An Editor’s Answers Part 2

Last week, I posted answers to questions I may use for my FAQ section on my editorial blog. The next two posts will also be dedicated to the answers of those questions. Here we go.

-Are your classes taught online? If so, how does that work?

Yes, my classes are taught online. When I do a group class, we meet in a Yahoo group. My private classes are taught via e-mail exchanges.

-How do I register for your classes?

Please contact me to register for my classes and to discuss the class schedule.

-How do I make payments?

Payments are made through PayPal. If you live in the US, I’ll invoice you through PayPal. If you don’t have a PayPal account, you can pay with a credit card. All payments must be made in full a week before I begin the project.

-What is a payment plan, and when can it be used?

Payment plans come in many forms. Basically, you decide how much you want to pay and when, as long as the total is paid in full a week before I begin the project. Some exceptions may apply. Usually, people make weekly, biweekly, or monthly payments—although, some break the total into quarters, thirds, or halves, and pay that way.

Payment plans are only for large projects like a full manuscript. They should not be used for smaller projects like classes or query letter critiques.

-Why won’t you do a sample edit for me?

I offer sample edits (for developmental copyediting only) so potential clients can see my editorial style, and so I can determine the amount of work involved and offer a quote. If I’ve declined a sample edit for you, it’s probably for one of the following reasons:
-I’m completely booked and am not currently available for your project
-the genre of your story isn’t a genre I edit
-your project is a short story, novelette, novella, or partial manuscript
-your story didn’t fit my comfort level or personal taste

-Do you only edit novels?

I mostly edit novels, but I have a few clients who write novellas and short stories. As long as they fall under the genres in which I specialize, I’ll edit most projects, including web page content.

-I’m interested in your services. Can you call me so we can talk about them and my project?

My preferred policy is to conduct business via e-mail. This grants both parties a record of the conversation, and usually ends up being more efficient and to the point. I find e-mail communication is also more responsive since I’m frequently online and can often reply to most e-mails within an hour or two (unless replying means correcting an assignment or critiquing a query letter or synopsis—those projects will be added to my schedule). Plus, I schedule my days in time slots and find it easier to correspond through e-mail, because I can do this in between projects. In the rare instances where a client requests a discussion over the phone, we schedule a time, and the client is billed in advance. The conversation time is then debited toward an allowance of prepaid minutes with unused portions credited back to the client upon project completion.

-What’s your turnaround time?

This varies depending on the amount of work involved and my schedule at the time. When you contact me, let me know what you’d like as a deadline for the project. If I can’t complete the work in that timeframe, I’ll let you know. If you have a flexible deadline, I’ll calculate how long the work would take based off my schedule and give you a start and end date.

-How much do your services cost?

I offer a variety of editorial services. You can find prices for those services here: or under the “rates” tab.

-What’s the difference between substantive/big picture editing and developmental copyediting?

Substantive/big picture editing is where I’ll look at the plot and characters. I won’t pay attention to grammar, spelling, punctuation, repetitions, or other elements found in my proofreading packages (for the most part). Developmental copyediting is a combination of substantive/big picture editing and proofreading. For this reason, I go over the manuscript twice: once for big picture editing and once for proofreading. This means developmental copyediting will take longer and cost more, because there’s more work involved.

For more information on substantive/big picture editing, go here:

For more information on developmental copyediting, go here:

-How does writing coaching work?

Unlike most of the services I offer, which are based off a per word fee, writing coaching is calculated by the hour (or in minutes). I use a timer so if I’m interrupted, I’m not using your minutes to answer the door or take a phone call. Instead, I stop the timer and don’t start it until I’m able to return to work. I report back to you with a balance in your account, so you’ll know how many minutes are remaining and can decide if you need to purchase more.

Writing coaching has many uses: brainstorming, figuring out GMCs, plotting, revising a scene or chapter, and even getting feedback on chapters as you write them.

Writing coaching is a service that requires back and forth communication between both parties. I can’t schedule writing coaching into my calendar, because this is a “drop-in service”. The writing coaching client needs to understand there may be times when I won’t be able to get to their work for a week or longer (depending on my schedule). This is hardly ever a problem, but priority must go to projects booked in time slots so I can ensure to meet my deadlines.

-Do you edit manuscripts all day long?

While editing takes up a good portion of my day, it’s not the only thing I do to keep my business running. I respond to e-mails from clients and potential clients. I invoice clients and keep my records in order. I network through Facebook, Twitter, and Triberr—although, if you follow me, you’ll see I’m not on all that often. Plus, I blog once or twice a week.

Do you have any other questions to add?

Lynnette Labelle

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