Terms & Conditions

Our terms & conditions are laid out in detail in the contract.  You can find an overview of  the contract below.

Once you have decided to go ahead with your commission, it will be assumed that you have read, understood, and accepted the terms of that contract. If you wish, you can additionally download, fill in, sign, and send us a copy of the contract, either by digitally signed e-mail or by conventional post, and request a copy signed by us. 

The Small Print

pointer Do read the contract. When you commission English Finish, it will be assumed that you have read, understood, and accepted our terms & conditions, as stipulated in that contract.
pointer Plan ahead, plan realistically: book an editor in advance, as you book your flights, your holidays, and your theatre tickets in advance. Also, please plan realistically, not optimistically. Don't book ahead with a view to cancelling if you 'run late'. Remember that most copy editors are freelancers: if you cancel late, they may well make a loss.
pointer If you cancel or postpone delivery: if you cancel less than 14 days before the day on which you have agreed to send your work you will be asked to find a replacement. If neither you nor the copy editor can find someone to take over your slot, you will be asked to pay a cancellation fee. This isn't to penalise you, but to cover at least a minimum of the loss of income the copy editor will otherwise have to bear.
hand pointer Please be on time. Agreeing to send your draft on a particular date means that  your manuscript must arrive on or by noon GMT of that date. While we'll try to accommodate changes in your plans, please be aware that if you send your manuscript later than agreed, you will get it back later than agreed, and may lose your time slot altogether.
pointer Send us your final draft. Additional changes cost us time, and you money. If you decide to make significant changes after you’ve submitted your document please bear in mind that you will be charged for the extra time it’ll take the copy editor to integrate those changes.
hand pointer In a hurry? Glad to help, so long as we can do a good job in the time available. However, urgent work may carry a surcharge, so do plan ahead, if you can. Please note that a  surcharge of at least 50% applies to requests that demand weekend work or delivery no later than 48 hours after submission (where feasible). Urgent requests that require work over a public holiday (25 & 26 December, 1st January, Easter Sunday & Easter Monday) are subject to a 100% surcharge.
pointer Send us an editable file. We accept files in the following formats: doc, docx, txt, rtf. If you use different software, such as LaTeX or Acrobat, please convert your document into editable text before sending it to us. 
Please avoid using software such as EndNote in an unedited file; wait till the editor has finished correcting in-text citations.
pointer Do you have a preferred style? Send us a stylesheet or your publisher's style guidelines.
pointer Any questions? If you can't find the answer in our pages or on our  checklist, by all means ask; just drop  us a line.

The Procedure

Step 1: contact us

When you contact us, please include in your e-mail
  1. A short, clear description of your work (e.g. ‘illustrated book on the history of sailing ships’, ‘paper on nonverbal communication and music performance’, ‘a manual for community workers’, ‘a feature-length script’).
  2. A word count of your work. If you’re not sure how to do this, consult the help files of your word-processing software.
  3. Your deadline.
  4. A style sheet or a link to your publisher’s style guidelines for authors.
  5. Your contact details (e-mail and postal address; day telephone number).
  6. Your capacity: please specify whether you are the author, co-author or editor of the work you intend to submit.
  7. A sample of your work: please send a representative sample (if, for instance, your work is full of tables and charts, please include one or two in your sample), allowing about 500 words for works up to 5,000 words (1,000 words for works up to 10,000 words, or 1,500 words for works around 15,000 words or longer).

Step 2: the contract

We will get back to you with an estimate based on the details you have sent us and any queries we may have. We will also refer you to the contract (or we will send you a copy by e-mail), which we will ask you to sign and return to us. There you have three options:

  1. Digitally certified PDF: this is our preferred method, provided that you have set up a digital signature  (more on electronic and digital signatures here).
  2. Signed & scanned contract sent by e-mail: alternatively, you can scan the signed contract and send it as an e-mail attachment. In that case, your e-mail must state that you have read and accept the contents of the attached contract.
  3. Printed contract sent by post: if you prefer this route, we will e-mail you the contract as a digitally signed document and ask you to return a printed and countersigned copy. If you opt for conventional post, we strongly recommend that you return your contract by courier.

