EDITORIAL TERMS OF SERVICE
This is a sample contract—what you can expect to sign when you hire me as an editor.
1. Description of Work
Manuscript Critique: The Editor will assess the plot, structure, tone, voice, point(s) of view, worldbuilding, pacing, dialogue, consistency, and characters of the Client’s manuscript. The Editor will provide a 5–10 page feedback letter (“the Work”) by the agreed deadline, specified under Delivery.
Developmental Editing: The Editor will assess the plot, structure, tone, voice, point(s) of view, worldbuilding, pacing, dialogue, consistency, and characters of the Client’s manuscript. The Editor will provide a 5–10 page feedback letter and return the manuscript with margin comments (“the Work”) by the agreed deadline, specified under Delivery.
Line Editing: The Editor will tighten up the Client’s manuscript at a paragraph level, suggesting fixes for issues like writing in a passive voice, using too many adverbs or adjectives, telling vs. showing, using unnecessary words or phrases, repetition, unclear phrasing, unintended shifts in tone, and mixed metaphors. The Editor will return the manuscript with in-line suggestions (“the Work”) by the agreed deadline, specified under Delivery.
The Client agrees to deliver the manuscript to the Editor on or before [date] via email as a Microsoft Word document.
The Editor agrees to deliver the Work to the Client on or before [date] via email as a Microsoft Word document and/or PDF letter. In the event that the deadline has to change due to unforeseen circumstances like illness or family bereavement, the Editor will contact the Client as soon as possible with a revised date.
The Client is to pay the Editor the editorial fee based on the per-word rate ($0.015/word for manuscript critique; $0.020/word for developmental edit; $0.027/word for line edit.
The Client agrees to pay the Editor a non-refundable down payment of 25% of the total fee to the Editor by [date] and prior to the Editor performing any work. This amount will be deducted from the final invoice.
The Editor will send the final invoice before delivering the completed Work to the Client. Payment of the final invoice is due within ten (10) business days after the invoice is sent. There is a $30 USD rebilling charge if payment is not received in full by the due date stated on the invoice. The Editor will send the Work to the Client within five (5) business days after receiving the final payment.
The Editor retains ownership of all work performed, including all relevant intellectual property rights, until the Editor receives full payment from the Client. Use of the Work before that time by the Client represents a violation of these rights unless said use is agreed to in writing by the Editor.
4. Cancellation Policy
This agreement may be terminated by the Client or the Editor with ten (10) days’ notice sent by email to the other party. No matter which party terminates the agreement, the Client will pay the Editor for all work done up to the date of termination. The Editor will return all materials, including any edits done to the manuscript, to the Client within ten (10) business days of the cancellation notice.
5. Editor's Status
The Editor is an independent contractor. Nothing in this Agreement will be understood to create a partnership, joint venture or co-venture, agency, or employment relationship between the Client and the Editor.
The Client crediting the Editor’s work is not required. If the Client would like to acknowledge the Editor for the work, the Client agrees to ask the Editor for permission via email first.
All Client information and materials are considered confidential and only for use by the Editor to provide a quote or complete a project. Client information and project materials will not be given out or shared with any third party, unless otherwise requested by the Client.
7. Use of Copyrighted Work
The Client accepts responsibility for complying with copyright laws and obtaining the necessary permission to use any elements of provided text, graphics, photos, music and song lyrics, designs, trademarks, or other created work to be included in the final product.
Editing is a process of offering advice and suggestions to the Client. While the Editor will make every effort to identify and bring questionable material to the Client’s attention, it is not possible to guarantee error-free content. After accepting the final files from the Editor, the Client is responsible for any errors in the finished work.
The Editor’s responsibility is limited to notifying the Client of any suspected or unresolved issues within the edited work. The Client is responsible for accepting (or rejecting) the Editor’s suggestions and resolving any issues identified by the Editor (e.g. suspected plagiarism).
Rejecting or disliking the Editor’s suggestions is not a basis for refusing to pay the fees outlined in this Agreement.
9. Dispute Resolution
The Client or the Editor may request that any dispute arising out of this Agreement be submitted to binding arbitration before a mutually agreed-upon arbitrator in accordance with the arbitration legislation of the governing province or territory. The arbitrator’s decision or award will be final.
10. Modification of Agreement
Any modification of this Agreement must be in writing and acknowledged in writing by both the Client and the Editor.