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Copyediting is the process of getting your raw material ready for publication, either in print or digitally. It involves making sure your work reads well and is accurate, consistent and suitable for the intended audience. Copyediting covers a broader range of issues in more depth than proofreading – the Society for Editors and Proofreaders has an excellent and thorough explanation on its website.
During a copyedit, as well as looking for errors of spelling, punctuation and grammar, I will suggest edits at sentence and paragraph level to help your writing flow more smoothly. I will also flag up inconsistencies, factual errors and any areas where your meaning isn’t clear to me.
If your work is not going to be printed in hard copy but published digitally only, you may benefit from ‘proof-editing’, which is a sort of hybrid of proofreading and copyediting where proofreading and some light editing are done at the same time. I’m happy to provide this service too.
Before I start work, we will agree on a price and scope for the project. We will discuss your needs and make sure you are choosing the most appropriate service – copyediting, proofreading or something else. We will also, of course, agree a deadline for me to get the edited document back to you.
If any issues or questions arise that affect the whole piece and that need to be resolved before I can move forward, I will raise these with you straight away. You can decide how you want me to raise queries with you.
Once you receive the edited document, you are free to accept or reject my suggested changes as you see fit, as well as resolving any minor queries to your satisfaction. As per my terms and conditions, the total price includes a final swift run-through of the text to check these minor changes.
I usually work in Word with tracked changes, and this is my preferred method, but I can also mark up pdf files if required.
As copyediting takes place before typesetting, if you are having your work printed in hard copy, I recommend that, if your budget will stretch to it, you have your work proofread as the final stage before it goes to print. Proofreading will pick up on any errors that may have crept in during the typesetting/design process.