Sample Editorial Agreement

This agreement (hereafter, ‘Agreement,’ ‘Contract,’ or ‘SFEA’) is by and between Brett A Kinsey / The Freelance Editor LLC (hereafter, ‘Editor’) and John Q. Public (hereafter, ‘Author,’ or ‘Client’) and concerns the following original story (hereafter, ‘Manuscript’)

Author: John Q. Public
Working Title: The Greatest American Novel
Original Length of Manuscript: 75,000 words / 250 = 300 Standard Pages

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1. Editorial Tasks

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The Editor agrees to provide a rigorous and consistently thorough edit of the Manuscript, checking for:

  • Grammar
  • Spelling
  • Punctuation
  • Omissions
  • Clarity
  • Consistency
  • Unwanted Repetition
  • Unwanted Alliteration
  • Sentence Variety
  • Awkward Phrasing
  •  Logical Flaws
  • Timeline Consistency
  • Passive Verb Elimination
  • Clichés
  • Context
  • Perspective
  • Diction
  • Usage
  • Syntax
  • Other Mechanics of Style

The Editor will seek to eliminate excess use of vernacular by the narrator in such a way as to maintain the Author’s voice and tone. Conversely, the Editor will substantially forego editing character’s grammar while they’re speaking in dialogue, as not to make them flat and two-dimensional. Furthermore, the Editor will make every effort to eliminate virtually all objective flaws, but with respect to Substantial Performance cannot be held liable if a relatively small number of objective errors are not corrected.

2. Notational Conventions & Styles

The Editor makes all edits and suggestions directly inside the electronic Manuscript using a system of processing and notation that is color-coded like a stop light (red, orange, green), whereby objective errors pertaining to the 20 items listed above are changed to red with a strikeout. Similarly, borderline errors among these 20 items are changed to orange – with or without a strikeout to connote the perceived degree of error. Corrections, suggestions, and any new copy are made by the Editor in green. This enables the Client to see the edited format superimposed on the original format for comparison.

The Client has been made familiar with the color-coded system by means of the Editor’s Notes pertaining to a 25-page Sample Edit performed by the Editor and returned via email to the Client on 7/1/20. Upon editing the full Manuscript of The Greatest American Novel, the Editor will return similar Side Notes for all non-repetitive edits and the most nuanced edits – approximately half cut & pasted from the Author’s original text; other half Editor’s detailed explanations. Ultimately, it is the Client’s responsibility and decision regarding how to follow-up on each individual item.

As a style guide, the Editor uses The Chicago Manual of Style / 16th Edition and spellings as specified by the Oxford English Dictionary.

The proposed scope of work does NOT include:

  • Editing the index, graphics, or layout
  • Obtaining or listing permissions needed
  • Providing front matter, cover copy, or CIP data
  • Seeking approval from Clients’ representatives
  • Writing or editing captions
3. Firm Quotation

75,000 words x .0100 / word = $750 + $60 Sales Tax (8% Cuyahoga County OH) = $810.

Pricing includes two (2) hours of FREE phone time, email exchange, or in-person time, redeemable in any combination of phone time, email exchange, or in-person time, not to exceed two (2) hours. Any consulting time exceeding two (2) hours for The Greatest American Novel will be charged at $20 per hour. Unused phone time or in-person time may not be used as an offset to the quoted price.

The Author / Client shall provide reasonable cooperation and assistance to the Editor in preparation of all materials. This includes being available for email or telephone communication throughout the project, as needed.

4. Delivery

The Manuscript for The Greatest American Novel will be delivered to the Editor by the Client at the Client’s discretion via email in MS-Word docx or doc format. Editor will review and return the color-coded and edited Final Manuscript via email with corresponding Side Notes in a projected 15 Business Days or less from confirmed email receipt by the Editor.

