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Heidi J. Peterson

Editor & Wordsmith Whisperer

       . . . your words and ideas, enhanced

Frequently Asked Questions

  • An editor will offer suggestions for your writing that you may not have even considered. This enables your writing project to be the best possible whether a memo, an article, an email, a book, a presentation, a resume, or even a family letter.
  • Language usage and standards change. An editor will ensure your written work is up to date with current practices.
  • We type words the way we hear them in our head. When we review our written work on the computer screen, often we see the words just like we had heard them. Unfortunately, that means if we typed something incorrectly, often it registers as correct in our mind. And editors are not immune from this. Here’s my example: In updating my resume, I had typed the word “lead.” The problem is, I actually had “led” a project team. My head meant “led” but I typed “lead.” As we all know, spellcheckers do not catch these sorts of errors. Luckily, even those of us who are editors know to have someone else, at times, review our original work. It’s much easier for a second set of eyes to quickly catch these sorts of mistakes. Fortunately, I corrected my resume before I distributed it.
  • It is important that each writer or author find an editor that enhances their project. I offer a free four-page sample edit so you can determine if my editing style and suggestions meet your needs.
  • Ask for a sample edit to see how your editing expectations and needs match their editing style.
  • Have a phone conversation to discuss any questions or concerns about your project or editing in general.
  • Ask to see reviews from editing clients.
  • Ask about the editor’s process on working on a project as well as timelines.
  • Ensure you have a contract that spells out the project including costs, expectations and timeline.
  • I edit fiction, nonfiction, business projects, websites and family stories.
  • Please check the Services page for editing rates. For anything not listed, please contact me at 952-484-7083 or hjpcommunications@comcast.net. You may also fill out the form on the Contact page.
  • I love the opportunity to fine-tune a client’s project so they can see it shine. Often words and ideas are strong, but can get muddled in the draft process. By being that second set of eyes and bringing editing expertise to the table, I’m able to help a client get their message across, in their words but just in a clearer way.
  • A style guide is a set of standards for a written document. Its purpose is to improve communication by ensuring consistency within a document, as well as across specific industries or companies.
  • For business projects and most online work, I primarily use The Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law.
  • For book editing, I primarily use The Chicago Manual of Style.
  • I also use company style guides, alone or in conjunction with one of the above style guides.
  • Throughout a project I keep a style sheet, so any questions that come up during a project on preferred style (such as a particular name spelling) will be documented and referred to throughout the project. When the project is returned to you, a copy of the completed style sheet will be included.
  • At the beginning of a project we will discuss style guides. The chosen guide/guides will be included in the project contract.
  • Editing time depends on the project length and editing level you’d like. Short business projects can usually be turned around within a day or two. Books require more time and the timeline will be included in the project contract. Often an author prefers to receive the edited book back in sections, and we can easily arrange that so the author can continue to push the book forward.
  • This is a great question! Unfortunately, this definitely depends on the project type. A simple email or short business proposal would definitely be a one-and-done type of project.
  • Book editing is different. It’s best to look at the changes (especially if there are major recommendations) and consider a second editing round from your editor to ensure your book is the best it can be.
  • The last level of a book edit is a basic proofread. It’s often a good idea to hire a proofreader who did not do the main editing for your book. This person often steps in after the book has been formatted to ensure all the page numbers, headings, spacing issues, typeface styles and editor corrections have been inserted properly.
  • I will invoice a client upon project completion for short projects. For longer projects, I may invoice in installments (which will be noted in the project contract).
  • I prefer to be paid via PayPal for new clients, but will accept checks from established clients.
  • Prepayment is required in certain circumstances. Please refer to the Services page and Terms & Conditions policy (in the bottom left of the footer) for details.
  • Create your manuscript in Microsoft Word (unless submitting on hard copy).
  • Use a standard, 12-point type font such as Times New Roman, Arial or Courier.
  • Use 1-inch margins on top, bottom and sides.
  • Double space the entire text body.
  • You may send the Microsoft Word document as an attachment to your email. (If sending a hard copy, please contact me by phone or email.)
  • You’d be surprised! Often in writing we think we’re communicating clearly or saying one thing because it’s clear in our head. In reality, what’s crystal clear to us may be a dark fog to our reader. However, the good news is that even the jump from the fog to the clear sky isn’t as far as you’d think.
  • The editing process should not be painful at all. It should be a progression and you should see the improvement in your writing piece. If not, either your editor is not asking you the right questions to clarify, the editor is not following your ideas and goals, or you are not working with the right editor for you or your project.