Frequently asked questions

If you don’t see your question answered here, contact us via our contact page, social media, or email.

There are four major types of editing and they’re performed in the following order:
Developmental editing – looks at your plot, characters, themes, and other big picture areas.
Line editing – a line by line edit of your manuscript to improve flow, word choice, emotion, and so-on.
Copy editing – this is what most authors think of when they’re thinking about editing. Broadly, it’s a grammar and punctuation check to make sure you’re adhering to the specifics of a style guide (most commonly Chicago Manual of Style).
Proofreading – this happens after formatting to ensure no errors were brought in during the formatting process, as well as picking up any missed issues from the copy edit.

Ideally, I’d suggest booking in all editing types at least for your first few novels until you know what you’re doing. However, I know that’s not financially possible for everyone. If you’re still unsure, get in touch with me.

This largely depends on the length of your novel and how much work it will require. I always intake new projects on a Sunday (so they’re ready for me on Monday) and return them on a Friday. In most cases, you’ll receive your project after ten business days. For longer (in excess of 100,000 words) or more complex projects, I’ll give you an estimate after seeing a sample.

Choosing an editor is a big decision. I always recommend potential clients get a few editing samples to find someone who is the right fit for them.

A few things to consider:

  • Are their fees within your budget?
  • Were there things missed in the sample edit?
  • Have they communicated with you well? Such as, providing the sample on time, offering timeframes, and answering your questions.
  • Do you think they’re a good fit for you in terms of their style?

This last point is the most important. In most cases, your sample edits will be fantastic and you’ll be able to easily eliminate those outside of your budget or those who have communicated poorly. When it comes to whether you get along well with someone and think you can work together, it can be the difference between a great editing experience and a terrible one.

I work primarily with the Chicago Manual of Style 17th Edition and Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary 11th Edition. These are the standard choice for publications in American English.

For UK English I use the New Oxford Style Manual which combines Hart’s Rules and the New Oxford Dictionary.

When editing in Australia English I use Snooks and Co’s Style Manual Sixth Edition and Macquarie Dictionary Fifth Edition

The only essentials you need to write a novel are:

  • A word processor (Google Docs is free)
  • Something to write your story on (a phone, tablet, or computer)

While it’s possible to write your novel entirely in Google Docs using your phone, I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s going to be terrible for your hands and your eyes, so if you can, I’d suggest using a tablet with an external keyboard at the very least, though a laptop or desktop computer is likely to give you better functionality.

I’d also suggest looking into Microsoft 365 so you can use Word when it comes to editing. This is the standard for most editors and offers a little more functionality than Google Docs.

You can send your sample or manuscript to CateEdits@gmail.com. While I won’t refuse a manuscript for poor formatting, here are my preferences:

  • Preferably in docx format (though doc is also okay).
  • Body text uses a standard font such as Times New Roman or Calibri.
  • Body font size is 12.
  • Your paragraphs are styled to include an indent on the first line (please do not manually do this using tab).
  • Your lines are single spaced or 1.25.
  • All chapters have a heading using the heading style
  • All chapter contents use an appropriate style (most often body) though you may have sections where another style is needed.
  • You’ve used page breaks rather than returns to get to a new page at the end of your chapter.
  • The save file includes the book title and your name.

Pricing Questions

If your pricing question isn’t answered below, use the contact form to get in touch with us.

I see some variation of this question at least once a week in editing groups, forums, etc.

The answer is simple. It’s very time consuming. While you might be able to read a novel in a few hours, reading and editing are quite different. In an hour, an editor may have only made it through five or six pages. If we went faster, we’d miss things.

If you’re wondering what the general recommendations are, here’s a link to the Editorial Freelancers Association recommendations.

Coaching sessions are priced at $95 per one hour session. If you’re booking a twelve week package, you’ll receive a nice discount off the total as well as some awesome bonuses.

Absolutely! Get in touch with us and we can discuss what works for you. Most commonly I aim to set up a weekly or fortnightly payment plan that will allow half your payment to be provided by the time your editing or coaching slot rolls around which is perfect since I’m often booking two months in advance.

You can see my rates for editing on the editing services page.

It’s very difficult to price a project without seeing at least a sample of it first. This is why many editors don’t even put their prices on their website. I think it’s important to be upfront about the costs involved so you can make an informed decision whether my services are for you.


At this stage, the prices for these upcoming services are still in review.

The VIP Day is a premium service and will be priced as such.

Each course will likely be priced in accordance with the content included. At this stage, there will be at least one free course though.