Frequently asked questions

What type of manuscript do you edit?

I work with you, the academic researcher — early, mid and late career — to bring a high standard of language and style to your doctoral dissertation, master’s thesis, journal and conference papers, books and book chapters, research proposals and reports, and funding and ethics applications.

I’ve edited countless manuscripts in the social sciences, particularly in the field of education, although I’ve worked with academics in many other disciplines, too; head over to my Portfolio page for a snapshot of some of my work.

Whether your paper needs a light touch to add shine or a heavier hand to improve flow, contact me to see how I can help.

What services do you offer?

After years of working with academic researchers, I’ve carefully designed the following services with your needs in mind. The Editing Services page has full details of each option.

Option 1 (copyedit, one pass)
Option 2 (copyedit, two passes)
Option 3 (proofread)
Option 4 (page proof)
Option 5 (manuscript formatting)
Option 6 (reference formatting)

Do you offer a sample edit?

Yes, I do. A sample edit takes one to two hours of my time and will cost $75, and if you book my services, this cost is deducted from your balance.

A sample edit not only helps me to determine the level of editing (and/or formatting) required, it’s also a chance for you to see the quality of my work and to check we’re a good fit for each other — so important when choosing an editor.

To estimate how long your job will take, I’ll ask you to send me your draft manuscript (or a sample that reflects your writing as a whole), and I’ll copyedit 500 to 1,000 words to work out the number of words I can copyedit per hour. Based on this sample, I’ll calculate a fixed cost for the whole project.

Not only will you receive a fully marked up sample edit annotated with my notes and recommendations, I’ll provide you with a quotation that details the work to be done and my draft Style and vocab notes, unique to your manuscript, that give a summary of action to take, spelling preferences, a list of expressions you could employ more succinctly, language and style notes relating to your preferred style manual, and more.

The fixed cost I calculate for your project is is line with the Institute of Professional Editors’ fair pay rate for a self-employed editor with my qualifications, skills and experience. IPEd’s Pay Rates webpage explains what the hourly rate represents. Sometimes, costs can be negotiated by tailoring services to your requirements, so don’t hesitate to contact me.


How much do your editing services cost?

Every project is different, with many factors affecting the cost, so it’s difficult to answer that question here. Taking the example of a 75,000-word manuscript, the cost can range from AUD1,500 to AUD3,000, depending on the options you choose and level of editing and/or formatting required. Following a sample edit, I’ll calculate a fixed cost for the whole project.

Calculating the fixed cost
The fixed cost is based on the hourly rates set out by the Institute of Professional Editors’ fair pay rate for a self-employed editor with my qualifications, skills and experience. IPEd’s Pay Rates webpage explains what this hourly rate represents.

If the options don’t quite suit your budget, they can be tailored to your requirements, so it’s best to contact me to find out how I can help. My quotation will include a timeline to enable you to meet your deadline.

Copyediting (one or two passes)
For a fairly ‘clean’ manuscript (i.e., one that does not require much work), you should allow around 2,500 to 3,500 words per hour for one copyediting pass. For manuscripts requiring a deeper edit, allow 1,000 to 2,500 words per hour.

Unless significant revisions have been made, a second copyediting pass should take less time than the first, and I usually estimate this at 65% the cost of the first pass.

Manuscript formatting
A manuscript of 75,000 words can cost in the region of AUD300–500, depending on your requirements. I can give you an accurate quotation when I see your full draft manuscript.

Reference formatting
For a manuscript of 75,000 words, formatting your reference list to your publisher or university’s requirements can cost around AUD175–300. This does not include searching for references online for missing information. I can give you an accurate quotation when I see your completed reference list.

How long will the work take you?

As an example, a 75,000-word manuscript (excluding ToCs, reference list and appendices) can take six to eight days for one copyediting pass (Option 1), manuscript formatting (Option 5), and reference formatting (Option 6), with a further six to seven days for a second pass (Option 2).

I need to follow a publisher's style guide

No problem! I can copyedit and format your manuscript to your required style — for example, APA’s Publication manual (6th/7th ed.), Australia’s Style manual for writers, editors and printers, the UK’s Oxford guide to style, or your university’s or publisher’s specific requirements.

My manuscript is for an overseas publication

If you’re writing for an international audience, please let me know if Australian, British, US, Canadian or other English is required.

How soon do I need to book your services?

I can be fully booked four to eight weeks in advance, but this can extend up to three months in busy academic periods, so the sooner you contact me, the easier it will be for me to schedule your preferred dates and draw up a timeline for completion.

I sometimes receive cancellations or postponements, so it might be possible to schedule at short notice.

Shorter manuscripts, such as book chapters or journal papers, can usually be scheduled more easily than longer manuscripts like books and theses.

Let me know your deadline, and we can take it from there.

What is the process for submitting my manuscript to you?

You should send your clean manuscript (i.e. free from track changes and comments) to the Detail Devil, along with your preferred style guide (e.g. APA’s Publication Manual or the Oxford Guide to Style), your publisher’s or university’s requirements, or other set of guidelines to which your manuscript is required to conform.

Smaller projects (journal papers or book chapters) can be sent by email, but larger projects (books and theses) should be uploaded to a shared Dropbox folder that I will create especially for your project.

I’ll keep a copy of all versions of your work as we go along. This process will be agreed with you before work begins.


What are your payment terms?

A booking fee equal to 25% of the agreed total cost (but no more than AUD750) is required on signature of my short, industry-standard agreement to book my services for the required period. I may ask for further milestone payments, depending on the size of the project, and the balance will be payable when I return the edited manuscript to you.

The terms, set out in our Agreement for Editing Services, will protect both our interests. In some cases, a payment plan can be arranged.

How is payment made?

Payment is preferred via bank transfer (Australian and UK clients) or by Transferwise (for international clients, which is often cheaper than other forms of transfer).

I also accept credit card payments, although a third-party fee of 2.9% will apply, and other payment options can be considered.

Where are you located?

I split my time between Melbourne, Australia and Shrewsbury, UK — but I’m able to work with you wherever you are.

All work is undertaken electronically, and I work with clients from Australia, Southeast Asia/East Asia, the United States and UK/Europe.

Can’t find the answer you need?

Do drop me a line — I’ll aim to respond within 24 hours.

Questions are the root of all answers.
Don’t be shy!