To hire me

I, J.K. Kelley, offer writing, editing, and proofreading services for hire.

Editing: I will work with you to help your material be what you want it to be, and if you like, to help you determine what it should be. This may take variable forms depending on what the ms needs and what the client desires. I will explain the differences between those modes and why one would choose one over another.

Above all, I will tell you the truth about your work. If people have put your work down and you believe their criticisms were unfair, I can offer perspective. More commonly, those close to you can not be objective about your work and will praise it to the point where you begin to suspect an echo chamber. There, also, I can offer a candid perspective. A fair number of those who call themselves editors are desperate enough to tell you whatever you want to hear. I’m not, and I view my duty as telling you the truth.

Editing and proofreading processes in particular may vary, including how I handle sampling. Your book is not just like any other book, and a cookie-cutter method just can’t work.

Writing: I will read your guidelines and specifications, research the subject matter as necessary, and produce what you ask of me by the agreed deadline. I can pen historical articles, ghost-write your autobiography, caption your coffee-table book, or assist with your technical writing needs. I have built my freelance writing career upon the foundation of cheerfulness, cooperation and professionalism. Years ago, I learned that lots of people wanted to write for money, but that many didn’t grasp a few salient realities:

  • Deadlines are not suggestions. Deadlines are the time by which you must produce.
  • Word counts are not suggestions. Word counts are all the space you get.
  • If one wants to be an artiste of the ‘oh, for a muse…’ variety, one needs to write one’s own book.
  • Writers are not required to agree with everything they are hired to write.
  • Acq-eds prefer to work with pleasant people who welcome work and read guidelines.
  • A request for rewrite is not an indictment; it is an opportunity to learn what is wanted.
  • Professionalism means an easy comfort with the above truths, as evidenced by quality work submitted on time.

Proofreading: I will search out the typos and other errors in your work. If you give me strict guidelines, I will follow them. If you just tell me to point out anything that’s wrong, using my judgment, I will do so. I tend to go over material two full times, three if I suspect I was insufficiently thorough the first two. If it takes four, or even more, it takes that many; I’m not happy if I even suspect that I missed something. The amount of passes I make does not affect my quoted rate.

What I don’t do: I’m not qualified to produce or comment much upon art in any form, though if you’d like my opinion of your book cover idea, I’ll give it. I have written minimal poetry and am unqualified to edit it. I am even less qualified to touch screenplay, since I rarely watch movies. I am not a literary agent or marketing specialist, though I’ll give you my opinions on such matters if you ask. I cannot write a review of material I had any hand in producing, for obvious reasons, though I will very likely talk it up here upon publication with full disclosure of my role. I cannot proofread what I edit, though I have no plans to let mistakes go through, so your proofer will typically have an easy job. I am not a typesetter, formatter or publisher.

How I charge: varies depending upon the material, but typically an hourly rate. I take Visa or a mailed check, but not PayPal.

To inquire further, you can either use the contact form, or send e-mail to tc[underbar]vitki[at]yahoo[dot]com. Sorry about the gymnastics–WP doesn’t seem to offer a direct e-mail link, and the spam would boggle your mind.

In most cases, I’ll ask to see all or a portion of your work, then estimate the time and effort needed to do what you seek. Proofreading is generally least expensive, followed by editing, then ghostwriting/writing. With proofreading, I should be your final set of eyes, and the material should be ready to send to typesetting when I finish. With editing, less pre-proof formatting makes my work easier and thus less expensive–ideally just the Word document, without a bunch of alignment, bullets, typeface adventures and included images. All that stuff should always be added very late in the game.

I look forward to hearing from you, and helping your work to be its best.


Tags: manuscript editor, fiction editor, non-fiction editor, freelance editor.


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Blogging freelance editing, writing, and life in general. You can also Like my Facebook page for more frequent updates: J.K. Kelley, Editor.

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