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.


Andy Williamson, author and historian

Michelle is a gem. She guided me with care, patience and expertise through the entire proofing process. She went beyond just proofreading to provide invaluable advice and comments that gave my manuscript added sparkle. Hiring her was the best decision I made. Highly recommended.

Hazel Bird

I hired Michelle to proofread an 85,000-word book of genealogical research containing numerous images, maps and family trees. As a fellow editorial professional, I was looking for high standards when I hired Michelle, and I was not disappointed. I have nothing but praise for her care and sound judgement. She saved me from several embarrassing errors and sensitively suggested helpful improvements. Her queries and corrections were clear and easy to take forward. The work involved meticulously checking around a thousand years' worth of genealogical data against the narrative and the family trees, and Michelle handled this part of the job with great competence. Her communications were professional and timely throughout, and I always felt fully appraised of progress in the work and against the budget. I would wholeheartedly recommend Michelle's proofreading service.

David Smith, author of Agnes Marshall: From Scullery Maid to Victorian Celebrity Cook

I could not have chosen a better editor than Michelle. As well as tidying up the text of my book, she identified several areas in the narrative that needed improvement and suggested much better alternatives. Her extensive knowledge of Victorian society was invaluable in making sure that I had correctly understood social factors that were an important part of the book. I asked Michelle if she would write the blurb for me, and she has done an excellent job on that too – concise, punchy, yet still incorporating the main points of the book. Michelle promptly answered my questions with friendly and helpful replies. I am about to start a new project, and I hope Michelle will agree to being my editor when it’s finished.

Hanh Tat, author of Life as a Jigsaw Puzzle: A Little Book About Love

For my debut book, I needed someone to do some lightweight copyediting and proofreading, and I found Michelle's details on the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading website. As a new indie writer, I had never used the services of an editor before and wasn't sure what to expect, but Michelle's communication was excellent throughout. She was professional, helpful, reassuring and kept me up to date so I knew exactly what was happening, and when.

Her suggested edits were really helpful and she spotted things that I’d missed, such as the overuse of particular words. And she provided really useful feedback too. Michelle was very honest and only charged me for the time that it took her to complete the work, which ended up being less than the initial quote. And it was done in a very timely manner. I would definitely use Michelle again if I needed this type of service in the future.

Anna Cale, author of The Real Diana Dors (published by Pen and Sword)

I was always going to be very protective of my first book, The Real Diana Dors. It had been my baby for a long time. I was therefore rather apprehensive about the work involved in the editing process, but Michelle guided me through it. Receiving a warm and friendly introductory email from her really helped, as she told me what the next steps would be. It felt like a fog had finally lifted. She was in control of the coordination of the various iterations of editing the manuscript, and I had confidence in her approach from the start. For me, as a debut writer, this feeling of trust was invaluable.

My experience of the editing process was a positive one. It felt like a constructive working relationship built on respect, with a balance of acceptance and compromise to reach a shared goal. We both had the same thing in mind – for me to produce the best book I possibly could.

For me, the main thing was consistent, open dialogue and communication. Michelle clearly set out the process for me from the start, but I also felt empowered to approach her with questions or concerns. I finally had someone who was there to help me navigate this strange experience of writing a book. We had respect for each other, the end result was something beautiful, and I feel we created it in partnership.


You can read more about Anna's experience of the editing process as a first-time author in her blog post on the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading website.



  • Agnes Marshall front cover
  • 23873_Anne Boleyn
  • Famous Last Words
  • Why the Titanic Was Doomed
  • The Real Diana Dors
  • The Unofficial History of the Beano
  • Titanic Day By Day
  • Jane Austen's Best Friend
  • The Real Herge
  • The Real George Eliot
  • The Early Life of Walt Disney
  • 23873_Anne Boleyn

    Editing and proofreading for independent authors of non-fiction

    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, and to correct any errors. 

    To help you decide if I'm the right editor or proofreader for your project, I offer a free short sample proofread or edit of a couple of pages. This is designed to show you the level of intervention I would use if I worked on your book.

    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.

    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. Get in touch for a personalised quote.

    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 since 2019, 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.

    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.

    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.

    Fees for editing and proofreading

    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 there are formatting issues to resolve, or if it has been written by someone with English as a second language.

    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 give you an accurate cost per 1,000 words.

    As a general guide, my rate for proofreading is between £8 and £10 per 1,000 words and for copyediting, it's between £10 and £15 per 1,000 words. The actual rate really does depend on the individual project.

    If you are happy with the quote, I will agree timescales with you and keep in touch 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.

    Please note: I will complete the work to a high standard but I cannot guarantee perfection, and nor would any professional copyeditor or proofreader. Please see my terms and conditions, and also the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading's advice on this.


    email me for a personalised quote