Before sending in a manuscript, please format your book into a fiction/MLA structure. I edit according to the Chicago Manual of Style, and will change spellings to U.S. spellings. Fiction differs from APA, which is used in journalism. If there are distracting formatting or stylistic issues I will stop 10-20% into the edit and ask you to fix the issues before I can continue, which will delay edits.
Quick checklist to make sure you are good to go:
-ensure the manuscript is all in the same font style and size (aside from headings)
-spacing is either all single or all double (double is easier on the eyes during editing)
-no weird spacing between paragraphs
-manuscript is structured into paragraphs with indents on the first line of each (not tabs).
-Anything longer than 8,000 words should be structured into chapters
-All quotations/apostrophes are the same style (straight or smart quotes). One or the other, but not both. Trust me when I say fixing these during edits is a pain in Track Changes. You’ll wish you did it before starting!
-Your narrative POV has structure and does not weave in and out of first, second and third/limited to omniscient, without rhyme nor reason. Extreme head-hopping may be grounds for a revision before editing can commence. If there is anything stylistically done on purpose that is not commonly done, please inform me before I start the edits.
-You have had at least one beta read or revision prior to the editing process. You never ever want to send an editor the FIRST draft of a book. It just means more work for you, which can be daunting when seeing it all in Track Changes.
-Brand names: Try to avoid when possible. Make up names or use the generic ones if you can.
-NO PLAGIARISM! I do run things through multiple plagiarism checks if I find a passage that appears suspicious. I will give you a warning and ask you to remove it. If it happens in a different book after we have had a conversation about it, I reserve the right to refuse further business with you or to stop edits completely without finishing because it becomes a liability. If you suspect something isn’t your own words (a cited movie/song/book quote–some of which you have word limits on using, by the way, if it is not public domain) I advise you to correct/remove it before sending the manuscript to me. Plagiarism is illegal. The writer of the content, even in a web article or a blog, can and will take you to court if you are caught. If I suspect the entire book is plagiarized, I will return the manuscript with a partial refund if edits are not complete; no refund if the edits were over 80% completed.