Before the festivities begin tomorrow, I’ll be working on a sample proofread for a thriller writer. 1000 words from the middle of his manuscript*.
It’s such an important stage of working with a potential client.
✔️ It gives me a flavour of the writer’s style and story.
✔️ I get a sense of how much intervention will be required for the manuscript as a whole.
✔️ I get a sense of how long the job as a whole will take me.
✔️ It helps me work out a quote.
And he’ll have his own checklist in mind too when he receives the sample back from me.
✔️ He’ll be checking that he’s happy with the interventions I’ve made.
✔️ He’ll be considering the fee I’ve quoted and whether that will fit into his budget.
✔️ He’ll be checking that the time scale I’ve said I can work to will fit in with his requirements.
If both of us are happy, we move forward to the deposit stage (50%) and sign and exchange contracts.
Using this process, I’ve signed 38 clients to date. I wonder whether this guy will become client number 39?
Q: *Why is the sample from the middle of the manuscript?
A: I tend to find that writers have agonised over openings to their novels and, because of this, they often have an extra layer of polish. Getting a sample from the middle of the manuscript gives me a far better idea of the level of intervention needed.