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Frequently asked questions

FAQ letters photograph.

Click on the questions below to reach each answer. You can click on the question again to close the answer.

If you have any other questions please contact me.

Can I upload my document and pay immediately?

No. Instead I ask that you fill in my quote form so that I can give you an accurate price for your job based on your specific requirements.

It requires a little time, but obtaining a quote is a necessary part of the process and will help both you and me.

It’s important that I receive certain information from you in order to give the best quality service possible. Likewise, it’s important you know what I intend to do with your text, which will be explained in the quote I send you.

Do I need to answer all the questions on the quote form?

Answer as many of the questions as you can in the quote form. The required fields are marked, so there is a specified minimum of information.

The questions are designed to elicit helpful information for both of us. You need to think carefully about the objectives of your document. And by explaining them to me, I’m better equipped to provide the best quality service.

How much information do I need to include in the quote form?

It’s really up to you, as the customer. The required fields in the quote form are marked, so there is a specified minimum of information.

However, all of us are different when it comes to engaging a third party to undertake work. Some people provide me with the bare essentials, while others really cover every contingency. I find that the closer the person is to the work, the more information I receive.

Someone asking me to subedit a thesis which is the result of years of study will almost involuntarily attach plenty of additional information. Publishers usually attach a house style guide and a sample article from a previous edition of the publication. Sales offices often send me property reports that contain no additional information, since report writing style has become almost universal.

What is the maximum file size I can upload?

You can upload up to two files using my quote form which can be up to 2mb in size. You can zip or compress your files to make them smaller.

If you need to send me a larger file, please let me know and I will contact you so that you can email it to me.

How do I pay for your services?

Along with your quote I will also email you a payment request via PayPal. Don’t worry if you don’t have an active PayPal account as you can choose to pay using your credit card without the need to open a PayPal account.

Sending you a payment request at the same time as your quote helps to speed up the process once you decide to proceed. If you change your mind you do not need to complete the payment.

Payments made via PayPal are secure and if you choose to pay by credit card, at no time will your card details be disclosed to me.

Note that if you pay via a PayPal account which has insufficient funds, then an echeck (or echeque) will be generated. These generally take several days to clear and as per PayPal's instructions I cannot send your completed work until the funds have cleared.

Should I choose British or American English?

That is entirely up to you.

If you’re unsure, specify it in the quote form or contact me. However, I do need to determine this, since some work I am offered is simply a conversion from one set of English conventions to another.

Personally, there is nothing to recommend one over the other. However, you need to think about your intended readership. If your work will be posted online and visible to the enormous number of non-native English speakers who use the Internet, choice of words is more important than a set of spelling conventions. Will your work be read only by a select group of people? Is your text going to appear online and thus require international English?

Can you show the editing and proofreading changes you make to my document?

Yes, in the majority of cases. I just ask that you specify it in the quote form.

Since most editing I complete is done on MS Word files, I can simply track any changes on the document with the simple click of a button. Don’t worry if you’re unfamiliar with track change functionality, I’ll email you both a tracked copy and final mark up copy.

Will you edit part of a document, if that’s what I need?

Of course.

You’re the customer and I’ll provide what you require. You may only need proofreading for a single article of your journal, or a particular report chapter. I’m here to oblige. All I ask is that you specify this clearly in your quote.

Where can I find some examples of your copywriting work?

I have a small selection of articles available right here.

You can also visit my blog, where I regularly write posts about a diverse array of topics.

Finally, I have also published a number of articles on Suite 101.

Is search engine optimisation (SEO) really necessary?

Yes, if your plan is to put your text online and ensure it obtains a good Google ranking.

Search engine optimisation (SEO) requires that keywords are used carefully in a text so the article ranks high on Google searches, thus attracting more readers.

For example, an article exploring the museums of Paris, would, if search engine optimised, contain a headline like, ‘How to explore Paris’ major museums’. An alternate heading might be ‘Cultural collections of the French capital wait to be explored’, which is creative but not optimised. A Google search would almost certainly contain words like ‘Paris’ and ‘museum’.

SEO is not for everyone and every online article. SEO may help you find my site, but you stay on the site because I offer a quality product.

What’s the difference between proofreading, subediting and editing?

They are points along the same spectrum. It all comes down to how much I become involved in making changes to your work.

Proofreading looks at spelling, punctuation, grammar and local flow of any argument in the text. Subediting requires more involvement and examines more closely the structure and form of the document, while an editor might question the arguments used by the author.

I’m good at what I do, but I never make changes I’m unsure about. I like to be able to provide a sound reason if you question why I made a particular edit. In cases where I am remain unsure about something, I’ll make a comment, though this usually only happens in documents where ambiguity has occurred.

Learn more about my proofreading and editing services.

Why don’t you translate from English into French, Spanish and Turkish?

Because that’s not my specialisation. While it may seems logical to many that I would offer translation in both directions between any of the languages I speak, the reality is this: I want to offer the highest quality product available.

There are other translators who can translate from English into French, Spanish and Turkish much faster and more likely at a cheaper price, so I’m sticking to what I know well.

Learn more about my translation services.

Where can I get a website like yours?

Learn more about websites designed and built by Simone Walsh.

Simone Walsh is a talented Australia-based website and jewellery designer. She is entirely responsible for the clean look and high usability of this site. I supplied the copywriting and she designed and built the site from scratch.

Simone and I work together well if you need both the words and the design for your site. Contact me if you wish to discuss working in this way.

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