Step 3: completion & payment

You will receive the edited document as an MS WordTM attachment, unless otherwise specified in the contract. Please note that
  • For short works (under 500 words) you will be asked to pay within a fortnight of receiving the invoice. For longer works, payment is normally due within a month of your receiving an invoice from us.
  • Payment is by direct bank transfer unless otherwise agreed.
  • There is no VAT. For clients outside the UK: please bear in mind that each country has its own VAT regulations. English Finish is exempt from VAT according to HMRC regulations.

Tips for Authors

The basics

  • When to book: when you're about to start writing up. Don't underestimate the time it takes to turn research results, data analyses, and project outlines into a coherent manuscript. Try to plan realistically, not optimistically. It makes little sense to book a copy editor before e.g. you have completed your data collection and analysis or  ascertained that your models work and your argumentation is robust or if your schedule is already crammed.
  • We use mainly Hart’s Rules and the Chicago Manual of Style, unless you instruct us otherwise.
  • We work mostly on screen. For that reason we will ask you to send us an electronic copy of your text by e-mail or on a CD, in MS WordTM or a format compatible with MS WordTM. If you have written your manuscript in anything other than MS WordTM, please convert your document into editable text before sending it to us. We accept files in the following formats: doc, docx, txt, rtf. Find out
  • House style: if your work has been commissioned by a particular publisher, check whether there are guidelines for the established house style. Often guidelines covering the basics are available to contributing authors on the publisher’s website.

Additional Tips

  • If you’d like us to work on hard copy please send a typescript/printout plus an electronic copy of your text in the format specified above. This speeds up our work enormously and will save us time and you money. Do keep in mind that working on hard copy can take much longer than on-screen editing, so the cost tends to beconsiderably higher.
  • Your typescript/printout, if you send one, should be
    • double-spaced
    • with wide margins (at least 1.2 inch/3 cm on both sides)
    • set in 11-point font
    • fully paginated
  • Special terms, neologisms: if you use rare or newly coined terms specific to your discipline, or terms that you have invented yourself, please warn the copy editor and proofreader. It’s always a good idea to compile a short list of such words and send it along with your main document to the copy editor, proofreader, and your in-house editor.
  • Electronic and digital signatures: if you are not familiar with these types of signatures you may wish to consult the relevant EU documentation. Note that according to directive 1999/93/EC ‘an advanced electronic signature based on a qualified certificate' satisfies the same legal requirements as a handwritten signature and 'is also admissible as evidence in legal proceedings’. You can find out more about the difference between electronic and digital signatures here.

Please make sure that you
  • are clear in your mind about the level of editing you require. Think, e.g., whether you need to have your bibliography simply spell-checked, or formatted according to a particular style, or whether you’d like to have the details of each entry checked in library catalogues. Remember that checking the accuracy of cited page numbers is your own responsibility.
  • try to double-check all your facts before submitting your document. If your document is full of figures, tables, dates, names and similar information please let us know whether you need the copy editor to check your facts and figures for accuracy. Again, remember that whatever saves us time will save you money.
  • run a spell check before submitting your document. Automatic spell-checkers (such as the one that comes with MS WordTM) have to be used with care, however, it’s a good idea to keep yours turned on – you’ll almost certainly catch some typos.
  • always double-check quoted material! Unless you provide the copy editor with photocopies of the original sources for every single quotation in your text, quoted material will be checked only for spelling and style.
  • do not hyperlink your in-text citations to your reference list; you can always do that later. Hyperlinked in-text citations are often hard to edit and if editing is required there, the hyperlinks may have to be removed.

Tips for non-native speakers

  • if the default language of your version of MS WordTM (or similar software) is not English, before you begin writing, make sure that you set your new document's language to English (e.g. UK or US).
  • ask your publisher (if you have one) whether they prefer British English or US English and adjust your spell-checker accordingly.

for Authors

Have you read the contract and have you included in your e-mail ...
pointera short description of your work?
pointerthe word count?
pointeryour deadline?
pointerwhat service you require?
pointera sample of your work?
pointeryour contact details?


web address: www.englishfinish.co.uk e-mail address:  info@englishfinish.co.uk you can also contact us at:  englishfinish@gmail.com

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Copyright � A. Gause 2006, 2009; updated May 2013.