Why do I need an editor?
Even writers who are ruthless editors of their own work are often too close to make necessary decisions. An editor is able to be entirely objective and act in the best interest of the manuscript. While improving the manuscript is an editor's main goal, I believe the lessons that studious writers learn as a result are even more important. Editors can identify weaknesses in style and technique, which help writers improve their craft.
What kind of editing do I need?
Your ideal editing service depends on your manuscript's stage, your budget, and your overall goals. For help with high-level story elements, consider developmental editing or a manuscript critique. If you are entirely comfortable with your structure, plot, etc. and are ready to dig into sentence-level edits, you likely need line editing. If your manuscript has been thoroughly edited already and only needs a final pass for residual errors, you're ready for proofreading.
Learn more about Blue Pen services here.
What is your approach to editing?
The goal of any editing service is to align the words on the page with the author's vision. We work to enhance the unique aspects of each manuscript. Editing is a craft, and Blue Pen editors work to make thoughtful decisions based on the style and direction of the work. Whether we're providing feedback on the story or making changes at the line level, we always work to balance honest, comprehensive editing with positivity and encouragement.
Learn more about the Blue Pen editorial philosophy.
What does your project agreement say?
The project agreement details payment specifics, including rates and payment schedules. It also protects your rights as an author. It specifies that your work is to remain private and that you retain copyright ownership at all times during and after the process. It also ensures that copyright ownership of the edits are transferred to you.
Should I schedule editing in advance?
Blue Pen is proud to offer exceptional availability. We can typically begin new projects within a month. That said, if you have a date in mind, you are more than welcome book in advance and secure your editing slot. If your manuscript is not yet completed, we will book using your estimated word count.
Am I ready for professional editing?
Could you make it any better yourself? If not, you’re ready for professional editing. Our job is to pick up where you leave off. Professional editing is not a replacement for self-editing. It’s a deeper level of the editing process.
You can of course schedule editing before you get to that point. Just make sure you leave yourself time to self-edit before the scheduled start date.
Which payment methods do you accept?
We accept most payment methods, including bank transfers and credit cards.
When is the fee due?
The fee for each project is divided into two payments: 50% on booking and 50% on completion.
Will I speak directly with my editor?
The only time authors and editors communicate directly is during the post-developmental phone call. Otherwise, all communication goes through the Book Boss. That's what she's there for!
What is your cancellation policy?
The initial 50% payment is nonrefundable. If you need to cancel while services are in progress, you will be responsible for the portion of the fee corresponding with completed work.
Do you work with my genre?
Blue Pen has worked with genres including romance, horror, western, inspirational, sci-fi, memoir, historical, upmarket, fantasy, crime thriller, adventure, suspense, and many more. Review our editors' specialty areas here.
In addition to fiction and general nonfiction projects, our specialists also work with academic pieces and poetry. At Blue Pen, we take pride in delivering specialized editing services that fit each author's work and goals.
What are your credentials?
Our editors are the best of the best, with decades of combined experience, along with bachelor's and master's degrees in their respective fields. Blue Pen editors have worked with independent authors and publishing houses. Our editors are all members of the Editorial Freelancers Association.
Victoria, the owner and founder of Blue Pen, is also an EFA member. She has edited professionally since 2016. She is also an author, with more than 40 pieces of published short fiction, and is represented by Sandy Lu of Book Wyrm Agency.
How do you set your rates?
Most projects are quoted at a per-word rate based on the specific editing service and the condition of the manuscript. Rates are based on industry standards published by the EFA.
What programs do you use?
All edits are made in Microsoft Word using comments and Track Changes. If you have not worked with Track Changes before, this short video introduces the tool. If your work is currently in Scrivener or another program, we can help you convert it to Word.
I'm worried editing will change my voice.
After editing, your manuscript will look different. But every change should improve the manuscript and align with the author's vision. Good editing does not destroy what is special about your work. It not only maintains but highlights your unique narrative voice. Remember, we are always working in the best interest of your manuscript and career.
Tell me about the Blue Pen team.
Our team of talented, skilled professionals includes some of the industry's best editors. Each member of the Blue Pen editorial team has been thoroughly vetted, and their variety of specialties allows us to provide even stronger services for authors.
In addition to editorial professionals, the Blue Pen team includes book designers and marketers to help independent authors publish high-quality books.
Each member of our team signs a confidentiality agreement, so you can be sure your work is never shared outside of our organization.
How was Blue Pen founded?
Blue Pen was founded by author and editor Victoria Griffin. While working as a freelance book editor, Victoria found that many of her clients needed trustworthy author services, which led her to develop Blue Pen as a comprehensive resource for authors who want to produce high-level work.
Blue Pen offers more in-depth resources and specialized services than individual freelancers, while providing a much more personalized experience than large companies.
Who will be working with my manuscript?
We pair each author with the team members who best suit their manuscript and goals. Each of our team members as demonstrated excellence in their field.