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Copy-editing

 

Copy-editing is polishing your 'raw' written material for publication. This may be either:

  • before you send it to a publisher or submit it to a journal for consideration; or 

  • if you are self-publishing, before the layout/typesetting stage.

 

I specialise in non-fiction, from substantive to light-touch copy-editing, but am happy to work on fiction too. At the most basic level, I will correct any errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation, and ensure consistency throughout your text (e.g. in terminology and punctuation style).

As well as these fundamentals, I aim to ensure that the writing is clear and at a level appropriate for your intended audience. This is done by ensuring that the structure is logical and headings are appropriate, any repetition is minimised, and any ambiguities are clarified or queried. I also query possible factual inaccuracies/inconsistencies and flag up potential issues with copyright or insensitive language.

If required, I can also check tables, figures, and other artwork for sense, check or format references, rephrase sentences to improve clarity, check hyperlinks work, and/or tag material for typesetting.


​​As a professional copy-editor, I can work to whatever scope of editing we agree on for your writing. If you want to discuss your editing requirements, let's start a conversation.

 

How do we work together in practice?

 

I edit primarily in Microsoft Word, using Track Changes and comments. However, I'm happy to edit on paper if required.

 

Once we've agreed the scope of the editing needed, I can get started. Most edits will be marked up in the text using Track Changes, with queries and comments marked. Queries show where you may need to check or amend something. Comments do not generally require action but are just to let you know why I've made certain changes. I can follow a style guide you provide and/or create a bespoke style sheet for your material.

 

I will send you the copy-edited material for review (both a version with track changes showing and a 'clean' version). You then return the document to me with any necessary amendments. If you disagree with any changes, it's fine to let me know!

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Finally, I will check any amendments are consistent with the rest of the document and ensure that all evidence of editing is removed, before sending you the polished version.  

 

Proofreading

 

Proofreading is a final check of proofs after typesetting but before publication. It involves checking for a variety of errors and inconsistencies, as well as layout issues, but does not involve extensive edits to the text.

 

Typically, proofreading is commissioned by a publisher. If you are self-publishing, then having your work copy-edited first is highly recommended. I am happy to proofread material that has been typeset after copy-editing, as having it independently proofread before final publication is always a good idea.

I am happy to mark up proofs directly in Adobe Acrobat. ​​Note that I don't typically undertake work requiring BSI proof-correction marks, though I can do this if required.


 

Pricing

 

Please contact me for a quote. The price quoted will depend on the size of the job (word count), complexity of the subject matter, scope of editing agreed, and how much intervention is required.

 

What I'll need is a small sample of your written material, ideally from the middle of the document or book, so that I can assess the likely level of editing needed. 

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I base my hourly rate on the guidelines set by the Society for Editors and Proofreaders. Payment by bank transfer is my preferred option.

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