Information for Scholars and Students
Editcetera freelancers work with manuscripts submitted by professors, graduate students, and other scholars.
Why hire a freelancer through Editcetera?
Editcetera freelancers are proven publishing professionals. Anyone can claim to be an editor, but our freelancers have established their competence through a series of tests, sample reviews, and reference checks. Furthermore, our director, your first point of contact, has some 30 years of experience in the business and has worked on publications for a variety of publishers and independent authors. She also knows our members and has worked with hundreds of clients through the years. In short, we know the publishing business inside out, and we will provide you with the services and the expertise to help you succeed with your project.
How does Editcetera select its members?
Because our clients depend on us to refer only the most highly qualified publishing specialists, we take the time to thoroughly vet applicants for membership, and we admit only the best qualified among them. An initial grammar and spelling test ensures that every Editcetera member has command of the language, but that is only a first step. We also consider results on more advanced publishing tests and/or work samples, length and quality of experience, and reference comments. Members are first admitted on a provisional basis and become full members only after their work has been reviewed. They are approved for specific types of work (e.g., copyediting vs. development) and for specific types of clients (e.g., publishing vs. corporate).
What happens after I contact Editcetera?
After you submit a form to request assistance, our director will contact you with any further questions and ask you to send a sample of your work. Samples should be at least 5,000 words or, for shorter projects, the entire manuscript. You may also send a complete manuscript for a longer project if you would like. For proofreading, send sample pages by email if possible, in any format. For editing, send a Word document if possible prior to design.
When choosing a sample to send, look for something that represents the project as a whole: don’t send your most polished piece of writing or an introduction written in a different style than the rest of the manuscript. Let us know if the sample is an early draft or the manuscript you intend to provide for actual work. We will maintain confidentiality about your project and will not charge you any fees until you have agreed to work with one of our editors.
What type of service should I request?
Editcetera members provide many different types of service. See Editorial and Writing Services. Each Editcetera member has been carefully reviewed and approved to do specific types of work, and we refer only members qualified to provide the services you need.
When you contact us, let us know what you think you need. If you don’t know and would like our recommendation, tell us that.
How quickly can I get someone to help with my job?
Depending on your needs, we might find a freelancer who can begin working with you immediately. Let us know if you have a deadline contingent on some event, such as a speaking engagement, a celebration, the release of a product, a publisher’s production schedule, or a school deadline. With about 100 editors in our pool, we can often find the help you want quickly.
Keep in mind, though, that the very best editors are often in high demand. Yes, you can publish a book in a couple of months in today’s electronic age—but you will probably publish a better book if you take more time with it. Even if your project requires only a week or two for editing, for example, you might want to wait for just the right editor to review your manuscript, determine how best to help you, and fit you into a busy schedule. This means beginning your search for an editor long before you need the work done.
How soon can I get an estimate for the work I request?
We will need to learn the details of your project and get a sample of the manuscript before we can provide an estimate for the work. Page count alone gives little indication of the complexity of a project. Word count is more helpful, but that is only one of many factors to consider in determining the amount of work needed. The time required also depends on the level of editing needed, the elements to be checked, the difficulty of the material, and so on.
After our director finds an editor who is interested in working with you, that editor will discuss your project in more detail and will look at sample manuscript. If you provide sufficient details, the freelancer will then be able to give you an estimate. Many editors will estimate the lowest and highest possible costs for a project but will charge only for actual hours worked. Assuming you have represented the project accurately, editors will often cap their fees at the highest end of the estimate and will renegotiate only if the scope of the project changes.
You will not be charged any fee until you agree to work with an Editcetera freelancer. Nor will you be charged a separate fee for Editcetera’s service.
Who sets the terms?
After the director has helped you find the appropriate Editcetera member for your project, you deal directly with that person. You and the member discuss the scope of the work and determine the fee and schedule. Editcetera typically sends invoices on our members’ behalf and handles tax documentation. Rarely, at a client’s request, a freelancer can instead bill directly.
What is Editcetera’s rate?
Editcetera members set their own rates, depending on the type of work required and other aspects of the job. Our director may be able to give you a typical price range for your job but cannot quote an exact figure. Most members prefer to work on an hourly basis, although some will negotiate project or page rates. Standard payment terms are net 30 days, although we sometimes work under other arrangements. Editcetera requires a minimum of $200 for the first job that one of our members does with a new client. We do not charge clients a separate referral fee. Members do pay a small commission to sustain our nonprofit organization, however, and consider that when setting rates.
