EDITING & PROOFREADING

After you've invested a considerable amount of time and effort in creating a project, it can be difficult to see the wood for the trees when the copy has been written. How can you be sure your book, brochure or web content is ready to be presented to the public? That's when the expert eye of an experienced copyeditor or proofreader like me is invaluable. I can offer an independent point of view to make sure the first impression your audience gets of your project is the best one.

Do you need a copyeditor or a proofreader?

In copyediting, the raw text (the copy) is edited before it goes to the layout and design stage. The text is thoroughly checked for clarity and consistency, ensuring it makes sense and is easy for the reader to understand. The various elements of the text are checked and put in the right order, and errors or inconsistencies in spelling, grammar, punctuation, style and usage are corrected. The clarity of the text will be improved by removing repetition and rewording any sections that are confusing or convoluted; suggestions may also be offered to help make the text more reader-friendly. Basic facts are checked, unnecessary formatting is removed and the structure of the text will be marked up to show, for instance, headings, boxes and lists.

Proofreading is the very last stage in a project when the proofs are checked prior to publication or to going live online. As the final quality check, proofreading includes looking for any remaining typographical and grammatical errors, or any formatting issues associated with the typesetting process. It does not include fact-checking, rewording or any major structural changes.

If you're happy with your text as it stands and you're sure it makes perfect sense, it may only need proofreading. If, however, you know there are weaknesses in the text such as convolution, inconsistency and repetition, I can improve it for you with copyediting.  If you're still not sure which editorial service you need, check out these helpful FAQs on the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading website.

Editing and proofreading for publishers

Are you looking for a reliable, accurate copyeditor or proofreader to join your pool of freelancers? I am experienced in copyediting and proofreading non-fiction, and accustomed to working to specific house styles and tight deadlines. I specialise in history but I'm happy to consider any genre of non-fiction.

Michelle has been an excellent asset to our editorial team for the past two years, building a rapport with authors and editing their work to a very high standard. She is always a pleasure to deal with and has proven herself to be thorough in her approach to proofreading and copyediting. She is to be recommended to anyone looking for an editor with a discerning eye and an exceptionally professional attitude towards their work.

Laura Hirst, Production & Commissioning Editor, Pen and Sword History

Editing and proofreading for businesses

All forms of written communication need some form of quality control to avoid costly mistakes. While you and your team will have spent countless hours working on a product launch, new brochure or the content for your website, it's often the case that you're too close to the project to spot what needs changing or improving. That's why it pays to have an extra pair of eyes to look at the copy from an independent point of view.  I can help you by copyediting or proofreading your text, making it as clear, consistent and reader-friendly as it can be.

Editing and proofreading for independent non-fiction authors

As an independent author, you will have put your heart and soul into creating your book. In order to stand out from the crowd for the right reasons, it's vital that you have your manuscript edited and proofread before publication, just as a traditional publishing house would. No matter how good your book is, if it's not checked for clarity, consistency and errors, it won't be the professional-looking title it deserves to be and all your hard work will be wasted. 

You might be worried or nervous about showing your work to a professional editor or proofreader like me, perhaps fearing that your book will be tampered with and will no longer feel like your creation. In fact, the opposite is true. I will always respect and retain your authorial voice and writing style, and changes will only ever be suggested to make the text clear and consistent. 

I'm a published non-fiction author myself, which I believe is a positive attribute for an editor and proofreader. Having been through the publishing process many times before, I can empathise with the writers I work with and build good relationships with them because I understand how they feel at the various stages of their projects. I specialise in history, having a degree in the subject, but I will consider any genre of non-fiction. Let me help you polish your book to be the best it can be.

How the process works

The first thing to do is to contact me to discuss your project. We can then work through the brief, ascertain exactly what you need help with and decide whether you need copyediting or proofreading.

My rates vary according to the amount of work required, which is why I always ask to see a sample of the material before providing a personalised quote. There are many different reasons a text might need more work and therefore take more time to deal with, for example, if there are lots of grammatical errors, if it hasn't been written by a native English speaker, or if there are large numbers of facts to check. I will also ask for the total number of words, how many images or diagrams there are in the material, whether there are footnotes or endnotes, etc.

When I see the sample, I will be able to assess how much of the material I could copyedit or proofread per hour. I will then be able to give you an accurate cost per 1,000 words. This fee will usually be based on the minimum rate suggested by the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading.

If you are happy with the quote, I will discuss timescales with you and keep in touch with you at regular intervals throughout the project. I will edit or proofread the work on screen and when I have completed it, I will email the edited Word document or PDF to you, along with a style sheet.

email me for a personalised quote