Crushing Your Editorial Business with Email Templates

I want you to crush your editorial business. Nope, I am not mean-spirited, as I don’t mean I want you to destroy it. I mean I want you to succeed, so I am using the slang version of “crush.” Isn’t it odd that the slang version is nearly the opposite of the actual definition? Anyway, I digress.

One way to crush your editorial business is through using email templates.

If you aren’t using email templates to cut down on the time spent emailing, you should be.

Why Use Email Templates

A template email is an already-constructed email with text placeholders for content that may need to change.

I love template emails. In fact, I have sixty-six of them. No, that is not a typo.

I have 66 email templates.

Emailing can be the most time-consuming administrative task, so using templates reduces the time you need to spend emailing.

Just select your template, add in the unique content, and press send.

Another benefit is that you can perfect your wording. When you write emails off the cuff, you don’t always take the time to analyze your word choices and how they may come across.

With a template, you can take the time to ensure you are conveying the right tone and message.

Creating Email Templates

Some email clients (this is the email system you use, Gmail, Zoho, Yahoo, etc.) have you type the email as if you’re going to send it, then save it as a template.

So to create it, you just go to “compose email.”

In others, you select “create template,” then enter in the content.

The important part in creating them is deciding how you will flag the content that needs to change, be deleted, or be added.

For me, I put content in pink that may not be needed. So if it is unnecessary for this client, I delete it. Then I put content that needs to change or be added in red.

Example email template with the color codes

Thank you for reaching out. Something unique to them if this is first email to them. This email contains your sample edit, quote, and an additional offer. Let me know if you have any questions. 

If you would like to move forward, I will send a contract for you to sign and schedule you in my calendar for the agreed-upon start date.

If you choose not to use my services, I would appreciate an email letting me know that you either chose another editor, can’t afford it at this time, need the project sooner than my time frame, need to postpone your project, or some other reason. 

My services are on a first-booked (meaning client let me know they wanted to hire me), first-served basis. Thus, my availability could change if the slot I give you fills up before I hear back from you; in that case, I will let you know my next available slot. 


  • You already created or will create your CMOS citations and just need me to check them for accuracy: cost is included in the above quote
  • You have created or will create your citations, but they aren’t in CMOS style (the preferred style for non-academic books), so you need me to convert them: cost is an additional $0.000 per word (bringing the total of the whole job to $0.000 per word) 
  • You have a URL or other identifying information, but you need me to create your citations: cost is $50 an hour.

This sample reflects my editing style; however, it is not necessary indicative of the depth of editing I will make on the whole manuscript. The whole manuscript may need more or less substantive/developmental editing than what you see here. And the choices I made on this sample may change when I have the whole context. So please do not accept or reject changes on the sample. 

With my current schedule, I am only able to take on your project in the timeline I quoted you in a subcontracted format. What this means is one of my vetted subcontractors will do the first editing pass, then I will do the second editing pass in round one. Because I do a pass, you get all the edits I would have made if I were working on this alone, and you get the added benefit of having two professional eyes on your manuscript for the first round. I then will do the second half-pass round by myself. The sample you received was also done in a subcontracted format: subcontractor did a pass on the sample, then I did a pass on the sample. So it reflects the quality of the work. 

All communication and payments will go through me.


I highly recommend you work with a proofreader after me. I will be sending out a “your next steps” email a few days after I start editing your book. In that email, I explain why you need a proofreader, recommended proofreaders you can contact and hire, and what to do if you can’t afford this important next step.

But to streamline this process, you can opt to book your proofreader now at $0.016 per word. I will take care of booking the proofreader for you with one of my trusted proofreaders. When I am done editing your book and you have finalized the changes, I will send your manuscript to the proofreader. If you hire me, be sure to let me know if you would like me to book your proofreader as well. 

The red text indicates content that needs to change. I need to add/change the

  • something unique to them
  • their exact price
  • the type of editing they are getting
  • their dates

So this content is in red.

Pink indicates content that may need to be deleted.

If they did indicate they wanted substantive/developmental editing, then I can delete the paragraph discussing that I marked those edits to help them make a decision.

If they don’t have citations, I can delete the paragraphs discussing citations. If I do keep it, I have some content in red to fill in.

If I am doing this as a sole project instead of a subcontracted one, I can delete the section on subcontracting. (I just put the header title in pink rather than all the content, as that was enough of a reminder to delete that whole section.)

Once you know how you will indicate content that needs to change, be deleted, or be added, create the template.

Then when you need to send a client a template email, open up the template, modify the content as needed, and send.

In my email client, Zoho Mail, I can create categories and put certain template emails in a given category (e.g., intake process emails).

Since I have so many templates, this helps me find what I need quickly. Instead of scrolling through the list of all my templates, I go to the category name and just see the email templates for that category.

From what I researched, you can’t create categories in Gmail unless you use an add-on service called Gmelius.

And I don’t believe you can organize templates by category type at all in Apple mail, Yahoo, or Outlook.

Watch this tutorial for how to create and use templates in Zoho.

