Copy Editing

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Copy editing enables you to publish your book with confidence and pride.

I help you achieve clarity by verifying that your manuscript is correct and concise. Raise your book to a professional standard with independent copy editing.



copy editingAuthors Face Choices

Editing in the self-publishing/Indie publishing era is a challenge for most authors. Mainline, traditional publishers often send a book through waves of editing. It takes a lot of time and money. It’s not unusual for a traditional publisher to spend $25,000, or sometimes far more, in editing costs. Yet, it is still common to see errors, including typos, in books produced by the biggest and best traditional publishers.

Since this is true, what can a self-published author do when you want to produce the best book possible on a tiny budget? Here are my tips to help you get the best possible editing at the least cost.


First, understand there are several types of editing. Many authors send me manuscripts that are not ready for copy editing. Ideas are confusing, structure is bad, and there are a host of other problems. Copy editing does not fix those problems. Copy editing addresses the issues listed below.  So, if your manuscript is not ready, I’ll do the copy editing as you request. I’ll note flaws in notes to make you aware of them.

But the problem is that you will likely need to do revisions in that case, and you’ll need a new round of copy editing and that gets expensive. Most self-publishers cannot afford to pay for the waves of copy editing after each revision. You should submit your manuscript only AFTER you have received input from others and completed your final and best revision.


A standing offer. I have been writing and editing for over three decades. I strongly recommend you get developmental editing before copy editing. I feel so strongly that I make a special offer to my clients. You pay me to do the developmental/substantive editing. Then, if you hire me to do the copy editing I will SUBTRACT 50% of your developmental editing fee from your copy editing fee.

The other major kind of editing is called “developmental” or “substantive” editing. You do that BEFORE copy editing.  The editor reads the book and identifies the issues you need to address before you submit it for copy editing. I do developmental editing and you can see all I do here. If you are totally satisfied with your manuscript, you don’t need substantive editing. Otherwise, you should consider it.

This plan is the best of both worlds and saves you time and money.

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



What I Check and Correct to Enhance Your Writing

My goal is to strengthen your prose when I copy edit your book. As I edit, I’ll often substitute weak words, phrases, and sentences with compelling alternatives. I do not “re-write” your book, but I do offer alternatives for your consideration. With the Microsoft Word “Review” function, you are able to reverse my edits if you wish. Do you use Scrivener or other word processor?  No problem. Export to the “doc’ format.  However, you lose the ability to easily see and reverse edits. 

Your work will be more focused and have greater clarity when I have completed my copy editing. Your voice will be more vibrant. Your book will then be ready for typesetting and review of the proof by others.

I help perfect your manuscript by reviewing and improving  grammar, punctuation, and spelling.  Here’s a list of most of the things I check when I do the line editing of your book:

• 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
• 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
• Make dialog tags consistent
• Correct other relevant issues. Clarity is the ultimate goal.

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

Contact me and tell me about your book.



Copy editing your “best and final” book manuscript. Up to 10,000 words, flat fee of $240. Add 2.3 cents per word beyond 10,000 words based on Microsoft Word word count. Example for a 50,000 word book: $240 + .023 cents x 40,000 = $1160.

There are never any hidden charges. Once we agree on the fee, there will be no surprise increases unless you request material changes. In that case, I will provide you with a quote in advance of doing the extra work you request and you can decide if you want to proceed.

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 to those terms. 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. I want to edit your next book too, so your satisfaction is important to me. See 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

sample edit

Contact me and tell me about your book.


What Others Say

copy editing endorsements


Will your manuscript be error-free after editing?

A note about proofreading. 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 am an editor and do not proofread books. Proofreading is not included in the copy editing process. 

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.” 

Nevertheless, when you hire me, you will get someone with decades of professional experience willing to carefully edit your book for an affordable fee. There is always someone who will work cheaper, I suppose, but you will get high quality work from me at a competitive rate.

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 others in advance.

Contact me and tell me about your book.

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2 Responses

  1. November 20, 2017

    […] but your fee pays for a one-time evaluation, not an ongoing evaluation of your work-in-progress. Copy editing is not […]

  2. March 7, 2018

    […] can you do if you don’t have these skills? Your only alternative is to hire a copy editor. No, not a proofreader or an editor/proofreader. You need to hire a genuine copy editor. […]

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