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  • Writer's pictureChristina Crosland

What to Expect When You Send Your Manuscript to an Editor

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

Your manuscript can feel like your baby. Know what to expect before and after you ask an editor for a quote.

A pile of papers.
Photo Credit: Annie Spratt | Unsplash

You’re sitting with your finger poised to click Send, but maybe you’re nervous about this next step. That’s okay. Your manuscript can feel like it’s your baby! It’s no wonder if you are a little apprehensive about what to expect.

Don’t worry, we get it. As a mother of two and a writer myself, I know the feeling well. It’s a whole new level of anxiety when you let someone else look after your baby for a while. That’s why as the editors, we try to make the editing process as painless as possible. This is, after all, your baby. We are here to support you in making it the best that it can be.

So what exactly happens when you send us your manuscript?


1. Before You Get a Quote

The first thing an editor must do is determine what level of editing the manuscript needs. When you ask an editor for pricing, they will request a sample of your manuscript. If they don’t, they could end up not editing at the appropriate level, and that sacrifices quality as well as money.

You might be wondering why you can’t just tell an editor you want A or B type of editing. The truth is, you can. But you might not be asking for the level of editing your manuscript really needs. For example, if you were to finish the first draft of a book and ask your editor to do just a proofread, that could actually cost you in the long run. You would get a grammatically polished book back, but the storyline or sentence structure would likely still need work, and that might kill the success of your book. It doesn’t matter how grammatically correct it is if it’s difficult to follow or doesn’t have a plotline.

If requesting a quote, it is helpful to include a summary of your plot or points, as well as whether or not you need the edits by a specific date.

When sending a sample, make sure to send enough of your manuscript that the editor can get a comprehensive feel for your writing. This is why we suggest that if you have a manuscript longer than 10 pages, you send at least the first and last chapter. Adding a middle chapter can be beneficial too. Why, you ask? Well, it’s pretty typical to see a very polished first chapter but subsequent chapters less and less so. By giving a sample from different parts of your manuscript, you enable editors to give a more accurate assessment and quote.


2. When You Accept the Quote

Within 24 hours of you sending us a sample, we will send you a quote. The quote is based on a number of factors, which include the type and length of the manuscript, the level(s) of editing that will be performed, and how quick of a turnaround you need.

While we will always advise on the types of editing that would be most beneficial, we want to work with both you and your budget. If price is an issue, we can discuss different options until we find one that fits.

After accepting a quote, the next step will be to sign a contract. This might sound scary, but it’s really no big deal. Basically it’s just a guarantee that all parties involved understand what is expected from the transaction.


3. After the Contract Is Signed

Let’s celebrate! This is the point when you’ve sent your baby off to school. It might be hard, but it will be worth it to see them grow and learn so much.

Typically, the editor you work with will give you a timeline for when you can expect to hear from them. In the meantime, trust that they are editing your manuscript with a loving hand, one that wants to build your baby up.


Your manuscript will likely go through multiple rounds between you and your editor. But your baby will always come back home to you. Remember, it takes a village to raise a child, and it’s our goal to be part of your village.

Did you know we offer a FREE 20-minute consultation? Click here to set up an appointment.

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