To make sure our partnership goes as well as I anticipate, here are important details (also called “terms and conditions”) for working with Ranee Tomlin through On Course Editing. When you send me a signed Letter of Agreement, you indicate your acceptance of these business details.
However, if we agree to different terms and put them in writing, that agreement document takes precedence over anything on this page. If a specific condition isn’t addressed on that separate agreement, though, the following applies.
Providing a Quotation
I will provide a good-faith quotation for price and estimated completion time, based on the information you give me. To assess the work involved, I will request to see a section from the middle portion of the writing with which you need assistance; and if you ask me to do so, I am happy to provide a short editing sample from that section (up to 750 words or one-fourth the size of your project, whichever is smaller).
If there is an unforeseen complication with your material or if I experience an unexpected personal challenge that prevents me from meeting our agreed-upon work deadline or price quotation, I will inform you as soon as possible and will stop work while you decide how you wish to proceed.
Please give me plenty of lead time to provide a timely quotation, so that I can schedule it with my already ongoing work. I reserve the right to suggest an alternative completion time, charge extra for rush work, or refuse to accept a particular job because I’m not able to meet your needs.
When you book my editing services in advance, we must agree on (1) a date (certain or approximate, depending on the type of project) when you will send me the work and (2) the deadline by which I need to complete and return the completed editing to you. As we approach our arranged start date—and at least two weeks in advance—please confirm the timing with me.
To hold an editing slot, you will need to prepay 25 percent of my good-faith quotation. I will apply this prepayment to the total owing. For further payment information, please see my "Payment for Services Rendered" section later on this page.
If for any reason you cannot send me your work on our agreed date, I reserve the right to reject your project, even with a previous confirmed collaboration agreement. I strive to schedule projects so that I can meet client expectations and deadlines, and receiving your work late could jeopardize my commitments to other projects.
For the same reason, please do not send me work and expect me to complete it without having booked the work in advance or having cleared with me any delays on your part.
If you are unable to meet the originally planned date for sending me your project,
advise me as soon as possible that you won’t be able to meet our agreed-upon date, which may allow me to fit another project into my schedule;
either provide a revised date for sending your work to me, so that I can determine whether I’ll be able to meet both your new deadline and my other previously scheduled commitments, or
keep me informed of any further delays or changes and, with at least a week’s notice, confirm when you will be ready to send your project to me;
kindly accept that I may not be able to work to the new deadline, understanding that I will notify you as soon as possible if I can no longer fit your project into my schedule.
If your work turns out significantly different from or longer than the project to which we originally agreed, the same conditions apply. In that eventuality, I must reserve the right to turn down your project or adjust the deadline.
My Content Boundaries
I embrace freedom of speech and press. I also have a personal comfort level and will not accept work if its content oversteps my boundaries.
In particular, I am not a good fit for editing explicit sexual scenes or erotica, and I choose to avoid working with material that actively promotes pornography, extremism, smoking, heavy drinking, or illegal drug use.
I am unable to work with material that portrays gratuitous violence or cruelty to humans or to animals.
Thank you for respecting my preferences regarding the type of project content I must avoid.
My Work-Hours Boundaries
Every business owner keeps flexible hours. I am no exception. I want to serve my clients well, and I know that you need my responsiveness. However, I must take active steps to maintain work-life balance. In addition, one client’s pressing deadline may require my focus to the temporary exclusion of all other distractions, no matter how tempting.
Thank you, then, for understanding that unless we have made special arrangements, I probably will not respond to evening, nighttime, weekend, or holiday messages until Monday–Friday daytime hours (I’m in the US mountain time zone) and may not be immediately available if I’m immersed in a project that demands a period of uninterrupted concentration.
Please realize, though, that I am by nature highly responsive and responsible; and even when I am enforcing healthy work boundaries, I’m always eager to reply to your queries. Balance requires patience for both of us.
Impact of Viruses or Corruption
Understandably, despite any previous collaboration agreement we have confirmed, I must reserve the right to refuse your project if you send me an e-mail or electronic document that contains a virus. I’ll alert you to this work-stopping problem as soon as possible after I become aware of the issue.
If I find that your electronic document is corrupted, I cannot guarantee that all my project formatting will remain stable when you open the document. I will inform you that I’ve encountered corruption; and either we will agree that you accept the document may not remain stable, or I will cancel the job and return the document to you with no work.
