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Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • I am open to most types of projects, and do not consider myself limited to a particular genre or style. I have edited expository nonfiction, memoir, essays, and other forms; likewise, I have designed covers and interiors for a variety of book types and markets.

    My training and background in philosophy and theology, and my work as a pastor, have made me especially well-suited to editing books with particularly religious/theological themes and topics. If you are a Christian writer in need of an editor or designer, I can offer a sensibility about your manuscript’s ethos, tone, and content that some others are less qualified to provide.
  • Every project is different, and two different projects will require differing amounts of work—even if the service rendered is the same. Copyediting for one manuscript may be very different from copyediting for another, etc. The variables in a given project are more than just time, but working on a measured (hourly) basis reduces them to only that variable.

    Whereas an hourly rate would force every project into the highest per-hour cost estimate, working by bid allows me to consider the particular needs of your project, taking them into account when calculating the estimated time, energy, communication, and other costs. It also protects both you and me from disputes about the amount of time or other resources involved, since we will have agreed on terms at the outset.
  • You will be contacted after submitting your initial request for a bid (see the form above). Once all of the details of the project are clear, I will send you a bid for one or more services, outlining what each service will cost and presenting a total for the whole project.

    Once you have accepted the bid, a 20% deposit is required at the outset. This payment serves as your commitment to acceptance of the bid.

    From there, each distinct service will be a payment milestone; upon delivery and acceptance of the work rendered, payment for that service will be required. For example, if you have contracted with me to edit your manuscript, design the interior, and perform the typesetting, then the editing will be completed first and invoiced (minus the deposit); then the interior design will be completed and billed separately, and finally the typesetting will be finished and invoiced.
  • The design of a book’s interior is the template that the whole book will be conformed to; it defines how the type will appear on the page, what the margins will be, how large the titles and headers will be, what graphical elements will be included, etc. In short, the design is how your book will look.

    Modern typesetting is the application of that design to the whole of the manuscript. With typesetting, every word, line, and paragraph is combed through to ensure that the design is accurately and consistently applied throughout. Typesetting also takes into account things like “text rivers” and “stacked hyphens.”

    These are two different but closely-related elements of a book’s interior; one without the other is useless, yet they require different skills and types of creative energy.
  • I always use Chicago Style (based on The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed.) as the foundation for all projects, unless otherwise negotiated. I am familiar with AP Style, but in most cases it is not applicable to book-length projects. I also employ the SBL Handbook of Style and/or The Christian Writer’s Manual of Style (the former preferred) when I encounter areas not addressed by Chicago.

    For spelling, I use the New Oxford American Dictionary (3rd edition) for American English, and the Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary for British spellings.

    Other grammar references I rely on include Fowler’s Dictionary of Modern English Usage and Garner’s Modern American Usage.
  • Today’s eBook reader typically uses one of three formats: ePub, Kindle/.mobi, and/or PDF.

    The ePub is the standard employed by many devices, including the Nook and Apple’s iBooks platform. It is widely regarded as the industry standard, and continues to evolve as a beautiful and useful format. However, it still has considerable limitations, even with the most advanced formats (and not all devices support the latest standards for ePub).

    The .mobi format, which is used by the Amazon Kindle platform (and a few other older reader platforms), is the most limited of all of the formats, and also the trickiest to adjust and tweak for optimal performance. However, the Kindle platform is also the most popular and widely-used among e-readers, making this an important format to consider.

    The PDF, an open standard developed by Adobe, is one of the oldest and most familiar formats for electronic texts. PDFs are very flexible, allowing elaborate and beautiful formatting to be preserved across a wide variety of devices; however, the PDF too has its hurdles and obstacles to overcome for the independent author or publisher.

    I am familiar with all three formats, and experienced in producing each of them—including having the ability to double-check my work on a variety of devices to ensure that each version renders in the best way possible.

    As we work on your project, I will be happy to consult with you on your goals and aims for how and where you will offer it for distribution, working with you to make sure you receive the best versions of your eBook in all of the formats you require.