A well-written manuscript reflects well on your research, inviting fewer reviewer comments and expediting the peer review process. If you haven’t worked with an editor before, I hope this section gives you an idea of what I can do for you.
Working with an editor is about building a relationship – I will become familiar with your research and how it fits into the body of published literature. My experience working with academic researchers in a wide variety of disciplines enables me to quickly synthesize information and help you distinguish your work against the backdrop of previously published studies.
Although I can’t share the editorial process (works are protected and confidential until published), the answers provided here give you a good sense of my work. I am grateful for the unsolicited testimonials emailed to me – it makes all the effort worthwhile!
How much does a typical manuscript cost to edit?
The range is very broad, from approximately $250 to polish a 2,500-word manuscript written by a previously published, native English speaker in final draft form. ($100/hr) Consultative writing and editing for a grant or manuscript throughout the entire writing and revision process typically costs $2500-$3750. ($150/hr) Most writers estimate approximately 60 hours to develop a finished manuscript from notes and a list of references.
If you are new to working with an editor, send me your document and I’ll do a sample edit for you at no cost. We can then talk about what your document needs, your budget, target journal and timeline. My work will respect your goals for the document and your budget.
What is the range of services you provide?
The services provided depend on the baseline state of the manuscript. For instance, do you need help with English language writing? Do you need help fleshing out your manuscript from bulleted notes? Or do you need a quick copy edit to remove typos?
An element of diplomacy is required to successfully (and quickly) integrate multiple revisions contributed by an author team. My expertise in synthesizing information will help you shape your overall message to fill a gap in the body of literature, thus distinguishing your work as novel and worthy of publication in a higher-impact journal.
The length of the manuscript and your distribution plan matter, too. Will it be printed? E-published? Longer documents require more attention to document design to highlight important messages and make the work visually appealing. If you are publishing online, we need to think about hyper texting, font choice and line spacing to lessen the strain of screen reading. I can also provide PDF bookmarking so your lengthy report is easier to navigate, making it more accessible and highlighting the important sections you really want readers to see.
As your editor, I provide the following:
- Substantive editing with track changes on so you can accept recommendations individually;
- Comments and recommendations in the margins regarding study design or analysis considerations you may wish to revisit or clarify;
- Polish content, formatting, tables and figures consistent with journal guidelines;
- Merge author revisions if you have circulated a draft for review;
- Proof galleys before your paper goes to press.
Most such manuscripts can be returned to you within about 48 hours.
What if I need help writing, too?
No problem. I have coauthored papers in the medical and social sciences, including statistical analysis, significance testing and table/figure design. An early consultation will save you editing time down the road. This is particularly true for grants and books when you are on a tight deadline yet need to integrate the input of several authors diplomatically. I can help navigate the challenges of working with a team, find creative solutions to study design and data access challenges, and package your grant to meet the RFP’s specs. Every detail counts, and for the big ones you can get tossed out of the running over a minor infraction. ($150/hour)
What is your position on ghost writing?
If an author’s contribution is consistent with ICMJE guidelines, then coauthorship should be considered and discussed at the outset.
It’s a big project and we’re on a budget. Can you help?
Yes. Truthfully, everyone is on a tight budget these days. If you send me your document, I will give you an estimate of what we can do together.
Where are you located?
I’m in Washington state, Pacific time zone. But I have clients literally around the world, and as far away as Kazakhstan. The farther away, the longer the day! You send it to me at night, and it’s still daylight where I am.
How do I pay you?
I will send you an invoice with a payment link. Checks and credit cards are accepted, as is Western Union wire transfer for those overseas.
I’m interested in what you do for a career. How did you get started doing this?
I got my start just after earning my MPH. I had an opportunity to conduct novel original research at a large not-for-profit HMO where I was the preventive health program manager. I wanted to evaluate a longstanding program to see if it really made a difference. As lead investigator, I oversaw every aspect of study design, data collection, analysis, interpretation, and manuscript development. I wrote the manuscript in one weekend and sent it to my mentor. She was very impressed with the quality and speed, and suggested that I could be a freelance editor if I wanted to. The study was published in the Am J Public Health a few months later. I was ecstatic! And I remembered that compliment when our family started moving around frequently with the US Navy and it became clear that my employer couldn’t keep up with the moves. I earned an Advanced Certificate in Scientific and Technical Writing from SDSU and founded Artemis Biomedical Communications months after our first son was born in 2005. My first client was my mentor and professor – I edited a paper for her and word has spread by referral since then. My advertising budget is about $3 a month on Google AdWords, through which two clients have found me.
Is that you on the standup paddleboard (SUP) picture on the About page?
Yes – on Lake Crescent, with one of my boys in the front, pointing out where we should go. One of my favorite memories of last year!