Literary Development Group

Estimating your costs.

A short novel-length (approximately 50,000 words) fiction manuscript from a skilled & experienced writer, with no complex typography, no requirement for fact-checking, & minimal need for multiple passes between the client & RLDG, will typically require an estimated 16 hours.

A long (approximately 150,000 words) & complex manuscript, requiring flags for factual & legal considerations, as well as certain considerations of technique (maintenance of dialogue differentiation between characters; extensive application of technical or scientific terminology; tabular representation of data), will require upward of 65 hours.

Should a project represent a portion of a more extensive series, RLDG will offer a discounted rate based upon an overall contract.

Estimating turnaround.

To maintain the highest standard possible for our work, we actively avoid fatiguing any of the RLDG editors with a given project. Editors are restricted from spending more than 20 hours per week on a project. Therefore, typical turnaround time between finalizing the contract & receiving the final product via the Internet can vary between 1 and 4 weeks.

In situations where a client's project deadline is fast approaching, multiple editors can be assigned to the same manuscript. This must be arranged in advance with RLDG, & requires a suitable increase in the standard billing rates.

Establishing the contract.

Each project undertaken by RLDG, even one that is part of a series for an established client, is unique. Therefore, we establish a contract for that project.

Negotiation entails extensive evaluation of the project's needs, including nuances of punctuation, narrative voice, intended audience, numerical presentation, & so forth. The degree of detail, & the work thus required, affects overall hours spent on the project. Such detail guarantees that RLDG will achieve consistency throughout the manuscript, from beginning to end. Once these points are established, a contract of the mutual understanding between RLDG & the client is produced. When representatives of both parties have signed the contract & are in possession of copies, RLDG will begin work.

The value of establishing a contract is factored into the RLDG fee, & will not result in a further charge. RLDG does reserve the right to end negotiations at any point previous to signature, & consideration does not in any way imply acceptance of a project by RLDG.

Should the client find it necessary to amend the agreement while a project is underway, RLDG's work may have to halt while the contract parameters are reevaluated. If the changes entail significant rework of portions that are already completed, or require more hours, the contract with RLDG will have to be drafted anew. Any portion of the agreed fee that has been paid up to that time is forfeit to RLDG, in recognition of the effort that has been expended in good faith. Therefore, please do your best to ensure that the original contract is entirely suitable to what you have in mind.

If the needs of the client & the project manuscript are relatively straightforward, the contract is usually produced & signed in approximately 10 business days.

Payment to RLDG.

We receive payment for a project in three stages:

  • 20% of the agreed fee is payable upon signing of the contract, & allows work to begin
  • 50% of the agreed fee is payable as the half-way point of the project approaches, & the client agrees that the work thus far meets their expectations
  • the remainder of the fee is due upon completion of the project. Should the time & resources actually required by RLDG be significantly less than negotiated, we reserve the option of returning a portion of the fee.

Most methods of payment are available to clients of RLDG, including major credit card & PayPal.

Manuscript transmittal.

A complete copy of the final client manuscript must be submitted to RLDG before a contract evaluation can begin.

We work almost entirely in electronic form. Manuscripts should be sent to us via the Internet, though they can be mailed to us on disk or data CD.

The manuscript should have no particular formatting – lines must not be artificially broken using paragraph marks, hard returns, or similar. Correcting such problems will have to be billed at the standard rate.

Few clients want to pay the RLDG rates in order to have their manuscript typed. Generally, therefore, we do not accept projects that require significant manual entry.

The entire manuscript must be a single electronic file, saved in "rich text format" (usually abbreviated RTF or .rtf), & in a common font (we prefer Times New Roman), preferably only one.

Contact RLDG about your literary needs.

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Some graphical elements © SoftQuad Inc., used by permission. Textual content © 2004 by Ravenscroft Literary Development Group. Design & elements © 2004 by Hazard. Updated 02 Oct 2005.