The sample edit is free. It enables me to establish the level of editing required, estimate how long the project will take, and provide the client with an example of my work.
For a novel, I usually ask for a random chapter to be emailed through. I edit a sample of between 1,000 and 2,000 words.
For a short story, I request the full document, and select 1–2 (A4) pages for the sample, depending on the length of the story. A minimum of 3,000 words is required for a sample edit to be carried out.
After I have completed the sample edit, which I aim to return via email within 3–5 working days, I send the client two documents: one showing editorial markup, comments, and queries; the other is a clean edited version (for ease of reading). I also provide a quote for editing the whole typescript (this is for structural editing and copy-editing).
Upon completion of the sample edit, there is no obligation to the client to go ahead with the service, but I do ask to be informed, as soon as possible, if this is the case, as I may have more than one open enquiry.
If the client proceeds with the service, I raise a proforma invoice and request half of the full amount. Once this is paid, the service can commence. This payment forms a binding contract.