Frequently asked questions
If your question is not answered here, please don't hesitate to get in touch; I am happy to answer any questions you may have about the process.
CAN I TRUST YOU WITH MY WORK?
I am a trained and experienced proofreader and copy-editor (Publishing Training Centre). I have a BA in English and Latin (Nottingham University), I love learning languages and I am a fast and accurate touch-typist with good IT skills. Almost a decade of producing publications at St John's College, Cambridge, and several years working at a leading academic bookseller have given me a good grounding in the written word, books and publishing. I have successfully completed the Publishing Training Centre's Copy-editing, Editing Fiction and Grammar at Work courses, among others, and I am committed to ongoing training and personal development. Equally importantly, I am highly organised, honest and reliable; and I enjoy client relationships based on mutual trust and respect (see Clients). In my spare time I manage The Sanctuary Angels, www.thesanctuaryangels.com, a small voluntary organisation that has raised more than £70,000 for animal rescue since 2009.
WILL YOU MAKE MY WORK PERFECT?
The better the condition of your original work, the better the results we can achieve together. Allow yourself plenty of time to get your work ready to send to me and don't forget to build in time afterwards to go through the suggested changes and corrections. Students, please bear in mind that there are STRICT ETHICAL GUIDELINES laid down by the Chartered Institute for Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) regarding permissible levels of intervention and potential 'rewriting' issues. Students should also check with supervisors/departments that hiring a proofreader/copy-editor is permissible and acceptable under department guidelines, and the use of a proofreader should be cited accordingly in the text. In accordance with both CIEP and university guidelines, I WILL NOT check for plagiarism, check facts or accuracy of citations, check accuracy of content, make suggestions for overall improvement, or rewrite or change the structure of the text to improve the flow, logic or strength of the arguments. That said, should I notice any of the above, then I will flag it up for your attention in a comment.
WHAT WILL YOU DO FOR ME?
I will use all of my experience, knowledge, skills and training to ensure that your work looks its very best and is returned on time. I will ensure consistency of styling, spelling, punctuation, grammar and syntax throughout. While maintaining the original meaning and tone of the text, I will alter sentences that do not make sense as a result of syntactical, grammatical, spelling or punctuation errors, or incorrect use of words. I will advise on the substitution of informal or slang words with formal or academic terms of an equivalent nature. The hourly rate that applies to you includes as standard proof-editing (a combination of proofreading and copy-editing), which is an affordable and comprehensive option that suits most of my clients' needs.
DOES PERFECT WORDS OFFER VALUE FOR MONEY?
I use an hourly rate, because not only does this accurately reflect the time spent on your work but it is also a fair, competitive and simple pricing system. I have three tiers of hourly rate: full-time student (up to, and including, PhD); professional/academic/small business; and corporate/institutional. These apply to proofreading, formatting, copy-editing or whatever your brief entails. My clients generally require proof-editing, which combines proofreading and copy-editing to provide a comprehensive and affordable service. The time taken will reflect the nature of your brief and the amount of work that needs to be done, making it a fair and transparent system. I can provide you with an estimate for the total job if you wish. If you would prefer to be offered a fixed price that is agreeable to us both, I am happy to do this too. Please note that new private clients will be asked to pay up to 100% of the total cost before their work is returned, and in some cases a deposit may be required upfront for larger jobs. Regular clients are billed when their work is returned and asked to pay within the terms stated on their invoice.
WHAT ABOUT HOUSE STYLE AND FORMATTING?
Clients often have formatting and style guidelines that they need to follow. A link to your business or academic style guidelines or house style is appreciated, if available, so that I can ensure this is applied throughout your document. If none is provided or specified in the Client Booking Form, I will ensure that the predominant style used in the document is applied throughout. In addition to addressing the obvious typographical and literal errors and syntactical issues, I will ensure consistency of styling throughout, for example, using EITHER British or American English, and single or double quotation marks. I have compiled my own house style during the course of working with clients and I am happy to share this with you if you are interested.