Excerpt from an interview with Lee Diogeneia. Author, MSPI Editorial Director, vampire advocate, Lee never finds any downtime. But that’s okay. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Back to the questions.

These are the questions I ask when vetting editors:

Contact and Service Information

  1. Name:
  2. Contact information you would provide to a client:
  3. Your website and/or Facebook business page:
  4. What types of editing do you do (copy, line, structural, developmental, etc.)? What genres or types of manuscripts do you edit? (Speculative fiction, literary fiction, romance, memoir, technical, etc.) Explain what each term means to you in terms of the service you provide. Do you provide any other services? (e.g., Do you provide a manuscript evaluation? Do you research or verify research and sources? Do you provide formatting services? Proofread? Graphic design?)

Charges and Payment

  1. How do you charge? (Hourly, by the word, other) Why did you choose that method?
  2. How much do you charge?
  3. Do you provide an estimate of time and the charge before the contract is signed?
  4. What payment types do you accept? (PayPal, credit card, cash only, personal check, money order, etc.)


  1. Do you communicate by phone, email, video chat, other? (List all.)
  2. What are your business/working hours for communication or return communication? (Please include time zone.)
  3. Do you charge for your time spent communicating via telephone, video chat, etc.? (Please elaborate.)
  4. Are communication charges detailed in your contract?


  1. How long have you been editing in general? How long have you been editing fiction in particular?
  2. What editing classes, courses, or workshops have you taken?
  3. Do you have any certification (not all countries have this) or a degree? If so, please name/list them:
  4. Have you ever turned down a client? Why?


  1. What style guide or manual do you use?
  2. Do you request to see the manuscript in whole or in part ahead of time? How many words, pages, scenes or chapters?
  3. Do you provide a free sample edit of a few pages of the writer’s work?

Contract and Indemnity

  1. Do you use a contract?
  2. Does your contract include a schedule for edits or revisions?
  3. Does it include a payment schedule?
  4. Does it include an error/error rate clause?
  5. What other charges are listed in your contract (if any)? (Telephone consultation, video chat, reimbursement for text, banking service fees, postal expenses, etc.)


  1. Please list 3 – 5 business (not personal) references.