The Process

8 Steps to Better Writing:

Start with a no-obligation sample edit.


“From the initial sample edit, I knew Pat was the right fit for my work.”

Claire Snyman, Writer
Two Steps Forward

  1. Get in touch. Use the form here, or email pat[at]lucidedit[dot]com, and Pat or Doug will email you back to request your entire manuscript as a word attachment.

  2. Free sample edit. For novels and book-length non fiction, we will read up to 10 pages and do a sample line edit on 2-3 pages. For short stories we read a couple of pages and will do a sample line edit on 1 page. (Note: Doug currently specializes in short stories, while Pat works with longer manuscripts.)

  3. Quote. Within 7 days, we will send you our sample edit and quote (with no obligation to proceed). If we don’t connect with your work, or if we think your manuscript isn’t ready for editing, we would still send you a memo with our thoughts and suggestions, but wouldn’t make a proposal. If we love your work and are interested in proceeding, we would suggest what type of editing the manuscript would benefit from, and offer a quote.

  4. Review. You review the sample edit and decide if we’re the right editor for your work, then get back to us with a ‘yay’ or ‘nay’.

  5. Contract. If we decide to proceed, we send you a Letter of Agreement (LOA) with a detailed Scope of Work and schedule. We correspond on any changes and finalize the LOA.

  6. Deposit. You send an email agreeing to terms, and pay a deposit.

  7. Edit. Depending on the scope of work (developmental edit, substantive edit, evaluation, critique, line edit, copy edit, or all of the above), this might consist of an editorial letter, book map, style sheet, and your manuscript, annotated and/or line edited and copyedited using Track Changes. One or two half-hour phone or Skype consultations and follow-up emails are included.

  8. Deliver. We deliver the agreed-on scope of work, you pay the balance and take your manuscript one step closer to publication.

Here’s more about how the sample edit might benefit you.


“I sent Pat my sample edit and she returned it less than a week later with an analysis of structure, strengths, and weaknesses. She told me what she would do for different kinds of edits she offered. This was followed by a simple letter of agreement, which detailed what she would do, when she would do it, and how much it would cost. Absolutely clear and followed to the letter.”

Mary Sheeran, Writer