While the questions below are most frequent, the list is not exhaustive. Feel free to contact me directly if you have further/different questions.

Is there a difference between proofreading and editing?
Yes. Proofreading and editing are two important parts of the publishing process, but they are quite different. Editing involves bringing the concepts and ideas to a clear and understandable form. It’s a more global view of the manuscript. Proofreading follows behind the editing cycle and finds any straggling technical errors that could impact reader enjoyment. It’s an overview of the fully edited manuscript.


If you want to think about it in more visual terms, consider an archeological site. The writing process is the element of discovery (the initial unearthing). Then the editor gets into the excavation area of an archeological site with the author (where the manuscript resides), and we assist the author in uncovering every fragment and nuance of the story so the reader understands the value of what he or she sees when it gets to them (flow, character development, readability, grammar, etc.). However, once that story is written (unearthed) and edited (cleaned, catalogued, photographed, analyzed, etc.), it’s time to turn it over to the proofreader. The proofreader dusts off any remaining debris (misspelled words, missing punctuation, spacing errors, extra words, etc.) before the public is allowed to view the author’s masterpiece.

Do you accept all manuscripts?
Unfortunately, I don’t have time to edit every manuscript that comes my way. I may also decline a manuscript if I feel my skills aren’t a fit for the genre (ex: bittersweet). If the manuscript isn’t ready for editing, I’ll explain that as well as point you in the direction to make necessary pre-edit revisions.


Can I send a partial manuscript or individual chapters?
Yes. I’m happy to edit files chapter by chapter—or section by section—if you’d like. Sometimes it’s very helpful to have feedback that you can then apply to the remainder of a manuscript as we go.


If an author sends a fully completed manuscript, I may break it down into sections (or chapters) if necessary. Anyone who has experience with edits knows they can be overwhelming in bulk, especially content edits. Taking it section by section is an easy way to avoid undue stress and make the process flow smoothly.

How long will it take you to edit my manuscript?

The answer depends on the needs of the individual manuscript. If you have a desired time frame for completing edits or for releasing a manuscript, contact me, and we can discuss your specific manuscript.


Suppose I need it sooner, do you offer a rush service so I can get my manuscript back in a day…two days…a week?
No…and yes (in specific circumstances). A good, thorough edit takes time. Shortcuts lead to unnecessary errors in your document.


If I have never worked on your manuscripts before, the answer is likely no. I don’t have a feel for your writing style, the types of errors or issues I’ll find, etc. It wouldn’t be a service to you to offer to edit your manuscript faster than is necessary to obtain a clean document.

If I have worked with you on a number of other manuscripts, contact me to discuss options for timing.

What do you include in your edits?
Please see the services page for a full explanation. In a nutshell, I provide comprehensive edits, which include content as well as line edits. If you’re interested in only a single type of edit (content edits, line edits, or proofreading), feel free to contact me to discuss options for your particular manuscript.


How do I prepare my manuscript to send to you?
Please send a DOCX or DOC file from MS Word.


If you have specific formatting standards for line size, indentation, etc. let me know. Otherwise, to ensure your edit is as efficient as possible, I prefer 1.5 line spacing, Times New Roman (or another easily readable font, such as Georgia, Book Antiqua, etc.) in font size 12. Be sure your chapters are marked and you separate chapters with page breaks.

Keep in mind, files with unique formatting are much harder to edit. You can always add desired formatting after the edit is complete.

Do I need to send a synopsis with my manuscript?
Yes, but only in an informal sense. I’d like to know the basic premise of the story, the characters involved, the intended outcome, etc.


How do you include editing notes in the manuscript?
I use Track Changes and the comment bubble feature of MS Word to edit your manuscript. This feature allows you to easily review all edits I send to you.


What file formats do you accept?
I only edit MS Word files: .docx, .doc, .rtf (if need be).


What if I use Open Office or WordPerfect instead of MS Word?
Using Track Changes (and its associated comment feature) means I can only accept manuscripts generated in MS Word. Whether you create those on a Windows-based machine or an Apple product, MS Word is necessary to use the Track Changes feature effectively.


