November 10 2016

Wrapping up Fall 2016

by Barbie in Academia, Editing, Grad School

We’re nearly halfway through November, and Thanksgiving is just two weeks away. Once you return to campus after the holiday break, you’ll be in the midst of final exams, dissertation and thesis revisions, and, in some cases, graduation. Before you walk across that stage and earn your degree, there’s work to do, and we’re here to help.

We have several projects lined up for our clients who are graduating this semester. We’re helping them polish their dissertation proposals before their defense and editing the final draft of their capstone projects. Others are writing manuscripts to submit to peer-reviewed journals. We have some availability for the remainder of 2016, so now is the time to get on our schedule.

Email today. Happy writing!

February 17 2016

The value of an editor

by Barbie in Editing

Some writers and students might scoff at hiring an editor, thinking that the process is a waste of time or money. However, editors play a vital role in the writing process, and even the best writers should rely on editors.

Nothing illustrates the value of an editor more than seeing the results. This image indicates the insertions, deletions, formatting fixes, and comments made in a well-written 200-page dissertation by one of our doctoral clients. Yes, that’s more than 5,000 changes, 200+ formatting fixes, and 150 comments.

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 8.19.36 PM


A seasoned professional editor catches errors that others will overlook. Is spacing consistent between sentences? Are headings formatted per your style guide? Is concise and clear terminology used throughout? We check for these issues and many more in every document we edit. Let us help you today!

January 10 2016

New year, new projects

by Barbie in Editing

Happy New Year! Perhaps you’ve never worked with an editor before, but you plan on using our services in 2016 for the first time. Here are three things to remember when working with an editor.

1. It’s collaborative.

You’re the subject matter expert, so we defer to you when it comes to your content. Your edited project will be returned with many comments and suggestions, and we need your input to polish your prose and prep your paper for publication. Please be ready to revise, and remember to incorporate revision time into your schedule.

2. It’s straightforward.

Electronic editing is a simple process. Thanks to e-mail, reviewing tools in Word, and sharable files over the cloud, we can share documents and interact to ensure your document is ready for submission. Virtual collaboration maximizes efficiency on both ends, so embrace it!

3. It’s beneficial.

Everyone needs an editor—even the best writers rely on editors. We comb through every sentence of your document to ensure your phrasing is clear, concise, and effective. When you see our edits, you can identify clear strategies to improve your writing. Plus, we’ll offer tips on best usage, proper style, and much more! We’re confident that your editing experience can help improve your writing.

Make 2016 the year you improve your writing. We’re here to help!

October 5 2015


by Barbie in Company News, Editing

For the first time in our history, we’ve hit the 200-project mark in a year! We edited our 200th document over the weekend … with nearly 3 months to go in 2015!


January 16 2015

Accepting spring projects

by Barbie in Academia, Company News, Editing

We’re filling our schedule with dissertation and capstone project edits through the end of February. We’re open to new projects, so get yours in today! Here are some ways we can help you excel this semester.

Spring Ad Copy

Click image to enlarge.

August 20 2014

The century mark

by Barbie in Company News, Editing

Last week, we completed our 100th editing project of the year! So far, we’ve completed a new editing project every 2.24 days in 2014. We’re already approaching the 110 mark now.

Will we exceed our record-setting 171 editing projects completed in 2013? We’re on a comparable pace, so it’s possible. Stay tuned — and keep those projects coming!

June 2 2014

Surfing for errors

by Barbie in Editing, Web Writing

Whether we’re surfing the web for business — that is, researching for articles — or pleasure, we come across plenty of typos and errors. Check out what we’ve caught on the web recently.

Sentence 2: Scratch that apostrophe in "scientists."

More apostrophe trouble: The wrong form of "its" is used here.

Sentence 2: The wrong form of "complement" is used here.

What’s the bottom line? Whether you’re writing advertorial copy for a retail site, sharing business information with potential customers, or composing articles for web-based magazines, your web content needs to be edited thoroughly and accurately.

