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Editorial Agreement

I've placed a downloadable version of this Editorial Agreement in a couple of places on my homepage, but if you'd like to read it without downloading it, here you go. This version is a case-by-case agreement: one job for a certain amount of time and money, and the contract ends after delivery. I have another version for a "retainer" kind of situation: the contract will be for a predetermined period of time and whatever work I receive from you (blog posts, short story, chapters of a novel) will be priced and invoiced separately, and returned in a timely fashion.

My contract for all prospective clients:

This agreement is between Cathie Bucci (“Editor”) and _______________________________________ (“Author”) and concerns the following manuscript/document:

Working title:

Length and description of manuscript:


The Editor agrees to complete any or all of the following services:

  • Stylistic and developmental edit: This is the most comprehensive service. The Editor will seek to clarify meaning, eliminate jargon, and polish language, as well as line-by-line edit for smoothness and clarity while maintaining author’s voice and style. This service also includes copyediting and proofreading.

  • Copyedit: The Editor will seek to correct errors in grammar, usage, spelling, and punctuation. This service does not include stylistic or developmental editing, but it does include proofreading.

  • Proofread: The Editor will seek to correct formatting errors, typos, and obvious errors in punctuation.

  • Data entry or transcription service: The Editor will digitize hard copies of a document or manuscript, or transcribe audio files into typewritten digital format.

The Editor recommends two (2) editing passes for the first two (2) services on the list above. The Editor will render services and send the manuscript back to the Author for approval. The Author will either accept or reject changes and answer any of the Editor’s queries, and then return the manuscript to the Editor, who will incorporate those changes or corrections into the manuscript and make a second pass. The number of editing passes is ultimately at the discretion of the Author. The Editor’s hourly rate for the chosen service applies to each editing pass. The proofreading service is a single (1) pass. Data entry or transcription is done ‘as is’ and does not include any editorial services. Editorial services will not be completed on hard copies of documents or manuscripts, only on digital copies.


a. From Author to Editor: The Editor typically prefers all documents be presented in Microsoft Word format, and all changes or corrections to the document are made using Microsoft Word’s “Track Changes” feature, though documents accessible through Microsoft One Drive or Google Drive are also acceptable. After the first editing pass, the Author should accept or reject changes made by the Editor, and then send the document or manuscript back to the Editor for the second pass. Any suggestions made in the first pass by the Editor that have not been acted upon by the Author when the document is returned for the second pass will be assumed to have been accepted by the Author. If the manuscript is lengthy or in the process of being written, the editorial process may be broken up into milestones (for example: one chapter, one section, a portion of the manuscript based on word count, etc.). The Editor understands that writing pace differs for all Authors, and that a regularly scheduled delivery is not necessarily likely. Hard copies of documents should be mailed to the address at the bottom of this agreement.

b. From Editor to Author: Contingent upon immediate signing of this contract and payment, the complete edited/critiqued/digitized manuscript or document is to be delivered to the Author on or before _________________ (date). If this agreement contains milestones, each portion will be delivered upon completion, along with an invoice. If the Author requires a fully corrected and polished hard copy at the conclusion of this agreement, the Author understands that costs for materials and/or postage will be added to his/her total.


  • Stylistic and developmental editing: $15/hour, 1 hour minimum.

  • Copyediting: $12/hour, 1 hour minimum.

  • Proofreading: $0.006/word or $10, whichever is greater.

  • Data entry or transcription service: $0.003/word or $10, whichever is greater.

For first-time stylistic/developmental or copyediting clients, the Editor will perform these services on the first 500 words of a document or manuscript for no charge. This constitutes a good faith gesture from the Editor in recognition of the need for compatibility between the Editor and Author, and as proof of ability.

For a single document or manuscript with no milestones, the Editor requests a 50% deposit for all services quoted. This constitutes a good faith gesture from the Author in recognition of the value of the Editor’s time, energy, and skill.

Author agrees to pay Editor $____________ for the services outlined above. Checks should be made payable to Cathie Bucci and sent to the address at the end of this agreement, or the Author may use PayPal if applicable (send to


Editor agrees not to reproduce, give, or show to anyone any material sent to her by the Author for editing purposes.


The Author will reimburse the Editor for direct expenses incurred in fulfilling this agreement, including, but not limited to: photocopying, printouts, couriers, and postage. The Editor will not incur any expenses without the Author’s express written permission.


No guarantees are made as to the salability or marketability of the edited manuscript, nor is there a guarantee that the manuscript will be completely error-free, though all efforts will be made to make it so. Acceptance or rejection of editorial suggestions is the sole responsibility of the Author, and the Editor assumes no responsibility for the content or condition of the manuscript after the agreed-upon delivery date. Unless a co-writing/co-authorship arrangement is made in writing, all royalties and monies gained by the sale of said manuscript will be the sole property of the Author.


Both parties agree that this agreement shall be interpreted and governed by the laws of the State of Maine.


This Agreement may be amended only in writing signed by both parties.


Once the project is in process, either party may terminate this Agreement in the event of material change of circumstance with 14 days’ notice, sent in writing, to the other party at the address(es) provided. This Agreement becomes null and void if either party fails to live up to their portion of the Agreement as set forth above. If the Editor terminates the agreement, Author will pay the Editor for work done up to the date of termination, and Editor will refund overpayment. If the Author terminates the agreement, the Author will pay the Editor for the work completed up to the date of termination, but this amount will not be less than 50% of the estimated total for the project.

This agreement is made and entered into by and between the parties hereto on this date: _________________________.

Author signature

Author’s full name and address:

Date: _____________________________

Editor signature

Editor’s full name and address:

Date: __________________________

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