Searsmith Writing Services uses a fee structure of $25 per hour. I provide a free initial consultation, but am unable to provide a discount for clients due to my own financial need.

I am a fast and sure reader, editor, and writer. The amount of time a project takes to edit depends on the following factors:

  • length of manuscript
  • amount and kind of content editing
  • amount of copy editing (for final draft)
  • any additional research
  • client meetings / communications

Editing policies: When editing a paper, I work directly with its author. I welcome a single round of editing or successive rounds, whatever the author prefers. Once an editing round is completed, I am glad to answer brief questions or to correct any omissions at no charge. Additional rounds of editing are usually much faster and are charged at the same standard rate.

I only edit in MS Word, with changes tracked, and return two versions of a manuscript, one with changed tracked and one with changes accepted. A note on LaTeX: I do not work in LaTeX, but can respond to text files pulled from a LaTeX-produced PDF. Formatting will be lost and cannot be restored directly on my end — I do not have access to Adobe Acrobat Pro.

The client is assumed to own all completed project work and publication rights. Searsmith Writing Services are confidential; any services provided will not be disclosed without a client’s permission. All work meets a high standard of research ethics.

A note on estimating editing: At your request, I can provide a rough total project estimate (using the formula below, in blue) with the understanding that the final cost may vary due to variables such as complexity of material and need for in-line editing. I am unable to provide clients with a fixed project rate; however, the clients with whom I’ve worked to date have all found editing costs to be reasonable.

Editing Time Estimate Formula: I work through the manuscript twice, once slowly and once quickly. The slower, initial copy edit is paced at 4-7 pages* (or 1000-1750 words) per hour, depending on the complexity and condition of the manuscript. The second, faster proofread ensures quality and consistency; it’s paced at 9-14 pages* (or 1625-2625 words) per hour (around 1.5 times faster than the first read-through).  In addition, improved formatting and comments, whether in the margins or at the end, usually add around 10-20% to the overall total time spent editing.

I have tested this formula for estimating editing time against many types of projects and found it to be accurate in each case.

Unless the project requires research, background reading assigned by the client, or extensive time reading (book-length manuscripts), I only charge for time spent directly improving a manuscript, and I track time to the minute (I do not round editing time to any interval).

* Note: Given standard conventions for academic manuscripts, pages are assumed to be 250 words/page, 12 pt font, 1″ margins all around, double-spaced; total page count should include references and any foot/endnotes.

A note on estimating writing: The amount of time a project takes to write depends on similar factors, and relies even more heavily on the nature and amount of writing requested and the research required to develop content and, in some cases, strategy.

For comparison rates and work pace estimates, see the Editorial Freelancers Association.


Terms are open to negotiation prior to the start of work. If we do not know one another or share an institutional affiliation, I may request a deposit at the start of work. The deposit will amount to 20% of the total project estimate.

For editorial projects, work is billed hourly by invoice at the end of each round of editing for relatively short projects and on a weekly basis for longer projects, so that you can keep close track of your project costs. Payment is due by the end of the following week, unless otherwise negotiated.

Prompt payment is very much appreciated. As with any other project-based freelancer, I pay household expenses with money earned and do not have other full-time income to cover them. As a freelancer, I only earn by the hour and do not receive benefits. In addition, my partner and I are still paying off student loans from graduate school, which amount to the size of a car payment each month, and have a child nearing college.

I prefer to receive payments via PayPal (made to my PayPal registered email account: searsmith@yahoo.com), unless a client is unable to pay by that means. I also accept payment by check. I cannot accept payments through smartphone-based apps, as I do not have a smartphone. However, I can accept payments through Google Wallet, which also has a web-based transaction system.

A late fee of 1% of remaining project cost will be assessed for each day payment is delayed.


Your success is important to me; I will respond to any messages as soon as I am able.

The best way to contact me is by sending email (to publishandpersist@gmail.com) or by calling if I have provided you with a phone number. When possible, please call in an emergency. I do not use text messaging.

I may not respond to emails over the weekend, unless we have agreed to a weekend contact or manuscript return.