However, if I start work on the document before discovering corruption and must then cancel the remainder of my work on the project, I reserve the right to charge for the number of words I edited before cancellation.
Impact of Plagiarism
Plagiarism is a virus of a different kind and will be handled accordingly. From Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary (11th edition), here is the straightforward definition of plagiarize:
To steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own: use (another’s production) without crediting the source . . . to commit literary theft: present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.
If I find that you have extensively or deliberately plagiarized in your writing (by not providing attribution when copying another organization or person’s website or other text or when changing text taken from another source) or if I believe that you have violated the principles of fair use, I reserve the right to discontinue work on your project. I also reserve the right to charge for any editing already completed on your document at the time I discover evidence of plagiarism or fair-use violation.
When you send me a signed Letter of Agreement, you are stating that your project does not include plagiarized work.
Responsibilities of Writer and Editor
Writing and editing are subjective areas of endeavor. When we enter into a formal writer-editor collaboration, you will retain the rights, privileges, and responsibilities of all authors. I will make editing or proofreading changes and suggestions that are appropriate to our agreement, but you will choose which of those changes and suggestions to accept and incorporate into your writing project. You own the document, and you are responsible for the final product’s accuracy, style, adherence to standards of originality and attribution, and effect.
I will conduct myself with professionalism and respect, and I will do all I can to provide excellent copyediting, proofreading, or research services in guiding your clear, consistent, and credible communication with readers. However, no copyeditor, proofreader, or researcher is perfect. I cannot guarantee my work will be completely error free despite my best efforts to achieve that impossible and elusive standard.
Services Available to Students
Although not my focus, I am open to assisting a limited number of adult students with their copyediting or proofreading needs. For many years, I was an adult student and worked with college-level students. I believe that students’ work must be completely their own, not mine or anyone else’s. For that reason, my student services are limited to Microsoft Word Track Changes suggestions (which the student must individually accept or reject) and include
editorial triage, providing basic proofreading for major errors, or
light copyediting, addressing mechanics, internal and factual consistencies, grammar, style, usage, structure, sentence length, and paragraph length.
Students may choose either proofreading or light copyediting based on their timeframes or budgetary constraints. I do not provide substantive editing for students, and I will never rewrite any work eligible for academic credit.
However, I guarantee students that I will personally read each word of their academic work and will not rely on the vagaries of spelling- and grammar-checking software to do my job.
As set out in the next section, I usually expect payment for my services no later than 30 days from the invoice date. However, for students I must make an exception and receive full, nonnegotiable payment upon completion of my editing work and before returning the edited document.
Payment for Services Rendered
I provide an invoice with my completed editing work. After crediting the booking fee you paid to hold an editing slot with me (25 percent of my good-faith quotation for your project), I will require an advance payment, consisting of 50 percent of the remaining balance, to begin editing.
As noted in the preceding section, students must provide full, nonnegotiable payment of the final balance at the time I complete my editing work for them.
For most other clients, unless I have expressly agreed to another arrangement, payment of the final balance is due within 30 days of invoice date. My invoice provides payment instructions. Payments are nonrefundable.
Please note: until I receive full payment of the final balance, I retain copyright to the work I have edited.
Impact of Your Delay in Project Progress
After I begin your project, if you find that you must delay your part of our collaborative work for more than three weeks, payment for the work to date or half my quotation (whichever is greater) will become immediately due, and the project will be categorized as closed. Resuming work on the project will require a new agreement, contingent on my availability at that time.
Impact of Late Payment
If your payment is late, I will advise you of my need to hire a debt-collection agency and will try to provide you time to make your payment before I must use the debt-collection service and add their cost to your bill.
Accepting These Nuts and Bolts (a/k/a/ Terms and Conditions)
When we establish the arrangements for our collaboration, I will direct you to these Nuts and Bolts and request that you send me a signed Letter of Agreement. Your signed Letter of Agreement indicates your acceptance of all the information provided on this page. It is therefore in your best interests to carefully read these terms and discuss with me any issues or concerns before sending me your signed Letter of Agreement.
Any request for work beyond the scope of our Letter of Agreement (including extra copyediting passes) will be negotiated, agreed to, and charged as an additional project, and such additional work will not be performed without further payment.
Thank you, and I look forward to working with you.