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 clear, correct and concise. Raise your book to a professional standard with independent copy editing.

copy editingCopy editing has two phases. The first is confirming that all the parts fit together. Structure and flow are important. A good copy editor may suggest the rearrangement of sentences, paragraphs or sections. Many authors have an “Aha! moment” when they are presented with options. Small changes often make a big difference in a book.

The second part 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 see all the elements I check and correct in the list below.

➜ 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 read your manuscript to check structure and flow.  I will make minor changes, but I will consult you with about major elements that may need changing. I provide my perspective, you make the final decision.  In this phase, I ensure consistency of style, while allowing your personal voice to shine through.

My goal is to strengthen your prose. As I edit, I’ll often substitute weak words, phrases, and sentences with compelling alternatives. I do not “re-write” you 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 of other word processor?  No problem. Export to the “doc’ format.  However, you lose the ability to easily see and reverse my edits. 

After this phase,, your work will be more focused and have greater clarity. Your voice will be more vibrant. Your book will then be ready for typesetting and review of the proof.

The Details – Phase 2

In this phrase 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

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 (overview with recommendations, line editing, final reading). I thoroughly edit your manuscript once from these 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. With Microsoft Word, you have the opportunity to accept or reject my edits yourself using the Word “Review” function.  Other word processors usually do not offer that functionality.

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 editing. Re-editing a revised draft attracts an extra fee.

Contact me and tell me about your book.


Copy editing your 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?

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 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, when you hire me, you will get someone with decades of professional experience willing to carefully edit your book for an affordable fee.

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.

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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1 Response

  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 […]