We speak on the phone, on Skype or through e-mail. You describe the character of the schools you’re applying to and what each is looking for in the essay. Electronic work will be done with MS Word.
How long the editing process takes depends entirely on the state of your original, the density of the content and how much personal attention you want. If, near the end of the process, it seems helpful to meet personally and you’re local, we can if you wish. We continue until you’re satisfied that it’s in clear language and that your individual voice is lucid and true.
The fee is $65 per hour.* To estimate the cost, send a sample and tell me the total number of pages. From that I’ll approximate the number of hours needed to complete the work. Half is due up front, and the remainder when the work is finished.
* Why charge by the hour, not by the word or page? Each project is different. A novel in good shape might be edited at 15 pages per hour, a dense technical dissertation at 4 to 6 pages an hour. Also, different people want different levels of attention. A phone exchange or face-to-face might be brief or extended — that’s up to you. An hourly rate is fairest for both. In some cases a sliding fee might be possible.