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Basic Copy Editing

This is editing for grammar, usage, spelling, punctuation, and other mechanics of style. It also includes checking for the following:

  • consistency of mechanics and facts

  • typographical errors

  • inconsistencies in point of view and tense

  • word choice issues

  • dangling or misplaced modifiers

  • redundancies

  • sentence clarity

  • flagging names, titles, and quotes the author needs to check for accuracy

  • subject-verb agreement 



Substantive (Developmental) Editing

In addition to basic copy editing, this also includes checking for the following:

  • content and dialogue

  • character and plot development

  • setting

  • conflict

  • author tone or voice

A substantive edit may include rewriting/deleting/adding whole scenes or segments for clarity and concision. It can also include line editing.



Line Editing

Rather than merely fixing errors, line editing involves rewriting sentences to improve readability, flow, and rhythm. It also eliminates wordiness and redundancies. A line edit includes basic copy editing.



Many people use the word proofreading to describe what we in the business call copy editing. However, true proofreading is done after pages are typeset, before printing or e-book distribution. It involves checking the page proofs for problems introduced during typesetting. 


My proofreading services include checking for the following:

  • nonstandard grammar

  • incorrect punctuation, math, or facts

  • inconsistent editorial style

  • inconsistency of running heads

  • bad breaks between lines and pages 

  • bad spacing between words and lines

  • errors in page numbering

  • misspells or typos

  • misnumbering and mislabeling

  • word usage errors (such as affect for effect)

  • identifying other errors (small and large) that were missed or introduced during the editing process

  • querying for areas that may need clarification




While I reserve the right to decline any project, I do work with both fiction and nonfiction manuscripts.



If you’re self-publishing, ideally you will put your manuscript through most of the levels of editing. If you need to contain costs, we can combine line editing with either a substantive edit or a basic copy edit.



I would be happy to look at your project and, if I feel my skills are a good fit, offer a free sample edit (up to 1,000 words, generally five pages). This allows you to see how I work and determine if we would be a good match. When I return the sample to you, I will include a project fee and estimated turnaround. Price is determined on a project-by-project basis.



Using any of the above services does NOT guarantee publication or a winning contest entry.



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