I, J.K. Kelley, offer writing, editing and proofreading services for hire.
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.
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. If you wish, I will offer ongoing feedback to help you improve as a writer. I will do my best to preserve that which is unique about your voice and wording, while smoothing its flow where necessary. You set the goal, but if left up to me, the default goal is for you to look at the result and say: “This sounds like me, but reads better.” There are very many types of editing, but I am most often engaged as a substantive editor.
I will typically make two editing passes through your work. This does not affect my quoted rate.
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.
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. Please note that I don’t take PayPal or Visa, and have no plans to alter that. I tried PayPal, I didn’t like them one bit, and I went back to the good old mailed check.
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.