Terms and Conditions



SCHEDULED spots per month are limited. Once they are booked, no others will be accepted until the next opening. A $52.50 fee will be charged at time of scheduling to book a spot. If slots are cancelled or submissions are late, the fee will not be refunded. If scheduled date is met, scheduling fees will be subtracted from final invoice. Fees pertaining to missed scheduling dates will be strictly enforced. 

All submissions will have up to a six-to-eight week (see below [¹completion period—starting on scheduled date, unless invoice is not paid until after scheduled date, in which case time would start from the day after invoice was paid in full. Early submissions—even if invoice is paid early, too—will still start the six-to-eight week completion period on regularly scheduled date, unless editor specifically states otherwise. Any submission accepted with less than a six-week completion date will be considered a rush with a rush fee depending on the amount of time given to complete.
Submissions with set preorders will not be accepted if preorder is less than six weeks  away from scheduled editing date.
Any manuscript over 100K may have a longer completion time.
On rare occasions, exceptions may be made concerning shorter completion times and earlier preorder dates if approved by the editor beforehand.
[¹] Since I (try to) no longer work on Sundays, six-to-eight weeks allows ample time for manuscripts to be thoroughly and correctly edited. Completion periods do not include blackout dates for holidays or vacations.  (Example: If New Year’s Eve and New Year’s day fell during your editing slot, you would need to add extra days to completion time.) 
HOWEVER, not all edits require the full amount of time for completion. In fact, most do not. The deadline is simply set in place to allow ample time in case of a full schedule, unexpected delay or circumstance, sickness, or any other happenstance. IF an edit is completed before the deadline, it will be delivered to the author early. Just in case, always expect an edit could take the full amount of time, but know the editor works diligently to complete projects sooner.

MANUSCRIPTS must be submitted in Times New Roman, size 11 font, and 1 1/2 spaced. If they are not, I will change them. It makes the editing process cleaner and easier.

I DO NOT edit non-fiction books. However, I will edit non-fiction articles, website material, press releases, and other such subject matter. I am also not familiar with UK grammar. I will edit UK books, but only if they are being completely Americanized.  If you want to keep some UK tone, (colour instead of color, sayings, etc) that is fine. You just have to make sure to tell me. However, any and all grammar-related issues will be Americanized.

GRAPHIC and/or gratuitous RAPE scenes are not accepted. Books containing them are subject to IMMEDIATE return without refund or completion.

HOWEVER, books that contain rape are not an automatic no. A girl trying to get over being raped, a fade-to-black rape scene that is integral to the story, a book about rape that inspires hope in victims, a crime book that manages to impress the violence without making it graphic and pleasingly sexual, etc… would all be considered and most likely accepted. Please just explain the scenes to me beforehand.

Erotica books that use rape as something pleasingly sexual, or any book that does, or any book that describes rape in graphic, violent, sexual, scene-by-scene detail, will NOT be accepted. If in a book I accepted without my prior knowledge, it will be returned with NO REFUND OR COMPLETION. (Rape Clause Added October 20, 2015)

AUTHORS are responsible for getting their books to me by the date agreed upon. Scheduled submissions that miss their scheduled date and wish to stay on the schedule will be charged an additional late fee (starting at) $52.50 and will be rescheduled to the next available slot. Late or cancelled submissions that have occurred three or more times will no longer be accepted.

RUSH JOBS, which I rarely take and usually only from established clients, will incur a fee. It will depend on the length of the manuscript and amount of time given to finish. The base amount of a rush is $150, and it goes up from there. Any submission with less than a six-week completion date will be considered a rush with a rush fee depending on the amount of time given to complete. The less time given to complete an edit, the higher the rush fee.

Rush jobs are hard on me, so while I do not mind occasionally taking them, please respect the amount of pressure it puts on me and not make a habit out of it. I do understand there are times when there are no other choices because life happened, but always try to schedule in advance.

Rush submissions will need to be preapproved and will require at least five business days for completion, unless approved by the editor in advance.
An occasional emergency exception may be made for established clients.

