Copy Editing

The main goal of copy editing is helping you achieve clarity.

I help you achieve clarity by verifying your manuscript is clear, correct and concise. It is the most important aspect of any professional quality book is copy editing.

copy editingCopy editing is done on two levels. First, it is confirming that all the parts fit together. A good copy editor may suggest the rearrangement of sentences, paragraphs or sections. Many authors have an “Aha! moment” when they are presented with such options. Small changes often make a big difference in a book.

The second level of copy editing is examining the details. Each sentence is examined to make sure grammar, spelling and punctuation is correct, and that you are conveying your ideas as you intended.  This second level of copy editing is extensive, so click on the link below to see all the elements I check and correct, along with other details about the process.

➜ No charge for a 3-page sample edit of your book. See my expert work for yourself before you hire me.

The Overview – Phase 1

I help perfect a manuscript by improving accuracy, grammar, punctuation, and spelling, and eliminating redundancies. I ensure consistency of style, while being careful to allow your personal style to shine through.

My goal is to strengthen your prose. I substitute weak words, phrases, and sentences with compelling alternatives, and sometimes restructure sentences to improve clarity. I do not “re-write” you book, just offer alternatives for the weakest prose. With the Microsoft Word “Review” function, you are able to reverse my edits if you wish. 

Once I edit your manuscript, your work will be more focused and have greater accuracy and clarity. Your voice will be more vibrant. Your book will then be ready to be typeset and then reviewed by a proofreader.

The Details – Phase 2

• Basic sentence and paragraph construction
• Spelling correctness and consistency
• Proper noun usage
• Reduce adverb usage
• Delete repeated words
• Eliminate repeated phrases
• Correct misused words
• Check similar words (like to, too, two and there, their, they’re)
• Eliminate or reduce redundancies
• Consistent bullet/list formatting
• Check for acronym consistency
• Consistent use of compound words
• Reduce run-on sentences
• Reduce passive voice
• Reduce parenthetical phrases
• Consistent heading/subheading formatting
• Proper formatting of book, movie and other titles
• Check for common typos

Punctuation, including:

• Consistent capitalization
• Consistent use of numbers (1-9 are words, 10 above are numbers)
• Quote style (straight or curly)
• Proper use of em and en dashes and hyphens
• Reduce exclamation mark usage
• Proper use of period and ellipse marks
• Close open brackets and quotes
• Eliminate double spaces after periods
• Correct dialog tags

My Editing Process

1. You complete your manuscript, including rewriting and polishing. The manuscript I receive should be your best and final draft.

2. After I receive your manuscript, I edit it once using a three-pass editing style. That means I thoroughly edit your manuscript from different perspectives.

3. When I have completed the process, I return the manuscript to you. If you have questions, I am happy to answer them. I work only in Microsoft Word, so you have the opportunity to accept or reject my edits yourself using the Word “Review” function. Proofreading is not included in the copy editing process.

This is my final work product for the copy editing fee.  Sometimes authors want to rewrite or polish their manuscript later, and that requires a second round of editing. Re-editing a revised draft attracts an extra fee.

Contact me and tell me about your book.



Copy editing your book manuscript, any length over 10,000 words—just 2.5 cents per word.  Compute my fee: Word Count (Microsoft Word statistics) x .025 = copy editing fee. This low professional fee includes some text polishing to enhance clarity.

All fees are payable in advance by Credit Card or PayPal. Since I allocate time for your job, and reject other projects, there is no refund. By engaging my services you agree not to seek a refund or charge-back of any kind.  Copy editing has many subjective elements, and clients agree to my approach even though they may not accept all the options I offer. 

I have a near perfect history of client satisfaction and I want you to be among that group. We Note at the bottom of this page.

Completion time is usually 7-10 business days after I receive your manuscript. Once I have an opportunity to view your complete manuscript I’ll be able to give you a firm delivery date.

➜ No charge for a 3-page sample edit of your book. See my expert work for yourself before you hire me. 

A sample of the kind of copy editing work product you’ll receive from me

copy editing sample

Contact me and tell me about your book.

What Others Say

copy editing endorsements


Important Note: Will your manuscript be error-free after editing?

Let me quote from the largest independent publisher in the world about this important matter: “Editing, by nature, is a multi-round process; not all errors within the text may be caught within one or two rounds of editing. Most traditionally published books are edited multiple times throughout the book-making process, and even then, it is not uncommon to have a small number of grammatical errors within the book when it goes to print.”

Major publishers may spend $10,000-$25,000 or more to copy edit a book and purchasers still find errors. Most self-publishers cannot afford those fees.  Nevertheless, you will get someone with years of professional experience to edit your book for my affordable fee.

Many new authors believe that copy editing and proofreading are the same thing. They are not the same. Copy editing addresses manuscripts, proofreading addresses proofs. Proofreading is not a “final edit” and you should never let a proofreader make editorial changes. Think twice before you work with anyone who says they are an “editor/proofreader.” Professional editors know the difference and do not claim to do both.  I do not proofread books.

Good copy editing helps you communicate with greater precision.  I add organization, consistency and eliminate errors in accordance to a particular style. I use the AP StyleBook and for footnotes The Chicago Manual of Style (latest editions) unless you specify another one in advance.


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