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This list is intended as a guideline only as it is difficult to detail the wide variety of tasks we perform on a daily basis.  If what you require is not listed, please ask.  If we are not capable of providing the service you need, we will be happy to refer you to an experienced VA who can assist you.

Please see Prices page for details of hourly rates or per project fees.


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We can help with everything from letters and memos to reports, journals or complete procedure manuals.  We are fully conversant with all Windows packages and can supply a professionally finished document on plain paper or your own letterhead. 

Leave the choice of fonts and layout to us or specify a range of special features, including graphics and desktop publishing options.  We can accommodate special layouts such as columns, tables, or charts and a range of styles and colours. 


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We are equipped to handle all manner of audio dictation whether a letter, report, meetings, seminars, conferences or interviews.  We can transcribe standard audio tapes, micro or mini cassettes, video tapes or mini disc recordings, as well as DSS and WAV digital sound files. Once transcribed, your work can be emailed, faxed or posted.

Editing service  Rarely does spoken English appear concise and clear, particularly in interviews.  It can appear rambling and repetitive (lots of ums and ahs) and can easily become incomprehensible.   We can edit the literal transcription into a taut, easily understood text where the speaker's meaning is clear.  Please contact us for details of prices.

PLEASE NOTE  - We invariably speak much faster than we write or type.  It is generally accepted that we can speak four times faster than we can type. 

It is a commonly held misconception that it takes one hour to transcribe one hour of recorded tape.  This is incorrect.

The industry standard allows ONE hour to transcribe 15 minutes of clearly recorded speech.

It can take a MINIMUM of 4 hours to transcribe a 1 hour tape and as much as 6 or 8 hours depending on

  • The quality of the recording
  • The clarity of the voices on the tape
  • The number of people speaking
  • The speed at which they are talking
  • Whether they speak in coherent sentences
  • The degree of regional accents
  • The amount of technical terms involved
  • The position and number of microphones used

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These are available for publishers, literary editors, companies large or small, and individuals.  We welcome both non fiction (anything from short articles, technical manuals, journals or books) to fiction (from magazine articles and short stories to novels) and from both new and established authors.

N.B. Irene Boston is a published author of 8 guidebooks and walking books and understands the needs of both writers and publishers.  Our Photo Library, with its extensive collection of landscapes, towns and villages of the British Isles, may be of interest to both publishers and writers.


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Checking proofs is a tedious but critical task and any mistakes overlooked can be costly to correct at the page proof stage.  Modern computer spellcheckers are useful but have their limitations.  They are based on US English and are unable to distinguish the correct tense or even whether a word is correct (i.e. they would not pick up the difference between here and hear).

We can provide either a straight proof reading service or make corrections to copy on disk or hard copy, or both.  We can mark changes on hard copy, change documents electronically, flagging any changes, additions or deletions.

We can

  • check and correct spelling, punctuation, grammar, and general English errors
  • check and highlight problems in page layout and markup copy
  • check against specifications for typesetting
  • check and query errors or inconsistencies in style and content
  • check for overall sense and clarity

INDEXING - An accurate and comprehensive index is vital for a work of non-fiction, and we can assist with this chore.


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Depending upon the degree of editing required, we can offer any, or all, of the following:
  • correct spelling, punctuation, grammar, and general English usage without changing the original meaning
  • check for overall clarity, tone and structure
  • reorganise text or change paragraph order to improve overall clarity and sense
  • rewrite to improve the flow of text and content
  • highlight any format, layout, heading or content inconsistencies
  • check typographical details and ensure consistency
  • reduce word count to comply with specified length
Please note - we reserve the right to limit the editorial service provided for dissertations, theses and manuscripts to 'straightforward' proofreading if the document contains technical terms or subject matter with which we could not be expected to be automatically familiar.

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We can assist with copy for business brochures, information booklets, leaflets, instruction manuals, fact sheets, business plans, reports, proposals, newsletters, press releases, articles and offer a full ghost writing service for books.

If you need to turn your rough draft or handwritten notes into a full manuscript, we can provide a complete writing service to your specifications. 

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This facility is available to both writers and publishers if you need handwritten notes, typed drafts or audio transcription turned into a finished manuscript.

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We can provide you with a speedy turnaround for your handwritten notes.  Mail, fax or email your dissertation / thesis and we will produce a laser printed hard copy, plus floppy disk to your specification.

