. The author should not pay for the editor’s time that wasn’t needed until a later stage of writing. Charging the lesser of an hourly rate or rate per word comes in handy here, as I can do the line edit + copy edit faster on books I’m familiar with.

How do you use technology in the edits?

In addition to combing the text manually and editing based on the training I’ve undertaken, I also use Word and Google Docs analytical and grammar tools such as consistency checkers and macros, Grammarly, and ProWritingAid premium to study the text and make suggestions as appropriate for your story. Understanding the author’s style and intent is important in applying guidelines.

What do you charge for editing?

Rates vary according to the type of editing you choose and the time your project requires. A quote is provided when we discuss your sample read. I offer pricing by word count or by hour to provide you with a discount for polished manuscripts and subsequent engagements that require less time. Rates are noted in USD. Estimates break down as follows:

  • Beta read plus—the lesser of $0.005/word or $14/hour.
  • Developmental edit—the lesser of $0.028/word or $33/hour.
  • Line edit + copy edit—the lesser of $0.027/word or $29/hour.
  • Review of final page proofs—$23/hour.

Please see the Services page for details on the different levels of editing and rough estimates for an 80,000-word book.

How do you take payments?

A 33% deposit (payable through PayPal) allows me to begin the project. Another 33% will be collected after sending the write-up, then 34% will be collected after sending the updated manuscript. I remain available for questions, brainstorming, rereading sections, and video calls as you revise your book.  

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