Frequently Asked Questions

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What are your rates?

copyediting & Proofreading

I bill these projects by the word, or sometimes by blocks of 1,000 words. I provide a firm estimate for each project after looking over the entire file. A firm estimate based on word count benefits you, the client, because you know up front how much to budget for editing your project.

But what do you charge, you ask? The answer, as always: It depends. Some factors I consider: the genre, what the manuscript needs vs. what you can afford, and your schedule.

For routine projects like regular newsletters, I'm delighted to negotiate a flat rate to copyedit each issue.

Development Editing

For development editing, I charge by the hour. Development editing simply has too many variables to quote a firm estimate.

That said, I have abundant data that can help me provide a soft estimate for your job. And to work within your budget, I customarily include an "hours cap" in my contracts—that is, a maximum number of billable hours, agreed to by both of us.

Other Services

Manuscript analysis and writing gigs are all negotiable. Let's talk.

What training do you have?

I graduated summa cum laude from Washburn University of Topeka, Kansas, with a BA in English and a minor in history. I took extensive coursework in publishing, writing, and modern English grammar. I also edited two university literary magazines and tutored in the writing center.

I went on to earn an MA in literature from American University in Washington, DC. My primary area of study was composition pedagogy—that is, how to teach writing. But I had some fun along the way with courses in linguistics and 18th-century British literature. During my first year I again tutored in the writing center, specializing in helping ESL/EFL/ELL students with their writing assignments. During my second year I was editorial assistant for Professor Deborah Payne, a 17th/18th-century literature scholar who was then head of the master's program.

During my 11 years in-house at the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, I worked my way up from assistant editor to managing editor to senior editor, with all the ongoing, on-the-job training that entails. Because my work included a lot of desktop publishing (interior text layouts primarily), I took additional courses in QuarkXPress and Adobe Creative Suite (with special focus on InDesign). I also have nearly 17 (overlapping) years of experience as a freelance editor, focusing first on dissertation editing and later moving into Catholic and scholarly editing.

My professional memberships include the Editorial Freelancers Association, ACES: The Society for Editors, the renowned Copyediting-L email discussion list, and several Facebook groups for editors. I also attend editing conferences to network with colleagues and keep abreast of the latest developments in publishing and freelancing.

Want to know more? Click here to download my formal CV.

What software and hardware do you use?

For editing, I work exclusively in Microsoft Office for Windows. MS Word, for all its faults, is simply the industry standard. Tracked changes and comments appear correctly and consistently, and the files are completely compatible across platforms.

For my proofreading work, I do PDF markup in PDF XChange. As needed, I can mark up PDFs in Adobe Acrobat instead.

I have extensive desktop publishing experience in Adobe Creative Suite up through CS 5. Recent forays into Creative Cloud suggest the basics are still the basics.

After nearly 15 years as a Mac evangelist, I made the switch to Windows several years ago. The editing tools in Word for Windows are simply more intuitive, with infinite possibilities for macros that make my work ever more efficient and accurate.

Does the name FastEditing mean you're fast?

I was born Jeanette Fast—my last name being a permutation of either "Fass" or "Faust," depending on which genealogy you read. In the mid-1700s my ancestors Niklaus and Katerina came from what's now Germany to be indentured servants in the American colonies … just down the road from where I now live in Maryland, in fact.

After a lifetime of hearing—and making!—jokes about my last name, I realized it's both a great and true name for my business. I'm efficient and fast, and I strive for fast turnarounds for my clients. I have been doing business as FastEditing since 2001.

When we got married, my husband and I both changed our last name to Redmond, a family name that had all but died out. But because the name Fast has become integral to my business and professional identity, I kept it as a middle name.

Do you edit fiction?

I have a master's in literature and other training in analyzing and editing fiction. That said, copyediting fiction requires special skills and experience that I haven't yet developed.

I have many colleagues who excel at copyediting fiction—some even teach courses on it. I'd be honored to refer you.

Do you work with nonfiction authors who want to self-publish?

Of course! A book is a book is a book. Whether you plan to self-publish or expect to pitch to an agent, your book's credibility will only benefit if you work with a professional, experienced editor to polish your manuscript. If you're self-publishing, you might be interested in my manuscript evaluation and development editing services. Or maybe you're ready to jump right in with a final copyedit. Let's work together to determine what will help your book shine.