Terms and conditions

The following terms and conditions are provided so that you and I both have a clear and straightforward understanding of what is involved in the process of working together. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me so that I can provide any additional information you need.

Shelock Holmes examining paperwork

1. General overview

1.1 These terms and conditions apply to any work done on behalf of the Client (you) by me (Sarah Giles).

1.2 I will provide writing/proofreading/editing services agreed upon (in writing) by the Client and me.

1.3 The Client is under no obligation to offer me work; neither am I under any obligation to accept work offered by the Client.

1.4 The work will be carried out unsupervised at such times and places as determined by me, using my own equipment.

1.5 The work will be carried out by me. I will not subcontract writing/proofreading/editing projects, or parts of projects, to third parties.

1.6 I confirm that I am self-employed, am responsible for my own income tax and National Insurance contributions, and will not claim benefits granted to the Client’s employees.

1.7 I am not VAT-registered.

1.8 The contract of service requires that the Client acknowledges, in writing (including email), that they have read, understood and agreed to these terms and conditions.

2. Project terms

2.1 Prior to commencement of the writing/proofreading/editing work, the Client and I will agree, in writing (including email), the terms of the project:

  • the medium in which the proofreading/editing service will be carried out (e.g. in Word, on PDF, on paper) how the material will be annotated (e.g. track changes in Word, editing tools in Acrobat, BSI correction symbols on paper)
  • the length of time required to complete the project, as advised by me
  • a fee for the project, based on a quotation supplied by me, in writing (including email), following my evaluation of the brief and/or material to be written/proofread/edited and the time frame required to complete the job
  • any expenses (e.g. postage) that the Client will bear in addition to the costs of the writing/proofreading/editing
  • the date by which the material will be delivered by the Client to me
  • the latest date by which the completed project will be returned, following my advice to the Client


2.2 Please note that if, on receipt of the project to be worked on (or at an early stage), it becomes apparent that significantly more work is required than had been anticipated in the preliminary discussion/brief or from the sample supplied, I may renegotiate the fee and/or the deadline, or decline to carry out the work.

3. Quotations and fees

3.1 A quotation for the work will be provided by me to the Client following my evaluation of a representative sample of the materials to be worked on, and a discussion with the Client as to what is required.

3.2 Once the Client and I have agreed the full fee, it is non-negotiable unless the Client extends the word count of the job or requests additional services. In this case, a revised quotation and job-completion date will be negotiated.

3.3 The Client will pay me a fee per 1,000 words OR per hour OR an agreed flat fee for the project, as agreed in writing.

3.4 Unless otherwise agreed, I will supply the Client with an invoice immediately upon completion of the writing/proofreading/editing project.

3.5 Payment should be received within 14 days.

3.6 For editing/proofreading projects: unless otherwise agreed, the fee quoted is for one pass of a manuscript. Additional passes are new projects, the terms of which will be agreed separately.

4. Deposit

4.1 When the Client has confirmed their agreement to these terms and conditions of service, I will issue the invoice for the deposit.

4.2 Deposits are non-refundable.

4.3 The Client will pay a deposit of 50% of the full fee at the time of booking.

4.4 By confirming their agreement in writing, the Client agrees to secure my writing/proofreading/editing services for a specific and mutually agreed project, at a specific and mutually agreed time.

4.5 By confirming their agreement in writing, the Client confirms that they have read and agreed to the terms and conditions herein. From thereon, the terms of the cancellation policy (see below) apply.

4.6 The deposit will be deducted from the final invoice issued when the editing work is complete.

4.7 The booking is considered confirmed once the deposit has been paid by the Client and received by me.

4.8 The deposit should be paid within 3 days of the Client confirming their agreement in writing to secure the slot in my schedule.

5. Cancellation policy: Terms, fees and project-commencement reminders


5.1 Both the Client and I have the right to terminate a contract for services at any time if there is a serious breach of its terms.

5.2 This Client is free to cancel a service for any reason by providing me with written notice (including email); I must acknowledge this cancellation in writing (including email) for this to be valid.

5.3 I may cancel a service at any time for any reason by providing written notice (including email) to the Client. In the unlikely event that I cancel a service, I will provide a prorated refund of any overages of fees paid (including the deposit).

5.4 If, in the unlikely event that the Client is touched by extraordinary or difficult circumstances that cause cancellation or delay (e.g. family crisis, illness, bereavement), the Client should contact me to discuss the terms of the cancellation policy. I aim to be fair and helpful at all times.

5.5 If I am touched by extraordinary or difficult circumstances that cause cancellation (e.g. family crisis, illness, bereavement), I will contact the Client in writing at the earliest opportunity and do my best to renegotiate the time frame of the project or find an alternative supplier of writing/proofreading/editing services. The deposit will be refunded.


5.6 Cancellation during the project: If the Client cancels the work during the proofreading/editing project, I reserve the right to invoice for 100% of the agreed fee (less the deposit).

5.7 Cancellation prior to project commencement: If the Client wishes to cancel with less than one month’s notice, I reserve the right to invoice for 100% of the agreed fee (less the deposit).

5.8 If the Client wishes to cancel with more than one month’s notice, the deposit will not be refunded but no other charge will apply.


5.9 I will contact the Client two weeks before the mutually agreed start date with a reminder that the file is due 24 hours before said start date.
If in the unlikely event that the Client does not confirm in writing (including email) within one week prior to the mutually agreed start date that they will be supplying the file for editing, the project is deemed to have been cancelled by the Client and the slot in my schedule will be released.
If, as is likely, the Client confirms the project, I will ask for the file to be sent to me 24 hours before the start date.

6. Confidentiality

6.1 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.

6.2 I will not, under any circumstances, upload the Client’s files to external websites or distribute them to third parties unless specifically authorised to do so, in writing, by the Client. I do, however, use Dropbox as a cloud storage system. See my Privacy Policy for how your data is protected.

6.3 Under the terms of the Data Protection Act 1998, the Client and I may keep on record such information (e.g. contact details) as is necessary. Either may view the other’s records to ensure that they are relevant, correct and up to date.

7. Copyright


7.1 All content created by me for the Client for a writing project will become the copyright of the Client on payment of my invoice.


7.2 All content delivered to me by the Client for a proofreading or editing project is owned by the Client.

7.3 In this respect, the Client agrees to hold me harmless from and against all claims, liabilities and expenses arising out of any potential or actual copyright or trademark misappropriation or infringement claimed against them.

7.4 Following payment of my invoice, any content created by me as part of the proofreading/editing process will become the copyright of the Client unless otherwise agreed

8. Legal jurisdiction

8.1 This agreement is subject to the laws of England, and both the Client and I agree to submit to the jurisdiction of the English courts.

8.2 The exclusive venue for any arbitration or court proceeding based on or arising out of this Agreement shall be Winchester, England.

9. Privacy policy and the GDPR

9.1 Please read my Privacy Policy, which explains the data I collect, how I use it and store it, and my compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

10. Acknowledgements in published works

10.1 There is no requirement for the Client to mention me in the published work’s acknowledgements section. However, the Client agrees that I will have the opportunity to review any such mention prior to publication, or to decline to be mentioned.