Jennifer and Jessie, thank you both so much for all the useful questions and answers. So glad I discovered this thread. Jessie, I too am at the start of my dev ed path and just past the “I’ll work endless hours for just the experience” stage. I am just finishing a wonderful project that I am doing for an indie small publisher for an unspecified fee–I am so hoping the owner who hired me will find my invoice in the ballpark. So that’s the first rule I have broken. The next rule I broke is that, instead of doing the DE letter at the end of my weeks of reading and thinking, the author told me the publisher had said he hoped for an advance review copy in June–this was in May, and he meant this June!–so the author and I did a totally unconventional process of working in tandem, with daily messages back and forth with feedback and suggestions from me (she was already revising based on my ms eval earlier), new material and revisions coming my way. . . crazy, I know. The writing style is gorgeous and I didn’t want any other CE to mess with it, so I did the CE myself and we are now breaking Rule #3, going through my AU queries (she is going through most of the Track Changes herself) via Zoom, with me putting in her final decisions right at the moment we discuss them and she decides. Good thing I am not in this for the big bucks–but I was an English teacher in rural Vermont, so long hours for little pay seems to be my modus operandi– that was not exactly a career path based on making money either. Anyway, I have learned so much and had the thrill of being present at the creation, so to speak, and I now have a new friend I haven’t met yet–and definitely a great testimonial to come. Maybe someday I’ll even make money at this craft.