editing agreementI had my first request from a client for a written agreement the other day (it was on my to-do list to do), which led to me spending hours scouring the internet for examples. A fellow editor very kindly shared a sample agreement with me, but I had to adapt it so it was specific to the service I offer. I could quite possibly have edited a smallish novella in the time it took me to put the agreement together, but I’m glad I spent the time on it, I feel a little bit more like a professional editor: now.




Developmental Editing Service Agreement.

This Agreement is made between Michelle Dunbar (‘Editor’) and ___________ (‘Author’) regarding the manuscript detailed below:

Working Title: ____________________________________________________

Length & Description of work(s): _____________________________________________


Editorial Tasks:

Developmental editing includes two editing passes:

Phase 1: The Editor will read the manuscript and make notes of inconsistencies, pacing issues and other instances of concern.

Phase 2: Upon conclusion of phase 1 the Editor will use Word’s ‘track changes’ to make suggestions with regards to structure, plot, setting, pace, characterisation and other areas of concern and return the manuscript to the Author.



Contingent on immediate signing of this Agreement and receipt of payment as agreed the developmental edit of the work will be delivered to the client no later than: ___________



The client(s) agree to pay the Editor the sum of £_______ in sterling for the services outlined above. Half this sum is payable within seven calendar days of the date of this agreement. The remaining sum will be invoiced to the client upon completion of the work and is due for payment via PayPal or BACS within 14 days of the invoice date.



The nature and content of the work will be kept confidential and not made known to anyone other than the Client and its contractors without prior written permission. Furthermore, the Editor guarantees that any work that she subcontracts on behalf of the Client will be completed to the same standard, schedule and budget and with the same conditions of confidentiality.



No guarantees are made as to the saleability or marketability of the edited manuscript. Any content created by the Editor as part of the developmental editing will become the copyright of the Client. All royalties and monies gained by the sale of the book will be the sole property of the Author.



Once the project is in process either party may terminate this Agreement in the event of material change of circumstance with 14 days’ notice sent in writing to the other party at the email address provided. If the Editor terminates the agreement, the Author will pay the Editor for work done up to the date of termination, and the Editor will refund the overpayment. If the Author terminates the agreement, the Author will pay the Editor for the work completed up to the date of termination.


By agreement:

Upon completion of this agreement, the Editor accepts follow-up questions and will engage in an additional assessment of the manuscript at no extra cost to the Author.


This agreement is made and entered into by and between the parties on this date:


Signed by the Editor:

Name: ________________________________________
Date: ________________________________________


Signed on behalf of the Client:
Name: ________________________________________
Position: ____________________________________
Date: ________________




Michelle Dunbar Editing Agreement 290815 (Docx file. Downloadable)