Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to the most common questions I receive. If you want to ask me something that’s not listed here, please get in touch via the “Contacts” page.
I’m nowhere near San Francisco. How can we work together?
Simple! So much can be done online these days that as long as you have an internet connection, distance is no problem at all. If you’re unfamiliar with some of the technology involved (the ins and outs of word processing software, PDF documents, etc.), I can either give you a quick introduction or refer you to a website or a colleague if you’d like a little more help.
Of course I can do things “old-school,” too. If you’d prefer to send me materials in hardcopy format, I still love to pick up a colored pencil every now and again. 🙂
What is your process for working on a project?
First you contact me, we chat (through e-mail, Skype, or over the phone) about your specific needs, and if you’d like, I provide a short work sample at no charge (see my “Pricing” page for more information).
Once you decide to hire me and we determine the details, we’ll both sign off on a simple agreement that clarifies the project description, timeline, payment arrangements, etc. (This can be done electronically or in hardcopy—whichever you prefer.)
I primarily work on documents in Microsoft Word, proofreading and/or editing with the “Track Changes” feature. This allows you to review my work and accept or reject my edits, either one at a time or all at once. If you’ve never used Track Changes, I’d be glad to show you how—it’s very easy, and allows for flexibility in how you can view and work with edited documents.
I can also accommodate other formats, including:
- Google Docs
- PDF documents
- Open Office documents
- documents generated using other word processing software and saved in .txt or .rtf format
- handwritten edits on hardcopy (traditional proofreading/editing marks if you’re familiar with them or would like a handy reference guide, common-sense English notations, or a combination of both)
What are your fees, and how are you paid?
Please see my “Pricing” page for a description of my fees.
For one-time projects, I request either a small down-payment for short projects (negotiable depending on the scope of the project) or a 50% deposit for larger projects, with the balance due upon completion.
For ongoing projects, I ask that you send the monthly retainer amount to my Paypal account either on the first of the month or whichever date we choose together.
What about confidentiality?
I will keep your materials as confidential as you’d like, and will never disclose you and/or your business as a client of mine without your express consent. (All testimonials you see on this website were offered voluntarily and are being used with permission.)
I also take all standard precautions when working and communicating over the internet. These include regular scanning for viruses and other malware, hosting my site through a secure server, and using an email provider which automatically guards against security breaches.
Do you offer a guarantee?
I absolutely guarantee to take your project as seriously as I would if it were my own product or service, and to do my very best to ensure that your words are professionally polished and representative of you and your message.
If you’re asking whether I offer a money-back guarantee, that’s a little different. While I fully understand your legitimate need to feel secure about spending your money, I also need to respect the fact that it’s my own (irreplaceable) time at stake. So I can’t offer a refund on time already spent/work already done. (This is standard among consultants of all types.)
However, my main concern is that you’re satisfied. So if you hire me and at any point things aren’t happening the way you expected, PLEASE CONTACT ME IMMEDIATELY! I am a professional, and I won’t take it personally if you say you’re not happy about something. We’ll discuss the situation and determine if there’s a way to rectify it. This might involve redefining the scope and/or timeline of the project, adjusting the process, or bringing in additional help. (I know many other professionals, and will gladly refer you to someone else if it seems appropriate.)
In short, I want you to be happy with the work I do. If something isn’t working out, let me know right away and we’ll figure out what to do about it, whether that involves me continuing to work on the project or not.