Copy Editing

Rate: $8.00 per 1,000 words ($0.008 per word)

Copy Editing is editing that brings the manuscript up to the appropriate style through paragraph and sentence restructuring, and grammar fixes to fix or strengthen voice and tone.

A copy editing sample (free up to 1,500 words) is definitely recommended before we dive in. You’ll want to see the type of feedback I give when suggesting line edits and make recommendations or suggestions about word choices or sentence structure. I always request a scene around chapter 4 or 5. This way I can get a good handle on how you move between dialogue and narrative, action and reaction, and point of view.

You may say that you had beta readers and don’t need a copy edit, just a proofread. Beta readers are great, but they should only be reading for story holes, character inconsistencies, and other big picture problems in the plot or characterizations.

A copy editor fixes:

  • word choice
  • sentence construction for dialects
  • tone
  • pacing
  • grammar rules to improve readability.

The copy edit assures everything flows together in a way that immerses the reader in the story and not stumbling on the language.

Note: What I provide as a copy edit also includes line editing to to smooth the reader’s path through the narrative and enhance the author’s voice and style. Line editing fixes:

  • punctuation
  • spelling
  • grammar
  • readability (reordering phrases and clauses)
  • adjusting sentence lengths.

If there are characterization or plot issues, these get notes, but only simple inconsistencies (blue vs brown eyes type stuff) are fixed. Bigger problems, like errors in motivations for character actions, may cause the copy editor to come back to you, job unfinished, and say “you really need to have a developmental edit help you fix this, this, and this.” Beta readers can help with this type of issue, too.

I can also include the development of a style guide or series guide during copy editing, or work from one you have already created. These guides detail everything unique to your world-building, lists the proper spellings and parts of speech forms for all lingo. Also character and place names will be spelled properly and relationships or physical details described so that facts can be quickly looked up and not contradicted as the book, or books, pass through multiple editing hands.

By the time copy editing is done, your story is nearly ready for publication. All that remains is formatting the file for ebook and print. I am beginning to offer formatting, and can produce print-ready PDFs and/or EPUB format ebooks. After formatting, you have the production files proofread to check that your book is as error-free as humanly possible. Readers recommend and come back to writers they can trust to deliver a quality reading experience.