October 28 2013

What’s your deadline?

by Barbie in Editing

When we receive a project from a client, we need a deadline. Not only does a deadline help us manage our schedule, it also ensures that you’re able to submit your project on time. While coming up with your deadline might seem simple, consider these tips before answering that simple question:

  • How long will you need to revise? You’re going to receive an edited document that’s full of tracked changes and editorial comments. You don’t want to cut your deadline so close that you don’t have time to adequately revise.
  • What does your schedule look like? Building off of the previous point, consider how much time you can dedicate to revising in the days leading up to your deadline. Ideally, you want to make your revisions your top priority as your deadline quickly approaches.
  • How much collaboration is needed? You might receive your edited document, implement our changes and comments, and be ready to submit. Or, you might have questions, want us to review your revisions, or need a quick formatting fix. Building in some time for editorial collaboration is a smart move when establishing your deadline.

So, if you’re defending your dissertation on November 15, don’t give that date to us as your deadline. You need time to revise and collaborate before you submit. Whether you need a few days or a week to revise depends on your schedule, efficiency, and availability.

April 2 2013

A look at hourly billing

by Barbie in Editing

We came across this intriguing post at the American Editor blog: The Business of Editing: The Ethics of Billing, and it got us thinking.

As our clients know (and our Rates page tells you), we charge by the hour for editing projects. Some editors charge per word; others charge per page. For Carpenter Doc (and I’d argue, for all editors), hourly rates are by far the most accurate way to charge for our time. Per-word or per-page rates don’t take into account the quality of the document, instead charging a flat rate no matter the demands of the project. A well-written and well-structured document with only minor grammatical and structural flaws will take far less time to edit than one that has major errors in structure and composition. If we charged a per-page fee, the skilled writer would pay the same amount as the writer with the document that needs major work — even though we’d spend far more time on the latter project. This method of charging risks shortchanging us, in some cases, and overcharging clients, in others.

It’s difficult to offer a precise amount for any project because we don’t know the demands of the project until we’re working on it. We tell our clients that, on average, we edit 20-30 double-spaced pages an hour, which gives them a good sense of what the total will likely be. Of course, there are always exceptions to that average.

Back to the question posed by American Editor, we always charge for the amount of time worked, never more, even if we come in way under budget. If we hit the client’s budget maximum and still have work to complete, we contact the client to decide how to proceed. Quoting projects isn’t an exact science, so if we’re way off (which is rare), we notify the client right away to update him or her on any adjustments to the quote, no matter how small. You don’t want to blindside a client with an invoice that far exceeds the quote, so communication is key throughout the editing process. Honest reporting of time worked, of course, is essential as well.

January 29 2013

Why electronic editing works

by Barbie in Editing

We regularly field emails from potential clients curious about how our editing process works. How can we effectively improve the document without ever meeting in person — and often not even talking on the phone? Thanks to today’s technology, we can edit a long-distance client’s project just as easily as a local one.

Here are some of the features of our electronic editing process:

  • Every edit is tracked. Thanks to Word’s reviewing tools, including Track Changes, you have the opportunity to see every change we make. You can accept or reject them individually or as a group. We are not changing anything in your document without you knowing it.
  • Collaboration is essential. Word also allows for easy collaboration between writer and editor. We consider this collaboration crucial to the editing process. You will find comments throughout your document with suggested changes, questions about content, and more. You, as the writer, are the subject matter expert. We defer to you in many situations, working with you to improve a sentence or paragraph rather than correcting it for you. We want to improve your writing, not replace your writing with ours.
  • Communication is constant. Thanks to email, we stay in touch with you throughout the editing process. We confirm receipt of your document within hours — if not minutes. We provide an estimated turnaround time when we receive your document. Should questions arise during the edit, we send them to you via email. We answer any questions about the edit and provide minor fixes at no charge as you revise. In short, we’re committed to helping you improve your document, and we know that an accessible, communicative editor is essential to make this possible.

The electronic editing process is ideal for today’s busy lives. You can submit your project via email and communicate with us when it fits into your schedule. We confidently state that the electronic editing process encourages collaboration rather than inhibiting it. Give it a try!