Fixed Price Content Edit AND Royalty Split

From July 2014, my minimum price for a full content edit has crept up just a little, from 0.0115 EUR per word to 0.0121, or approx. 660 USD for 40k words (~0.0165 USD per word).

In addition, I am formally adding a new service and a new payment arrangement:

One Shot Read and Comment

This is a content edit, where I read and analyse your manuscript and focus my analysis on a few critical factors. More details on my website. This is offered at a fixed rate of 0.005 USD per word.

Payment by Royalty Split

Subject to my accepting your manuscript, I am offering four of these per year, and the next one available will be Q4 2014. The split is an "earn out + bonus" arrangement. On seeing your manuscript, I will set a fee for my edit. Once your book is launched, royalties are split 50/50 until my fee is paid, then 10% (the 'bonus') until the first anniversary of the book launch. If my fee is not paid by the first anniversary, then I will write it off. In other words, you have nothing further to pay. To be absolutely explicit: if the book sells zero copies in the first year, you don't pay me anything, ever for that book.

This arrangement is intended both to encourage new writers to take a more businesslike approach to selling their books, and to defray the costs of free edits, which I want to be able to continue to give. As such it isn't really suitable for authors who are already making a steady income - you will probably lose out.


How to keep your gun in hand

Consider the following:

Flint stood, gun in hand, at the door.

What you get from this is that Flint is in a state of readiness. What's going on syntactically is that he is performing the action of "standing, gun in hand".

Now this:

Flint stood at the door with his gun in his hand.

Somehow this suggests a hint of trepidation on the part of Flint. As if he's about to defend, rather than attack. Syntactically, 'his gun in his hand' is an ablative complement introduced by 'with'.


Flint had his gun in hand when he stood at the door.

There's nothing grammatically wrong with this, but I suspect this is a failed attempt to reproduce the syntax of 'gun in hand' of the first example. Because it doesn't mean what the author wanted it to mean. "To have something in hand" is an expression meaning that it is taken care of, under control, or in the course of being done:

Preparations for Flint's surprise birthday party were well in hand when I arrived. We were concerned that the children would give away the surprise but Molly kept them in hand. Needless to say, Flint got the wrong idea, and as his surprise turned to alarm, the situation rapidly got out of hand.

"Out of hand" is the opposite of "in hand".

Misuse of "in hand" is getting out of hand. Rather like the whole "look at/look to" confusion, this isn't the grey area you might think it is. We often need to differentiate between "in hand" and "in his hand"; we often need to differentiate between "look at" and "look to".  Useful differentiations like this are what tend to armour usage against evolution.