PLEASE be aware that manuscripts found to need excessive editing beyond the package paid for may lead to extra fees. Submissions turned in that do not meet the standards of the manuscript sample received by the editor from the author, which is used to secure scheduling dates and estimate per-word price quotes, will be returned to authors to have them brought up to prior-approved standards, or authors will be charged a fee of up to 20% of invoice to be brought to standards by the editor.

Manuscripts are only accepted for packages they are ready for. If authors request a proof or detailed copy edit only, manuscripts must be in a condition that will assure a quality final product.

My name is my brand. Please understand finalized products attached to my brand reflect on my services.

FACT-CHECKING is not included in any package. As a courtesy, if I notice anything that does not sound right, I will look it up and point it out. However, if your book has excessive fact-checking that needs to be completed, it should  be addressed during the developmental editing stage, which I am not responsible for.

PAYMENT is accepted on the day a manuscript is received, while a scheduling fee of $52.50 is invoiced on the day a submission is first scheduled. If the slot is canceled or the submission is late, the scheduling fee will not be refunded. If authors meet their scheduled date, the fee is subtracted from the final invoice. Fees pertaining to missed scheduling dates are strictly enforced.

ONCE a submission is received—on or before the scheduled date—the author receives an emailed invoice, delivered through PayPal. Work on the project will not start until the invoice is paid in FULL. PayPal fees are calculated and added to the final bill.

Editing is not a hobby—it is my livelihood. Cancellations leave me without the paycheck I counted on when the author reserved a time slot, and last-minute cancellations are hard to fill. Please be courteous and respect my time as I make every attempt to do yours as well. Certain rule exceptions may be made for established clients in some circumstances.

SUNDAYS, holidays, holiday weekends, and vacation days DO NOT count toward the estimated amount of time given to edit your manuscript. Those times are spent with my family. We always take a vacation during the week of Thanksgiving, a week at the end of March, a week in the summer—usually in July—and I take up to two weeks off during Christmas—usually December 20-January 3. Please be respectful of those times. If any of those dates fall during your time period, please be aware of this.

Example: If you are given a time period which includes Christmas holidays, please be aware you will need to add up to an additional two weeks to completion time. 

I no longer work on Sundays unless it is an emergency. I have to have at least one day a week off. Please remember this is now factored into scheduling. (see above [¹] )

Times given are estimates unless completely firmed up with me by way of a preorder publication date. Two-week turnarounds on copy edits are no longer automatically given. Submissions are given six-to-eight week turnarounds [¹] unless approved by the editor in advance. Several manuscripts are in my hands at all times. I work for multiple publishing companies as well as freelance.

Manuscripts are given my complete attention and are turned over in as timely a manner as possible. Sometimes, life happens and a manuscript may be delayed, though never more than a couple of days. Please be patient. This rarely happens. Also, I am a night owl. If a book is due to client on (example) the 26th, any time before eight AM on the 27th is considered on time.

***I am NOT a developmental editor. I am a final-draft editor. If you are a FIRST-TIME AUTHOR who needs extensive help with plot, character development, and flow, I would recommend you hire a developmental editor to work with you through the different stages of pre-editing before you contact me.***

I reserve the right to refuse any and all manuscripts at my discretion. I also employ a contributing freelance editor who does occasional copy edits OR proofs for me. Every manuscript, however, makes it way through me for first and final edits.

Contact Details:
To contact me about availability, questions, or to submit your manuscript, please email me at cynthiashepp@yahoo.com. Please be aware that my schedule fills up quickly. A four-week pre-schedule and manuscript acceptance procedure is necessary to guarantee a spot.

However, do not hesitate to contact me about sooner availability. It is always possible that I have open spots.

(No Refunds… No Exceptions.)
I always recommend that authors send the manuscript to betas after editing. No manuscript will ever be 100% perfect. Betas can help find those stray errors before publication. They are a valuable asset. I have three beta proofers who occasionally do third-glance proofreads for me, but only after initial edits and proofreads are already done. They are more of a second-set-of-eyes part of the process. If, for any reason, you do not want this extra (Free to the author—I pay for it.) addition, please let me know. I just like to make sure manuscripts are given the best treatment. One more set of eyes never hurts—it can only help.


I continuously update my Terms and Conditions. It is the client’s responsibility to occasionally glance at them to see if anything has changed.


*Additional information can be found on the fine-print additional details page.*