Our rates are competitive with the rates of other professionals who have the experience and the level of expertise that we provide. Some authors look for the lowest bid, and if you are one of these, you might find someone outside our group to work for less. But keep in mind that editors come with many levels of expertise and experience. A family member or friend might have a gift for language but not the specific training and understanding of publishing conventions that careful editing requires. Our members are professionals who have been vetted through our rigorous screening process.
An hourly rate is one factor to be considered in determining overall cost. Time required is another. More-experienced editors sometimes work faster—but not always. Exceptional editors do provide higher-quality work and are likely to reduce the time required for follow-up proofreading services and the cost of corrections at late stages in the process.
Keep in mind that the value an editor offers goes far beyond the monetary rate. A skilled editor can guide you through the publishing process and can make the difference between a publication that is mediocre and one that will draw attention and be widely read.
Will Editcetera editors work for a page or a project rate?
Many of our editors require an hourly rate, so let us know up front if you want to pay on other terms. Some editors do work for page or project rates, but in this case, you still need to provide standard details about your work, along with sample pages, so the editor can determine an acceptable rate.
Is it okay to call a member directly?
Absolutely. We are not an agency, so you may communicate directly with any member after being referred. The member will let us know that work with you is continuing and will submit invoices through our office indefinitely. If you have a concern or need additional assistance, you may contact Editcetera at any time.
Please note: Editcetera is our name, registered with the US Patent and Trademark Office. Even so, editors who are not Editcetera members have occasionally operated under our name. Always call our office to be introduced to one of our vetted editors. Call a member directly only after you are certain the freelancer has passed our review. If you have directly contacted someone using our name and had a bad experience, please let us know so we can follow up.
Does Editcetera have a policy regarding work samples?
Our members set their own policies about providing samples of their work. Many proofreaders and copyeditors will edit a small section of your manuscript to show you what they would do and then give it to you along with an estimate. If you would like a longer sample, you might arrange to pay a flat fee for this initial work before you determine whether to move ahead with this freelancer.
Will Editcetera refer several freelancers for me to select from?
Our general policy is to refer only one freelancer at a time for a single job. Because we have screened our members thoroughly and will carefully select an appropriate freelancer after learning about your project, we are confident in our referrals and do not want to waste your time or ours with multiple simultaneous discussions. If for any reason you would like to hear from a second referral after talking with the first, let us know and tell us more about your needs. We will suggest an alternative freelancer if we have one who might work better with you. Most often, we get it right the first time.
Will Editcetera keep my project confidential?
As publishing professionals, we respect your work and your ownership of that work. You can trust that we will maintain confidentiality about your manuscript unless and until you give us permission to share it. Although a written statement of nondisclosure is not necessary, we will provide you with one if you would like. We have been in business since 1971, and our success has depended on both excellent work and integrity.
How can Editcetera help with scholarly publications?
Our editors are thoroughly familiar with The Chicago Manual of Style, Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, and other style guides. Some of our editors specialize in working with nonnative speakers of English. Many can help format notes and bibliographical materials.
If you are a student seeking assistance with a dissertation or other academic paper, we will need permission from your committee or major professor to work with you. The services that we provide on these manuscripts include proofreading and copyediting, as well as heavier-level editing for nonnative English speakers at a committee’s request. We do not provide assistance with content development for academic papers.
To get the help you need, don’t wait until your deadline is near. Contact us as soon as possible to reserve time from one of our professionals, especially if you need help formatting notes and citations. Be prepared also to let us know if your institution has guidelines for work with professional editors.
Can Editcetera publish my book?
Editcetera is not a publisher and does not provide printing or marketing services for self-publishers. Some of our editors have experience working with self-publishing companies and can help guide you through that process. Let us know if you need someone with this experience.
Can Editcetera help me find a publisher?
We are not agents. Although some of our editors can help you prepare a proposal, we cannot guarantee that a publisher will accept your work. We can assure you that our editorial work will be of high quality, but publishing decisions also include other factors, such as the publisher’s assessments of marketability.
What happens if I decide not to work with Editcetera?
Our editors are professionals who make a living through their editorial work, and they are in demand. If you decide not to follow through on a project for any reason, or to postpone work, please tell us immediately. We understand that schedules and project goals change, but a freelance editor who has reserved time for you will want to accept other work if no longer needed for your project.
Does Editcetera offer professional development?
Yes. Editcetera offers workshops on subjects such as proofreading, editing, grammar, business writing, and self-employment. Novices and publishing professionals alike attend our workshops in the San Francisco Bay Area or participate in webinars or flex training programs. Custom workshops can also be arranged to meet the specific needs of individual companies.