Before you submit your copy to Little Fire for a quote, there are a few things you can do that will save you money. Taking these steps translates to lower project cost and quicker turnaround—a win-win proposition!
- Bundle services for a discount: Many of our clients take advantage of our Comprehensive Editing package (Copyediting and Substantive Editing combined) to qualify for a discounted price. We also offer a discount if you bundle any of our various services—Copyediting and Proofreading, for example. So fill up your shopping cart and save!
- Format your copy simply: Just embrace the KISS principle: set your margins at 1 inch all around and use Times New Roman 12 point, double-spaced throughout. Resist the urge to indulge in fancy formatting (that phase of production comes later); it can create all sorts of headaches for your humble editor—and finding and fixing them adds billable hours to the project.
- Check your spelling: Take advantage of Word’s spellcheck feature. When in doubt, consult Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary; it won’t cost you a cent.
- Note unusual words: If you use specialized terms, abbreviations, acronyms/initialisms, note them in a separate list and be consistent in their use.
- Footnotes/endnotes and references or bibliography should scrupulously follow the conventions of your preferred style guide. There are loads of online tutorials to help you accomplish this—take advantage of them! Cleaning up sloppy citations and references really adds time to the job, so invest a little sweat equity on your end and reap the rewards in lower project costs. Tip: The free, open-source Zotero app is a wonderful tool that will help you collect, organize, and cite your references correctly (and it’s available in Windows, Mac, and Linux flavors).
- Double-check your facts, assertions, and references to assure accuracy.
- Recruit beta readers. Writing with clarity and style is your ultimate goal. Sure, Little Fire can help you get there through judicious editing, but it is in your best interest (and that of your pocketbook) to enlist the aid of beta readers to see if you’re hitting your mark before my meter starts running. But be forewarned: Unless your beta readers are very familiar with your genre and are totally unbiased, they can do more harm than good. Tip: Friends and family aren’t usually the best choice. Try to find beta readers who fit your target reader profile. Critique groups or workshops (live or virtual) are also a great resource.