Do you format the finished manuscript?

No. However, I generally run a search during the edit for double spaces, leading spaces before paragraphs, odd paragraph formatting, etc. to make sure the manuscript is as clean as possible. This does not take the place of professional formatting before publication.


Do you require editing credit to be included on the copyright page? If so, how should I list it?
I don’t require a mention in your book; however, if you’d like to add my name as editor, I always appreciate the acknowledgment. I don’t have a specific format, but the following will work: Edited by: Jae Ashley ~or~ Editing by: Jae Ashley


If you’d like to include a link to this website, you’re welcome to do that as well.

Do you do all the editing or do you subcontract parts?
I edit every manuscript myself. I do not subcontract any portion of an edit.


Will my manuscript be completely error free?
No. I would never guarantee a completely error-free manuscript. If anyone makes that guarantee, you should run…fast.


Human error exists. The tougher the edit, the more errors there will likely be at the end. That’s a given in any editing service you hire. Once an editor (or author) has gone through a manuscript a number of times, certain types of errors escape detection more easily. You see what you expect rather than what is on the page.

There are ways to combat this error risk and end up with the cleanest manuscript possible.

First, before submitting your manuscript to me for editing, be sure you’ve put your finished product aside for a few days to a week and then go through it again word for word.

Tip: Read the manuscript aloud or listen to it via a program such as VoiceDream while you follow along on screen. When you hear the manuscript, especially while looking at the words, certain errors are more obvious, such as misspelled words, confusing sentences, etc. You’ll be shocked at the errors that pop out at you during this process, and your manuscript will be better for it.

Second, hire a proofreader after edits. A second set of fresh eyes is the perfect next step in your process. This can be a professional or a friend who’s great at catching small errors. Professional proofreaders aren’t terribly expensive, and they have the added benefit of having trained their eyes/brains to catch smaller errors, which means they are usually more effective than a detail-oriented friend.

Do you proofread manuscripts or can you recommend a proofreader?
While I do mark smaller errors during the edit (as part of the line editing stage), it’s always important to have a proofreader follow the editing process. A manuscript needs a fresh set of eyes, someone who has not previously read the manuscript in any way. I work with a few proofreaders on a regular basis. If, during an edit, you’re interested in obtaining a proofreader’s services, let me know. I can give you their names and websites to see if they are a match for your needs. If I’m not editing your manuscript, and you’re interested in having me proofread for you, feel free to contact me to discuss options.


I don't like one of your edits; do I have to make every suggested change?
Absolutely not. I make “suggested” edits. They are not required in any way. This is your manuscript, and ultimately, all edits are your call. When I’ve made a suggestion you don’t agree with, please discuss your issue with me. My edits are only as good as my intel; that means, I mark issues based on what’s on the page in front of me. As the author, you know what you intend for a story. If my question/comment/suggestion doesn’t make sense to you or you don’t agree with it, it could be because your intent (visual) is not on the page for me to experience. Taking time to discuss comments or suggestions you don’t agree with will resolve this easily. My aim is always to bring out your vision.


How many rounds of edits are included in the fee?

The number of rounds of edits depends on a manuscript, but there are usually two rounds of word-for-word edits and one to two rounds of follow-up edits where we focus on specific areas of concern. During the initial round, I may review chapters or sections numerous times before sending you a “round” of edits. These edits will always include content and line edits. Content edits are generally heavier in the first round as we tackle the more global concerns. The editing fee is for the comprehensive edit, not for an individual round of edits.


Do you help with blurb writing too?

Yes. I won’t write your blurb for you, but I’m happy to help streamline a blurb to bring out the elements that should grab a reader’s attention. I include the blurb word count with the manuscript word count rather than subject that service to an additional line-item fee. If you need a blurb edited/reviewed/revised for a manuscript I’m not editing, please contact me for pricing.


Will you re-write sections of my manuscript for me?

No. I won’t act as a ghostwriter or co-writer on your manuscript. I will point out issues and, more often than not, offer examples or direction in finding a solution. You’re welcome to use those suggestions, change them, or expand on them. They’re instructive, but they are unique to your manuscript.