Emily E. James

Your vision. Your voice.

Communications Services

Editing · Writing · Social Media

— Frequently Asked Questions —

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Q: How do I submit my manuscript?  Contact me via phone or email.  (Please have your document word count handy.)  Once we've discussed your needs, determined scheduling and cost, and signed a standard editorial contract, you can email your manuscript as a file attachment, or send a hard copy via snail mail.  Submissions must be double-spaced, 12-point size, Times New Roman or Arial font, with one-inch margins, and accompanied by payment. Please include a brief (one or two paragraph) synopsis of your project. 

Q: What type of document formats do you accept?   What sort of payment arrangements do you offer?  Please see the "Important Details" section of the Services page.

Q:  Why do you charge by the word? Doesn't page count matter?  Page count is extremely subjective.   Because of formatting differences, a 60,000 word document can pull in at either 120 pages, or 210.  Word count gives a concrete estimate of the length of your manuscript, as well as the time involved in editing it.   

Q:  What is my expected turnaround time?  Depending on the length of your project and its requirements, turnaround time can be anywhere from a few days to a few months.  We will pin down an approximate return date during our initial discussion.

Q: Why do I need an editor anyway?  Isn't it just proofreading?  Repainting the walls of a house isn't the same thing as repairing its foundations.  If your home is leaking, covered in cracks, and listing to one side, you don't hire a decorator; you hire a master contractor.  An editor can help you identify and fix the underlying problems in your work, turning your good ideas into great ones.

Q: Do you guarantee that my project will definitely be accepted for publication?  No--because once the editing process is done, pursuing publication is entirely up to you.  Keep in mind that initial rejection is often inevitable; J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter was turned down twelve times before being accepted by a publisher!   Professional editing, however, gives you an edge over other authors competing in the market, and submitting the best possible version of your manuscript makes publication far more likely. 

Q: I put a lot of time and work and heart into this.  How do I know you won't hack my manuscript to pieces?  Sometimes the only way to fix something is by making sweeping changes.  Sometimes the very scene or observation that inspired you is the one holding everything back, and once it's cut, the rest just clicks into place.   This is the agony and transaction of every storyteller: excellence requires sacrifice.  After all, if your child's running around sporting an extra arm, you wouldn't think much of a doctor who didn't advise you to cut it off.  The path to this realization is laid by solid, thorough critique.  Criticism is vital, and it's not for the weak.  Editors and Critics serve similar but ultimately disparate functions; you can think of them as good and evil twins. Critics, the evil twin, point out all the flaws in something for the purpose of single-handedly deciding its value.  But the good twins, Editors, find flaws so that you can repair them, increasing the value of your finished work.