I have occasionally had authors book a service for a specific date and then not send the manuscript. This has sometimes resulted in me turning away other clients for the same date and is both costly and time consuming. In order to mitigate against this sort of thing I've decided to request a non refundable retainer of $50 in order to book a date for an edit to start. This fee will then be deducted from the total cost for the edit.
It is important to make sure that your manuscript will be ready for editing by the agreed date otherwise you may lose the retainer and have to pay for another booking. If, however, you have booked a date and realise that it is unlikely you'll be able to meet the deadline, please contact me at your earliest opportunity (at least a week before the agreed start date). With enough notice, I will be able to reschedule your booking at no further cost, and may even be able to book another commission in the original slot.