5. Payment

The agreed upon editorial fee of .0100 per word for The Greatest American Novel is to be paid in the following manner:

  • At project mid-point, Invoice JQP 1a will reflect 50% of the $810 Firm Quotation, or $405 for the color-coded and edited Manuscript with corresponding Side Notes. Client is encouraged not to begin follow-up until the remaining color-coded Manuscript and corresponding Side Notes for the second half are returned.
  • Client’s cancelled check(s) or PayPal® receipt shall serve as Proof of Payment.

Ohio Sales Tax does apply to the entire Invoice and is charged based on the rate for the county in which the Client resides or “first receives benefit” from the work performed, in this example 8.00% Cuyahoga County OH tax.

  • Any subsequent hourly work (phone, email, in-person) for The Greatest American Novel will be billed separately at $20 per hour; no charge for travel < 50 miles one way.
  • Editor will provide a receipt(s) on Editor’s letterhead for any and all payments received in cash.
6.Property Rights and Royalties

The Author / Client warrants that the materials delivered herein for The Greatest American Novel are the original works of the Author and that the same does not violate any copyright, trademark, or other protection of intellectual property by the Author. As such, all text within The Greatest American Novel is the sole property of the Client, whereby it is the Editor’s fiduciary duty to not make public to any person, firm, or organization any part of the Manuscript for The Greatest American Novel pre-publication without the expressed written permission of the Client.

Furthermore, the Editor acknowledges that the Author / Client is entitled to 100% of any Royalties resulting from the sale of the original Manuscript for The Greatest American Novel, and that the Editor, as a paid contractor, neither holds nor seeks any financial interest in any Royalties that may henceforth result from the sale of The Greatest American Novel.

Similarly, the Author / Client acknowledges that the contracting of the Editor does not guarantee book sales, representation by a Literary Agent, or publication by a Publisher.

7. Termination

This Agreement may be unilaterally terminated in the event of a material change in circumstance, with notice by either party of immediate termination via email. If either party terminates the Agreement, the Editor will be paid at .0100 per word by the Client for work done up to the emailed Termination Notice by either party, subsequently confirmed by the other party. In such circumstance, Contract will be deemed fulfilled and Editor will be deemed Paid in Full.

Editing is intrinsically a process of offering advice and suggestions to the Author / Client. In addition to offering such advice and suggestions, the Editor’s responsibility is limited to notifying the Client of unresolved differences with the Author before the work proceeds to the next stage of production. Though the Editor will make every effort to bring questionable material to the attention of the Client, the Client agrees to indemnify and hold harmless the Editor from all claims or demands, including legal fees, arising out of alleged libel or copyright infringement committed by the Author / Client in creating the Manuscript for The Greatest American Novel.

8. Indemnity

The Editor cannot be held liable by the Client or any third party for damages, including lost profits, lost savings, complaints, claims, litigation or other incidental, consequential or special damages that arise from this work. If any provision of this agreement shall be deemed unlawful, void, or for any reason unenforceable, then only that provision shall be deemed severable from this agreement and shall not affect the validity and enforceability of any remaining provisions.

9. Dispute Resolution

In the event of any dispute, claim, question or disagreement arising from or relating to this Agreement or the breach thereof, the parties hereto shall make their best effort to settle the dispute, claim, question or disagreement. Toward this end, they shall consult and negotiate with each other in good faith and, recognizing their mutual interests, attempt to reach a fair and equitable solution satisfactory to both parties. However, if they do not reach such solution within a period of 60 days, then, upon notice by either party to the other, all disputes, claims, questions, or differences shall be finally and indisputably settled through arbitration by the American Arbitration Association in accordance with the provisions of its Commercial Arbitration Rules. This agreement shall be interpreted and governed by the laws of the State of Ohio and both parties consent to the exclusive legal venue of Ohio.

10. Appllicable Laws

The terms of this Agreement shall be interpreted by the laws of the State of Ohio.

This Agreement, in its entirety, contains the full understanding of the parties relative to the Author’s original novel, The Greatest American Novel, and may be modified only by written agreement executed by the parties hereto. Signed by the parties to this Agreement.