IF ENGLISH IS NOT YOUR MOTHER TONGUE we can check your document for spelling errors and ensure it is grammatically correct.  We offer everything from a simple read through of your document with handwritten changes and a list of suggestions, to a complete editorial and re-writing service, making alterations where appropriate without changing the original meaning.  Please contact us for details of editing prices.


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A useful service for people who spend too much time organising their schedule. Or who don't want the commitment and expense of equipping an office.

Let us manage your diary by scheduling appointments.  We can help with your conference organisation or the planning of any special events.  We can assist with travel arrangements, restaurant reservations, office management and undertake your library and internet research. 

We can sort your email, respond to routine or junk emails and forward items of importance.  We can also handle your phone and fax messages and forward your "snail" mail.   Use our reminder service for business appointments, birthdays, anniversaries and bill paying. 


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The aim of a CV is to secure an interview not a job - that is up to you at the interview stage.  A CV which is too long will never be read by an employer.  A CV must be concise, informative and clearly written.  It must stand out in a crowd of inferior documents and has maybe 30 seconds to a minute to make an impression.  No one will read every word of a CV.  The best you can hope for is a cursory speed read of the main points, so you have one chance to convey the information needed to secure an interview.  A well constructed cover letter is as important as the CV itself and will probably receive as much attention. Have your CV professionally produced to ensure yours doesn't end up on the discarded pile.

Personal, professional or academic.  We can either provide a simple service and type your CV to your requirements or provide advice on layout and content.  We provide as many laser-printed copies as you need on a choice of 80gsm or 100gsm white or coloured paper.  We can also provide a copy on disk or as an email attachment to make future changes easier.  We can also type any JOB APPLICATION letters you may need, together with addressed envelopes and can submit your details to any job websites. 

We can either re-type your original CV with no changes, providing you with one hard copy, or we can offer various packages: 

Package 1 - Retyping your original with no changes
Transfer your handwritten or typed existing CV into Microsoft Word and print 10 one-page laser printed originals on 100gsm paper.  No editing but CV can be submitted electronically to job websites of your choice .

Package 2 - Edit or enhance your original
CV is edited, reformatted and updated from handwritten or typed original, transferred into Microsoft Word and 10 laser printed originals produced in hard copy.  CV submitted to job websites of your choice.

Package 3 - CV from scratch
CV is written, edited or enhanced from handwritten or typed original, transferred into Microsoft and 10 laser printed originals provided in hard copy, disk copy supplied and submitted to job websites of your choice.

Master cover letter (either from handwritten or faxed original) can be supplied either from your original or can be composed from scratch either for specific job vacancies or speculative submissions.

A proof of your CV will be snail mailed, faxed or emailed to you for approval.  All CVs are retained on file for one year for ease of updating at a future date.  Final versions can be supplied in hard copy, faxed, emailed or on disk.

We can also provide research facilities for online job searching to enable you to submit your CV to the appropriate target market. If you require us to search for appopriate job websites, this will be charged at our hourly administration rate.


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Comprehensive library and internet research service available to academics, writers and business people worldwide.  We can search and review Net resources on assigned topics and report the findings in whichever form you prefer.

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If you need to deliver a lecture or a presentation, but donít have the facility to produce A4 overheads, handouts or slide shows, let us turn your notes into a Powerpoint presentation, laser printed onto transparency acetate.  We can offer a choice of graphics, charts and clip art.  We can provide a floppy disk or a CD or email the completed output. 

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Bulk Mailshot: Send a mailing to existing or potential customers.  We can provide the letter, (individually addressed if necessary or with labels) and stuff envelopes. You may wish to process the envelopes via your own franking system to ensure that your company name is printed on the envelopes or alternatively let us handle everything.
Bulk Fax & Email: Similar service to above available

SPAM / JUNK: Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure that the list(s) you supply are legal.  We all dislike junk mail and spam email and my service is not available to anyone wishing to misuse the system.


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If running your business leaves you no time to issue invoices for completed work, we can take over that chore and ensure invoices are issued promptly.  We can also save you precious time by issuing regular statements and chasing overdue payments.

AMENDMENTS / REVISIONS - We always hold copies of completed work on our computer for one year.  This enables us to make updates or amendments with ease, saving you time and money.

If you would like further information about any of our services or want to discuss an option not mentioned, please call and we will do our best to help.  We have access to a network of experienced VAs via the Alliance of UK Virtual Assistants, who between us cover most of the specialist skills.

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This page was last updated 7th August 2007