For other email clients, you can use the instructions found here:

•   Create and use email templates in Apple Mail

•   Create and use email templates in Gmail and Google Workspace

•   Use My Templates and Quick Parts to create templates in Outlook

                   A video tutorial for using these in Outlook

•   Workaround for creating templates in Yahoo mail

Email Template Ideas for Your Business

Now you don’t have to get super crazy and have 66 email templates like I do. But I do suggest you have at least 3 templates for

•   Giving clients their quote

•   Explaining your editing process

•   Answering common questions you get asked a lot

To give you an idea of what you may want templates for, I have listed most of my email templates here.

*Note 1: I have created multiple forms of the same type of email because I offer a single service (either copyediting, substantive editing for nonfiction, or developmental for fiction), a combined package (both services done in one round with a half-pass cleanup round after), and both services done in separate rounds (round one is substantive or developmental, round two is copyediting, and round three is the half-pass cleanup round), and I edit both fiction and nonfiction, so I have created corresponding template emails for each of those service types.

*Note 2: The bolded email templates are included in my free email template download found at the end of this blog.

Request to fill out editing form

  • For people who contact me directly and want a sample edit, I direct them to fill out the form on my site

My rates

  • I list my rates and describe what they include

Response to initial questions

  • Responses to all the common questions I get asked in initial inquires

Quote email 1: Response to editing request

  • This is where I give them their quote and time frame and offer to book their proofreader (this was the sample email you saw earlier)

Quote email 2: Response to editing request (separate rounds)

  • If they opted for separate rounds, then they get separate quotes, so I have a different email template for that.

Recommended editors

  • Editors I recommend if I am full or if it’s not a genre I work with

Process email 1: Process and final deadlines

  • If they choose to hire me, I then explain the process and have them select dates for the second round

Process email 2: Process and final deadlines (separate rounds)

  • For if they hired me for both services in separate rounds

Process email 3: Fiction process and contract

  • With fiction, they don’t select a date for their next round, as they first need to see their feedback to see how long it will take them, so I just explain my process and attach the contract

Process email 4: Fiction process and contract (separate rounds)

  • For fiction projects where they hired me for both services in separate rounds

Editing contract

  • I attach the contract and have them select some editing preferences for the style sheet

Your next steps

  • I list the steps that come after editing, recommend various people to hire, and give advice on what to look for when hiring someone

Your next steps (still need copyediting)

  • If they got separate rounds, they need copyediting so I detail that and then list all the other steps that come after editing

Checking in

  • The day before I am set to start their manuscript, I check in to see if they will have the manuscript to me by tomorrow

In these emails, I return their edited manuscript and explain how to handle the revising process.

Edited nonfiction manuscript 

  • Sent for either combined package or round one of separate package

Copyediting nonfiction round finished

  • Sent for copyediting round if they got separate rounds

Fiction edited manuscript 

  • Sent for combined package or round one of separate package

Fiction copyedited manuscript

  • Sent for copyediting round if they got separate rounds

Picture book edited

  • Sent for round one after editing a picture book

Final is ready

  • Notifying them that I have finished the final pass and will release it after they have paid in full


  • Sending the final pass of the manuscript

How we can help each other

  • Listing ways we can help each other (this is where I ask for a review and if I can include their book in my portfolio); sent a week or so after I finished their project

Did you publish your book?

  • Sent if it’s been a year since I edited their manuscript and I haven’t heard or seen anything about its publication

Referred for editing services

  • Sent to the person whom I was referred to

Editing services for {name of company FICTION}

  • Cold emailing a fiction publishing company

Editing services for {name of company}

  • Cold emailing a nonfiction publishing company

Response to EFA job ad

  • Responding to job posted on the EFA job board

Marketing to current clients

  • Post-holiday marketing messages or when I have unexpected openings
    • This email template is different than the others; it contains various ideas for sending out these emails

Happy New Year

  • Sent to all clients whose books I edited in the previous year

Asking for referral from other editors

  • Asking editors if I could take an editing test to be vetted for their recommended editors list

These emails are for my husband to send out (I have instructions for him) in case I am incapacitated and unable to interact with clients.

My projects emergency

  • Sent out to current clients

Subcontracted projects emergency

  • Sent out to current clients working with me and my subcontractors

Subcontracting team emergency

  • Sent out to members of my subcontracting team

Proofreading team emergency

  • Sent out to my list of vetted proofreaders

I also have the following template email categories:

  • Content writing—emails for the content writing portion of my business
  • Subcontracting—emails to communicate with my subcontractors
  • Proofreading—emails to communicate with my proofreaders
  • My course—emails to communicate with students taking my courses
  • VA—emails for communicating with my virtual assistant

I didn’t list the emails in these categories since these don’t apply to all editors.

Free Email Templates

You can use the content of these emails to help springboard ideas for your own email templates.

You will receive four emails: the email templates, some business management tips, and a coupon code. You will not be automatically subscribed to my newsletter. I will only send you those four emails unless you subscribe and will not use your email for anything else.

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About Me

With a passion for words, collecting quotes, and reading books, I love all things writing related. I will admit to having a love-hate relationship with writing as I am constantly critical, but I feel a grand sense of accomplishment spending hours editing my own writing.

Lest you think I don’t have much of a life, I should add I also enjoy dancing, singing, acting, eating out, and spending quality time with my husband and adorable kids.

I’m pretty cool. And you may want to be my friend. But in order for that to happen, you will need to know more about me than this tiny box allows.