There are many schools of thought on the issue of how editors should be paid. Many editors charge by the hour, by the page, or by the word. The Editorial Freelancers Association has a great resource for hourly rates. I use this as a guide if I feel I can closely estimate my time on a project. For other projects, I think it is only fair to charge by the word. For example, if a fiction author sends me a manuscript with approximately 75,000 words, and I have agreed to charge $0.01 per word, then the total will be $750. I ask for half up-front, and the balance upon completion. Even if the final product ends up at 76,000 words due to my suggested changes, the author is not penalized.
So I am asking you, dear Reader, is this fair? Or should I be charging by the hour, even if I have to add to the bill due to author changes or other events? Obviously, if an author decides to add several chapters in the middle of the project, we will need to renegotiate, but I hope that is a rarity! Please let me know what you think! Thanks.
Normally, I would hesitate to recommend a historical romance novel on the basis of pride/snobbery/shame (circle one). I will now make an exception to this rule! I just finished The Duchess War by Courtney Milan, and I loved it! I was lucky enough to get it for $.99, so I decided to check it out. This was a rare book experience for me, in that I did not feel as though I needed to take editing notes as I read. (I know, I'm a geek!)
Ms. Milan writes a captivating story with accurate historical detail (Victorian, in case you were wondering) and a refreshing amount of humor. There is absolutely no formulaic claptrap here! You know how all novels about dukes and duchesses seem to follow the same story line? Not in this case, thank goodness! I chuckled my way through a thoroughly enjoyable read. If you like your history and romance a little saucy, get this book! I promise you won't regret it!
How often do writers have to misuse commas and semicolons until we editors call them on the error? Here's an easy way to decide whether you need a comma or a semicolon in a compound sentence. Usually, these punctuation marks divide a long sentence or two clauses, right? For example, "That's my dog, he got away from me!" Does this sentence look correct to you? Nope. The correct punctuation should be "That's my dog; he got away from me!"
A comma should separate parts of a sentence that cannot stand on their own. If both parts can be written as complete sentences, a semicolon should be used. The easiest way to figure this out: ask yourself, "Can the beginning of the sentence stand alone? OK, what about the second part?" Keep in mind that a complete sentence has a subject, verb and often an object or I was taught this trick by my sixth grade grammar teacher, and it has been so helpful! Of course, using semicolons when listing multiple phrases in a sentence is another story for another day. Happy April!
I love to read, but I hate errors! Join me in the pursuit of literary perfection!