Rate: $6.00 per 1,000 words
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 strongly recommend sending me 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 considers word choice, sentence construction for dialects, tone, pacing, and following 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. If there are characterization or plot issues, these get notes, but only simple inconsistencies (blue vs brown eyes type stuff) are fixed. Bigger problems 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.”
If you’re working on a series, I can also include the development of a series style guide during copy editing, or work from one you have already created. A series style guide will detail everything unique to your world-building, list 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.
Note: What I provide as a copy edit also includes line editing. Line editing fixes punctuation, spelling, grammar, and readability by reordering phrases and clauses, or adjusting sentence lengths, to smooth the reader’s path through the narrative.
By the time the copy editing is done, your story is nearly publication ready. All that remains is formatting the file for ebook and print. You’ll want a book formatter for that, either DIY or hired out. You can come back to me for proofreading after the book is formatted since that is a service I do not provide.