Copy editing

Focusing on and checking the detail of your text.

Any summary of copy editing will contain some or all of the words consistency, clarity, accuracy, and correctness. These are all essential qualities your manuscript needs, and the more mechanical and mundane aspects of copy editing ensure their presence in your work. But just as important are aptness, sincerity, and authenticity. Readers — and before them, agents and publishers — need to be convinced of your authority and the truth of what you’ve written by the words themselves. Copy editing helps your writing be its best self.

In a copy edit, I’ll address (but not limit myself to):

Get it done

Below is a general outline of my working process.

  1. Quote

    Send me an email, attaching a (word-processed) sample from the middle of your manuscript — enough to show me the level of textual intervention required, around one thousand words. If I think we’ll work together well, I’ll reply with my sample edits, a quote stating the fee, how long editing will take, and when I can start.

  2. Book

    If you’re pleased with my edits and agree to the quote, I’ll invoice you for the 25% deposit and agree with you some matters of style. As soon as the deposit is paid, your place in my schedule is secured. Send the full manuscript before our project start date.

  3. Review

    After copy-editing, I’ll send you the text alongside a style sheet (a document listing the most significant stylistic decisions). I’ll also include the final invoice.

  4. Respond

    Within the manuscript file I will have left queries and comments for you to respond to. After answering these, return the file and I’ll complete the editing before I send you the final version.

How much it costs

Every manuscript is different. Word count is important (more words means more to edit), but other factors matter too. The CIEP suggests minimum hourly rates. You’ll appreciate how the number of words that can be edited in an hour could vary. I’ll provide you with a bespoke quotation after I’ve seen a representative sample of your text and we’ve discussed the parameters of the project.