Therese Arkenberg's home on the web

Join me at the Clubhouse! (Plus, Rate & Scheduling Updates)

Posted by on Jul 26, 2021 in Blog Posts, Editing, Work and Career | 0 comments

To celebrate the release of her hilarious and heartwarming women’s fiction novel (plus WWII survival story) StumpStrong, my client Nicki Pascarella is hosting a series of “Bookclub” talks on Clubhouse. I’ll be joining her the evening of August 12 to talk about “Preparing Your Manuscript for Editing”: how to get the most from working with an editor like me.

Preparing for the Clubhouse chat has got me thinking about what elements have led to the best editing experiences for both myself and my clients. And, once I mulled a bit on these things, I sat down and revamped my copyediting service descriptions and policies.

(Clicking this image leads to Nicki’s Instagram. I am getting the hang of this social media thing, maybe, but not as much of a hang of it as she has!)

In short: I’ve identified scheduling as my #1 bottleneck, and adjusted rates and scheduling policies to hopefully…what’s the word for how you address a bottleneck? Widen it, maybe? Whatever it is, I’m hoping this will ensure the liquid–which in this case is edited manuscripts–flows at a smooth and steady rate.

Freelancers often describe the “feast or famine” dynamic: it seems like a law of nature that either no clients will be available, or dozens of them all at once, rarely a middle ground. It always breaks my heart to have to turn down a client whose story I’d love to work on, but whom I simply can’t fit into my full schedule. And then there’s the vagaries of the creative life, and life in general, so that the muse doesn’t always cooperate–and it’s a different kind of pain where I’ve had to turn someone down because my schedule is full for a different manuscript, only for the scheduled manuscript to not materialize, well, on schedule. (I’m not mad at the delayed authors in this situation! I’ve been in it myself. But it does sadden me and I’m hopeful the new policies will avoid it happening any more. –Also, if you are an author who has delivered a manuscript a few days “late,” I promise this is not about you…because it’s about literally dozens of people, to the point where it’s clearly a “Me problem” and not a “You guys problem”.)

Also, I’m always seeking ways to help my clients sustain their careers: that is, to get more editing bang from their editing buck. Forgive any crassness in putting creative work into fiscal terms, but I want to help clients to produce more sellable manuscripts with fewer billed hours. To put it in less fiscal terms: I want to help authors learn tips, tricks, and techniques that produce stronger and stronger manuscripts every time we work together. So whether you’re all about the dollar signs or all about the beauty of your craft, I’m here for you!

So this has led to the creation of a new service–and new service rate–the “guided self-edit”. I view this as mostly a pre-edit to be done before sending the manuscript to me, though I’m also happy to offer it as a standalone service to new or budget-conscious authors.

In summary:

  • I’m offering a new pre-edit service
  • And to smooth out scheduling, I’ve incorporated rush fees and late fees
  • But these fees can be avoided with more flexible scheduling and/or pre-editing
  • I’ve also clarified some descriptions of my services, including removing a confusing distinction between “copyediting” and “line-by-line editing” (in short, I offer the latter, which includes the former: I’m not just “catching & correcting errors” but also spotting opportunities for improvement and enhancing what really works!)

Hopefully this will help us all feel more in control of the time and money sides of this work, while never compromising on quality.

I’ve also revamped my Fiverr services pages–the difficulty is that I’ve been leaning toward hourly pricing, which Fiverr doesn’t allow for. Fiverr work is also even more unpredictable schedule-wise than edits arranged through my website. So, if you’re here on my website, I’d recommend booking my services from here (contact me via this Google form or email me at tarkenberg199 at yahoo). But if you like the look of particular services I’m offering on Fiverr, do let me know, as I can offer them directly!

The New Rate Sheet:

Base Rate for all services: $40/hour. Time: 60-90 days between my receipt of the manuscript and my delivery of the edits to you.

“Rush” Rate: For deliveries shorter than 60 days. $45/hour.

Discount Rate: When I have more than 90 days to edit the manuscript, and/or you take advantage of my guided self-edit service: $35/hour.
(In fact, if you have more than 90 days before your manuscript needs to be done, doing the guided self-edit is probably an excellent investment of your time while I complete the projects ahead in my queue.)

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